Recently, I reviewed a book, which for me, had a pretty big cliffhanger and I was not happy. Once upon a time, I liked cliffhangers, I thought they added a bit of pizzaz to the novel. But either I’ve just gotten older or I read too many books, because I can’t stand cliffhangers. Here’s why:
1. Generally speaking, book two or three won’t come out for a whole year. That’s a long time for me to remember characters and plots and…care. I cannot tell you how many “book ones” I’ve enjoyed and how many “book twos” I have not read because time and distance has made me ambivalent.
2. You lose the magic of book one. Unless, the novel is just life-changing, or hands down your favorite book of the year, by the time you read book two, you usually spend the first couple of chapters remembering what you liked about the book in the first place. I’ve gotten to the place folks, where now I don’t buy a book if there is a cliffhanger. I wait until the whole series is completed first.
When Cliffhangers work:
1. When book two is coming out in a couple of months.
2. When the major plot has been tied up and book two continues with someone or something that does not feel major (it can become major in book two, but otherwise the novel feels wrapped up).
And so I ask you, how do you feel about cliffhangers?