It seems to me like spin-off series are just the thing to do lately. That and novellas, which I rarely rarely read. I don't really have a problem with spin-off series because a lot of my favorite authors have started spin-off series: Richelle Mead (<3), Cassandra Clare, Rachel Hawkins, Andrea Cremer. And, with the exception of Andrea Cremer, I've adored every word of those series (I just haven't read Rift or Rise yet. No hate against Andrea).
Some other popular authors that wrote spin-off series are Julia Kagawa, Rick Riordan, P.C. Cast, Alyson Noel, and Melissa de la Cruz.
My main problem with spin-offs is that I can't help but think of the original series and comparing them. It's the same writer, the same world (though, most likely, with largely different different elements of the world being displayed), and some characters we've probably seen from the original series. Excuse me for finding it slightly difficult to not connect the two. Like in Richelle Mead's Bloodlines series (which is a spin-off of her Vampire Academy), I can't help but think about what Rose would do if she were in Sydney's shoes and how she is infinitely more amazing. No offense to Sydney or anything, but Rose is my favorite book heroine to ever exist. Feeling that way makes it slightly more difficult for me to really melt into Sydney's character and enjoy the books as if they were standalones. Because Sydney is a great character, but she's no Rose.
However, spin-off series allow room for further development of a world we have come to love. Like in the Bloodlines series, we see a whole other side of the Moroi and Strigoi world, which is really its own world. The world of the alchemists. With science, logic, strict rules, and a major belief system. We are exposed to an entirely different brand of secrets, betrayals, and hard decisions. It's extremely interesting to see how these aspects that seem so separate from the original series relate. Of course, we also get to see other characters that we liked in the series receive their happily-ever-afters.
Not to mention, the author has more published book under their belt. They are, most likely, more confident in their writing, more accustomed to working with a deadline and readers' pressure. They've come to know the world they've created. In School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins (the first book in the Hex Hall spin-off series), I enjoyed the dialogue more, the pacing of the story. In my opinion, it was an all around better adventure.
In The Infernal Devices, which is Cassandra Clare's prequel to The Mortal Instruments series, we get to see the ancestors of the characters in TMI, and how their stories affect the story of the present. How their ancestors changed the world we already thought was so developed (or at least I did. PLEASE no bashing of Cassie Clare).
I know some people think spin-off series are a cash cow thing, or because the author is just so incapable of coming up with fresh ideas. But even if that is so, I like them. And that's all that matters right? Who cares about the motivation behind writing a book, or how much money the author makes? If it entertains you, then it serves its purpose, no?
What do you think of all the spin-off series lately? Love 'em or hate 'em? Which ones have you read and loved? I do not mind if your view opposes mine, or even if you have negative opinions of any of the books I used as examples, but please, no brutal bashing on my blog. Save that for Goodreads.