Another One Bites the Dust

f58bece565008387c95ee25036b84ad3Welp, looks like I am dropping another series – I just wish I had done it before I had bought multiple copies of most of the books. Kresley Cole‘s Arcana Chronicles was one of the few young adult series that survived my recent book purges, but by the time I had finished reading the recently released Arcana Rising I had changed my mind.

With the publishing and format changes in the last couple of books, I found myself frustrated a couple of times. I had the first three books in hardcover, but when it looked like it was going to be paperback only from now on I bit the bullet and repurchased them in the new-look paperback format. Great. Except that didn’t work. I managed to pay a fortune for the mini-book Day Zero, but it is a completely different size than the previous books. And Arcana Rising? I was forced to pick it up in e-format since it wasn’t offered in print format at all for Canada – until yesterday, that is. Yesterday, it became offered in print – in HARDCOVER. No. Just no.

Add on to that my overall dissatisfaction with the direction and feel of the last book, and I think I am done. It felt like a filler book with a fanfic ending. It was choppy and didn’t fit with the rest of the series, at least for me. Sadly, I don’t even know if I care enough to pick up the final book when it is released. I might break down and pick it up, but at this point I really doubt it.

If anyone would like to take over the Character Guide I have for it, just let me know and the info is all yours. I know I won’t be updating it, but it would be a shame to let the effort go to waste.

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50 thoughts on “Another One Bites the Dust

  1. April Brookshire says:

    This kinda sucks. I’ve bought the other books in the series also (in both formats) and was waiting to read the whole series back to back once it was completed.

    Kresley Cole is my absolute favorite author of all time and when she went self-published I thought it was great for her. But I did notice that the 3rd book in the Game Maker series was lesser quality than the first two in regards to plot. I still enjoyed the book and hope she’ll write Victoria’s sister’s story.

    The IAD novella releasing next year seems to also be self-published but the next full IAD book will be traditionally published, so I guess that’s good.

    I’ll always eventually read everything KC writes because she’s my fave, but I do see the shift in her writing style and the mood of her books. I think this happens to every author at some point.

    • kaleigha says:

      Kresley was my co-favorite along with Nalini Singh for a long time, but I have found her dropping down my list for the last couple of years. The sad thing is that I can’t even say why, really. Maybe she changed her style, or my tastes changed, but I found myself less and less excited by her releases.

    • Monika says:

      I haven’t read anything by Kresley Cole, except her Gamemaker series, and I had the same reaction as you, the first two installments were really great, whereas book 3 was quite a disappointment. I don’t know what exactly went wrong (I found the language and practices in the sex scenes very crude and bordering on the pornographic). I did like the framing of the story (which was revealed at the end), but I think it would have been better if we as readers had become aware of it earlier, so that would have been difficult to achieve with a 1st person POV….

  2. Rachel says:

    This saddens me to hear. I haven’t read the latest but I love this series. Just finishing a reread of the last one before I started the newest.

  3. Megan says:

    I love Kresley Cole, but I was waiting for the entire series to come out before I started it. I hate to hear that it goes down in quality as it progresses. That’s the worst, when a series is amazing at the beginning and then they phone it in at the end. So disappointing.

    • kaleigha says:

      It might’ve just been me and my annoyance with the whole format changes and time spent trying to find out release info that soured me a bit on the whole thing, so hopefully you won’t be disappointed.

  4. azteclady says:

    It always sucks when you ‘break up’ with an author/series; I am sorry, kaleigha!

    I do hope someone who is still reading the series is willing to take over the character guide; as you say, it would be a shame for all your had work to go to waste.

    • kaleigha says:

      Yeah, I was trying to make myself go through and add the info from the latest books, but I was so not looking forward to it. I haven’t dropped any series that have guides yet, but I figure Shadowhunters might be up next since I am not a big fan of the new trilogy either.

      • azteclady says:

        You do have my sympathies, sincerely–as a reader, there’s little more painful than becoming disenchanted with an author. And, I think, it’s worse when the break up is a fizzle, rather than an explosion.

