Recently, I received an unsolicited review copy from a publisher, that was the third book in a science fiction series. Whilst I have read the first book, I haven’t read the second.
This has happened a couple of times – I’ve been sent books that are halfway through a series, or I receive the first and then a later installment. And this got me thinking: what do my fellow reviewers do when they receive a book that’s part of a series, and they haven’t yet read the previous installments?
I’m a bit torn about this. Firstly, it was an unsolicited review copy, not one I’d asked for, so I don’t feel there’s as much pressure to review it. But I also really love this particular publisher, and appreciate the crazy amount of books they’ve sent me over the past (almost) five years. I suppose I would have a few options here:
- do not read the book
- offer the book to a fellow blogger who has read books one and two, so that they can provide the publicity I cannot
- buy or borrow the second book in the series as soon as possible, so that I can catch up before reading the third
- just read the third as it is and review it, but then chances are I won’t enjoy it as much as I’ll have missed out a whole chunk of the story
- read the third book after reading a detailed plot synopsis of the second book – but I don’t like the idea of this because what if I have a chance to read the second book later on? And it kind of feels like cheating
- keep the book, read the second if I can get round to it but do not rush or prioritise it, as it was an unsolicited review copy
To be honest, the last option feels like the best one for me. I’m already quite behind on reviewing books I requested (story of my life), so this doesn’t feel like a big priority. It still leaves me feeling a bit guilty though!