Everything seems to be coming in threes nowadays. I have nothing against trilogies, but it often means that dreaded Middle Book Syndrome.
In terms of films, I think the second ones often turn out to be as good as, or sometimes better than the first. For example, Pirates of the Caribbean, Spiderman, X-Men, Toy Story, and probably a hundred more I can’t remember right now. (If I’m adding in games, Uncharted 2 is probably my favourite game of all time). Then the third one gets over complicated…
But this Syndrome, seems to relate to books in the main. I’ve read several sequels so far this year of books I love. And none have matched the first. I think, the trend at the moment of Dystopian novels, are really not suited to three books. The unique selling point of them, is the strange society presented in the first book. It’s different, and that’s what makes those books bestsellers. But then the first book ends with the protagonists running away from the society together… so what does that mean for book 2?
So far, I’ve found out it means large chunks of running around doing nothing. It doesn’t have the interest of the dystopian society, and it doesn’t have the (presumed) war which will take place in book 3. It’s stuck in the middle, literally and figuratively. And where’s the interest in that?
These authors are rather skilled at making nothing into something, and turning what could have been a sharp, fast paced single book thriller, into a dragged out trilogy.
Of course, I’m still going to read the last ones in the series – I have to know how it ends after all!
What are your thoughts on the matter?