Over the last two days I've read the first two books of a dystopian sci-fi series and they're fine. The author clearly thinks he's making a grander point than he is but it's written well and I was interested enough to pre-order the third book. Here's where the however starts.
These are traditional publishing books, not indie. There's absolutely no reason for this to be a trilogy. Yes, the first two books are decently long but you can see the padding to make each one book length. Also the first two books both just end rather than conclude a plot.
Now, I'm all for authors making money and the publishing house did the math and determined there was the market for a trilogy and good for the author. Get paid, son. But there's this trend to make everything a series that sets my teeth on edge. This is a story, not a series.
The author is also a screenwriter and it shows. The first two books end on what is obviously the season ending cliffhanger. That's fine if you're doing a tv show but not when you're supposedly wrapping up a book. Frankly, this reads like a flesh out set of scripts for a series.
As I said, I enjoyed the books and I'll read the last one to see how the story ends but I am reading it with a background annoyance of yet another story padded out to make it a trilogy. It's okay to have two books. It's okay to pare it down and make it one book. It is.
Frankly, I'm less likely to read anything by this author in the future because I feel like I'm being taken advantage of. Indie pulp stuff is generally pretty honest about I'm spreading the story out to make you buy more so I get higher sales. At pulp price points, that's fine.
But at trad pub price points, yes, I do expect that you'll at least try to make it not so obvious that you padded the books to turn a story into a series. The point of trad pub is that you're supposedly the grown ups in the room. This kind of stuff puts paid to that.