Should Authors Keep Expanding Their Own Universe?

Before I start with the actual post, let me first apologize for being absent the past few weeks. Classes started at the end of August. I now have classes all five weekdays (sighh) and work weekends so finding time to blog is getting even harder than before. I can barely find the time to read (if I didn’t commute to campus, I doubt I’d get any reading done).

I’m trying to get through all the ARCs I [foolishly] requested/accepted during the summer. I’m regretting it immensely now and have vowed to myself to not request or accept another ARC until next year (we’ll see how well that goes).

All that said, I will not be updating consistently in the coming weeks. I won’t be participating in any features at the moment [not that I was consistent in posting them anyway ]. And I [sadly and unfortunately] probably won’t be reading a lot of blog posts. I’ll try of course, but as of now, I make no promises.

Universe Expanding

Many YA Fantasy authors (and some from other genres) prefer expanding their own created universe instead of creating another one. Some of these authors include Cassandra Clare who has been continuing the Shadowhunters series for 10 years now and is now on her 14th book in that universe. Rick Riordan who has continued his mythology series, both his current ones have cameos of characters from Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus. Leigh Bardugo has five books in the Grishaverse with one more on the way. Maggie Stiefvater has her upcoming Ronan Trilogy coming out, about a beloved character from her Raven Boys quartet. And the recent news about V.E Schwab expanding her A Darker Shade of Magic world with a new series.

And not only Fantasy, but a few contemporary authors also write spin-offs with cameos from their earlier works. Becky Albertali’s Upside of Unrequited featured characters from Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and she has another spin-off coming out about Leah [also from Simon vs.]. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon is also getting a spin-off book about Rishi’s brother, Ashish. I’m sure there are more I’m missing.

I for one absolutely love world expansion. I get [overly] invested in characters and their worlds and knowing I get more stories about them makes me ecstatic. All the book series I mentioned above are favorites of mine and I CANNOT WAIT until their sequels or spin-offs come out.

Expanding a world also allows an author to explore all aspects of its society and culture and answer questions that may have been left out in the first series. I think Cassandra Clare does a great job of this where each of her new Shadowhunters installments goes deeper and deeper into the world without contradicting anything she wrote previously.

But that isn’t to say I want every author to expand their world; sometimes, the story they need to tell just consists of the books in their series and they need to leave it at that.

So what do you think? Are you for or against world expansion? Are you excited for any of the books I mentioned above?


29 thoughts on “Should Authors Keep Expanding Their Own Universe?

  1. I relate so much to your ARC struggle. Classes started in August for me too, and let’s just say I am DROWNING in schoolwork. I’m pretty sure I sprouted a few gray hairs. So, you’re not alone. WE CAN DO IT, I BELIEVE IN US ❤

    and I, for one, ADORE it when authors expand their worlds (particularly when it's an author I enjoy!!) I think it's amazing to see new characters and new conflicts introduced within the context of a fantasy world that we all know and love. However, I may be biased because a lot of my fave authors (Cassandra Clare, Maggie Stiefvater, etc) have all expanded their worlds. XD I can completely see why some readers would be put off by it, or would think that they're only out to get more $$$.

    I think that as long as authors expand worlds WELL (emphasis on WELL, authors shouldn't just add new books to new series just for the sake of it), there's no harm done. And they're only giving readers what they want, after all!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am also drowning in schoolwork! Glad to know I’m not alone though! THANK YOU! I need all the faith I can get at this time 😀 .

      I completely agree! I am also super biased because of Clare and Bardugo and how well they managed to expand their worlds to introduce new characters and aspects. I don’t understand the complaints about authors making money off of their worlds by expanding it, well of-course they are, it’s their job and they clearly have more to say about the world they created. And yes, expanding it WELL is a huge must.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. *creeps back to reply one week later in shame*

        SCHOOLWORK IS LITERALLY TURNING MY HAIRS GRAY AND EATING UP 10000% OF MY LIFE. high key considering going on a hiatus just to get my life together.

        you brought up a great point!! I feel like we shouldn’t bash authors for deciding to add more books to their series, or for expanding their universe. I mean…. it’s their writing, if you don’t like it, then don’t read it, #amirite ?? 😛

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Aww I love replies late or not! (Says the girl who replied late herself 😊). I’m so sorry school is stressing you out too! If going on a hiatus will help you, you should totally do it and come back when you’re ready.

