A few times I've read 'new' books in an old series, maybe some kind of classic, by a new author. That always sounds so interesting and I've been enthusiastic about reading that new book. Unfortunately, I can't say that I've ever been all that happy with the book, once I've read it. I wonder why that is.

This is some kind of fan fiction, right? I love fan fiction and I've been reading and writing that for over fifteen years now. Over the years, I've read some really brilliant fan fiction. Many fan fiction writers produce excellent stories.  I've certainly had a lot of fun writing it myself, though I really don't know how good any of my fics are.

Then why are these sequels by new writers so disappointing? I don't have any good answer for that. All I can do is analyse why I didn't like the books.

I bought a book about Harriet, the Spy, thinking it was a 'real' sequel, by the original author. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. That book wasn't badly written, it was just extremely boring.

At the moment, I'm reading a book about Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie's Belgian sleuth. The book surprised me a bit, because it was written by an established mystery writer, whose own books are quite good. This one was good too, but it didn't feel like an Agatha Christie. For a while, I thought it would be interesting anyway, and to some extent it was. Now, towards the end of the book, I'm getting tired of it. It is rather boring and like I said, not very much like the original at all. There's a different tone to the narrative, even if I can't say exactly in what way.

I did read a book that was a version of one of Jane Austen's books. Not about vampires, werewolves or zombies, but about some other mythological creatures - some sort of angels. It's been some years since I read it, so I'm afraid I don't remember all the details. The book was really entertaining, so I guess this one was a success. Oddly enough I don't think it was an 'authorized' book, just one of many self published ones. Actually, a bit like the fan fiction you find online. The good stuff, anyway. On the other hand, I have read one or two other 'sequels' that were 'authorized' and I can't say I liked them very much. Which seems to prove my point.

I once read a modern book that was written in the same spirit as Charles Dickens' classics. That one was quite good too, probably because it didn't set out to be a 'new' Dickens by someone else, just a book set in the same time and about a similar topic. It's the Quincunx by Charles Palliser. Most people on Goodreads seem to agree with me.

I know that there are a few sequels to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's books about Sherlock Holmes. Frankly, I think I'll pass on reading them, because I don't want to be disappointed again. Though I'm prepared to be proven wrong if someone can tell me about a sequel that is actually good.

It's a shame. Reading new books in old series sounds like fun. Clearly, that impression is usually wrong. Too bad, but because of my experiences with this sort of thing, I think I'll just stick to the originals.

Source: http://crimsoncorundum.dreamwidth.org/160546.html