Discussion Time: Does “Second Book Syndrome” Exist?

Like it seems to have with most bookish topics my opinions on Second Book Syndrome have changed a lot since I started blogging. While I do still think it exists with certain books and/or series I’ve come to realise it isn’t as common as I once thought it was.

Second book syndrome is something we’ve all probably experienced at one point or another. When a series starts off amazing you’re left hyping up the next book, desperate to find out what happens next in this series you love, but when you finally get your hands on book number two you’re left disappointed by what you’ve read.

Does 'Second Book Syndrome' Exist

Does “Second Book Syndrome” Exist?

If you’ve been following my blog for a while then chances are you’ve noticed two things about my reviews; number one is that I primarily read and love fantasy books, and number two is that I read a lot of series. Looking back through the books I’ve reviewed on my blog so far one of the things I’ve noticed is thatΒ I say, more often than not, ‘This is a series that keeps on getting better and better with each book!’. And for the most part I think that’s true.

In a first book the author has to set up the world, the characters, and the main plot arc that will develop over three or more books. It takes a lot of development work to make it stand on its own and still create an interesting story to keep reader engaged. In the second book however most of that foundation work has been done and it leaves the author more space to add action and twists in the plot, to add more tension to the relationships between different characters. More often than not this means that I end up enjoying second books more than first ones.

Case in point is the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. This was on my to-read list for ages simply because I’d seen a lot of negative reviews for the first book, and despite plenty of people telling me the series would get better I kept putting it off. No surprise when I did get around to this book the second one was better. While I feel part of that was maybe because of the addition to the foundation she had already created in the first book I think a larger part was she was becoming a more experienced author. It’s the same with her A Court of Thorns and Roses series, I really enjoyed the first book but the second is so much better.

throne-of-glass-series

As an author writes more I do think they get more experienced when it comes to writing; more experienced in their own writing styles, and in developing their series, characters and books. And if that’s the case shouldn’t that mean that second book syndrome doesn’t exist?


On the other hand, and though I do think this is rare, there are occasions when second book syndrome does strike a series you love. Maybe it’s nothing more than reading a book with the same characters, the same world, and the same kind of story that just doesn’t interest you as much as it did in the first book when everything was brand new.

Case in point when I read the Splintered trilogy by A.G. Howard I fell in love with her first book set in a slightly darker Wonderland, years after the original Alice had come and gone. Obviously I was incredibly excited to get started on Unhinged when it was released, but upon reading the book I didn’t enjoy it anywhere near as much as I did Splintered.

Splintered Series

Part of this was because of the setting. The reason I picked this series up in the first place was because it was a retelling of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, a story I love, but in the second book we stay in the real world. Although we do get a few glimpses of some of Wonderland’s residents there was nothing more about that world in Unhinged, and as a result I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first book.

You may completely disagree with my two examples; you may have found Crown of Midnight suffered from second book syndrome you could couldn’t get through it, or you may have enjoyed Unhinged more than Splintered. I guess when it comes down to it second book syndrome really comes down to the book and the reader.


Now Onto the Discussion Part of this Post:

Have you come across more books that you think suffer from Second Book Syndrome, what were they and why do you think they suffered?

Do you agree with my assessments of both Throne of Glass/Crown of Midnight and Splintered/Unhinged, if you’ve read them what did you think of them?

Or is Second Book Syndrome something you’ve heard of but rarely encounter in series?

Let me know in the comments below.

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69 thoughts on “Discussion Time: Does “Second Book Syndrome” Exist?

  1. I find the second book in a series, or at least a trilogy, often ends up being what I call a “transition” book. The first book establishes the characters and most of the world-building, and the third book is the climax of all the action and the huge final battle/stand-off/whatever, and the second book ends up mostly being about just getting from Point A to Point B. In some of the series I read, while the second book has a lot of action technically, it doesn’t necessarily add too much to the story aside from physically moving the characters forward to the next place. Or, sometimes the second book ends up having a ton of exposition, which could be interesting if done well, but can also be dry. Maybe it’s just the books I choose though, since I’m more of a standalone book person.

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    1. That’s a good way of putting it actually, and transition book sounds better than second book syndrome doesn’t it? I guess it can be hard to fill in the blanks between the opening and the ending of a series. I know some books do it really well but I think a few must fall at that hurdle.
      Ahh see I’m more of a series person actually so maybe we both have a different view of second books in terms of how successful they are. I guess if you’re used to standalones where the whole story is started and finished in one book it can be an adjustment going into a series where maybe the events are a little slower to unfold and conclude.