        At least if something particularly offensive happens (author behaviour, plot shenanigans, character development, what have you), one can rant and vent and huff and storm off (so to speak). When it’s the sum of a myriad little slights, coupled with lack of interest…well, it’s truly sad.

        • kaleigha says:

          It really is, because I always feel guilty – like I am being disloyal or something. But I guess sometimes things just don’t work so well after a while.

          • azteclady says:

            Yes, yes, yes! That feeling of guilt, so insidious, it crops up when one least expects it.

            I think this is because, when we readers are done with a series, we feel we are betraying our past self–the one who spent hours re-reading those first stories that so captivated us; keeping track of characters, and story lines, and theories, and world building, and future release dates… The one who wrote reviews, and recommended the books to all and sundry. We feel–baselessly, I think–that we are letting ourselves down.

            • kaleigha says:

              And for me there is the shelf-guilt, too – I have all of the others sitting on my shelves, so how do I not get the rest? An endless loop.

            • Alex says:

              You have great insight, azteclady – you too, kaleigha! Do you think price – personally and in general for readers – makes an appreciable difference in saying goodbye to an author/series? My own experiences lend toward a fizzle rather than an explosion, and I definitely identify with those guilty feelings.

              However, as an example – I brought it up further down – the new IAD novella is available for Kindle preorder on Amazon for the bargain price of…five dollars. I think this is outrageous, and if I feel, even slightly, like I’m being charged an unfair price it makes it a lot easier to say no.

              I’m still upset I paid $14 for the newest Psy-Changeling book because, quite honestly, it was not up to what NS is capable of, and I truly wonder beyond reading for consistency and proofing, if it had any real editing. That more than anything makes me so mad because it’s traditionally published. Re the editing, it’s not so much the author but what feels like a slap in the face by big business. And I take it more personally than something like buying shoes or even music, movies and other pop culture, because it’s my reading. Normally I’d be tempted to pick up the new anthology before breaking with the series (I really wanted Stefan’s story, not to mention Kenji and Jem) but I’m irked enough that I’m completely done.

              So there’s an example of what finally pushed me into leaving behind my favorite series. And that’s really saying something because it pushed aside Harry Potter, which I started reading at 8 and was 15 when the final was released, as my favorite series ever. I literally grew up with him.

              Idk, maybe I’m too sensitive? Just wondering if you have a take on it.

              • azteclady says:

                Thank you, Alex.

                For me, money definitely plays a part. My reading budget is limited enough that I have to actually work to justify the expense of a full price hardcover–such as, say, Allegiance of Honor. I don’t begrudge authors the success implied in moving from paperback to hardcover, so I’ll count my pennies and pay for the ride.

                However, I certainly expect all the bang for the bucks I’m handing over. And when instead, I get this, I do feel betrayed. Which in turn makes it easier to shrug off the next release, and make a mental note: if and when I see it used somewhere, page through, see if it’s worth picking up. Chances are, I’ll forget.

                Beyond that, the pricing of digital editions–particularly from traditional print publishing houses–makes me see red all the time. Anyone noticed how often the digital edition is a dollar or so more expensive than the print edition?

                Seriously, HOW does this make sense to anyone? The formatting of the digital edition was done at the same time as the formatting for the print edition. There’s no warehouse cost, no distribution cost, no shipping cost. And, to top it all off, the buyer of a digital copy is basically paying for a license–you cannot sell your copy (which you can do in the US under the first sale doctrine), you cannot give it away, you cannot donate it to the library.

                The same with short stories or novellas. I can, and do, sympathize with authors. Their writing is art, and an avocation, and the means to earn money (hopefully, enough to actually make a living). But I cannot see myself paying five dollars, to use your example, for a hundred pages of digital content, particularly when I’m already unhappy with the writing/the story arc/the characters/whatever it is. Sorry, no can do.

                • azteclady says:

                  CRAP!!! (my kingdom for a universal editing function!)

                  Sorry, the parentheses in the next-to-last paragraph should read, “(which you can do with a print copy in the US under the first sale doctrine) “

                • Alex says:

                  It’s really important to me as a reader that authors are compensated for their work. If anything it’s self serving; I want them to earn a good living so they can keep entertaining me!

