I am a heartbroken reader. The end of a series is a reasonable guess for my ennui, but it’s not that simple.
In the last two years, the awesome Curse of the Gods series has been one of my favorite reads. The protagonist is an accident-prone smart ass who draws five beautiful, strong, and arrogant men–future gods. While she’s practically a slave, there to serve their every whim, she quickly becomes more important to them than anyone expected. Their connection draws the attention of the God of Chaos along with the chaos and deadly experiences that godly attention can create.
The series is filled with humor, daring attacks, and romance that kept me anticipating each new book’s plot. I devoured each book within hours of its release; then I reread the book only hours after I finished the last page. I highlighted memorable lines and jokes. I laughed with the protagonist at her humor, and my eyes teared at her pain. When I finished the tale, I checked the authors’ websites, Amazon, Goodreads, and everywhere else I could think of for the next book’s availability. I didn’t want to miss a minute of reading because the books are perfect. I waited for months for the final book of the series.
Finally, after two surprise novellas, the fifth and final book of the series was released a couple months ago.
And I can’t finish the book.
After two months, I’ve read less than half the book when I’d typically read the newest book until dawn’s early light. This slow pace is not normal. In fact, I’ve read twelve books of a completely different series. I listened to two audiobooks while reading a completely different book. Yet, whenever I open Curse of the Gods’s fifth, I stumble through a few paragraphs, maybe a page or two, before I wander away to another novel.
And no, I’m not sentimental or dragging out the end of the series. Normally, I race through a book so I can savor the second reading. . . and the third reading.
However, this time, I lose interest. I don’t care that I haven’t finished the story.
So what caused this disenchantment? Why couldn’t the authors keep me invested for one last book?
The protagonist has changed too much. Her personal evolution isn’t unreasonable since she’s experienced her death as well as others’ deaths, betrayal, and sorrow, but now I don’t like her. I expected her to change—to become stronger, more confident, even more controlled. But she’s no longer the fun-loving, bold personality who made me laugh and cry and sympathize with her. Instead, her weighty thoughts weigh down my enjoyment. I focus on how much she must accomplish before the story’s end.
In other words, she’s too serious and too boring. The protagonist is another person, a person I wouldn’t read about. I no longer care what happens to her. I just assume she will conquer her enemy, the God of Creation. She will free the people who were mistreated and create a fairer democracy. She will find love and marriage.
I just don’t care how she accomplished any of it. So, I mourn the loss of a favored character as though she is lost to the world instead of a more mature character.