Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
The compilers use these criteria to define “series”:
Series likely to be found in a “medium‐sized public library collection” are covered. Coverage is selective – the compilers do not claim comprehensiveness. Sequels lists only novels in series, but short story collections related to a series of novels are noted. Excluded (generally) are:
A series shows development of plot or character from book to book, Books that share a cast of characters or location, where chronology may be minimal or problematic – e.g., many mystery series, A group of books that were conceived as a series by the author.
series aimed at juvenile or young adult audiences;
series not published or distributed in the USA; and
series in languages other than English unless some of the titles in the series have been translated into English.
The book is arranged alphabetically by author. For each series there is a succinct summary of the central character(s), background and setting, then the books are listed in preferred order of reading (which is not necessarily the same as order by publication date). There is a very brief plot summary for each title, sufficient to give the reader an idea what the book is about and where it fits into the series; variant titles are also given. Additional information noted by the compilers includes film and television adaptations, omnibus collections, author biographies and related works. When an author writes under a pseudonym, this is noted, but there are no cross‐references from the “real” name, unless he or she also writes under that name and has been selected for inclusion.
The title index lists every book included. Be aware that it is arranged letter‐by‐letter; thus, for example, “Borne in blood” files before “Born guilty”, “Born in death”, “Born in fire” (and several other titles starting with “Born”) and “Southampton Row”, “Southpaw” and “Southtown” before “South Wind”.
This is an interesting and informative book for those working in readers' advisory/reader development work: useful as a reference tool; to broaden their own knowledge of books, authors and series; and to share with readers in a library setting. Though it is a large paperback (782 pages) it is easy and quick to use.
Inevitably books of this type date – published in 2009, the latest titles in many of the selected series were published in 2007, with some from 2008. Stieg Larsson's Millennium series, the first book of which was published in the USA in 2008, just misses out. However, the book can be used in conjunction with the subscription online version (see http://esequels.com) to keep up with the latest series and titles (plus articles and a blog), and with other websites that provide current information on books in series.