                  In most cases I’m actually willing to overlook a digital edition that may cost $7.99 when the trade paperback is $6.99 as opportunity cost for the immediate convenience of purchase and, for me, the improved experience of reading on a digital device. It also alleviates the hassle of moving, having enough living space to store physical books, even dusting bookshelves (which I hate).

                  All that aside, I’ll be honest: I’ve stripped the DRM from every ebook I own. I don’t post them online for people to read or torrent. I don’t share them with friends and family. But I do want to backup everything in one place; I want to be able to organize and edit metadata; I want control over file format; and I want my content stored somewhere other than, say, my Amazon account where it is ultimately under Amazon’s control (and dependent on Internet access as opposed to my external hard drive).

                  If you find digital ownership restrictions baffling and frustrating imagine this: you’re a college student going thousands into debt for just a year of education at a public university, paying in-state tuition and shelling out an additional $1,000 per year on books and supplies. So you want to save a little, buy a digital copy. Or maybe your course requires use of a publisher provided digital learning environment where you access the textbook and supplemental content (such as assignments and quizzes) in one place. Guess what? That access expires. When you “purchase” it what you’re really buying is an access code that expires (after a year at the most, usually within 90-180 days). So really you’re just renting or paying for a subscription. But they don’t call it that. There is a deliberate illusion of purchase. Also, no chance of selling it back! I won’t deny there’s a bit more transparency now, mostly because students and professors are ever savvier. Back in 2013 when I was worked at a major higher ed publisher those digital copies were actual purchases, not rentals or access codes, yet they STILL expired. Students didn’t know. I once asked if, for example, an accounting student needed access a year or two down the line to study for a CPA exam. There was no policy or procedure in place for these incidences; they manually granted access usually after someone went to extra trouble making the request. At an international company!

                  It’s a broken business model and it’s rage-inducing. I could rant about it for days.

                  I read your AoH review. I pretty much agree with all your points of contention and them some, but I’ll comment over there.

                  • kaleigha says:

                    I truly don’t get the digital pricing, at all. Sometimes I think publishers are trying to force people to switch to e-format by pricing print books so high now, but then I see the ridiculous digital pricing and think that they have lost their minds there, too. I figure that here in Canada, we are paying about $8.00 more than we were this time last year for a hardcover. Amazon.ca before used to offer their new release books usually at %40 off on the new releases, but now you are lucky if there is 1% off sometimes. The upcoming Psy/Changeling anthology, just a trade paperback, was $21.00. Wow.

                  • Monika says:

                    Alex, can you point me to a “how to guide” to strip the DMR from my Kindle ebooks? I don’t plan on sharing them either, but I have been thinking of storing them in a neutral format on a device I control in case something happens with Amazon (or to my relationship with Amazon). Because I don’t want one day to power up my tablet only to discover that all my books that I have a paid for just as much as for a paper copy in most cases have disappeared….

                    • kaleigha says:

                      Hey Monika…I can help you with that, I think. I buy my father’s books from Kindle, but then have to edit them to remove all of the credits and publisher’s info, that sort of thing, so I end up storing a copy on my computer (and then on external drive), if that is what you mean? Er, not to sound like a scumbag, but it also works if you have Kindle unlimited and they keep you at 10 books – you can download and save, return the unedited copy, and then have access to more.

                    • Alex says:

                      I use open source software called Calibre. If you Google whatever you want to do in Calibre it’s not too difficult to find what you’re looking for. However, Monika, I did write out a guide for you. I just don’t want to post it on Kaleigha’s blog without permission. It’s also long to post in a comments section. If you’d like I’m happy to email you.

                    • Monika says:

                      Alex, it would be great if you could send me your guide, since up till now I haven’t occupied myself with the problem of proprietary formats, it was more a vague notion that has slowly crept upon me that maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea to store my Kindle books in a format and place where Amazon no longer has control over it. But I haven’t the faintest clue of how to go about it. My email (I hope it is ok if I post it here, since I couldn’t find yours is) monziponzi@datacomm.ch
                      Thanks!

