Wednesday, January 21, 2015

THE SERIES SERIES: Series I've Started (And Whether I'll Continue)

Welcome to Part 2 of The Series Series!  Today we'll be discussing:

Series I've Started (And Whether I'll Continue)

People are understandably hesitant before starting a new series.  With multiple books, it's a big commitment.  You basically sign up ahead of time to have no closure for multiple years until the last book is released.  And then, if you don't like the last book, it can feel like you've just wasted time and emotion investing in characters who didn't deserve your anxiety.  (I'M LOOKING AT YOU, ALLEGIANT.) 

That being said, I still love a good series.  I love following a single character through multiple adventures.  I love the extra time a series provides to fully flesh out side characters, and completely build a whole new world.  When done well, series can be really phenomenal.  That's why I still start series: with the hope that my imagination can find a new home for several books in a row.  Because the pay off can be extraordinary. 

Here are the series I have started within the past year or so, and whether or not I plan to continue.  (This list does not include the series I have already finished.  That's another post.  This list only includes the series I am in the middle of.)  Tell me if you think I should change my mind!

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
Books Read: Just Cinder so far
Books Currently Released: 3/4, plus novellas
Current Feeling: I really liked Cinder, and want to read more.  I've heard such good things about Scarlet and Cress.  I figure I'll just wait for Winter and read the next three in one giant lump of fabulousness.
Verdict: Continue

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
Books Read: 1/3 (Seraphina)
Books Currently Released: 2/3
Current Feeling: I strongly disliked the first half of Seraphina, but then did a complete 180 and really liked the second half.  I'm not sure how to reconcile those two emotions, but its sequel is not as high on my list as others.
Verdict: Undecided (leaning towards no)

The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E. Pearson
Books Read: 1/3 (The Kiss of Deception)
Books Currently Released: 1/3
Verdict: Continue or Die

The Jewel by Amy Ewing
Books Read: 1/3 (The Jewel)
Books Currently Released: 1/3
Current Feeling: It was alright, but I don't feel like it added anything new to the genre.  It's so short, though, that I feel like I could read the whole series in an afternoon and at least be entertained.
Verdict: Undecided (leaning towards yes)

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
Books Read: 1/3 (The Winner's Curse)
Books Currently Released: 1/3
Current Feeling: I'm so curious as to what will happen next.  I really have no idea what to expect, and I like that I can't predict it.
Verdict: Continue

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
Books Read: 1/2 (Cruel Beauty)
Books Currently Released: 1/2
Current Feeling: I have to be honest, I strongly disliked this book.  I don't have a whole lot to say about it other than that I'm not interested in reading further.
Verdict: Stop Reading

Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown
Books Read: 2/3 (Red Rising and Golden Son)
Books Currently Released: 2/3
Current Feeling: The end of Golden Son left me unable to form coherent sentences.  I am so mad that I have to wait a WHOLE YEAR to read book 3.
Verdict: Continue, and bribe Mr. Brown with baked goods for his book 3 outlines

The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani
Books Read: 2/3 (The School for Good and Evil and A World Without Princes)
Books Currently Released: 2/3
Current Feeling: I liked book 1 well enough, but I really, really, really disliked book 2 an extraordinary amount.
Verdict: Stop reading

The 5th Wave Trilogy by Rick Yancy
Books Read: 1/3 (The 5th Wave)
Books Currently Released: 2/3
Current Feeling: Meh.
Verdict: Stop reading

Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas
Books Read: 3/6 (Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, and Heir of Fire)
Books Currently Released: 3/6, plus novellas
Current Feeling: GIVE ME MORE MAAS.
Verdict: Create a shrine to Celaena Sardoothien.  Finally read the novellas.  Also, continue the series.

Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson
Books Read: 1/3 (Mistborn)
Books Currently Released: 3/3
Current Feeling: Really good!  This one was the perfect amount of complicated and accessible.  It definitely left me wanting more.  In fact, I plan to read The Well of Ascension next week!
Verdict: Continue

The Troubled Waters Trilogy by Sharon Shinn
Books Read: 2/3 (Troubled Waters and Royal Airs)
Books Currently Released: 2/3
Current Feeling: I love this world and this magic system so much, and am so excited that book 3 is from Corene's point of view.  (Ms. Shinn PLEASE WRITE FASTER.)
Verdict: Reread Troubled Waters fifteen times while waiting for book three to be released.

