Friday, November 8, 2013

Feral Fridays: Short Stories & Novellas

I haven't participated in Feral Fridays before, but I love reading what the girls over at Book Nerd Reviews have to say on Fridays, so I thought I'd put in my own opinion. This is a fun meme where we discuss different topics and get the chance to rant away.

This week we're talking about what we think of short stories, novellas, and novel extras.

Novellas have easily become one of my favourite part of new series. A lot of authors have been joining in on this trend. It's the perfect opportunity for them to explore their characters and settings with more depth than the novels allow. Usually these novellas are told through the perspective of a secondary character, or act as deleted scenes from the novels. It gives the readers a chance to see some behind the scenes action, learn more about their favourite characters, and get even more excited for the next book in the series. They are a nice little tidbit that doesn't cost much, or is sometimes free, that make the wait for the next novel a little more bearable.

My first experience with novellas was the Soul Screamers series by Rachel Vincent. In between the last three books, Vincent took the opportunity to get us pumped by releasing short stories, without any spoilers, written from the point of view of characters we hadn't had a chance to hear much from. Some of these were characters I loved, like Tod (Reaper), and others were less likeable characters, like Sophie (Never to Sleep), who became more likeable after experiencing the story through their eyes. Many more authors followed this trend. Julie Kagawa released a couple of stories from The Iron Fey world, allowing us readers into the minds of both Puck and Ash (before Ash got his own novel). Sophie Jordan gave us a look at Az's life in Breathless, set in the world, and Veronica Rossi made me fall in love with Roar and Liv even more in the Under the Never Sky novella, Roar and Liv. Lauren Oliver gave her supporting characters the spotlight in her Delirium Stories, giving Annabel, Hana, and Raven their chance to add to the story. Tahereh Mafi showed us that Warner wasn't as bad as we all thought he was in Destroy Me. Then of course there is Veronica Roth, who is coming out with a collection of short stories told by Four, giving us a first hand look at his history and life.

The great part about these novellas is that they tend to add something to the overall story. You don't miss anything by not reading them, but when the author references them subtly in the novel, you pick up on it. It's a fun little extra that gives you a chance to learn more about characters that don't control the story. When you are used to seeing everything from one character's perspective, it's nice to get to know those who are helping that character get to their goal, and find out what their own end goals are.

I love forward to novellas almost as much as I look forward to the next novel in the series. They can make you care about someone you thought you disliked, or just let you swoon over a nice little romance scene that didn't make it into the novels. Either way, I think they are a great extra to series and I'd love to see more of them.

Are you a fan of novellas? Do you read them? Let me know!

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