“Sticking the landing” on the ending

Allegiant, the latest book in the “Divergent” series by Veronica Roth, has been released this week. It’s the end of a popular trilogy. It’s riding right now at Number One on Amazon, and that’s all books, not just a specific category.

Please know that I have not yet read these books, so I have no opinions at all on this best-selling series. But what I did notice today was this:

Divergent Series Amazon Reviews

Ouch.

Hopefully as more reviews come in that picture will look a bit better, but it’s apparent a lot of fans were disappointed, and many of them in the reviews mention the ending.

When you have a successful series, the pressure is on for each book to “top” the last one, or at least match it. Naturally, this tends to make the last book a lot more important than the early ones. Particularly the ending of the last book, where the author really has to wrap up the whole story and then kick it right through the center of the goalposts (apologies for mixing sports metaphors).

Me, I’m old-fashioned. My personal prejudice is toward happy endings, which may not be award-winning or “artistic” nowadays, but are still a lot more fun to read than certain “realistic” or “sophisticated” endings I could name. I like endings where the loose ends are tied up, and your favorite characters come out on top with happy and interesting times ahead that you’d love to stick around and see. If the author kicks the ending smack between the uprights, the readers will wish there was another book, but still be satisfied with what they have. This isn’t always easy.

In my opinion, the epilogue to the Harry Potter series got the kick right up the center from sixty yards out. A writer can do a lot worse than winding up a long and amazing story with “all was well.”

One thought on ““Sticking the landing” on the ending

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