Should books have prequels?
There are always going to be trends going around in the bookish world. Most recently was the ‘YA trilogy’ where every YA series that came out had to have three books. (most likely because a good majority of them involved a rebellion and rebellions don’t just happen overnight.) However, some other trends aren’t nearly as popular or easy to explain (or love).
One trend that has been catching my eye of late are prequels. And despite what the name suggests, the prequel isn’t published before the series, but after. It’s supposed to offer extra information to the reader to satiate their never-ending need to know everything there is to know about certain characters or the world. Yet, I have some serious issues with prequels.
For one, and most importantly, they’re pointless.
Maybe I’m weird. Maybe I don’t get attached to worlds or characters the way other readers do and, therefore, don’t have the same issues letting go. Maybe I prefer not to know every single little detail and like to leave a lot of it up to my imagination. (I think some of the best books are the ones that don’t tell you everything that happens at the end.) Still, I don’t see the point in prequels.
If a series is finished, it shouldn’t need any more books. If information was vital to the series, it would’ve been put into the main books of the series. Important elements shouldn’t be withheld and lorded over the reader. Especially because it would be a sign of bad writing if a writer couldn’t manage to get every necessary thing into the actual series.
That being said, prequels don’t often hold any vital, important, key knowledge. They hold the ‘before’ to the series. They often show us how the world/society got to the point it was at the beginning of the series. Or perhaps it elaborates on a backstory of one of the characters. Either way, the prequel isn’t actually necessary.
Thus, a prequel, in my mind, is basically saying: “Hey! This information wasn’t important enough to put into the actual series, but spend more money on me anyway!” Yes, I am a bit cynical when it comes to this. Partly because I don’t want an author to linger on a series. I want them to write another one. I want them to expand my imagination with a whole new world to explore and new characters to meet. I already know this story. I want a new one.
Also, even though money comes from trees, not everybody has a lot of it (and trees aren’t nearly as endless as we think). Thus, I don’t want to spend a whole lot of money on books. I especially don’t want to spend a lot on books with information that wasn’t vital or necessary to the main story line because what if they’re sub-par? What if, because they aren’t
as important, they’re not as well written? Then it’s an even bigger waste of money.
But what about you? Do you like or loathe prequels?
Let me know your thoughts!
And check out my discussion from last week: