Do you like duologies?

13/04/2018 Discussions, Reading 23

Do you like duologies?

Is it me, or have duologies suddenly become a thing? Whilst trilogies and longer series have always been very popular, two-book series aren’t something I’d really come across until recently, certainly not in traditionally series-led genres like YA and Fantasy. In fact, I’d never even heard the word ‘duology’ until recently, and now I’m seeing them all over the place!

The first one I can remember reading was Leigh Bardugo’s incredible Six of Crows duology back in December 2016/January 2017. I had assumed the books were the first two in what would eventually be a trilogy when I began reading Six of Crowsand so when I finished Crooked Kingdom and realised it was the end, I had mixed feelings.

I was upset because I wouldn’t get more of the characters I had come to love, but at the same time, it felt like the story was as long as it needed to be. Often I find with trilogies, the second book can fall a bit flat because it doesn’t have any of the excitement of being the start or the end, and with a duology, you don’t get that. You go straight from the first book where you’re like ‘ah! I love this new world/set of characters/story!’ to the second book where you’re like, ‘ah! I’m going to find out how it all ends!’

I think that with longer series there is always going to be one book you didn’t enjoy as much as the others, or that feels like it was just treading water, whereas a duology, in series terms, is quite short and sweet. Its just a book and its sequel, with the first book introducing the characters and the story, and the second book wrapping it all up. In short, I love duologies!

However, I’m wondering if I missed something? Have duologies always been a thing and I just didn’t notice? Or has there actually been a huge rise in the amount of them around, especially in the YA genre?

For example, here’s just a few examples of YA duologies I have either read or know of: The Wrath and the Dawn/The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh, The Flame In The Mist/Smoke in the Sun by Renee Ahdieh, Wintersong/Shadowsong by S. Jae-Jones, This Savage Song/Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab, If I Stay/Where She Went by Gayle Forman, Strange the Dreamer/Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor, Passenger/Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken…and so many more!

So what do you think about duologies? Do you like them, or do you prefer the classic trilogy, or a longer series? And have you noticed a huge rise in them recently, or have I just not noticed that duologies have been a thing since forever?


23 Responses to “Do you like duologies?”

  1. Aj @ Read All The Things!

    I don’t read a lot of fantasy, and I feel like most duologies/series are fantasy? I don’t know. From what I remember, I’ve only read one duology. It was The House of the Scorpion / The Lord of Opium. I think I’d rather read a duology than a series. The longer the series, the more likely I am to lose interest in it. With a duology, if I liked the first book, I’ll definitely read the second.

    • Laura

      From what I’ve seen, most duologies are in the fantasy genre, so you maybe wouldn’t come across this as much if you aren’t a big fan of fantasy. I feel the same though, in that I’m less likely to lose interest in a series if there’s only two books 🙂

  2. Greg

    I love duologies, it’s nice not having to wait for the third book, or suffer through middle book syndrome. And I’ve totally noticed they seem to be becoming a thing!

    • Laura

      It is nice not having a third book to wait around for, or having to suffer through middle book syndrome. Middle books are so often my least favourite books in a trilogy! 🙂

  3. Uma @Books.Bags.Burgers.

    I do thing duologies are kind of a thing these days? When I first started reading and reviewing books there were either series or standalones. Then came trilogies which were a nice in-between. But duologies? I have mixed feelings too. Either they end up being to rushed or they make me sad because I want more of the wonderful characters!

    • Laura

      I’m sure everything was either standalones or series/trilogies when I started reviewing too. Duologies seem to have just come out of nowhere! I’ve been really liking them, but sometimes they have made me feel sad too because I want more of the amazing characters 🙂

  4. Kristin @ Flickering Lights

    I totally didn’t realize the six of crows series was a duology! Tbh though, I kind of like them more than trilogies because sometimes I find that the author can drag out the story a bit too much? But then I guess there is also always that risk that it might feel a bit too rushed?
    Lovely post 🙂

    • Laura

      I definitely agree that some trilogies can seem a bit dragged out, especially in the middle book where you haven’t got the excitement of it being the start or end. There is definitely a risk with duologies of it feeling rushed though, so I guess it’s up to the author to consider how long their story really needs to be, and if it will split better into two parts or three.
      Glad you enjoyed the post! 🙂

  5. Tessa

    Like you, I didn’t realize how many duologies there are until I read your list. Even though I didn’t know there were so many, I still really enjoy a good duology. They are more manageable then the massive series that tend to dominate fantasy. I also really have trouble finishing series (even trilogies), so having only two books is quite a plus.

