There seems to be some feeling out there that the prologue is not necessarily there to be read and that it can be totally disregarded when reading a novel. This kind of irked me considering that both of my current works begin with a prologue. Though I think that people confuse prologue with a long, drawn out thing at the beginning speaking in lofty tones about events before the story.
A prologue can have action.
A prologue can contain suspense.
Both of mine feature death, one of them is written in a very different narrative voice from my normal one. Which brings up another point. Someone called prologues “deceptive” citing that they are to rope someone in with a different tone and then switch it up.
What’s wrong with roping someone in if something is worth the read? What’s wrong with a different tone? That’s part of what a prologue is. If they weren’t really necessary the editor would have usually pulled them. A whole go nowhere section is pretty damning.
Point being, if you’re skipping a prologue in a good book, which people claim to have done, then you’re probably missing out. And if its bad and you’re skipping it, what will make the rest of the book better?