Yay or Nay: Prequels

So this is a trend I’ve noticed for a while now: a lot of book series (and film series for that matter) tend to have a prequel book where we either meet a new set of characters in the same world, or we see a character’s origin story. In some cases, it expands the universe we were introduced to – which can be really cool and interesting – but other times the prequels just tell us things we already knew or does nothing to improve the original story.

I’m going to discuss the pros and cons of having a prequel story/series, and then reach a final verdict. So, without further ado…


The Origin Story. Sometimes when you read about a cool character in a series, especially an antagonist, it can be interesting to see what made that character the way there are. This adds more context to a series and makes it easier to relate to all the characters’ motivations.

A Whole New World! Ok, so maybe not a new world, but the joy of prequels is that you can explore more of the established world in the series. Perhaps you can learn the origin of a magical society, or learn more about a royal family’s history. The thing that springs to mind for me is learning about the Lightwoods and the Fairchilds in The Dark Artifices.

Better Than the Original? Not always the case, but sometimes a prequel can be even more enjoyable than the original series. Again, The Dark Artifices comes to mind.

Please, Sir, Can I Have Some More? Sometimes when I finish a series, I’m craving to see more of that world, or more of my favourite characters, and a prequel feeds this craving, while possibly introducing you to a new set of characters for you to fall in love with.


Out of Your Hands. Have you ever read a book and then suddenly come across new characters that have an established relationship with the old characters that isn’t fully explained? And then you find out it’s because they’re a character from a prequel story. It can be really annoying when you have to read a prequel just to understand a certain character or plot point, as it kind of feels as if you hand has been forced.

Meh. Sometimes, a prequel adds nothing to a series. The world isn’t really expanded, and if it is, it’s not that interesting. The characters might not compare to those in the original, or if it’s the same character, they might seem completely different or irrational. It can feel that a prequel was just made for fan service, without there being a real story to tell.

Origin Story Gone Wrong. A good origin story can shed new light on a character, adding new dimensions to their story, however, a bad origin story can really tarnish how you view a character. This isn’t a book, but the one that comes to mind is Anakin Skywalker. To this day I still find it hard to believe that he somehow became Darth Vader, but there you go.

Final Verdict

Overall, I think when done right, a prequel can add a new dimension to a series, and might make you love the original even more. Yes, sometimes a prequel story might not add anything to the main story or seems unnecessary, but even that doesn’t tarnish the original. So, my verdict is:


What about you? Do you enjoy prequels or think they’re a waste of time? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!


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Like this:Like Loading... Related October 22, 2017 by bookaddictedreader Tags: book review, Fantasy, prequel, the assassin's blade, the dark artifices, the hobbit, the kill order, yay or nay 3 Comments