So I recently had a discussion with a reader and who pointed out a significant flaw in my work that I hadn't seen.
When I first started writing my series, I had a trilogy in mind - based on exploring an alien species and the world they live on as well as our cultural imperialism over them. Think Avatar but WAY more in depth and critical of humanity's flaws. Each was supposed to explore the culture, mores and point of view of one of the subspecies. Decent idea, right? Especially if I could tie a narrative together that, hey, they know a lot of things that we don't and maybe they don't like us treating them like savage animals.
The thing is, readers don't care about non-human perspectives, so the first book left the realm of exploring a culture and entered humanity's situation on their new world. And that's entirely what it is. The story is compelling enough, the themes strong and the characters are developing nicely.
The problem comes in the fact that it IS going to be a series and a totally human-centered book leading off a series about aliens (even if it is from the viewpoint of these human characters) seems... hokey. It seems as though I will be forcing a story into a spot where it is unnecessary.
Thus I hit my conundrum. Do I try to meld this story, powerful and complete as it is, with the first culture, thus touching off the entire quadrilogy, now trilogy's, narrative? Or is there not space in a single book for that? Do I risk losing people with an over-complicated book? Can two entire objectives exist in a single narrative?
TL;DR Halp please. I'm lost and frightened.