I love reading series, mainly because I’m never done with the characters and the story after just one book.
Some series are centered on the same main characters, such as Harry Potter or the Nighthuntress series, and some authors manage to pull that off by having the characters grow, develop and evolve through the series (the before-mentioned series are examples of such), but a lot of times I end up getting bored with the main character after a few books. My favorite series are those where we get to follow different characters in each book.
The Black Dagger Brotherhood, Elementals and the Elder Races are examples of such series that I love, but being 85% into Secret, the latest book in the Elementals series (by Brigid Kemmerer) had me spotting a problem with this method. Secret is the 4th book in the series, but there has also been 3 short stories. The series centers around four brothers and their friends and enemies, and the main character Nick is the last of the brothers to get his own story if you count the short stories. I wrote about the previous books here.
The problem is that even though I am now seeing things through Nick’s eyes, and I really should be siding with him because he has scored both sympathy points, and points for being both smart, kind, hot and more (which I can’t reveal without giving out a major spoiler, but it’s something that would usually make me side with him instantly), I want to hit him. Nick’s twin brother, despite being a jerk, won my heart and I’m furious at Nick for giving him a hard time.
Maybe it’s because Gabriel is in a way the underdog and the one everyone keeps expecting to screw up, but I felt so much sympathy for him while reading Spark that I can’t let it go. Gabriel was the third to have his story, so it’s not like I fell in love with the first character I met.
That is the thing with series where you follow different characters and still keep meeting the old ones, it’s hard to let go of them. So now, even though Gabriel did mess up and did the wrong thing at the wrong time, I keep thinking that they didn’t really give him a chance. I’m completely focused on the wrong character here, and there is nothing I can do about it.
As I was reading Secret and finding myself disliking Nick more and more (solely because in my opinion, he was being unfair to Gabriel), I realized that this was not the first time. As I was reading Serpent’s Kiss, the 3rd book in the Elder Races series by Thea Harrison, I didn’t like it. Not because the book wasn’t well written, the characters weren’t good or the plot boring, but because Rune was unreasonable towards my beloved Dragos. Sure, Dragos was not exactly reasonable in return, in fact he was probably way worse, but he won my heart first and so I have to be loyal to him. That might be the root of it actually, I’m loyal to my characters even when they are no longer the main characters. So I really don’t like Rune, and now I no longer like Nick… It’s a good thing J.K.Rowling didn’t write a story about Draco or Snape first, or I would have ended up hating Harry Potter (the character, not the books) as well.
So I’m curious, is it just me, or have anyone else experienced this as well?