Cliffhangers: Yay or Nay?

Cliffhangers: Yay or Nay?

Do you like cliffhangers?

Why or why not?












There seems to be two different types of reader.  – those that like a cliffhanger and those that don’t. I’m very decidedly a hater of cliffhangers. In fact, that’s one of the aspects I look for in the description or reviews of a book before I buy it. I’ll also ask an author point blank if the book is a cliffhanger prior to agreeing to review a book. I’m currently reading a series for review that has, so far been all cliffhangers. Luckily I owned the first four and got the last three for free. I’m on the 6th of 7 books and EVERY SINGLE ONE has ended on a cliffhanger which has reminded me why I avoid them. There are so, so many reasons why I hate cliffhangers but the biggest and most apparent is that:  It feels like a grab for money.  I realize that authors and their families have to eat but the series I;m currently reading is priced at $3.99 each for an, as yet unfinished series.  And each book is under 200 pages – most of which is fluff and filler. Maybe it’s because I edit and condense reports for a living that makes me pick up on story/plot that is stretched out for no reason, but 180 pages of waiting for the next big thing to happen is a bit much. I’m on a limited book budget. Tell me the wholes story. Or at least warn me that it is not a complete story. Last month I read an ARC that was billed as a novella prequel to a new series. It was a novella because it was a full book broken into three parts. However, nowhere in the description was I warned that it was an incomplete story. And the publisher set the price as $2.99 for each 80 page book. Ummm, no. I’ll make up the ending.

When are cliffhangers okay? – The easy answer – Never. But in reality I’m okay with it when:

  1. I know ahead of time
  2. The series is complete (Bonus if it can be bought as a box set)
  3. It’s by an author I know and trust
  4. It’s book 4 of 5 and it’s the only book in the series that ends in a cliffhanger
  5. The story ends at a natural ending point – Not in the midst of the action.

How do you feel about cliffhangers? Why do you like them? Why not? When are they acceptable? I’d like to know.


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