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      1. I think that’s exactly it. I find series (Harry Potter being the exception, as usual, lol) tend to drag things out unnecessarily. I’m also not a huge fan of reading long action sequences like fight scenes, which are very common in the middle book especially.

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      2. For me it all depends on how it is dragged out. If the book is actually contributing something meaningful to the character development or the storyline, then I don’t mind, but sometimes it feels like stories are artificially plumped up just to make it into a series.

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      3. Yeah I’ve read a few series like that. There are some that just keep adding books even though it feels like the series should have ended ages ago. Those are the series I get bored with because eventually it’s becomes books for the sake of books, they’re not offering anything to the character development or plot like you said.

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  2. I think the second book in a series is ALWAYS a challenge for an author. Even with the experience and feedback they gain from the first book, its the success of the first that makes their second book so scary. I actually believe that the second book in a series usually end up slightly less impressive as the first just because it’ll be so much harder to WOW you since the introduction of new characters, new settings, new everything that made you fall in love with won’t be possible with a second book (unless the author introduces new characters, new settings and new.. everything again (instead of focusing on other aspects like you’ve mentioned. I do agree that the second book in a series is definitely an opportunity for an author to dive into much more complex things without worrying about the introduction of things like the first book might have served. Playing with relationships, playing with plot twists and all that are definitely SOOO much fun, so I totally understand how you end up loving the second in a series so much more, so much more often! Nice discussion post, Beth! πŸ˜€

    – Lashaan

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    1. Good point Lashaan. I’ll admit I didn’t really think about it that way before, focusing more on the fact that the author would have the experience needed to move their writing forwards but I guess going back to the same world and the same characters and the same story in a way you need something different, something more, to wow readers.
      For me most of the books I’ve read I have loved the second, maybe if not more than the first then at least the same amount, but I think I do rate a lot of books quite highly so it could just be that I’m easily impressed! πŸ™‚
      Thanks Lashaan.

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  3. I love this discussion, Beth! I have definitely come across a few series that have suffered from second book syndrome, more so than I thought before reading your discussion. Being that, like you, I read a lot of fantasy which is a genre mostly made up of series I tend to read a lot of series and when I enjoy the first book I almost always feel a little nervous for the second one. Three series I can think of off the top of my head that have suffered from second book syndrome for me are Red Queen, Divergent, and Twilight. I loved Red Queen so much the first time I read it that I was beyond excited for Glass Sword only to be really let down. I’m not even sure what happened but I think it was a combination of the characters and certain events, I got so frustrated while reading it which took away from my enjoyment. Insurgent is a similar case of characters, events, and frustration and the same goes with New Moon. So, I’m thinking what causes second book syndrome for me has a pattern πŸ˜‚. I can’t say anything on Throne of Glass or Splintered since I haven’t read either yet (hopefully sometime this year). But, yeah, I think it depends on the series and the reader when it comes to second book syndrome. It certainly exists and you know I agree with you on ACOTAR. I really enjoyed the first book too but hands down ACOMAF was better. Sometimes I forget ACOTAR exists which is probably a bad thing lol. πŸ™ˆ

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    1. Thanks so much Melissa. The idea for this one kind of came out of the blue. There’s been another idea I’ve had for a discussion post which I keep pushing back, gotta try and get around to it next.
      Oh I know there are likely a good few series I’ve read, probably more than I could think of at the time of writing this post, that suffered from second book syndrome. I think largely with fantasy books it depends on how badly you hype a book up in your head and how your reading tastes vary as well. When it comes down to it I’ve read more series that have had a disappointing ending than I have series which have suffered from SBS.
      For me Red Queen was a book I wasn’t a massive fan of the second time I picked it up, so I don’t think my expectations were high for the second book, but I still didn’t like Glass Sword as much which is saying something I think. Twilight and New Moon and Divergent and Insurgent I read so long ago I honestly can’t remember what I thought of them the first time I picked them up (I do think I ended up enjoying New Moon more than Twilight though).
      I hope you manage to get around to Throne of Glass or Splintered this year, if not both maybe? I’d certainly be interested to see what you think of the second book verse the first when you do.
      Forgetting a first book exists is often a pretty big indicator of how you didn’t enjoy it as much as the second I will say! πŸ˜€