                    • Abra says:

                      Hi Monica, I can help with that. If it’s ok with Kaleigha, send her your email address. I’ll send her mine and we can connect.

              • Monika says:

                I seem to be in the minority as I didn’t loath AoH as much as some other people here. It wasn’t my favorite Psy/Changeling book by far, but I gave it a benevolent 4 star rating. I didn’t mind the lack of a central love story so much, more the overall feeling of discontinuity, the attempt to bring in very character, whether they were connected to the Black Sea story or not. But all in all I still liked it, maybe because I haven’t reread the previous stories since before HoO. Therefore I cannot understand how one can abandon an author because of one book that was a bit difficult, because though for me HoO is my fav of the series I also liked like SoW and SoH, so in my view the series is still going strong with AoH hopefully being somewhat of an aberration.
                If – from a feminist standpoint – I would criticise anything, than it would be that especially with the changelings it’s usually the male of the pair that has the higher dominance (though NS goes to great length to stress that the submissives (females mostly and the rare male) are just as important to the functioning of the pack). Where the pairing is more equal it’s usually stressed that they are exactly equal and the one major pairing with female dominant with male less dominant we had (Adria and Martin), it didn’t work out. So I am holding out hope for Felix and Desi to break that pattern…
                I agree that the price for this book was (still is) bordering on extortion.

                • Alex says:

                  My abandonment of the Psy-Changelings isn’t due to only AoH; it was the simply point where I reached the end of my rope. That’s saying something, too, because HoO remains one of my all time favorite books and still blows my mind just thinking about it. Not that it didn’t have some problems, mainly romanticizing genocide:

                  He was the most powerful Psy in the Net, of that he had no doubt, his psychic strength enough to destroy the very fabric of their race – or to control it. As to which he chose to do…it depended on her. If she demanded vengeance, he’d turn the world bloodred (loc 381).

                  After the Net collapse in Perth which resulted in thousands of fatalities: …he looked across at the woman for whom he might yet cause a massacre that’d make today look like the merest incident (loc 510).

                  …his Sahara for whom he would’ve burned down an entire civilization…except that she’d asked him to save it (loc 5118).

                  It’s done again in SoW: His kiss was a branding, a reminder that he would’ve destroyed an entire civilization for her (loc 2917).

                  No thanks. I think Sahara’s unconditional love and acceptance of Kaleb, moral ambiguity and all, could have been shown without sentences like this. And certainly not so many times.

                  I also freely admit – and I’m no Mark Twain – that I’m ridiculously picky about writing. It doesn’t matter how popular the author, how well-developed the characters, how original the plot and worldbuilding. If I can’t get into the writing then I just can’t read it. NS’s writing ticks have reached the point of no return for me. The Guild Hunter series isn’t quite as bad, but it really ruined Psy-Changelings for me. I tried to read two of the Rock Kiss books; they were even worse.

                  I also have problems from a feminist standpoint and literally just discussed it with aztec lady after she linked me to a review on her blog. I used Hawke and Sienna as an example, but I’ll quote azteclady because she put it so perfectly and succinctly: “There’s always a lot of noise about how strong the women are, but in the end, it’s always the males who ‘win.'”. I also have problems with how the changelings are portrayed as the good guys even though, as I see it, their animal nature is used an excuse for perpetrating acts of violence. I have some other problems, too. If the list had one or two things I would probably overlook them, but there’s just too much going on that I don’t like.

                  All that aside, I’m glad you enjoyed it. I wouldn’t get so ranty about this if I loved the series less. I love (loved?) it; that’s the problem. I also suspect if not for the all-cast nature of the book which really didn’t work for me, I would have been able to continue despite my misgivings.

