Have you ever bought one book in the middle of a series thinking you could read it as a separate entity; then found out you needed the rest of the series? And then, when you went to the expense of purchasing the other books, you found out that the whole series was a total waste of your time? I bet you have done this at least once in your life; and if you haven't, you will.
Years ago, I bought 'Arthur' by Stephen Lawhead. I was in high school and loved the Aurthurian Legends; and still do. But it was nothing without the other books. So, once I was older and had the money, I ordered in the other books. However, the first two books of 'The Pendragon Cycle' were fantastic! They were the absolute pinnacle of sci-fi fantasy and how brilliant this author is! However, once I cracked the cover of 'Arthur' and got about a quarter through it, I found it slowed down into a lull and stayed there... it got boring. So, I started it again... and again, the lull was in the same place and again it bored me.
So, one of my friends - who reads faster than I do - offered to read the series for me. He said he'd find out if it's just me or if the series really did have a problem. Recently, he brought them all back saying that he was unable to finish 'Arthur'; so he skipped it and tried the other two or three books ahead of it. However, they were just as boring and slow. He told me that the main problem was Merlin; and that he didn't turn out to be the all-powerful magician legend had made him out to be. My friend told me that he seemed to whither and hide whenever there was a battle afoot and pray too much instead of working the magics like he was taught to (like his name meant in Welsh).
So, this five-book series has turned me off Stephen Lawhead as an author; which got me thinking... who in the writing world has written a book so bad that you haven't tried reading their works again? And why?