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Imaginary Chats: Book Series

Friday, March 15, 2013
In the past years, many incredible books have been released as the first installment of a series. It's exciting because it means that we can expect more goodness from the world. At the same time, it's nervewracking because I loved the first book so much that I can't bear to read the next book only to have my heart break.

Awesome Series
Must reads
I've had really good experiences with some series. Ever since I read Tamora Pierce's Song of the Lioness quartet, featured below, I have been an avid fan of hers. Tamora Pierce knows how to deliver an epic conclusion. Even if the second book was so incredible that I find it out to believe it can be topped, I know that there will definitely be something even better waiting for me when the next book comes out. In many of her books, the plot lines continue buliding up on the previous books (and even prior series set in the same world). Her latest series, the Beka Cooper trilogy, differs in that each book has a self-contained plot, though they do build upon Beka's experiences and reputation that develops over the series. Because of this, each book was basically a surprise for me.

I also love Shannon Hale's Books of Bayern, a series of companion novels based off the first novel The Goose Girl. While The Goose Girl will always have a special place in my heart, being one of the books that reeled me into the magical world of fantasy during my childhood, its companion novels have a magic of their own. Each one features a vulnerable teenager with his or her insecurities and internal conflicts that challenges the protagonist along the journey of to self-realization.

Another great series writer is Richelle Mead. I only read the Vampire Academy series last summer, but when I did I finished the entire series within three days. It's a wonderful series that I seriously need to go out and buy one day.


Sound Series
Not all of the books were spectacular, but the series was solid overall
Fallen by Lauren Kate: I still have mixed feelings about the first book. I love it and love the whole connection between Luce and Daniel. Sword&Cross was such a strange place and Still, Fallen was one of the first books I read that introduced teens in trouble with the law (in a way). (I had a sheltered childhood.) I loved Torment. Having figured out the whole connection between Luce and Daniel made reading the series much easier. However, while Passion was necessary for the story, it was pretty slow and anticlimactic compared to Torment. Rapture was slower paced with everyone getting ready for the big battle to come, but it was a solid book on the whole. And I LOVE the ending. It's just what Luce and Daniel needed!

The Inhertiance Cycle by Christopher Paolini: I loved Eragon and Eldest, but the books after these were anticlimactic. Nevertheless, the plotlines were sound and wrapped up at the end of the series, and I did enjoy learning more about the world as the series progressed. Eragon is a teenage boy and makes mistakes. He learns from them and grows from his experiences. Plus, there are dragons, epic battles, and some romance on the side. It's just the kind of fantasy I love.

The Iron Fae (the first series): I enjoyed The Iron King, though it didn't particularly stand out to me. However, the second and third book took a turn downhill. There were too much hormones flying around for me. I love Puck, but I always saw him as a good friend so it was a shocker when a love triangle popped out of nowhere. Then the action between Ash and Meghan: while lovable, it just got to be too much for me. I also didn't like many of Meghan's choices. They seemed rash and didn't make any sense to me. The Iron Knight redeemed the series for me. Yes, it's very romanticized, but we need something like that every now and then. Why this is a sound series on the whole - because it does everything it needs to as a series. The greater conflict is resolved, the plot threads are wrapped up, and the characters have their respective conclusions (which is why we needed a fourth book in this planned trilogy). And, okay, The Iron Knight delivered everything.

Series That Failed to Deliver
What happened here?
The Iron Codex by Caitlin Kittredge: When I checked out The Iron Thorn from the library, I ended up putting it off until the day before I had to return it to the library because it would so big and intimidating, and I was afraid it wouldn't live up to my expectations. It delivered. I loved it so much that I considered writing a review for the blog but ended up not doing so because I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to express just how much I loved it. The writing was magical and descriptive enough that it painted a breathtaking picture of the world but not so descriptive that it bogged the world down in details. It's just what I expected from a book set in a fantasy world. Then came The Nightmare Garden, thinner and lacking the luster of the first book, though there was enough detail that I could hope for the magic to return with the third book. However, The Mirrored Shard was even smaller and less descriptive than the second book. Though everything gets wrapped up as needed in The Mirrored Shard and I found it to be a solid book on the whole, the trilogy had so much potential that this series failed to deliver to me.

