Let's talk series...

Jeri Smith-Ready brought up an excellent writing point when she posted about having difficulty writing the second book in her LUNA series. It got me thinking ("A dangerous thing." "I know..."). Book #2 in a series is damn hard to write, and it's damn hard to find good ones, too. I've done it twice, and am almost ready to add a third 2nd book in a series (now that's confusing sounding) to my resume with the middle book in my YA contract. I'm not particularly looking forward to it. Here's the problem: the 2nd book needs to be able to stand alone, so the author must give enough info about the first book to fill in the new reader whilst not pissing off/boring someone who has already read book one. See - it's damn hard to do. I struggled hard with this writing Brighid's Quest. I wanted the book to stand alone - and from the reviews and readers' comments I think I managed that - but I did have to pay homage to Elphame's Choice. Of course what was more difficult was writing Divine by Choice - the sequel to my first book, Goddess by Mistake (which is going to be re-released under the title Divine by Mistake in September), because when I wrote GbM I didn't have a clue I was going to end up writing a sequel...let alone the 5 books I've sold to LUNA set in that world. Sigh. I can tell you that today I would have done several things different in GbM and made my life much easier later on...

So - what sequels have you found that are as good - and maybe better - than the first book? What jumps out at me first is Anne McCaffrey's classic Dragon Quest, which I loved even more than the first fabulous Pern book, Dragon Flight. I also adored Amelia Atwater-Rhodes' second Hawk book Snakecharm. Oddly enough, Diana Gabaldon's second Outlander book was just okay, but the third kicked ass.

What do you guys think?
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