How important is a happy ending?
Just about every book I’ve read (paranormal romance, fantasy, and urban fantasy) has a good ending, even if it is only temporary (a HFN). I like happy endings. I want to feel satisfied at the end of the book. Even if the book isn’t stellar, a happy ending can make a lasting impression in my mind.
In a series I read (I won’t name it) the last book ended on an unhappy note. The books were good, different, and enjoyable. Then the author killed one of the main characters. I thought she’d bring him back by the end, somehow, someway. Nope. She got rid of him. Needless to say, I was very disappointed and my opinion of the book went downhill. I would go so far to say I don’t think I’ll read another book from the author. Amazing what a not so happy ending will do.
In a way, I feel the same with movies. I don’t like unhappy endings. Sure, life is not perfect or fair and crap happens. But when I pay for a book or movie, I want a satisfying conclusion, even if only temporary.
I understand that sometimes a character should be taken out of a story/series, even if it is a character we like. But killing a major character is like killing the story/series if there is not a replacement to pick up the story (in my opinion). For example, in a series I like, the author killed a character that had been in several books. He was not a major character, but a strong one. His death, though painful, was absorbed by the protagonist turning to other solid characters. It worked and the series continues. The ending was not happy, but it had a satisfactory conclusion. It didn’t leave me hating the story/series.
So, I’m wondering, does it bother you when a book has an unhappy ending? Would you continue to read the series? Inquiring minds want to know.