                  • Monika says:

                    I always find it strange as well as interesting how differently people read books and also what things they notice and object to. For me Kaleb has always been a very ambivalent character, neither a good nor completely evil, shaped by his terrible past, and the only thing standing between him and the destruction of the world his love for Sahara. But it’s exactly this ambivalence what makes him such an interesting character. Also, even before he found Sahara again his actions were always checked by his love for Sahara (I think he expresses that once in a conversation with father Perez). Even though I agree with you that romantizing genocide is quite horrendous, it never actually takes place and we know that he is going to continue to hold back, so I can live with that aspect of his personality…

    • kaleigha says:

      Glad I wasn’t alone in my thinking. Well, sort of glad, since I usually hope people enjoy their books even if I didn’t.

  5. julianabarth says:

    OH MY GOD

    I swear, I just finished Arcana Rising last night, and I feel the same!! I am so freaking sad, because it had potential, but the last book was like, “what even man??”

    Kresley Cole managed to ruin my end game couple (AricxEvie) and I can’t even understand how she did it, only that she sure as hell did.

    • kaleigha says:

      I know, right? It just seemed to go through the motions, and it didn’t work for me at all. And the sad part is that I can’t see how the next book will get everything resolved well, either.

  6. Alex says:

    I honestly didn’t think “Valkyrie Press” was Kresley Cole’s move to self-publishing, but as April pointed out, it her Gamemaker and Arcana series are now self-pubbed with the upcoming full-length IAD to be traditionally published. For the life of me I couldn’t understand why her publisher would go through all the money and work re-issuing the IAD series if KC was leaving them. It all makes sense now!

    Did anyone else notice the IAD novella is available for preorder on Amazon…for FIVE DOLLARS!?! Sometimes they run promotions before release, which I fully expect, but even if it’s a long novella anything higher than three dollars is ridiculous IMO. I’m seriously scandalized right now.

    I’m really sorry to everyone who was disappointed and abandoning this one. It’s hard! I can’t really think of a true clean break I’ve had with a series and/or author. It’s always been a series of rage-inducing incidents with me declaring I’m done only to be suckered right back in until I’m finally so fed up I’m ready chuck my poor Kindle off a cliff. I tried to break up with Grey’s Anatomy the same way until I was forced to accept defeat and that I won’t be done until it’s done.

    • kaleigha says:

      That whole re-cover thing was weird, and I should’ve clued in sooner than I did. That novella price is high, and the prices of the self-pubbed print stuff is way out there, too. I never really dropped series before, but I am finding it easier as time goes on.

  7. Marti says:

    Sorry to hear of your disappointment, but I actually enjoyed the book! I went too fast the first read and realized I missed a lot during the second. Seems there’s a lot more going on under the surface and this book may be building up to some twists and big reveals later. Granted, I could be totally wrong, but there is a lot of speculating and theorizing on KC’s forum.

    Hopefully someone will be willing to take up your character guide, it would be a bummer for your work to go to waste! Side note, I rarely buy anything but ebooks these days. Too many authors change format and cover styles to build a proper collection for the bookshelf. Figure if I ever love a series enough, I can always buy a boxed set after it’s completed.

    • kaleigha says:

      I’m glad you liked it – and they usually are better second time around. I might even get more out of it if I dove in a second time, but my annoyance is getting in my way. From what I saw on Goodreads, this one seemed to be a love it or leave it type, with most reviews either being 5 star or 2 star, and little in between.

      I find myself toying with e-books more and more, sometimes because I have to because of unavailability in Canada, and now because I usually pick up new series in digital so that if I don’t like them I can dump them with less guilt. I do still love my (matching, organized) print books, though.

  8. Maria says:

    I abandoned this series before reading Day Zero. I have a problem with series non procedural that prolong in time. I do not like to re read books (too long a TBR, to little time) so I normally diecover that I’ve forgotten most of the storyline when the next book comes out (your guides are awesome for that, thanks Kaleigha!) When it’s a procedural, like the in Death, it doesn’t matter so much, because each book has a beginning and an end, but when it’s a story with cliffhanger, then I try to do like Megan and wait for the whole series to come out and then I binge read them.
    What happens when a series was supposed to be a trilogy and then keeps going on? (like the rabbit chronicles or this one) What happens is that it messes with my head, I get annoyed and they’ve got good probabilities to be abandoned without remorse.

