SERIESous Discussion: When Your Fave Author Switches Genres


SERIESous Discussions: Every once and awhile I will post my random ramblings about a bookish or blogging topic. Feel free to join in by making a comment below or linking back!

We all have those authors…

You know, the ones that you will read anything that they ever publish because they write amazing books. You don’t even need to read the synopsis because all you see is their name on the cover and you are sold.

But what happens when they completely switch genres?

Like I said above, it probably doesn’t matter. You’ll read anything by them regardless of what the critics or fellow reviewers say. You have faith in them and know that you more than likely enjoy the hell out of that book.

So I suppose my question should be:

Do you change your expectations when they change genres?

Personally, I know that I struggle with this.

Case and point: Richelle Mead. Her most recent work, The Glittering Court, is actually the inspiration for my this post.

Richelle Mead writes two of my all time favourite series: The Vampire Academy and Bloodlines. Now both are set in the same world and are classified as YA Paranormal Romance. I’ve also read her adult Paranormal Romance series Dark Swan. Basically, I equate Richelle Mead with strong female heroines in paranormal worlds.

So when she wrote Soundless, which is YA Fantasy/Mythology standalone, it was quite the change for me. It had a great concept but the execution wasn’t what I wanted nor expected. I wanted something fast paced like her previous works–something loaded with action and a strong, independent heroine I could admire. And that didn’t happen.

I did the same thing with The Glittering Court as well. I thought the book could have had a faster pace because I know Richelle Mead can and has produced books with faster plot-lines before.

Now, I’m not saying that I want a carbon copy of the author’s previous works for all their future works.

Far from it actually. I hate authors that seem to follow a formula. I want a book to surprise me and entertain me. And if it follows the same sequence of events with the same character traits–yeah, I get bored.

It definitely happens though. Authors have the subjects and character types they are comfortable with. I think Jennifer L Armentrout is a perfect example of that. You always know when you are reading her books because they all have the same basic foundation–it is what she is known and liked (and disliked) for. And you get comfortable with that too as a reader–it’s what makes an author a favourite or a must-read.

And sometimes, authors want to break out of that mold and write something new. It gets tiring writing the same thing all the time. Readers change genres (I know I rotate genres what I read on a weekly basis) and even bloggers change the type of posts they do on a regular basis. If all goes well, they will get some new fans in addition to their previous fans who like and support their new work.

But there will always be those fans that compare the new book to the old.

It’s human nature to compare things. I try to be really cognizant of that fact when I write my reviews. While I like to compare new works to old works for context but I don’t want it to be the entire basis of my review.

Yet I struggle to not do that when I read.

When I read that book, I might think to myself “well this isn’t as exciting as BLANK was”. And I really wish I could stop because I almost feel like I’m not giving this book a chance. ESPECIALLY, when it is a genre change. I shouldn’t expect a fantasy mythology novel to have the same type of action as a paranormal romance but I can’t help it.

It’s what I am comfortable with and I’m not always the biggest fan of change, even if it is my favourite author.

What about you? 

How do you feel when an author changes genres?

Are you constantly comparing?

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