There are a number of a ways that a series may books may be connected these can include the following:-

Same Characters

Some series will have the some characters throughout the series, these can be major as well as minor ones. They will appear way through with little or no development throughout the whole of the series, the Pariot books by Agatha Christie, do this. Which means that you as a reader will not need to find the first book to start reading the series and can read them in the order you came across them.

Set Format

A number of series use the same format for each book in the series, for example in crime fiction, they may use this one:

Introduction of people




Time Line

This is where an author will start the story on a date and the books will follow the story along a time line so as the story moves from one book to the next, the story will take place in a chronological order. The time between each may be very close and include a number of characters in more than one book like Ken Follett’s Century Trilogy, which takes place during the 20th century, or the Kingsbridge series by the same author which is set in the same place but over hundreds of years between books.

Clock at Musee D’Orsay, PS-manipulated
ODT, Something Borrowed (12th May 2012)

Story Arc                                                                 

This is where individuals and the plot follow on from one book to the next one, the characters will develop over time as the plot moves along, this is used in science fiction and fantasy series like Wheel of time.

None Linear Timeline

A number of series may be written out of order so if you read them in their published order then the timeline will jump around, this can be done by the Author writing a prequel after a number of books in the series has been written like the Wheel of Time, when the prequel A new Spring, came out after the tenth book was written. This may lead to numerous debates on if you should read the books in published order or series order as the prequel may contain spoilers.

Set in a Universe or world

 This is where a number of books may be written in the same world but does not have to contain all the characters of that world. However any technology or magical system in the new books will need to work with the original system. This is mainly used in comic books, around a movie franchise like Star wars or fan fiction.

What are the advantages of a series?

Reading Challenge

It makes a good challenge Each year as one of my reading challenges for a year I decide to read a series by a writer this can be anything from The masters of Rome series by Colleen McCullough, Dark tower by Stephan King and this year it was the Realm of the Elderlings by Robin Hobb.

You know what book You Are Reading Next

One of the biggest problems when you finish a book is you may have some difficulty deciding what book to read next, this problem is solved when reading a series. The author as laid out which is the next book to read for a number of times depending on how many books in the series.

Same Writing style

If you’re anything like me, then sometimes it can take a number of pages to get used to a writers style, however in a series this problem is normally solved. This is because most series are written by the same author which will give you the same writing style throughout the series.

In Depth

A Series of books allows the writer to develop the plot and character development over time, which may allow a series to have more complicated plots and characters depending on the skill of the Author.

Disadvantages of a Series

Although there a many advantages to a series, you will all so find disadvantages to them as well

Length of time between books

Some writers take a number of years to write each book for example GRR Martin who is writing the series a Song of Ice and Fire (known to the world as Game of Thrones), has not finished a book since 2011.

Time for the whole series takes to write

Evan a prolific author like Stephan King may take a long time to write the whole series, as his Dark Tower books took 22 years to be published from the first book being published in 1982 to the final one in 2004.

The Author May Pass away before the series is finished

Authors do not become immortal when they start to write a series of books and some have been known to die before their series is finished. This will lead to two outcomes the first the series is not finished like Patrick O’Brian the author of the Aubrey–Maturin books set during the Napoleonic was died before the last book was completed and was never finished. The second is what happened when the writer of the Wheel of Time books passed away, this time Brendon Sanderson finished the series using the original authors’ notes.

Standard of writing

Although we do not like to admit it not all books written by the same author are of the same level, some books will be better than other ones. This problem is not to bad if you are reading a standalone novel as you can drop the book and forget about it, however if this is the 9th book of a 11 book series as your giving up on a big commitment.

Lack of Originality

A series may start of different when the writer has a brand new idea, however a writer may use the same format all the way through, this is practically true in a standalone book series, there may be only so many times that a detective can be found in a home when a person is murdered. This type of issue where a series is more like a franchise set in a universe where the books a

My Favourite Series

I will now show you some series I have previously enjoyed

Miss Marple by Agatha Christie

Christie’s elderly spinster, from St Mary Mead, was in 12 novels and 20 short stories. Miss Marple uses the knowledge of an English country village and what happens there to solve crimes. The books follow a similar format all the way through.

The murder at the Vicarage
book 1 miss marple

The Southern Victory series by Harry Turtledove

This series takes alternative history from the end of the American Civil War, which was won by the confederate states and goes on to end around 1945. It is a great series of 11 books covering how the victory of the southern states would have affected both the north American continent and the world as a whole over 90 years.

The Great War American Front

 Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan

This is a fantasy series covering in total, 14 books and a prequel, it tells the story of how the Dragon Reborn develops and changes the people and the world round him in preparation for the fight between the Dark One and his forces.

Whell of time books

Space Odyssey by Author C Clarke

This is the series of 4 books which tells the story of how the world and one man in particular Dr David “Dave” Bowman, are affected over 1,000 years when the human race finds evidence on life out there in space.

2001 book cover


As you can see there are various types of book series out there for you to read here was just a few of my favourites what are yours?