Top Ten Tuesday: Standalone Books That Need a Sequel…Or Do They?

Top Ten Tuesday new

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.

The rules are simple:

  • Each Tuesday, Jana assigns a new topic. Create your own Top Ten list that fits that topic – putting your unique spin on it if you want.
  • Everyone is welcome to join but please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own Top Ten Tuesday post.
  • Add your name to the Linky widget on that day’s post so that everyone can check out other bloggers’ lists.
  • Or if you don’t have a blog, just post your answers as a comment.

This week’s topic is Standalone Books That Need a Sequel.  I’m going to put my own take on the topic by discussing reasons why, in some cases, a sequel may be a brilliant idea and in others it may not – with some examples thrown in to illustrate my point…

Click on the title to find the book description on Goodreads or to read my review.


5 Situations When A Sequel May Be A Good Idea

  1. The author has created a wonderful, unique multi-layered character that there is scope to learn more about e.g. Onorio Celavini in The Phoenix of Florence by Philip Kazan
  2. There are a group of secondary characters capable of being explored further, e.g. Eagle & Crane by Suzanne Rindell
  3. The genre of the book lends itself to a sequel, e.g. historical crime novel None So Blind by Alis Hawkins (Supplementary question: when is a sequel really just number 2 in a series…?)
  4. There are alternative endings to the book, e.g. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  5. The book’s conclusion is open-ended or capable of having a different ending, e.g. Meet Me At The Museum by Anne Youngson

5 Situations When A Sequel May Not Be A Good Idea

  1. The author is no longer around to write a sequel and there is no living author who can convincingly replicate their style (or Anthony Horowitz is not available)
  2. The author has a better idea for a new standalone book
  3. The main character was killed off (although there is an exception to every rule, such as the reincarnation of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
  4. The structure of the book doesn’t allow for a sequel, e.g. Together by Julie Cohen where the story is told backwards
  5. When perhaps you really should not try to improve on perfection, e.g. Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee

How do you feel about sequels to standalone books you’ve loved?

14 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Standalone Books That Need a Sequel…Or Do They?

  1. You gave this some serious thought and I love it! Had a wee chuckle at the Anthony Horowitz comment too.

    Now you have me thinking about the conundrum whether something is a sequel or merely another book in a series.
    The Alis Hawkins book, for instance, I wouldn’t call a sequel. Whereas, for example, The Two Towers is obviously a sequel to The Fellowship of the Ring because the story wasn’t finished. I may need to ponder this some more. 🤔

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  2. I like your twist on the prompt. I agree that sometimes books don’t need a sequel, and that having one can just ruin what’s already perfection 💖 Great post Cathy

    My TTT

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  3. Oh, I totally agree with your criteria. Great job there.

    This might be a little controversial, but I think there’s a bit too much emphasis on publishing sequels these days. I’ve read so many series that really should have ended sooner than they did.

    There are some characters and story arcs that absolutely need to be told in multiple books. I just wish that there was a little more caution taken in plotting out storylines ahead of time and making sure that they genuinely required X number of books to share everything.

    I’d leap into tons of new series if I knew ahead of time that all of the books in them were equally good reads! 🙂

    My Top Ten Tuesday post.

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  4. Ha! Great pros and cons! On the whole, I think standalones should be left alone, and certainly follow-ups shouldn’t be written by different authors (unless Anthony Horowitz IS available… 😉 )

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