Site Meter Vamps and Scamps: Cliffhangers

Friday, July 28, 2006


I went and saw Pirates of the Caribbean 2 yesterday with my oldest daughter. Well, the youngest went, too. Although she only woke up to eat and she snoozed happily through Johnny Depp. I planned it that way, too. I love it when my plans work out.

However, I hate cliffhangers. And Pirates ended in a definite cliffhanger. More so than Lord of the Rings and Star Wars.

I mean, I undertand it. It's a concept I've used in my Hunters books, giving a sneakpeak in the final chapter of who I will probably write about next. It's a good way to keep interest, right? I just hate it when others do it to me.

Like Stephanie Plum books, by Janet Evanovich. Seven Up was the worst, when Ranger walked into Stephanie's room that night and it ended right there.

SL Viehl does it all the time with her Stardoc books. I wanted to scream bloody murder at the end of Beyond Varallan. And with Rebel Ice.

Sometimes I wish I had psychic abilities so I could see inside the mind of the author and know what was coming next. Even if I knew, I'd still buy and devour the book ASAP. But the months, or in some cases, years of waiting for the next one sucks.

Can you think of any books or movies that ended up a cliffhanger that you ready to commit mayhem when you read that last sentence and realized it was the last sentence?



Cryna said...


I hate cliffhanger endings, I understand why they do them as well, but still hate them.

If I know that a book is going to be a series, I usually wait until I have all of the series before I start to read, so that when you get to that cliff hanging you can continue on to the next book with a happy sigh.

I will probably wait for the Priates movie to come out on DVD before I see it..

I used to watch 18 Wheels of Justice on TV and the last episode showed Lucky in jail and that was the end until the next season, only there never was a next season because they cancelled the series so you are left wondering about whatever happened and I hate that.

Barb V. said...

I also hate cliffhangers. Sometimes, like with TV shows, you have no choice but to wait it out. Lost is famous for that.

With books, if they are a series, I will buy them as they are released and put them in the TBR pile until I have them all. Currently I am reading a 13 book Harlequin American Romance series that started in July '03 and finished up in May of '06. What a PITA! Of course it it's Stephanie Plum, or In Death, I buy them and read them immediately and then stew waiting for the next release.

DH and I were planning to see Pirates at the theater, but now we are tempted to wait for the DVD to come out, and then go to the movies for the final installment.

Ya know, this marketing technique has been around forever. Wasn't most of Charles Dickens stuff published in weekly installments way back in the 1800s?

Shiloh Walker said...

egads... Dickens... I dunno, Barb.

But yep, they've been doing this sort of thing forever. They used to do serials on the radio, I know.

and yep, it works. and it's frustrating as hell.

Nonny said...

Uh, yeah. I was really glad I didn't discover Viehl's work till she had the third book out ... cause if I'd had to wait a year after BV, I would've likely killed something. LOL.

I don't quite count "epilogues" with a hint of the next book -- which seem to be fairly common in romance -- as cliffhangers. To me, a cliffhanger is when the full plot is not wrapped up and you're still left wondering what's next. With most romance novels, the main plot -- the romance between the hero and heroine -- is usually wrapped up, and while there's often a connecting thread, it's not always direct.

Such is not the case in SFF.

The one that's annoyed/frustrated me the most lately is Karen Chance's Touch the Dark. I loved the book, but the ending is ... not quite a cliffhanger, but leaves definite "WTF?" threads ... and I want the next book. Dammit. Same with Lili Saintcrow's Working for the Devil. At least that one, I'll get later this year... the other doesn't come out till next June. (Grr.)

Dannyfiredragon said...

Hi Shi,

I really hate cliffhangers, too. The LOTR movies me nearly crazy. Or when I read Joey W. Hill's Ice Queen and had to wait for Mirror of my Soul.

@Barb V.

I know that problem with these continuity series. I always have the luck to find these series interesting and then I have to find out that they are out of print. I read the same one as you, but I am still missing one book, which I have been searching for more than a year now. It's driving me nuts. LOL

Shiloh Walker said...

Nonny, when I read the end of BV, I thought I was going to turn into a raving maniac waiting.

and when I finally got Endurance... well, i did something I never do. I flipped to the end. i HAD to know, ya know?

Michelle B said...

I do that with most cliff hangers whether they are in a book, movie or TV show. Alias was famous for the crazy end of season cliff hangers. It drives me nuts!

Amy S. said...

Desperate Housewives left a cliffhanger at the end of this season. I can't wait till they start showing new shows.

Jenn said...

I hate cliffhangers too especially if I have to wait a year for the next book to come out. I love the Stephanie Plum books but she always leaves you wanting just a little more at the end.

I saw Pirates a couple of weekends ago. It's one of the few movies my husband and I like to see togethter. It was a great movie and I was prepared for the cliffhanger, but I would like to know now what is going to happen.

I guess I'll just have to be patient and wait. Of course patience is not something I have a lot of.

Kris said...

The first that came to my mind was the movie Matrix 2, it had the same "to be continued..." thing going. Annpying, I hate cliffhangers.

Maura said...

I'm yet another cliffhanger hater, especially if the HEA achieved in one book is back in jeopardy on the next.

I have to admit to NOT buying a few books just because of that.

Oh - and I saw the cover for Declan and Tori and even though its been many months since I last read it - the one passage about Declan sitting and drinking but not getting drunk fast enough came immediately to mind. Right before Tori appears.

How`s that for a lasting impression?

casee said...

I am a new commenter on your blog. I loved Hunting the Hunter. Absolutely LOVED it. I can't wait until the next installment.

One of the worst cliffhangers that I recall was in the second season of Alias. I know, I know. Not a book or movie. *g* But when Syd woke up two years later in China, and we had to wait three months to find out what happened to her? Well, that was rough. LOL

I agree about Pirates 2. I hope we don't have to wait long for the next movie.