Whilst in this case, it wasn't a cliffhanger ending in terms of the shock ending on the very last page, but it was cliffhanger enough for the fans of this series. Worst thing about this particular ending? This author takes anywhere between 3 to 5 years to produce her next book, so it is a VERY (or verra if we were using the parlance from that novel) long wait to find out what happens next!
Reading this book did however leave me pondering the nature of endings, particularly cliffhanger endings.
First, here is a definition of cliffhanger ending from Wikipedia:
A cliffhanger or cliffhanger ending is a plot device in fiction which features a main character in a precarious or difficult dilemma, or confronted with a shocking revelation at the end of an episode of serialized fiction. A cliffhanger is hoped to ensure the audience will return to see how the characters resolve the dilemma.
Depending on which genres you are reading there are certain things that a reader can expect from the ending of a novel. If it is a standalone romance novel, then you can expect to get some indications of a happily ever after (even if it isn't the normal marriage and children that happen so often in the epilogue). For a crime novel it is fair to expected to have the identity of the perpetrator revealed as well as some explanation of the whys and hows of the particular crime.
To me, it does seem as though there does seem to be a lot more of these cliffhanger style endings. They seem to be right up there with love triangles as a way of continuing story lines from one novel to the next. A well done cliffhanger can leave you wanting more. Other times I feel a bit emotionally manipulated by them.
So, as readers, do we like cliffhanger endings? Feel manipulated by them? Seen too many of them? Are there particularly well written cliffhanger endings that you read that left you gasping for more? Do you think they are an overused technique?
Let's talk endings!