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      1. You’re welcome, Beth!! And I get that, I’ve had this one idea for a while myself that I keep putting off. Mainly because I’m not sure how to start it.
        I think it does too, I do know the times I’ve been let down by the second book in a series is when I’ve gone into it with extremely high expectations. That doesn’t always happen but when it does I know that has to be a factor. And it’s the same for me, I’ve read more series where it was the ending that let me down rather than the second book.
        I think there are a lot of us that was completely let down by Glass Sword. I haven’t read any reviews (since I saw that spoiler one) for King’s Cage but I have seen some high ratings. Even with that though I’m hesitant to read it. πŸ™ˆ And with New Moon I think I’m the odd one out because most of my friends enjoyed it more than Twilight as well lol.
        Both are definitely books I have on my TBR for this year. I especially want to get around to Throne of Glass because I’ve been meaning to since last year. πŸ˜‚
        Right? Then the fact that I’ve reread ACOMAF so many times I’ve lost count yet I only ever read ACOTAR once lol.

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      2. I just keep getting new ideas that seem to need to be written first. Still my next discussion post will definitely be the one I’ve had in the works for ages!
        I’ve found that most times I go into series with high expectations I know the author will live up to them; Sarah J Maas and ACOMAF, Samantha Shannon and TMO, V.E. Schwab and AGOS, but like you said that doesn’t always happen, and normally it’s when my expectations are much much too high.
        I’ve read a couple of reviews for King’s Cage, mainly because that’s a series where I’m not too bothered about spoilers you know? And one did say King’s Cage was the book that saved the series so I think my hopes are a little higher for it than they were previously. I mean, looking back now, I don’t think I’d enjoy New Moon as much at all, but at the time I loved it.
        Well hopefully this will be the year you do get around to both, and I’ve only read ACOTAR once, and although it’s the same with ACOMAF that’s one I know I’ll pick up multiple times! πŸ˜€

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      3. That’s awesome that you keep getting new ideas though! 😊 And I look forward to the one you’ve been working on for a while because now I’m curious lol.
        Same here, when it does happen it’s usually when my expectations are beyond high. I feel like that’s another aspect of what happened with Insurgent when I read it. It can happen. But I also think there are those authors that deliver so well in the first book that you just know the second is going to be even better. Which all of your examples are my examples too (even though I’m only 30% into AGOS currently).
        I think I saw that review too! I didn’t read it but I saw the title and it definitely made me a bit more curious than I previously was. And I feel like I could say that about the Twilight books in general. Great series back when I was obsessed but if I reread any of them now I probably wouldn’t like them. πŸ˜‚
        Hopefully!! 😊

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      4. Yeah, most of them just seem to pop up, but no matter what does in the meantime I do want to get around to the one that’s been on the back-burner for a while.
        The hype surrounding books is another discussion topic all-together I think (and one I may come to at a future date) because it is a huge thing in the book blogging community and yeah there are times it can be more damaging than anything else.
        Good to hear that about AGOS, even though you are on 30% through it at the moment! πŸ˜€
        Yeah, here’s hoping maybe we’ll agree with that assessment as well. Guess we just need to read it to find out now! πŸ™‚

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      5. I would definitely be interested in a discussion about hype! Especially since I can be a completely hype reader and always gravitate towards the books everyone is excited about lol. I’ve actually wanted to do a discussion about it before but could never figure out exactly how to go about it so I scrapped the idea.
        Yep! 😊

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  4. Oh that’s such an interesting discussion, Beth! ❀ I have to admit that at the moment I can't really think of a book that suffered from second book syndrom, at the top of my head at the moment….Hm maybe I think that I might have enjoyed Scarlet a bit less than Cinder, but well the rest of the series just blew me away so does that really count?
    Thing is, I can't think of a book at the moment but second book syndrom is something I am afraid of everytime I read and love the first book in a series, haha.

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    1. Thanks so much Marie! πŸ˜€ Yeah I think overall that seems to be most people’s opinions on this topic; although they have read books that suffered from SBS it’s not been that many. I think Scarlet was kind of one for me, I didn’t enjoy it as much as Cinder but I still thought it was a good book so it didn’t bother me as much that it wasn’t as good you know?
      It’s something I worry about sometimes as well. It’s mainly when I hype a book/series up so much in my head I wonder if it’s possible for it to ever live up to my expectations.

