Thinking About Novels Structuraly

I just finished “Forever Odd” by Dean Koontz. The biggest problem I had with the novel was it felt like total filler. It seemed like nothing more than a means to “get to” book three. Had I been reading as they came out, I may have given in right there.
Yet… And yet… It sold well. Books three, four, a manga, etcetera happened.
I’m trying to think more critically about books I read, lately, so I can think more realistically about the stories I’m working on. I am stalled out in outlining and plotting in a lot of cases, because so many things seem stupid to me. I don’t know who to share with, in these cases. How wrong am I and in what ways when I tell myself something sucks regardless of who writes or thinks of it? Am I right? If I just make myself go forward, can it all be okay?

I’ve since read the next two books of the Odd Thomas cycle (I’ve yet to read the comics or watch the web series), and I can’t quite figure out what makes me want to keep going.  I like the character, more or less, and there is some mystery left at the end of each.  What makes that mystery enough to bring me back and string me along?  How much stringing along is too much?

Is my ‘string along’ threshold higher than others?

I kind of suspect that it is, point of fact.  I hung with “Heroes” and insisted it could get better until they finally betrayed what I perceived as the core of HRG (aka Noah Bennnet).  I stuck with “Supernatural” until they finally just hypocritical and pandered me away, and it seemed like the writers didn’t even remember who the characters were, anymore.  I could go off on this, but several entries of nygirl7of9 kind of sum most of it up.  I still suspect I might read the next Southern Vampire novel, because they’re about to wind down.  I still love Lost in spite of one of the biggest cop outs of an ending ever (No, I understood, it was a cop out).

This hasn’t actually been much of a “thought about structure” so much as me raising a few questions that I’ve been thinking about.  I haven’t even supplied answers, and that’s because I don’t quite have them, yet.  So… yeah… that’s where I am, and I hope I can come up with some more answers.