Les Misérables - “On My Own”

It’s like in the great stories Mr. Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn’t want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end it’s only a passing thing this shadow, even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines it’ll shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you, that meant something even if you were too small to understand why. But I think Mr. Frodo, I do understand, I know now folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going because they were holding on to something.
—  1J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

It’s definitely better to endure a long wait and have a quality sequel, or no sequel, than have a bad sequel. A bad sequel can spoil the books that came before. A good sequel after a long wait enhances the previous books. No sequel, whether because the author died or lost interest in the series isn’t ideal, but it doesn’t spoil anything.

There’s something about an unfinished series that people like. When you have a finished series, it’s like a whole book. It’s longer, but it’s the same emotional experience, it’s complete, over. An unfinished series on the other hand is much more likely to provoke conversation, because you’re wondering what will happen, and whether the clues you have spotted are clues or red herrings.

The final volume of a series closes everything down. With luck, it closes it down in a satisfying way. But even the best end will convey a strong sense of everything being over. An ongoing series remains perpetually open.Some people find it off putting to discover that a book is part of a long series. Other people are delighted—if they like it, there’s so much more to discover. Reading unfinished series gives you something to look forward to.