Book Sequels

We often equate sequels with movies, but the publishing industry earns a lot of its revenue from tried and true series, rather than the gamble of completely original material. Readers are usually eager to come back for more stories featuring familiar characters, continuing the plots from previous novels. Here are a few sequel tomes in the fantasy and science fiction genres, out now or coming our way on the not too distant horizon.

Dead Ever After by Charlain Harris
"The Southern Vampire Mysteries" are the inspiration for HBO's popular True Blood television series, and allegedly this will be the final volume, scheduled to be released in May 7, 2013. Will this truly be the last time Harris writes about Sookie Stackhouse and her other characters? I highly doubt it, but that's what she's saying.

Deeply Odd by Dean Koontz
If you've never read the "Odd Thomas" books, you're missing out on an entertaining series of thrillers about a clairvoyant short-order cook who battles evil forces. Hollywood is turning it into a major motion picture, directed by Stephen Sommers who gave us The Mummy, with Anton Yelchin of Star Trek and other films as Thomas and Willem Dafoe also in the cast. In this latest story by the incredibly prolific Koontz, his beloved character tries to prevent an impending homicide from happening. The publication date is May 28, 2013.

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
The eagerly anticipated sequel to The Shining, one of King's greatest works, is scheduled to arrive in September 24, 2013. We will see the further adventures of Dan Torrance, the supernaturally gifted young boy from the original who is now a middle-aged man as he encounters an equally empowered young girl, facing a threat from near-immortal beings. King has a habit of blending his literary universes, so don't be surprised if he sprinkles in a few references and possibly cameos from his other books as well.

Ever After by Kim Harrison
There have been ten books in Harrison's bestselling "The Hollows" saga, following the magical mysteries of Rachel Morgan, a detective who also happens to be a witch. This 11th book offers more of the same (which should make fans very happy), available on January 22, 2013

Homeland by Cory Doctorow
Here's a sequel to Doctorow's science fiction hit, Little Brother, about young people using technology to oppose their tyrannical state. In this follow-up, published on February 5, 2013, there's more political intrigue and edge-of-your-seat suspense. Whereas the first book looked at terrorism, this one seems to examine Wikileaks-style subterfuge.

Kill City Blues by Richard Kadrey
The "Sandman Slim" paranormal fantasy series has attracted many readers to its tale of a man who escapes from Hell to seek revenge on the people who murdered his lover. The books are full of vampires, demons, and other supernatural elements. This latest tale comes out July 30, 2013.

The Long War by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter
Pratchett and Baxter, two great fantasy and science fiction writers, teamed up to give us The Long Earth, a story about multiple dimensions. This sequel continues a generation after they left off, as mankind has populated the different Earths, and all the ramifications that implies. Pick up a copy when it's released on July 23, 2013.

A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson
Even though Robert Jordan passed away in 2007, his "Wheel of Time" fantasy epic has lived on.  Sanderson is an excellent writer who takes Jordan's work and finishes it the way it was intended. These are apparently the final scenes that will wrap everything up. Sanderson took Jordan's notes and came up with this well-received trilogy, with this last volume the final piece in the beloved, mythological saga. The book came out this week, so it's available now!

Tears in Rain by Rosa Montero
This might be a cheat, since it's not technically a sequel, but it's an homage to the world created by Philip K. Dick in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. The title itself is a reference to a line in the movie adaptation Blade Runner. Fans of both will surely enjoy this future-noir adventure as a replicant detective named Bruna Husky tries to uncover the causes for a string of deaths and find meaning and purpose to her limited time "alive" before her android-lifespan expires. Originally written in Spanish, this English translation has been available since November 27, 2012.

The Twelve by Justin Cronin
I had a mixed reaction to Cronin's vampire post-apocalyptic novel The Passage. Can he build on the strengths and eliminate the flaws as he continues the tale in this sequel? Many critics continue to praise his writing and he has one more volume coming out after this one to complete the trilogy, so read it and judge for yourself. It was release last October 16, 2012, and has proven to be another topseller.

My goodness, there are so many more, I've barely scratched the surface.  I might have to write a sequel essay to mention some others. Stay tuned.