The Anna and the French Kiss Trilogy by Stephanie Perkins
Books Read: 1/3 (Anna and the French Kiss)
Books Currently Released: 3/3
Current Feeling: I understand why so many other people liked this story, but it just didn't do it for me.  At all.  *scrunches up nose.*  Yes I am a bit of a curmudgeon, why do you ask?
Verdict: Stop reading

The Starbound Trilogy by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner 
Books Read: 1/3 (These Broken Stars)
Books Currently Released: 2/3
Current Feeling: While I feel like it was well written and well developed, something didn't connect with me.  I think this is definitely a it's-not-you-it's-me situation.  
Verdict: Stop reading

The Chronos Files by Rysa Walker
Books Read: 1/3 (Timebound)
Books Currently Released: 2/3
Current Feeling: I really liked this one!  I worry about how much time has gone by since I read it, though.  I'm not sure I would be able to continue without a reread, and I'm not sure I have time for that.
Verdict: Undecided.  (TELL ME WHAT TO DO.)

The Princess Academy Series by Shannon Hale
Books Read: 2/3 (Princess Academy and Palace of Stone)
Books Currently Released: 2/3
Current Feeling: These books are so much fun.  When I think of Shannon Hale, I think of these books.  They're perfect for a pick-me-up.
Verdict: Continue

His Fair Assassins by Robin LeFevers
Books Read: 1/3 (Grave Mercy)
Books Currently Released: 3/3
Current Feeling: I didn't really enjoy the story until halfway through, but I flew through the second half.  I liked reading in a setting I'm mostly unfamiliar with, and enjoyed the political intrigue.  I may come back to this series, though it's not super high on my list.
Verdict: Undecided

Matched series by Ally Condie
Books Read: 1/3 (Matched)
Books Currently Released: 3/3
Current Feeling: Too much conversation, a little more action, please.
Verdict: Stop reading

Uglies series by Scott Westerfield
Books Read: 3/4 (Uglies, Pretties, and Specials)
Books Currently Released: 4/4
Current Feeling: I feel like I should finish, since there's just one measly book left.  But I disliked Specials so much that I have a hard time finding the motivation to continue.  So I probably won't.  (Though I do really like the updated covers.)
Verdict: Stop reading

Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy by Laini Taylor
Books Read: 1/3 (Daughter of Smoke and Bone)
Books Currently Released: 3/3
Current Feeling: I feel like this series is taylor (see what I did there??) made for me: it's bizarre, exciting, romantic, and filled with high-stakes action.  But even though it had all the right ingredients, I just didn't connect to the story.  I feel like maybe I should give it another shot, though.  Maybe it just caught me on an off day?
Verdict: Undecided (leaning towards yes)

The Mara Dyer Trilogy by Michelle Hodkin
Books Read: 1/3 (The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer)
Books Currently Released: 3/3
Current Feeling: Meh.  I read it because I liked the cover.  It was a spooky enough story, but I'm not all that interested in continuing.  Plus, the language really bothered me.  (Which is unusual for me, so the swears must be really irritating.)
Verdict: Stop reading

The Of Metal and Wishes Duology by Sarah Fine
Books Read: 1/2 (Of Metal and Wishes)
Books Currently Released: 1/2
Current Feeling: I loved the spook factor combined with the dangerous romance and the atmospheric factory setting.  I definitely want to know what happens next!
Verdict: Continue

The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon
Books Read: 1/8 (Outlander)
Books Currently Released: 8/8 (I'm pretty sure this series won't have any more books in it, but I'm not sure.  Do you know?)
Current Feeling: I LOVED Outlander.  Loved it.  But when I heard that the second book jumped a couple decades into the future and introduces other characters I became a little disenchanted.  That's twenty years we're missing.  TWENTY YEARS!!  I want to spend more time with Claire and Jaime, not anyone else!
Verdict: I'm not over my resentment yet.  I might continue the series one day, but not yet.

The Chemical Garden series by Lauren DeStefano
Books Read: 1/3 (Wither)
Books Currently Released: 3/3
Current Feeling: I really did not like this book.  It felt way too contrived and I did not enjoy the story at all.
Verdict: Stop reading.

The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan
Books Read: 1/14 (The Eye of the World)
Books Currently Released: 14/14
Current Feeling: I get why this series has such a huge fan base, but the story didn't grip me enough to make me want to agree to a FOURTEEN BOOK commitment.  
Verdict: Stop Reading

The Game of Thrones series by George R.R. Martin
Books Read: 5/7
Books Currently Released: 5/7
Current Feeling: I am actually very terrified with the direction these books are going, but I'm too sucked in to stop now.
Verdict: Continue.  And get a prozac prescription for the feels the next two books are certain to provide.