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  5. It took me four books to enjoy the Throne of Glass series, hahaha! Where does that leave me? I don’t read many series, so my input here can only be limited, but for me The Raven Cycle did suffer from the second book syndrome, and not just because Ronan wasn’t my favorite xD I felt the pacing was too slow and as the world was developed enough in the first, I thought the second book didn’t add anything to the series. I am really hoping the second books after Three Dark Crowns and Wayfarer are good!!

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    1. Ha, oh would we say that’s one to four books syndrome? I guess there are just some series it takes longer to get into than others, but at least you stuck with it until book four when it started getting better for you! πŸ™‚
      Oh see I thought The Dream Thieves was better than the first book, mainly because it was when the magic was made real, so to say, and I could see the direction the story was going. Still I see where you’re coming from as well.
      I think loads of people have that hope for the second Three Dark Crowns book, and I really really hope you enjoy Wayfarer Donna. I loved that book! πŸ™‚ ❀

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  6. I think it all depends on what your expectations are for a book series. For me, sometimes I find when books series go on longer than they should, I get “fourth, fifth or sixth” book syndrome, lol. Having said that, however, I haven’t read nearly as many book series so don’t take my words as gospel πŸ™‚

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    1. I think that seems to be what most other people think as well. And I have to admit a few of the series that I’ve read that have suffered from SBS have been where my hopes have been sky high for the next book in the series.
      Yeah I’ve had that as well when series have gone on too long. I guess there’s only so much you can read if the sane characters and the same world without it getting tired. πŸ™‚

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  7. This is definitely a thing, though I never knew it had a name until now. I read a book called Silver by Rhiannon Held when it first came out and thought it was amazing. So naturally i was excited for book 2, Tarnished, but it just wasn’t as good as the first one. Oh the same characters were there, and some new ones too, but it just went in a very political direction that I didn’t enjoy.

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    1. I was talking with my friends about SBS long before I started my blog, but I will admit it also seems like it’s not something that people talk about as much. I guess maybe that proves it isn’t that big of a thing, though there are undoubtably books that suffer from it.
      Oh it’s always a shame when that happens. Do you think your hopes were too high? That’s normally what I’ve found when books I’ve been excited for have suffered from SBS.

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      1. I’m not sure if my hopes were too high or not. I just remember the second book wasn’t nearly as good as the first. I mean, they were about werewolves, and the second book was all werewolf politics and didn’t really focus on anything else. At least as far as i can remember

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  8. I definitely think it’s a thing. I’ve read plenty of series where after the first book, it felt like the author didn’t know how to write their own story. But I also agree that there are exceptions to this rule, like An Ember in the Ashes; the second book was 100% better than the first. Maybe the author finally got into their story and characters, I can’t really say. It’s just second books are usually hit or miss.

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    1. I think it depends a lot on what author it is, and what the readers opinions are as well. Normally I feel second books allow an author to expand with the story now everything’s been built up in the first book, but of course like you said there are exceptions. πŸ™‚

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  9. I totally think this is a thing. I think that sometimes with series there is so much build up with the first book that the second book gets built up and tends to let the reader down by not living up to the imagination that we’ve given it. Right now I’m reading Scarlet, in the Lunar Chronicles, I like it, but I don’t like it as much as I loved Cinder. I honestly think it’s build up thing. (Also Scarlet moves slower than Cinder did)

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    1. I get what you mean. I’m the kind of reader that no matter how hard I try I always end up building books up too much in my head, and then I’m disappointed because there’s no way it can live up to my expectations. I think Cinder was a book I enjoyed more than Scarlet as well, but in the end it wasn’t too much of a disappointment that I don’t count it as suffering from SBS you know? Either way Cress gets a lot better again so I hope you enjoy that one when you get around to it! πŸ™‚

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  10. I definitely agree that the Second Book syndrome exists. Lately I’ve managed to read series that have avoided the issue and have only gotten better with the second book. Crown of Midnight is definitely an improvement over the first and I believe this is a result of an author’s enhanced experience as they gain more time to develop their style and voice even further. Most authors become better writers over time but not every author, I guess. I haven’t read the Splintered series just yet, but I’ve heard the second book is not as intriguing as the first. The last series I read that suffered from the second book syndrome was Glass Sword (the one I started in November and STILL have not finished). I really liked the first book and was really excited for the second, but my god, was that a disappointment. And it really is a shame when a series starts off with a bang, only to slide down hill from then on. That’s how I felt about the House of Night series. Egad (!) that series just got worse and worse with each book that was released LOL. But luckily Second Book syndrome hasn’t struck too often since then haha. Great discussion post, Beth! ❀ πŸ˜€

