Over the weekend I read a childrens/young adult fantasy series by Ysabeau S. Wilce, Flora Segunda. I'm trying to decide if I would recommend the series to someone. On the plus side, the setting is really interesting and unique. It has:
- Set in roughly 1880s California, with that level of tech
- With interesting magic
- The USA appears to have never formed
- The Aztec Empire never fell, and is still full-on sacrificing people to its gods
- California is a rebellious client-state of the Aztec Empire
The first two books are quite good. The third book, however, is deeply unsatisfying. The main character doesn't really accomplish anything. In fact it feels like she ended the book in a worse place than when she started it. Perhaps the author was hoping write more novels in the series, but never got the chance, so just labeled the book as the ending of the trilogy.
It got me thinking about whether I would recommend this series to someone else. On the one hand, I think you could say to read the first two books only and pretend the third doesn't exist.
But I don't know how that would work for other series. The canonical example in gaming is Mass Effect. I don't think I'd recommend only playing ME1 and ME2. Maybe one could say that you should play the series, even though the ending is very disappointing.
Television-wise, I understand Game of Thrones had a similar issue. I did not watch it, but many fans disliked the last season. Would you still recommend the show?
Endings are pretty important. I am more likely to recommend a series with a rough start but decent finish than the other way around.