Have you ever read a book and fell so delightfully in love with it? You loved everything about it to the point where it left you with some sort of bookish hangover? Then the sequel releases and all of that excitement comes rushing back as you prepare to dive back into a world that mesmerised you, with characters that either made you feel fluffy and swoony or angry and challenged. Yet… when you do sit down and finally read the sequel, all you want to do is throw it against the wall (or out the window, which tends to be the case with me more often than not). Because I have and that feeling fucking blows.
Today I’m going to share with you five books that were sequels in a series that became near-and-dear to my heart with the first instalment but didn’t live up to their predecessors in the end. A couple of them were mild disappointments, while the others were godawful experiences I would burn from my memory if I could.
05. Black Order (Sigma Force #3) by James Rollins
Black Order is the third instalment in Rollins’ action-adventure series. I love action-adventure novels, especially when they take historical artefacts or events and twist them around to tell an incredibly outrageous story that is semi-plausible. Rollins’ has a knack for doing exactly that, but this book was all kinds of cliché. It recycled some dynamics from the previous books in a way that made it feel rather stale and boring when compared to the books before it and even the ones that came afterwards. It didn’t feel like it was moving forward until the last two hundred pages of the book, which is a bad sign when the book is already pushing 500 or so. I also didn’t care for the really strange last-quarter of the story, nor for the Nazi-sympathiser aspects.
04. A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire #2) by George R.R. Martin
A Clash of Kings is the second book in Martin’s epic fantasy saga. There weren’t many things that I didn’t like about this book except that it felt so much like a filler for me (on my first read-through). I understand that it was laying out the foundation for all of the shite that takes place in book three (HOLY HELL, btw), but compared to the first novel, A Game of Thrones, it was much slower and far less exciting. I am currently re-reading the series, so I’m curious to see how I shall feel about it during my second read-through.
03. The Night Stalker (Detective Erika Foster #2) by Robert Bryndza
The Night Stalker is the sequel to the first volume of Bryndza’s crime thriller series. I will admit that the first book had its issues and was borderline average to begin with, but I did like the crime overall, the motivations behind it, and the revelation of the culprit(s). So many people said that the series gets better with each new instalment, and that was the only reason that I picked up the second book. Oh boy, what a waste of my reading time. My number one issue with this series—apart from many—is the depiction of women. It’s ridiculously clear that the author has no comprehension of how women think or behave. I hate that women are always portrayed to be such monstrous and vile individuals; selfish and self-sabotaging. I won’t say that there aren’t women like that out there, but not every single one of them are that way, and they aren’t all damaged, man-hating berks out there with something to prove either.
02. Hunting Prince Dracula (Stalking Jack the Ripper #2) by Kerri Maniscalco
Hunting Prince Dracula is the second novel in the young adult, Victorian mystery series by Maniscalco. I fell so joyfully in love with the first book. It wasn’t perfect, but it was so much fun to read. I liked the characters, the mystery and intrigue, the reason behind the crimes—many things. So, naturally the sequel was one of my most-anticipated books of the year. It ended up becoming one of the worst things that I had read in 2018, which completely broke my heart. Every plot twist was a boring disgrace, with no real plot value to them whatsoever. There is representation of PTSD, which started off rather strong, but then mutates into a painfully disrespectful plot device that made no logical sense at all (as someone who has PTSD, I felt offended by this portrayal). Audrey Rose shifts from being a strong and independent character to one who melts at the first sign of romanticism. I adored her because initially she didn’t follow that cringey YA mould, yet there we go. This book was an agonising dissatisfaction.
01. P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #2) by Jenny Han
P.S. I Still Love You is the second book in Han’s young adult contemporary trilogy. I know that I will probably get some severe hatred or dislikes for having this book on my list, not to mention as my number one most-disappointing sequel. But this was the only book (on this list anyway) that I physically threw out of the fucking window. I don’t understand how so many people find the romance in this book to be sweet and cute, when all it does it fetishize abusive behaviour. Her boyfriend is bleeding arsetart of red flags, especially with being dishonest, sexist, racist, and possessive. How this sort of relationship can mutate into something fluffy and charming will never make sense to me. This isn’t the sort of relationship that young girls should read about and wish to have. This is the sort of crap they should see and immediately run away from. So… thanks but no thanks.
Those are my top five most disappointing sequels that I have read. I tried to keep it relevant to the past year or so. I’m sure if I went back further into my reading history, the list may have been a bit different.
How about you, chums? What are some sequels (whether a second book or a book later on in a large series) that disappointed you the most? Please, come chat with me in the comments. I’d love to hear from you! ♥