Books I Wish Didn’t Have Sequels

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A few months ago, I wrote a post about books I wish had sequels. Today I’d like to do the flip side of that: books that shouldn’t have gotten sequels. It’s not because the first book(s) was bad and so doesn’t deserve a sequel. No, I like each of the books on this list. But their continuation ruined them for me or didn’t give me what I wanted out of the story.

And so I’m left wishing their sequels— whether one or more books— didn’t exist. Sometimes they taint my view of the original and sometimes they don’t. Either way, I can’t help but feel like the world would be a better place without them.

  1. Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
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I loved Annihilation. It answers just enough and leaves just enough unanswered that it’s satisfying. Had it been a standalone, it probably would’ve made by best list last year. Alas, Authority and Acceptance exist and destroy everything that was good about their predecessor. The answers they provide ruin the creepy and mysterious vibe of the original. If you ever want to read this story, just stick with the first book. Otherwise, your enjoyment will be annihilated.

  1. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
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Admittedly, I haven’t read The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy. But the reviews are fairly unanimous in saying it basically rehashes the first book’s plot. Felicity is apparently also out of character. It just feels like Lee didn’t really have a story to tell and just wanted to capitalize on Gentleman’s Guide’s success. The sequel just doesn’t sound worth reading. And that’s my guide to this series.

  1. Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis
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First, let’s get this out of the way: Ellis is a disgusting misogynist. I had to read this book for class, but I bought a used copy so, rest assured, he didn’t see a dime from me. And, despite being a garbage human, this book is good. The sequel on the other hand? Utter trash. It’s so blatant that Ellis only wrote Imperial Bedrooms because he didn’t like the movie adaptation of his book. Hell, that’s a plot point in the sequel. It also doesn’t really expand on any of the themes from the first book. It’s basically just a tantrum in book form. My appreciation for this duology is less than zero.

  1. Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi
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I’ve talked at length on my blog about how much I hated Restore Me and how it feels more like a cash grab than a writer with more story to tell. Mafi is clearly flying by the seat of her pants, making things up as she goes along. She tries to correct the lack of world-building, but it comes too little, too late. All she’s ignited in me is a dislike for this series.

  1. Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
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I’ve always read this novel as more thematic than as character or plot-driven. I also really liked the ending. I don’t like the thought of the sequel coming along and ruining that. Yes, I admit it. I haven’t read Shadowsong. But I’ve also heard people who liked the first book say the sequel isn’t as good, so I think I made a good call. In my head, Wintersong is a standalone. And I will sing its praises and its praises alone.

  1. The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
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A lot of people hated this book, but I loved it. What I hated was Noah’s spin-off. The Becoming of Noah Shaw finds everyone acting out of character and has almost no plot. It loses what was so great about the original trilogy— the unreliable narrator and the creepy tone. I want retribution from Hodkin for having to read that bad, unnecessary spin-off.

Do you agree with my choices? What are some books you think shouldn’t have had sequels? Let’s discuss in the comments!

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