The Legend Series by Marie Liu
Books Read: 1/3 (Legend)
Books Currently Released: 3/3
Current Feeling: I enjoyed the first book well enough, but just never finished the series.  I'm afraid too much time has passed for me to pick up book two without a refresher, and while I did like Legend, I'm not sure I liked it enough for a second read.  (Though I will say that I still think the Legend cover is one of my all times favorites.)
Verdict: Undecided.  (Leaning towards no)

The Giver series by Lois Lowry
Books Read: 1/4 (The Giver)
Books Currently Released: 4/4
Current Feeling: The Giver is my #1 favorite book.  Ever.  Of All Time.  In the whole world.  You get the idea.  I didn't continue the series for two reasons: first, because how could any sequel live up to my #1 all time favorite book ever in the whole world?  And the second reason is because the conclusion to The Giver, ambiguous as it is, is enough for me.  That book is perfect, and I don't want to spoil it with sequels.  (This is probably the best possible reason I can come up with for not continuing a series.)
Verdict: Stop Reading  

The Inheritence Series by Christopher Paolini
Books Read: 2/4 (Eragon, Eldest)
Books Currently Released: 4/4
Current Feeling: I really loved the first two books, but at the time the next two hadn't been released yet.  Now several years have gone by and I don't know if I could continue with book 3 or if I would have to start over.  But I'll probably get to it eventually.
Verdict: Continue.  (Eventually.)

The Maze Runner series by James Dashner
Books Read: 1/3 (The Maze Runner)
Books Currently Released: 3/3
Current Feeling: I liked the film a lot more than the book, so I think I'll just stick with the films on this one.
Verdict: Stop reading (but keep watching the movies)

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
Books Read: 1/7 (The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe)
Books Currently Released: 7/7
Current Feeling: I liked the first book as a child, but couldn't get into the next book, so I stopped reading.  I think I might read this out loud to my kids when they're old enough.
Verdict: Continue in about Ten Years

What do you think?  What series should I change my mind on?  What series should I start that I haven't yet??  


  1. We just finished reading all the Narnia books to my daughter and we all loved them. But same thing-- I didn't read them until I had kids. Another awesome read to your kids- Laura Ingalls Wilder books. LOVE. That's an obvious one though.
    I keep hearing about outlander and have been debating starting.
    Thanks for the insight! I'm loving the series series.

    1. Oh good! Maybe I won't have to wait too long to read the Narnia books out loud then. I loved the Little House on the Prairie books as a girl. Thanks for the reminder about that series, that's definitely one to remember!

      Outlander will suck you in for sure. Jamie is definitely one of my biggest book crushes. :)

  2. I had no idea Grave Mercy had sequels. Huh. And Scott Westerfield is writing MORE books? What is this fourth book?! Extras? I can't read it... I can't handle more of his writing. The Uglies trilogy was enough for me. Loving these posts on Series. I just bought Throne of Glass, I'll let you know how it goes.

    1. The next two Grave Mercy books are told from the POV of other characters, but all within the same world. I haven't read the last two, but know people who love them.

      The last Uglies book is Extras. Westerfield wrote it a while ago, and I believe that series is finished now. I never read that last book because I wasn't feeling the story, but it kind of kills me that I never finished the series after reading the first three.


  3. Holy CRAP you're in the middle of a lot of series(es?)!! Here are my takes on the few that I've dabbled in:

    Divergent: I feel your pain about Allegiant, UGH.

    Matched: I read the first two and can tell you literally nothing about them, except that I think she wore a green dress to her match ball or whatever. Not a bad decision to stop reading.

    Wheel of Time: I made it about 50ish pages into the first one before giving up. Eventually I think my husband will read it, and then he can tell me what happens. (I did this for GoT and it made me actually want to read it, so maybe it'll work here too.)

    A Song of Ice and Fire: Ugh, I'm in the middle of this one too, but I stopped reading A Feast for Crows sometime in September because it was just SO BORING. I have to get back to it at some point, though.

    The Maze Runner: I read the first one and didn't like it nearly enough to want to read the rest. It was alright, but not something I felt like I needed to be invested in.

    The Chronicles of Narnia: Now these I read for the first time when I was 22 and I LOVED them. If you own them all or can get them easily from a library, I recommend reading them—it'll take you like a day per book, tops. I bought a set for my little sister and brother (who are now 7 and almost 6) for Christmas maybe a year ago and my dad is starting to read them with them, which I'm so excited about :D

    1. Bridget! I have so many thoughts in response to your comment. I shall attempt to share them coherently, but I make no promises.

      RE Allegiant: I KNOW, RIGHT??!?!

