Is it ok to change narrators in the middle of a book series? I’m talking about a series that starts out from character A’s perspective in book 1 and 2. Then lo and behold, in book 3, when the trilogy is ending, all of a sudden there are multiple narrators switching back and forth among chapters. Chapter 1 is from Character A’s perspective, and then Character B takes over in Chapter 2, etc.
Is this ok? As a reader, I like reading chapters that shift among different people. It’s a cool writing style that keeps things moving. Jodi Piccoult does this particularly well.
But I also like consistancy. If a book series starts with just one narrator, I get used to that person’s voice and perspective. It feels like I’ve been hoodwinked when an author changes perspectives or adds narrators in the middle of a series.
So why would an author do this? I don’t know for sure, but I have my ideas:
1) the author gets tired of his/her main character and thinks another one is becoming more interesting. (if this is true, I think this is a major flaw in the writing. The main character should never get boring to an author)
2) the author has written some prequels or novellas from Character B’s perspective. Those stories have received notice, and all of a sudden the author thinks Character B is a big enough “celebrity” to include as a book 3 narrator.
3) the publisher asks for some kind of new-fangled style that switches among people like a movie and creates cliffhangers at the end of each chapter.
4) the author doesn’t have enough material for just Character A in the latest book. (again, cop out)
5) the author thinks it’ll be fun to write the story from dif vantage points.
Where have we seen examples of changing narrators in YA book series? Most recently, it’s been done in Veronica Roth’s third Divergent book, Allegiant. And the Matched series rotated through 3 narrators in its last book of the series.
I understand the desire to write from multiple perspectives. It gives each of the main characters a bigger voice. But as a reader, it’s startling in a bad way to have the narrator change part-way through a series.
Do you agree or disagree?
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