I recently finished up Kate Atkinson’s A God in Ruins, which is being billed as a companion to her wildly successful novel Life After Life. I won’t be reviewing it here, since many of my thoughts are too tangled in spoilers, but I’ll be discussing my mixed feelings with The Socratic Salon early next month. I mostly read stand-alone novels, so I’m hoping to get some collective insight into what you all expect when you pick up a companion piece or sequel. Part of me wonders if my expectations were just off base with this one.
- For me, the ideal companion piece sheds new light on some aspect of the original work for those who read it, but also succeeds as a stand-alone novel for those who haven’t. I feel like this is extremely hard to do. Am I wrong?
- When it comes to sequels (or books in a series), I need to feel like I get a complete story arc rather than just a piece in the overall puzzle of the series. I don’t mind a cliffhanger, but finishing a book that doesn’t feel like it had it’s own plot is a huge bummer.
So, what are your expectations when you pick up a companion novel or sequel?