Cliffhangers: Evil or Epic?

Cliffhangers: Evil or Epic?

Book Series With CliffhangersThe other day I was thinking about how I’m really in the mood for another EPIC series. After finishing the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning just recently, all other books have seemed to pale in comparison. It’s not like I’m TRYING to compare them, but it’s just hard to find awesome books after a series like that for awhile.

So I was really wanting to find another series that I would find to be “epic” and it got me to thinking what exactly makes a book feel epic?

I think it could be a lot of things. But I started thinking about all of the book series that I love most and I realized that almost all of my favorite series (excluding PNR) are series that are crawling with cliff hangers! Need a few examples?

1) Fever by Karen Marie Moning (obviously since I just mentioned it above)
2) Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
3) The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
4) Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Those are just a few obviously. But those are really some of my top favorite series…like EVA!

CliffhangerSo what is it about a cliffhanger that gives a series the feeling of epicy…epic-see…epicisity? Whatever, you know what I mean. I think the primary thing is that it makes the series feel more connected and like a bigger story rather than shorter stories all connected by the same characters.

The irony of course is that I think most of us can agree that AT THE TIME of reading the book, a cliffhanger just feels EVIL. I mean c’mon, it does. It’s like the author is teasing us when the next book isn’t coming for at least six months to a year — unless you’re catching up and the next books are already out. I know that I personally have wanted to throw books across the room because of cliffhangers. But they get you thinking. They get you excited about the next book, and if done right they can connect the books in a better way than if each book wrapped up on it’s own in a neat little package.

Which brings me to my next point. Cliffhangers for the sake of cliffhangers. What I mean is that I think what separates the series’ that feel epic because of cliffhangers and the series’ that are just annoying because of cliffhangers are validity. Did the story really call for the cliff hanger? I think if the entire series as a package has a big story to tell then a cliffhanger will not feel as out of place. But, if the entire book is going along like la-la-la and then BAM random cliffhanger out of nowhere, then I think it can feel really awkward and more annoying than anything.

Of course I think all cliffhangers are annoying to a certain extent at the time. But sometimes they serve their purpose and sometimes they draw us into the world even more and consume us with their evilness — turning us over to the dark side. Bwahahaha!

So what do you guys think? Do you think cliffhangers are always unnecessary, or are they nice sometimes? Do you think they can help to make a series feel more epic? What series’ do you consider epic and did they have cliffhangers or not?

Photo Credits: We Heart It

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