The Series, Standalone & Companion Books Conundrum

Posted April 16, 2018 by Zeee in Discussions8 Comments

The Series, Standalone & Companion Books Conundrum

Let’s talk about anything bookish!


Hello, Wormies! I rewatched Wreck-it Ralph and Big Hero Six this weekend and I was bawling! Oh man, the emotions in these Pixar movies! I mean, at least I didn’t watch Up again! Anyway, back to the topic. Since Wreck-it Ralph has a sequel, I thought about series, standalone and companion books. I’m not sure if there has been any debate about this topic, but I have thoughts about series books.

Reasons Why I Think Series Books are the Best

  • With series books, authors are able to expand the plot and the world. Amazing world-building can be expanded and enhanced over multiple books and this is AWESOME!
  • I get to revisit my favorite characters again and again and again. Let’s face it, readers just can’t let go of their favorite characters!

Reasons Why I Think Series Books are Painful

  • Some series seem to go on forever and ever and ever and ever. While this is okay with some readers, I am one of those readers that will lose interest when a series goes on forever. I will usually have a maximum interest in about 5-ish books, and then I’m done.
  • Longer series tend to turn add crazysauce into the plot. I am all for crazysauce, but sometimes it is just too much that it borders into the ridiculous.
  • When I have to wait for months until the next book in the series is released! This is a killer!
  • When authors can’t finish a series and we are left waiting for the finale. I’m not saying that the readers are owed the finale, it’s just that this means that we wouldn’t know the end of the series.
  • Sometimes, even after X number of books and even after a series has ended, I still don’t get to have all my questions answered! This is so frustrating.
  • There are usually multiple novellas associated with the series and it gets a little frustrating following those.

Reasons Why I Think Standalones are Perfect

  • We only read one book and then we’re done! Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!
  • There is no waiting for a second book to be released at all!

Reasons Why I Think Standalones Don’t Work

  • Because there’s just one book, sometimes we don’t get to have all the questions answered. Sometimes, we don’t know what happens to the characters! I know, this sucks. If you were to ask me, I would want to know what happens after the end!

Reasons Why I Think Companion Books are Awesome

  • With companion books, you still get the series feel and also the standalone feel since the characters are usually different.
  • We still get to meet the characters from previous books in the current books as cameos or as a supporting character in the current book.
  • We still get the extensive world building since the book is basically set in the same world.

Reasons Why I Think Companion Books Always Don’t Work

  • The characters featured in the book aren’t the ones that I want to read about. In my case, I’m pretty impatient and I can’t wait to read about my favorite characters.
  • Sometimes, my favorite characters don’t even get their own story! This one sucks and is very, very disappointing.

My Preference

Overall, I actually prefer companion books over an entire series. I usually get turned off reading 20+ books in a series, most especially if they become crazysauce! This is what I have noticed when series are over five books. Well, the ones that I have read, anyway.

Although I love a good series, I don’t usually stick with if there are over 5 books in the series. For me, I think the magic number is 3.

For companion books, I normally don’t care how many books because they normally read as a standalone.


Do you like series books, companion books, or standalone books?

Do you have a series that you have basically given up on?

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8 responses to “The Series, Standalone & Companion Books Conundrum

    • Yes! Companion books are my preference. I get overwhelmed looking at series with over 10 books out already! 😀

  1. Ugh, I feel you with those 20+ series, what even IS that!? Who has that kind of dedication to ONE world? (Spoiler: not me.) I agree with you wholly that if I am doing a series, 3 books (mayyyyyybe 4) is my max. I don’t like when series that I thought were complete now have more books (looking at you, Shatter Me), because I signed up for a trilogy for goodness sake! I have quit a LOT of series recently because I am just so sick of all the “okay, now here’s 3 more books” nonsense. Honestly, most of the time it seems like it’s just beating a dead horse, you know? Awesome post!
    Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight recently posted…May 2018 New Release Giveaway Hop Sign Ups- and Update/Announcement!My Profile

    • Yeah, the In Death series by J.R. Robb is like 50 something books? Like WOW! I can’t even binge read that many in one world!!

      Oh, and I’m also not reading the latest Shatter Me book. I also thought that series was over! errghh

  2. I straddle that line between stand-alones and series. I like getting to spend a little more time with characters I love, but I hate the commitment and waiting for the answers with series. I think that is why I really enjoy companion series. You get closure, but you also get to revisit central characters from past books. It’s like catching up with a friend.
    Sam@WLABB recently posted…Reviews: The Eleanor Ames SeriesMy Profile

    • I forgot to add that I also don’t like middle books that don’t really add anything to the story.. urrghhh!!!