      RE Matched: That's basically my exact reaction.

      RE Wheel of Time: It was gifted to me by my brother-in-law, and so I felt sort of obligated to read it. I enjoyed parts of it, but it wasn't a very difficult decision to stop reading.

      RE ASOIAF: A Feast for Crows was the hardest book for me to read of the series. I felt like the whole story arc came crashing down around me, and rather than shock and intrigue me, it just made me irritated. But I love those characters and MUST know what happens, so I'll definitely finish.

      RE The Maze Runner: Yes! Totally! My husband (who is not a big reader) actually read this book (!) and liked it (!) so I feel like maybe I was too hard on it? I don't know. But I'm happy to just watch the films with him instead of reading the rest of the series. I figure I can rely on him to tell me what things were missing from the films, and if they were good or bad changes. It's actually kind of fun, since usually our roles are reversed in this regard, seeing as I'm the big reader and he's the one who usually consents to watch the film with me.

    2. Ahh! I forgot one!

      RE Narnia: Interesting! I don't know many people who read these for the first time as an adult just for themselves. And you loved them! That's definitely a good sign! I actually own this whole series, so nothing is stopping me from reading them. I just figured I'd wait until my daughter (currently age 2) is old enough and we'd read them together. But now you've got me thinking maybe it would be fun to just pick them up for myself...

  4. My thoughts are the same with Chronicles of Narnia. My series post is coming up tomorrow. I talked about all the series I want to finish, want to start, and finished in 2014. Huge series are hard for me to start because there are so many books. I don't have enough time to read every series out there. I'm focusing on binge reading series this year.

    1. Oh awesome! I'm looking forward to reading your post! I totally get that series can be hard to start. But at the same time, they are sometimes the most fulfilling, for me anyway.

  5. Totally agree with your decisions on The Matched series and The Wither series but you have to at least read Lola and the Boy Next Door. I liked it much better than Anna. You didn't like Cruel Beauty? Oh man! I loved that one. Sigh. :(

    1. Sorry about Cruel Beauty. It's a shame, because I usually love fairytale retellings. But MAN did I hate that one. Like, it was in my top three worst books I read in 2014. To be fair, I listened to the audiobook, and the narrator did not help things. At all. Does that ever happen to you, when a narrator makes you think a book is better/worse than it really is?

      Maybe I will give Isla a try, but, I have to admit, I'm skeptical. It does help to hear that you felt it was an improvement over Anna though. The amount of angst was way past my personal threshold, so I'm hesitant to read anything else in that series. But who knows. Maybe I'll give Isla a shot.

      Glad that at least we agree on Wither and Matched!!

  6. I'm totally planning on doing the same thing with Cinder. I haven't read Scarlet or Cress yet but I don't want to wait around for Winter after I finish. Cinder was hard enough!!!

    I'm so with you on The Winner's Curse! I loved that book, but I have no idea what to expect. I hope it doesn't let us down!

    Like Jenny said, you may like Lola, but you may not. I don't think you'll like Isla if you didn't like Anna. Lola is the most different of the three.

    If you didn't think Matched was face-paced, you'll definitely not like Crossed. I haven't read Reached yet. I have to gather up the strength.

    I haven't even read The Maze Runner series yet because I've heard so many people loved the first book but hated the other two and I don't want to get into that. So, I'm with you, I'm just going to watch the movies.

    1. Oh good! It sounds like we'll be reading Scarlet, Cress, and Winter at the same time. Did you know Marissa Meyer is going to be at The King's English next week?

      I'm completely in agreement with everything you've said. I can't wait for the Winners Crime. I might read Isla, but I'm not sure. I'm pretty sure I'll be sticking to just the Maze Runner films though.

      Your comment about needing to gather your strength before reading Reached made me laugh. Best of luck with that. :)

  7. Yeah! I'm not the only who didn't like Anna and the French Kiss! I'm not sure if I should continue with the Mara Dyer trilogy as well. TOG:D

    1. Hey! Another non-Anna lover! Virtual high five! I'd definitely skip Mara Dyer in favor of TOG. But, then again, I'd basically skip anything in favor of TOG. ALL HAIL SARAH J. MAAS.

  8. Pierce Brown how could you do that to me. Dying dying to read #3. Coudn't stop thinking about Golden Son. You've got some great series up here. xoxo, Mary

    1. I KNOW, RIGHT??!?!! That ending was like a punch in the gut, and while I don't mind a little wait for the last book, 12 months is WAY. TOO. LONG.

  9. This is such a great idea. I'm really hoping to read more series this year. =]


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