Author Topic: Translated Books Published Out Of Order  (Read 192 times)

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Translated Books Published Out Of Order
« on: April 07, 2017, 01:17:31 PM »
Ugh....I could probably have come up with a better title than that, but anyway.

I recently read what I thought was the first book in the Dark Iceland series by Ragnar Jónasson, 'Snowblind', and enjoyed it enough to decide to read more. I picked up what the website implies is the next in the series, 'Nightblind', only to find a note at the beginning of the book saying that this book takes place five years after 'Snowblind' and that there are three books filling in the stories between the two, with the implication that this is how they were published, and also - cheers! - giving two fairly major spoilers of plot developments within those three books. I checked it out online, and realised that not only was 'Nightblind' published out of order in the UK, 'Snowblind' is actually the second book in the series, the first presumably not having been published here yet as it takes place in a different place (with the same main character.)

Why the fuck do they do this? I know the books are technically written as standalone novels, but there are character developments which I'd like to read in order. The fact that I know that 'Snowblind' is the second novel now makes sense of something that had bothered me about it - [Spoiler]the fact that the main character's girlfriend, Kristen, is given such prominence despite barely featuring in it as an actual character; presumably, she's in the first novel, as yet unpublished in the UK.[/Spoiler] It also wouldn't have hurt them to make the ordering of the titles clear on the covers of the books.

This isn't the first time this has happened. Jo Nesbø's Harry Hole series was published in the UK starting with the fifth title, 'The Devil's Star', before jumping back to the third title, 'The Redbreast', and then publishing the rest of the books onwards in order, and then finally the first two in the series, 'The Bat' and 'Cockroaches'. 'The Devil's Star' is annoying as a first title in itself, as it forms part of a loose trilogy with 'The Redbreast' and 'Nemesis', so has plot threads that are picked up from those earlier books. Although for the most part Nesbø is quite good at not revealing the identities of murderers from previous books, in 'The Snowman' (the seventh in the series, published in 2010 in the UK), the name of the killer from 'The Bat' (the first in the series, published in 2012 in the UK) is referred to, which means that when I did read 'The Bat', I already knew who the killer was and was waiting for them to show their face.

I'm sure there are more. And I'm sure it wouldn't kill publishers to actually make it clear which books go where in certain series, so you can enjoy them Spoiler-free. Although I've now picked up two of the three missing books from Jonasson's series - the third isn't available in the UK yet, so I'll have to hold off until I've read that before I can read 'Nightblind' - I now know the fates of two major characters, which pisses me off.