Me: Let’s talk sequels.
Aurelia: Excellent topic!
Me: I think sequels are exceptionally hard to please people with because the reader can never recreate the amazement they had when they ran across a great first book.
Aurelia: Well, aren’t you negative.
Me: Maybe, but you know, when you love a first book, you always imagine how you want the rest to go. And it’s so hard for a sequel to live up to that!
Aurelia: Then you aren’t imagining right. Because the characters have their own lives. It’s your job to learn about them. Not to change the way their stories work.
Aurelia: I mean, just because you want Ophelia to marry Hamlet doesn’t mean that would make the story better.
Me: I suppose not.
Aurelia: Besides, there are tons of great sequels.
Me: For example?
Aurelia: All three of the later Blossom Culp books. Because she is such a better narrator than Alexander.
Me: I would agree with that.
Aurelia: And In the Hand of the Goddess. You never reread Alanna, the First Adventure without also rereading In the Hand of the Goddess.
Aurelia: And all the later books in the Tomorrow, When the War Began series by John Marsden. Admit it, you thought the first one was kind of slow.
Me: Shh! We’re being polite. Though it’s true. After the first, those books exploded. You really can’t sleep when you’re in the middle of one. So what do you think is important in a sequel?
Aurelia: Besides me?
Me: We weren’t talking about yours in particular.
Aurelia: Well, I think the action should come out of the first book. That it shouldn’t be an entirely separate story, like the episode of a bad sitcom.
Me: I agree.
Aurelia: And I think the characters should grow. I don’t like those series where no one seems to change because someone is hoping the books will keep on going forever.
Me: I agree with that too. Though I admit, I read a lot of those books when I was in grade school.
Aurelia: I’m so glad you got past the Sweet Valley Twins stage.
Me: Yes, well you aren’t exactly Elizabeth or Jessica.
Aurelia: I will not dignify that with an answer.
Aurelia: I also don’t like a whole lot of repetition. I mean . . . I always read the first book. I don’t need to read it all again at the beginning of a sequel. A little review is fine but some authors go on and on and . . .
Me: Hmm. I don’t know anyone who goes on and on.
OK readers, so what do you think? What are your favorite sequels. And why?