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    1. That’s good you’ve managed to avoid it lately. I think Throne of Glass is the major one that kind of disproves the theory in a way. The majority of people who’ve read and enjoyed the series agrees it only gets better with the second book. It’s definitely a case of improvement in SJM’s case but yeah I think that’s more of an author by author case than a steadfast rule or anything.
      Nope, the first book was amazing but the second kind of let me down, maybe because my hopes were too high but maybe not if more people share that opinion.
      Oh see with the Red Queen series I wasn’t really a fan of the first book so when it came to the second it wasn’t so much of a case of SBS and more of a case of me still not enjoying this series. Have you read King’s Cage yet? I’ve heard that one is a lot better.
      House of Night is one I’ve read, and I completely agree it went on for way too long. I gave up after about six books. I couldn’t force myself to read anymore.
      Thanks so much Azia! πŸ™‚ ❀

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      1. Yeah, ToG certainly experienced a 180 in quality. Although, I’ve heard it kind of gets a little iffy by the 4th book and the 5th book is a hit or miss. I’ll face that hurtle when I get there haha
        And yeah, Red Queen is a love it or hate it kind of book. I wouldn’t say I loved it, but I really enjoyed it. But I can’t even get through the second book. Haven’t picked up King’s Cage because of that, but I’ve also heard that the third book is much better!
        I think I gave up on book 6 too for House of Night. The story was becoming far too melodramatic and dark for my tastes. Also, I didn’t like Zoey all that much for the main character, so that wasn’t helpful at all LOL.
        No worries! ❀

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      2. Oh see I hadn’t heard that about the fourth/fifth books. I actually really loved the fifth book, and before it was released the fourth was my favourite of the series. I guess for me that part of the series was a hit! πŸ™‚
        I’ve heard the third book is better as well. My expectations are still low but they’re a little higher than they were after reading Glass Sword at least.
        I think even in the earlier books Zoey was my least favourite character, and I guess in a series you want to at least like the main character, even if he/she isnt your favourite.

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      3. Ah ok! I’m glad you liked the 4th and 5th books! Gives me a bit more hope that I might like them too πŸ™‚
        And my exact sentiments. One day I’ll finish out the Red Queen series, but not anytime soon it seems lol
        And yeah, she became my least favorite by the second or third book, I think. She’s such a terrible character, isn’t she? It was a miracle we got as far as I did LOL.

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      4. Well yeah, after reading the 5th I am now so so so excited for the 6th book. It’s almost unreal. I really hope you love them too.
        Yep, there are other books out there I’m more excited about which I’ll get around to before King’s Cage.
        For me it was my not-giving-up-on-a-series thing that kept me going as far as I did, but eventually even that couldn’t save this one for me. πŸ™‚

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      5. Yeah I try not to DNF a series, but House of Night broke me down. Just couldn’t make it through to the end. And I’m fine with that, because I feel I didn’t miss much of anything XD

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      6. I try not to DNF series as well but I think there are just some I can’t carry on with. A lot of the time it’s simply because I’ve lost all interest in the series because I waited too long to carry on with it but HoN was a rare one I just couldn’t stand anymore.

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      7. I think another one I DNF’d is Eragon. Just…too boring. Too boring LOL. But that was another rare DNF for me. Why are we cursed with the need to finish series, even if they’re not that good?! LOL

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      8. I thought it’d be my thing because dragons, but it was just so boring haha
        Yeah that’s exactly how I feel, too. Some series have definitely made a comeback later on so there’s not much harm in trying to continue on with a series, just in case, you know?

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      9. I do love dragons and books that include them but for some reason the Eragon series never really appealed to me you know?
        It’s always nice when you continue with a series only to be rewarded when it gets better isn’t it? And to think you could have missed out on it if you gave up halfway through. πŸ™‚

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  11. I think that ‘second book syndrome’ comes down to your expectations for the book. If you really loved the first book of the series, you probably have really high expectations for the second. And if that book doesn’t go quite the way you hoped it would, you end up disappointed. And maybe if you weren’t sold on the second book, you love the third because your expectations had been lowered.

