Let’s talk bookish is a weekly meme, created and hosted by Rukky @Eternity Books and Dani @Literary Lion, here different topics will be discussed.
This weeks topic is ‘Should you review a sequel, without reading the first book’, which I’m having a hard time with.. I don’t usually read a sequel without reading book one? Maybe because I mainly read fantasy, so this is kinda impossible for understanding the story. There are cases for romance/contemporary books were you can read the sequel without reading book one. In these cases the ‘sequel’ is more of a companion book, and will follow characters from book one, but it is (in the cases I had) still good to follow!
And in those companion book/sequels, I would definitely say that you can review the sequel with having read book one. I actually have done this!
Recently I reviewed Misleading a Duke by AS Fenichel, which is actually book two in The Wallflowers of West Lane series, and I have yet to read book one.
Another example are my reviews for The Piper’s Pursuit and The Peasant’s Dream by Melanie Dickerson, which are book 10 and 11 in the Hagenheim series, for which I have also not read the previous books (although I should!).
So now for the questions:
When selecting ARCs do you ever choose sequels where you haven’t read the first book in a series?
Rarely. Most often it happens by accident haha! As I mentioned, for romance books it doesn’t really matter. Bur for fantasy I try to go and read the first book. This happened for example for Supernova by Kass Morgan, I requested this based on the author, not realizing it was the sequel to Light years. I then bought the e-book for light years, so I could read and review it before reading Supernova. So I would still have reviews up for both!
I do sometimes request sequels knowing that I haven’t read book one, but only when I’m pretty sure I would love the first book!
Do you think it’s fair to review a sequel without the context of the first entry in a series?
For companion books definitely! Maybe mention that you have not read book one, but you can say something about not missing anything, or if you think you would enjoy it more if you had read book one!
But again, I don’t think it is possible for fantasy books, and those are my main reads and reviews!
Do you take someone’s review seriously if they mention they haven’t read the preceding books?
Again this comes back to the same point. It really depends on the genre! But I do prefer if people mention it, especially if they would recommend reading the other one(s) first!
Should reviewers even be allowed to do this?
I feel like this is a boring discussion, because once again we come back to the same point. Yes I think reviewers are allowed to do this. Also your blog, your reviews?! But maybe publishers would prefer if you would have read the previous books, at least when it is for an ARC?! But still I think reviewers are allowed, and definitely when they mention in the review that they have not read the previous book(s).
9 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Bookish – Should You Review a Sequel Without Reading the First Book?”
I definitely agree with your answers! Sometimes its okay because you don’t need the context of book one if it is a companion. I’ve accidently requested a sequel from Netgalley but always read book one first.
NEtgalley should make it more clear when it is a sequel ahah! I think many people have that problem!
This is an interesting topic. I’m with you in that I tend not to read series books out of order because the storyline can get confusing depending on the genre. I read a lot of fantasy, too, and it really doesn’t work. I don’t mind if someone hasn’t read the first book in a series before reviewing a sequel book as long as their complaints about a book aren’t based on things that could have been due to not having read the first book (like not knowing stuff about the world or certain characters that just get mentioned in passing).
I mostly try not to start series until they’re finished, anyway!
For fantasy you often miss the who magic/world explanation if you skip the first book haha!
Indeed if the review says ‘I could have enjoyed it more if I read the first book’, then then why didn’t you?
I agree that companion books it doesn’t really matter, but for books heavily focused on plot like fantasy or sci-fi you should definitely be reading the first book in a series before reading the sequels. Accidents do happen but I don’t think that it’s fair, as a reviewer, that some people post negative reviews and just mention casually “well maybe this was explained in the first book” because maybe it WAS. How can you rate a book poorly when you’re not reading the whole story??
Definitely true! I don’t even think I could read a plot heavy sequel (like fantasy or sci-fi) without reading the first book haha!
Definitely wouldn’t want to review it, especially if it would be negative, because it might not have been negative if I would have read the first book!
I’ve actually reviewed two books without reading the first one before and one was even an epic fantasy and somehow I wasn’t really lost at all? LOL I think that’s a sign of a good writer–if you can pick up a sequel and not be totally lost then that’s great haha.
Oh really haha, I wonder how you managed that haha!
The author definitely have some good recap at the beginning of the book haha
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