Epilogue Rant

, by Kt Clapsadl

*Note: this is re-posted from last night. I logged onto blogger to make some updates to the post, and accidentally deleted the post. Luckily I had a copy saved in my email. I've gotten in the habit of writing most of my posts in gmail first. It has saved me many times when I would have otherwise lost it all.

So I have a small confession to make. I have a guilty pleasure for reading contemporary romance novels. Considering this blog centers around everything paranormal with some dystopian on the side,  this may be a little surprising. However, I read really fast, usually going through a book each day. This is great for getting to all the books that I want to read, but there also is a downside to reading so fast. Since my genre preference is really so narrow it doesn't take long for all of the books to start to blur together. Nothing really stood out to me as each book seemed to be the same story, just different characters. In fact, sometime last year I started to get really bad blogger burn out. It was to the point where I literally had to force myself to keep tackling the review pile.

To help combat the burn out, I started to not review everything I read, only the ones I was obligated to, or the ones that I really enjoyed. This helped of course, but only to a certain point. Then one day I was browsing the Amazon free kindle books and I downloaded a plain old romance without any paranormal elements. I read it without any thought of reviewing and just simply enjoyed it. It was so refreshing, especially considering it was so different than my normal reads. I loved that the story was all wrapped up in one book. There were no nasty cliffhangers nor depressing endings. It really was a breath of fresh air. So I had finally found my answer to keeping the burn out at bay. Now I throw in one or two romance books in my reading schedule a week and it keeps things quite balanced and happy.

Now onto my rant. Why oh why don't more authors utilize epilogues? I LOVE epilogues. It really drives me up a wall when you have this great romance book that ends so abruptly.  Especially the ones that have the right amount of sexual tension and roadblocks for the couple to overcome. Then all of a sudden comes is the proclamation of love and WHAM! the book ends. Seriously I get a little batty over that. I want more. I mean there is all this build up, and then it just ends as soon as they admit the love, or decide to get married or whatever the case may be. An epilogue that shows the wedding (making it past the in-laws and planning is a milestone in itself), or five years down the road, kids, or really anything at all in the future takes a book from good to great in my book. I want to see the stuff past the ooey gooeiness of love proclamations, as I feel that is the real stuff, the stuff worth working for.

In fact, my desire for epilogues isn't just limited to romance novels. I cannot count how many times I've read the final book in a series and been rather frustrated with the outcome. While the outcome may be good, parts of me still feel like I'm left hanging. Yes, I happy that things ended well and all is well for the most part RIGHT NOW, but what about the future. I mean Yay! You defeated the bad guys, you rule, they drool and all that jazz. But what now? I want to see what happens next. I just think after all the build up and the downright evil things authors do to their characters that both they and the reader deserve at least one little chapter of happiness or some sort of normalcy. I'm not saying everything needs to be roses, but a look into the future would be really great.

The book that  was the most disappointing in its lack of an epilogue would have to be Alpha by Rachel Vincent. I love love love that series, and Faythe really went through the trials throughout the six books. Then in the final book the action went to the bitter end, and then the book was over.  I won't say how things end up to avoid spoiling things for anyone who hasn't read it. However, let me just say that an epilogue would have made wonders of a difference to me. I needed to see where things would be going or some sort of well anything in the future. I think I remember reading somewhere that Rachel purposely left things the way she did for the reader to form their own imaginary future for Faythe. I'd rather know for sure.

So, I have a question for you readers. What do you think about epilogues? Are they important, or just unnecessary fluff? Also, what are some books you really wish would have had an epilogue? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
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