    I find similar things happen to books in series that are super hyped (I remember it happening for the last Harry Potter for example). You build it up so much in your mind that it’s hard for a book to actually meet your expectations once they are set so high.

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    1. Another good point. A lot of the time my expectations are high for books and more times than not they’re reached. But I guess if you really love a first book you want even better for the second and if it’s not what you hoped it probably turns you off the whole book in a way. I think maybe that’s a big part of SBS, people’s expectations and whether a book can ever meet them.
      I think there have been a few series I’ve ended up disappointed in, and I know it was because my expectations are too high and there was no way any author of any book could have met them. Still I can’t seem to stop myself from hyping up books I’m excited for; be they debuts or sequels. πŸ™‚

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  12. Hm, it’s funny because I don’t think I’ve seen series suffer from Second Book Syndrome, but more like Sequel Syndrome, if that makes sense??? I can’t really tell you about series where the second book sucked, but there’s a whole lot of series that I’ve read where the books just got worse and worse, and the finale just ties it all up to make my point. So, the first book was okay, but the sequels just expanded on those things and made it worse.

    I do agree that SJM’s second books always rock. COM is what really got me obsessed with the series, and after thinking ACOTAR was meh, ACOMAF was what made it a fave series of mine.

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    1. I definitely get what you mean, and I do agree with you because, while I can’t think of too many, there are a few series that have gotten worse with each book, and other series which have been amazing until the very last book, which I guess would be Last Book Syndrome or something. Would you say that was maybe where series just continued for too long, that maybe a natural stopping point for the book was passed and everything after that was too much?
      I guess when it comes to SJM’s books even if the first isn’t as good we know now that the second will probably be what hooks us on the series. It’s something to remember for her next series I guess! πŸ™‚

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      1. Ooh, this makes me wonder if I have those types of series! I don’t think I have any series where I thought everything was perfect EXCEPT the ending. It either won’t bother me too much or I already hated he seeks in the first place, so it never really mattered. πŸ˜‚ Funnily enough, I’ve never read a series with the opposite – where all the books sucked except the finale.

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      2. I actually have more of those on my bookshelves than I do series that suffer from SBS. That always ends up disappointing me more so it could just be I remember them more clearly than I do books that suffer SBS though you know?
        Well in that case I guess it’s good you stuck around though all the not-so-good books until you could get to the finale right? πŸ™‚

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  13. I honestly think there are plenty of series that suffer from SBS and plenty that don’t; often, which ones suffer or don’t suffer depends on the reader (if the author does more of what you liked or more of what you disliked about the first when it comes to writing the second). For me, Susan Dennard’s Witchlands series and Renee Ahdieh’s Wrath of the Dawn duology suffered from SBS, but the opposite is true for The Raven Cycle and Harry Potter. Those answers could be the opposite depending on the reader, of course!

    Ellie | On the Other Side of Reality

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    1. It’s possible loads do and they’re just series I haven’t checked out yet. I think I definitely agree with you that it depends on the reader. I rate a lot of books quite highly so I guess from that side of things I may love a second book that someone else feels suffers from SBS.
      See I agree with you that Harry Potter and The Raven Cycle don’t suffer from SBS, but while I haven’t read the Witchland books I loved the second Wrath and the Dawn book even more than the first. Again something that just depends on our reading tastes when it comes down to it. πŸ™‚

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  14. I have to 100% agree with you on Crown Of Midnight! The thing with Throne Of Glass was also that the plot line was absolutely predictable. We knew exactly where Celeana would end up by the end of the book and that took a lot of the enjoyment out of the book, I think. We had none of that with Crown Of Midnight! And I loved every second of the book! I haven’t read the Splintered trilogy, so I can’t say anything about it.

    I feel like for the most part, I usually enjoy the second books in series more because, like you said, there is none of the world building (it’s usually expanding which I always love to see!) and we get to actually dive deeper into the characters and their motivations and conflicts – which is the best part of a book!

    The only book I can think of where the second book didn’t get me as much is A Gathering Of Shadows which is weird because so many people loved that book so much more than the first one. But I just felt like the balance of the story was off and it took forever to finally get to the Games. And then the last 50-60 pages were a wild ride.