    So far, my favorite duology is Six of Crows. I also really loved Just One Day/Just One Year by Gayle Forman (not including the ending novella). I don’t think that duologies are as common with contemporary as with fantasy, but I would love to see more in all genres. But since the trilogy has been the “standard” for so long, the basic story structure is built around three novels. I am not saying that it is impossible to write a good duology, but it is definitely hard to break out of the traditional storyline of a trilogy.

    • Laura

      I definitely find duologies much more manageable than longer series too. Even with trilogies there’s always a risk I’ll never go back and finish a series, but with two books it’s so much more likely that I will.
      You’re totally right though that it will be hard for many authors and publishers to break out of the standard series structure of three or more books. But I’m hoping to see lots more duologies in all genres soon! 🙂

  6. Anna @ The Bibliotaph

    I haven’t read a ton of duologies yet, but I really like the idea of them. I remember being in middle school and starting to read a series with a TON of books. By the end of high school, I was still waiting for the 11th book to come out and then I lost interest because it was way too much work. I like duologies because it isn’t too much work to finish the story and get to the end – that’s a series I can read in a few weeks.

    • Laura

      That’s what I love so much about duologies too. With long series I’ll often lose interest, especially if I have to wait for more books to be released (I have a terrible memory, so often I’ve forgotten what happened in the previous book by then!), whereas a duology is an entire series that can be read very quickly.

  7. Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight

    I do like a duology! Because yeah, sometimes there needs to be a second book, but a third would be overkill, and I like that authors have been acknowledging that. I actually kind of wish there’d be more of them! I think you are right that there IS a rise in them though- it used to be ONLY trilogies it seems, but now finally we’re breaking that mold!

    • Laura

      I totally agree! Some stories do need more than one book, but three is overkill, so it’s great that duologies are becoming more common. I hope they become even more popular in the future! 🙂

  8. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    I actually really love duologies. They’re less of a commitment than trilogies or long series and you get that bit more story than you get in a standalone. I love standalones and trilogies, but duologies can be really great because they take less time to read too! I do love not having to commit to something too time consuming. And the long waits between releases can be painful in long series.

    • Laura

      I like not having to make such a huge time commitment with duologies too, and it really can be painful waiting for books in a series to be released. You end up spending years reading a series when you have to wait for numerous books, which isn’t the case with duologies 🙂

  9. Camilla @Reader in the Attic

    For a part doulogies are better for my reading habits because with trilogy or more longer series I always end up postponing the read. Doulogies are much more easier to finish.
    BUt I noticed that I end up feeling like something was left off. I don’t know how to describe it, but that’s how I felt with Monster of Verity. I liked it and the end was okay but do I needed more? Yes, definitely yes.

    • Laura

      That happens to me too with trilogies. Often I seem to read the first two books quite close together, but always seem to end up putting off the third for ages!
      I know what you mean though about sometimes feeling like things have been left off. I think we’re so used to trilogies or longer, that sometimes a duology can seem a bit to brief.

  10. Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight

    I hadn’t realized duologies were a thing until recently either. But I think every story should be however long it needs to be. If that means one book, then one book. If that means ten books, then ten books. So yeah, I’m fine with duologies, though I don’t know if I have a preference for them? But as Becky said, they’re less commitment, but I like that they still allow me to get to know the characters better.

    • Laura

      That’s so true that a story should just be however long it needs to be! I love duologies, but that’s because so far I’ve only read good ones, where the story has been too long for a standalone but too short for a trilogy. If the story needs to be longer, then I’m all for a classic trilogy, or even longer! 🙂
      I like that duologies are less of a commitment too though, and it does help you get to know the characters better than in standalones.

  11. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    I agree that duologies seem to be getting more popular, and I really love them. For some reason, I’m often horrible at reading the third book in a trilogy and two is easier to swallow. Plus, we avoid middle-book syndrome!

    • Laura

      I’m exactly the same! I always tend to read the first two books in a trilogy pretty quickly, and then take ages getting to the third, if I get to it at all.

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