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Booking Through Thursday: Sequel

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If you could get a sequel for any book, what would it be?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows? Dragons of the Hourglass Mage?

Harry Potter’s the obvious: even though DH was a solid ending and there’s no great need of a sequel–it could be interesting to have stories of the kids’ generation. Either filling in the in-between time from the book to the epilogue, or better just picking up where the epilogue ended.

Or, I’ve long thought it could be very interesting to see the world of Harry Potter continued into comics. Soooo much potential there. Rowling could oversee things, of course, but let other writers and artists play in the sandbox. Granted, there could be the stipulation that the main characters, maybe even Hogwarts, would be off the table. But what about the other schools? Surely other students have had adventures!

Meanwhile–Dragons of the Hourglass Mage was the third in a trilogy of books set between the pages of the Dragonlance Chronicles trilogy from the 1980s. It revisited the continuity and characters as they were at the time–almost as if expanding those original books by at least double. I would love to have more stories by Weis & Hickman set during their original Dragonlance run. Maybe during Legends, or short one-offs of The Second Generation. Of course, at the moment I can’t think of much of anything dangling, and I’d want it to be the main characters, not just a story of others set at the time.

But overall, I find that the single-volume books I read, lately mainly Grisham, Meltzer, and King–they’re a solid story, and I’m really NOT itching for a sequel. Or, I get into a property when there’s ALREADY a sequel, and there’s already (again) nothing to leave me itching for a follow-up.

Now, there are book series…do those count? I’m still stuck in The Lost Hero, but been looking forward to the next book in the series as well (which came out last week), so I guess technically that’s a sequel, except I’ve “known” it was planned from the start, and was trying to get through the first book before the 2nd came out.

Magic: The Gathering, Dragonlance, Aliens, Predator, Left Behind….all these series sit on my shelves (Magic and Dragonlance have far more books than I could ever hope to get for a “complete” collection). But right now none of them have anything screaming “sequel!” to me; and chances are that other than Left Behind, any of the books that would deserve a sequel could well have one already, for all I know.

I always mention comics, it seems, so let’s look there: by their nature, comics are typically ongoing periodicals, though the “mini-series” or “limited-series” has become extremely popular. Most individual comics will have a “sequel,” aka “the next issue.” But there are specific overall stories, and some of those tend to get sequels. Infinite Crisis was marked as a sequel of sorts to Crisis on Infinite Earths. The Dark Knight Strikes Again was a sequel to The Dark Knight Returns. JSA: The Kingdom was a sequel to Kingdom Come; so was the mini-“event” simply titled The Kingdom.

But other graphic novels that I own? I can’t really think of any offhand that I’d like to see have a sequel made. Scanning my shelves now as I type, the only things I see where I’m even interested in another volume, it’s stuff that I know already exists. More John Constantine: Hellblazer volumes. Preacher and Transmetropolitan. Original Ultimate Spider-Man. Heroes Reborn; X-Men: Age of Apocalypse; Brightest Day; Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps.

I suppose ultimately, this is a rather passive topic for me. Sure, if a follow-up comes out, that follows on or builds on or is billed as a direct/specific sequel to something I’ve already read and enjoyed, I’m more likely to go for that than an untried entity. But other than seeing the world of Harry Potter continued or getting even a short Dragonlance story set with old characters in an early part of a huge series…I’m just interested in reading good stories, and look forward moreso to new works by authors I enjoy than to specific sequels of specific books.

Final thought: I’ve found it interesting when I read one book by an author, and it references another. I want to say that the latest Meltzer book took place in the same continuity and referenced events from an earlier book, but was not itself an actual sequel. Ditto some of Grisham and King’s stories.

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