          Yes exactly! You don’t HAVE to read the sequel series if you don’t want to, just ignore it and move on 😐.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I hope that classes are going okay! I missed seeing you around, but school and everything else comes first. Take care of yourself, you can do this! ❤ ❤
    That was a lovely post to read 🙂 I'm not realy for, or against the expansion of book series, it really comes on a case-to-case basis. Some universes I know I will never get tired of, some others I feel like they're just expanding unnecessarily, which makes me a bit mad and feels useless. I'm so eager to read some of the books you mentioned here, though, such as the Ronan trilogy, Schwab's new series, Albertalli's new book as well! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww, thank you so much Marie!! 💜 I missed being around!
      I understand what you mean, I usually love world expansion but there are times when I think the author should just stop. Which happened with Cursed Child, even though Rowling didn’t write it, I wish she didn’t say it was canon [I will continue to refuse to accept it as such]. I’m so excited for those book!!! I can’t wait!!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. 😂😂 I’m glad the post was clear enough that you understood 😄😄. Expansion is great! Especially if it’s one of my favorite series and I want to learn more about the characters.


  3. Good luck with school and work, I know it can be tough to make time for blogging during busy times like these, so don’t stress yourself out too much!

    Oh my goodness there were Simon vs characters in The Upside?? I completely missed that! I already wanted to reread both books; now I have a good excuse haha

    I absolutely love world expansion too – there’s often so much left to explore, especially fantasy books can easily do this since they can take place in the same world but feature different main characters. Those worlds are so big and full with history, culture etc that you just can’t get bored haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Michelle! I’ll try my best 😊

      There were! Simon made a cameo and so did Abby (since she’s Molly’s cousin). Rereading sounds lilelike a great idea 😄

      Yes, I completely agree! I love when old characters make cameos in a new series because then we get to know how they’re doing but [usually] won’t have to worry about bad things happening to them since they’re not in the main cast.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love seeing more books in a world that an author created. It shows me there are so many ideas forming in their minds and that they wanted to share with us. I wonder how they come up with the ideas, and I’m glad it’s never ending because it shows us that people are creative and fun to read about.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly. I find it funny that people kept sayig that authors are milking their own worlds like Cassandra Clare, J.K. Rowling but really, they kept coming up with things that we would never thought of and there are people that actually enjoy reading these worlds.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree with you, I like them a lot, but at the same time, sometimes enough is enough. Plus when it gets hard to keep track of things that’s also when things should be left alone. I think sometimes when authors just keep going they ruin what was perfect and was loveable in the original work.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Don’t you worry about posting regularly– we’ll still be here! I’m sorry you’re feeling so busy and too bogged down to get to much blogging, but that’s just part of life sometimes! Hopefully, you’ll find a new balance soon.

    I love the idea of world expansion, personally. Particularly if the author has developed a robust and interesting universe. But I prefer to follow the route more like Albertali or Sarah Desen where stories are all set in the same universe and focus on different characters. I love seeing how different vantage points of the world interact. It makes the world much more real to me! That said, I do love me some spin-off fantasy series. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Jackie!!! You always know what to say! 💜💜 Hopefully I’ll find a nice balance soon too, fingers crossed!

      I also love it when the authors set stories in the same universe but focus on different characters. That’s probably my favorite part about world expansion because the authors can then expand their universe by telling different stories about other characters and it doesn’t feel like they’re dragging out one character’s life.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Eee you definitely sound so busy so I understand about your absence but as soon as you are here I am so stopping by! I have to say that I do love world expansion. I am someone who naturally loves world building and the longer you spend in a world, the more an author can do with it and create. However, I don’t really like the characters or the plot kind of gets reused and worn out? I think that kinda happened with the Mortal Instruments series (DON’T GET ME WRONG I LOVE THEM ALL) but six books were a bit much. Sometimes readers confuse the story/characters getting worn out with the world building worn out, which is not the case. Clare clearly shows us that by giving us the Blackthorns and also the Infernal Devices in the same world and showing us it can be wonderful too 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Eeeek, sorry I’m replying so late! Thank you Olivia! You’re right about Mortal Instruments, I like TID and TDA so much more than the original series because she kept reusing the same tropes in TMA. I was very surprised when I read Lady Midnight because I didn’t expect it to be as good as it was. 😀 Now I can’t wait for the third one.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I tend to go neutral for universe expanding, but mostly, my initial reaction is “AGAIN?” Especially if I know the author is amazing yet they keep wirting about the same thing while they can go on and create new stories. I just expect so much more from them. I always give them the benefit of the doubt though, some of the expansion can work (I love TID more than TMI) and some of them might fail (I HATE The Heir).

    P.S: Back in May I wrote about the same thing but more about the milking aspect, rather than the okay or not, so if you’re interested, I’ll leave the link 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I understand that “AGAIN?” feeling, it’s honestly what I sometimes feel about all the new expansion to the Harry Potter world *cough cough* Cursed Child *cough cough*. I also love TID a lot more than TMI (I think most people feel the same way). Have you read The Dark Artifices? Because I like that series even more than TID.

      I’ll definitely check your post out! Thank you for stopping by!


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