I recently started reading a long and popular fantasy series. I've reached about 50% of the first book (or so says Kindle) and I'm so and so about it.

I was wondering if it's ok to ask a question about its story flow to know if it's worth to keep reading. Of course, asking if I'm going to like the book or not it's very subjective and therefore an inappropriate question. However, a question about the story evolution seems pretty objective to me.

For example, Dan Simmons' Hyperion Cantos: the first book is written in a different manner and you can't get a good impression on the whole series simply based on it. On the other hand, A Song of Ice and Fire: the plot gradually gets more and more complex but it remains centered on the segmented stories of certain characters and doesn't follow a single narrative line.

Would questions about such subjects be on topic if they are formulated in a clear, answerable and objective manner?

Sample questions: - is the TV series X arc-based or more of a "monster of the week" show? - is the book series X character centric or is it about a certain country / planet / universe?

1 Answer 1


Questions about the story flow would be fine as long as they can be answered “constructively”. Try to be sufficiently focused — “is the whole series written in the same style?” is too vague, “is this particular theme central to other volumes?” would be ok.

Do please avoid “general reference” questions that can be looked up on Wikipedia or a similar reference. For example, whether a TV series is monster-of-the-week or story-based is usually apparent from the introduction of its Wikipedia article.

  • 1
    Also, many books have "plot summaries" on Wikipedia, so if the plot summary answers your question, then it could arguably be considered general reference. Sep 17, 2012 at 21:49
  • Yeah, the "monster of the week" was just a fictional example. In theory, I was thinking about a similar question where looking up plot summaries for such details would spoil you. For the question I had in mind, I already read some reviews and the summaries but I didn't find out exactly what interested me
    – BBog
    Sep 18, 2012 at 6:33

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