    But other than that, I really do feel like I have enjoyed second books in series more than the first book!

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    1. I read Throne of Glass a while ago so I can remember a lot of the details but from what I do I know the plot was kind of predictable yes. I think as well as being more predictable Crown of Midnight also developed Celeana’s character more, instead of us just being told she’s an amazing assassin we actually saw it for ourselves. From the second book my enjoyment of the series sky rocketed.
      Exactly, for me, most times, he first book feels like the set-up. It gets the introductions to the world and the characters out of the way so the second book can focus more on the action and the plot.
      Oh that is a shame. I think with that series I’m with the majority because I loved the second book even more than the first. Did you still enjoy AGOS overall though?
      Yeah I wouldn’t say it’s a steadfast rule or anything but for the most part the second books are normally ones I enjoy a little more as well! πŸ™‚

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      1. Oh yeah, that was something I mentioned in my review of COM too. Like, we were told Celeana is this basass assassin but we didn’t get to see much of it in TOG which sucked!

        I did definitely enjoy it overall – I think I gave i like 3.75 stars in the end! The slow beginning just really dampened my enjoyment of the book! But then ACOL came and I was hooked from the first page and loved it so, so much! Definitely my favorite book in the trilogy!

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      2. I think it was something I mentioned in my review as well (though I can’t be sure, I wrote it so long ago). Honestly for me Celeana’s character development in the second book was what made COM so good for me.
        Oh that’s still a good rating, especially for a book you maybe hoped for more from. Yeah ACOL was amazing. My favourite book and a perfect ending to my favourite trilogy! πŸ˜€

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  15. I think Second Book Syndrome is totally a thing. The first book is actually usually my favorite, because I love seeing the “original”, in a way. So it’s sometimes hard for me to differentiate between whether I just like the first more, like usual, or if it’s Second Book Syndrome. I think that The Summer I Turned Pretty series demonstrates it pretty well. For me, I loved the first book, and while the next two were good, I felt like they created unnecessary drama and too much heartache. If Jenny Han had just ended after the first one, I think the story would’ve been fine.

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    1. Oh I get what you mean, as much as I love series there’s still nothing that compares to starting a book for the first time and being introduced to a new world and new characters. I always seem to love the second more just because I find there’s more development and action given that the author doesn’t need to introduce everything all over again.
      I haven’t read The Summer I Turned Pretty but I am all too aware of book series that went on for too long. There can be a perfect ending in one of the earlier books but for some reason the author still carries on and releases more which can just feel unnecessary.

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  16. I definitely think it’s a thing. I wonder if sometimes (particularly for debut authors) it’s because they spent a really long time working on and revising book 1…and then boo 2 is supposed to come out within a year. Also, some people are not great a pacing series, in my opinion, and book 2 will feel like nothing but a filler bridge to move people from the action of book 1 to the climax in book 3.

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    1. That’s a good point actually. I guess a lot of authors have the time to work on book one, to make it as perfect as they can, because they’re not published yet. Then when it comes to book two there’s not as much to get everything perfect again.
      I feel like, for the most part, the series I’ve read the second book doesn’t feel as much like a filler. There’s still enough action and development in most cases to keep my interested but that’s a good point again. πŸ™‚

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    1. I don’t tend to get that. If I love a first book in a series I usually can’t wait to pick the second up. I’m not sure why but my default thought has never been, ‘what if I don’t like this book?’. I guess in a way that’s from experience. I’ve rarely suffered from Second Book Syndrome so I don’t expect it with favourite series. πŸ™‚

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  17. I’m looking at my bookshelf now to try and see if there have been any sequels that I haven’t liked… I don’t think there have been! I’ve definitely not enjoyed a third or fourth book, or even the last book in some of the series, but never the second… Maybe it’s because the second book is where the epic story really kicks off, like the first book is the establisher, and the second is where the twists and turns that set up the rest of the series really begins and that’s always exciting! Idk, that’s just what I have found! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah it’s the same with me. Looking at my bookshelves it’s filled with series I’ve loved, and if the first book was a little disappointing the second book certainly wasn’t. πŸ™‚
      That’s actually a good point about the second book really kicking off the epic story. I’ve found that with a series I started the other day actually. The second book hasn’t been released yet but, and I said this in my review, it kind of felt like the whole of the first book was building up to an epic second one.

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