    • kaleigha says:

      I was picking up all of the books in a series before I started reading the first one (like my monster Dar-Hunter TBR shelves), but then I was committed to reading them whether I liked them or not. But then I do love a series marathon, too. It was always a balancing act.

      Ah, the trilogy+stuff thing is annoying. It for some reason always screamed to me that either an author had not plotted their story well enough and had to rely on another book, or that there was too much filler in some of the books and they couldn’t get things wrapped up in time. I don’t mind spin-offs at all, but tacking on extra stuff at the end doesn’t always work for me.

  9. Rika Ashton says:

    After reading everyone’s comments about the latest novel, I’m kind of glad that I didn’t invest too much time into this series. I bought the first two novels because they were on sale at Chapters (for the unbelievably low price of $2 for s hardcover…I LOVE the Chapters bargain section, but that’s a tangent for another time lol). Anyway, I never got past the second chapter of the first book…I think I might have skimmed a bit after that but I never got into it. Now I’m kinda happy I didn’t.

    • kaleigha says:

      It is a really interesting premise, and unique, too, but the female lead is a bit of a drip. For me, she was the weakest part of the whole series, but I do like the guys (the ones in the triangle. Ugh). It is a very interesting world, and I do wonder if they can do it justice on a tv show since the destruction scale would usually be movie-budget sized. I think if they took the love triangle angst out of it, I would’ve been much happier. Can’t stand those things.

      • Marti says:

        I’m worried about the TV series doing the books justice too. This might be the kind of series that final book reviews will be most telling. I typically don’t like triangles and agree the female lead can be vexing. I keep reminding myself that she’s seventeen and seems to have a split persona (Evie/Empress), so all the waffling makes sense. Although this doesn’t stop it from being frustrating at times.

        At this point I’m committed to the series and will be reading The Dark Calling. Sounds like the series was canceled after DoW (Administrative post on KC’s forum), so I’m glad KC went forward with self publishing. Never finding out the outcome would be far worse than anything KC can dish out in these final books. Used to drive me crazy when a TV series would end before the finale. Now, I don’t watch a TV series unless I know they’re committed to the end. Never thought I’d have to worry about that with a book series too. Guess in this day and age publishers are more concerned about the bottom dollar.

        • kaleigha says:

          I didn’t know the publisher pulled the plug, actually. I am surprised, honestly, because I thought it would be a decent money-maker for the company.

          • Marti says:

            BrookeMeyer the KC forum administrator posted a blurb about it on the Arcana Rising forum. I had no idea the series was canceled either, but now the long wait between DoW and AR makes sense. Guessing it took a lot of extra time to shift from a publishing house to self publishing, like hiring out everything since no longer in house and setting up your own LLC publishing company. I’d also assume that’s why the last two books are so different in format from the first three. Sounds like a lot of extra work, so I hope KC thinks it was worth it!

            • kaleigha says:

              It strikes me as weird that the series was cancelled with a tv show on the horizon. Makes you realize that you don’t really know what goes on behind the scenes.

      • Rika Ashton says:

        That’s kind of a bit hurdle since the genial lead is pretty important to the story. I’m usually okay with angst and love triangles if they are well written…but then I always feel bad for the person that ends up alone, especially if they were nice 😔

        • kaleigha says:

          I can usually get past not feeling a main character – there have only been a few instances where my rage has taken over and it hurts my enjoyment of the story. Strangely enough, I am a total sexist, because it is usually only the females that grate on my nerves. The guys seem to get a free pass.

          • Rika Ashton says:

            Lol, I’m the same way. Unless, the guy has done something bad in the major sense, I don’t usually care what he does/says. I think it’s because as a female reader, I want to relate to the female characters (role model status lol) and that’s hard to do if she’s a weak character.

  10. S Cook says:

    Hey! I am bummed about the Arcana series too. I really like Cole’s Immortals After Dark series, but Arcana just does not do it for me. I have stopped reading it. I wish she would stop the YA stuff and go back to what she is good at.

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