Firelight by Sohpie Jordan: Book one was intriguing, and book two was spectacular. I was so, so excited for the explosive conclusion in book three. Then I received my review copy only to find that no only was the book short and rushed, the conclusion wasn't even satisfying. I had no idea what had happened here. How did we get from point A to point D, or whatever plot point we were located at the moment. There was also a good chance for the book to delve into more of the draki's history, but it didn't. It was a disappointing third book.

Series I'm Hoping Live Up to the First Book
Unearthly, Everbound, Delirium - yes, I haven't read the newest sequels that came out. Classes have kept me busy, and I am so so very mad that I haven't gotten around to reading their sequels yet!!! Seraphina is another one that I'm hoping lives up to the first book. I'm a hardcore fantasy girl at heart and am always ecstatic to find another good one.

How about you? What series have lived up to your expectations? Which ones failed to deliver?

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12 comments on "Imaginary Chats: Book Series"
  1. The Goose girl was fantastic. I have found memories of it as well. I enjoyed the Firelight series like you, until the end. The last was just disappointing.

    I anxious for the last Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson to come out this fall. I'm really hoping the last book is as good as the first two.

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    1. I'm also hoping that the last Fire and Thorns is as good as the first two. I love fantasy books, and it has been proving to be a fantastic series so far!

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  2. I loved the Goose Girl. I'm anxious for the last Fire and Thorns book too. It's an awesome series.

    I'm hoping Requium is a fantastic last book in that series. I just read Through the Ever Night, which was fantastic. And Shades of Earth was a fantastic ending to that series. So many good ones out there.

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    1. Oh, Requiem. I'm really looking forward to reading that one!! I haven't read any of the sequels to Across the Universe, but it's good to hear that it ended well :)

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  3. I tell you what series disappointed the heck out of me was His Dark Materials. I LOVED book 1, and to a lesser degree, book 2. But then book 3 came out. I was reading it with a friend, and as we read, we'd email back and forth and go, "Ew, I don't like where this is going!"

    Then we finished it, put the books down, and never spoke of them again.

    On the other hand, I just finished the Magic Thief trilogy by Sarah Prineas. The first book was good, the second book was better, and the third was absolutely wonderful. It had a really interesting twist on dragons.

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    1. I hadn't heard of the Magic Thief trilogy before. It sounds like a fun read. I'll be sure to check it out sometime!

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  4. I adore the Books of Bayern :) I'm still hoping for a fifth book...begging for one more likely :P It was probably the first YA series I read. The Iron Fey series is one of my favorites. Possibly because of the characters and Ash. I was a little disappointed by The Lost Prince. Not precisely sure why. All the reviews I've seen of The Mirrored Shard have been the same. Disappointing and short. I loved The Iron Thorn and was saddened when The Nightmare Garden wasn't as good. Can I keep The Iron Thorn as a one book series maybe? I'm still a bit scared to read TMS.

    I would say that the Daughter of Smoke & Bone series has lived up to all the hype I heard about it. I adore the series. The characters and diversity. I cannot wait for the third book :) The Infernal Devices is also a really great series. The Clockwork Prince was the best, so far. Very exciting and good plots :D

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    1. I would LOVE a Bayern book. I agree that The Lost Prince was disappointing. For me, the series got too romanticized, and much of the excitement was taken out by things happening a bit too conveniently for the characters. I also love The Iron Thorn, and I say keep it as just that. That's how I'll keep it in my heart. While I know what happens later, the real magic will always be in book one.

      Thus far, the Daughter of Smoke & Bone has been AMAZING. I didn't know how book two could live up to book one, but it's been doing just that. I'm really excited for book three. I'm glad to hear that The Infernal Devices has also been living up to the hype. I loved Clockwork Angel but haven't gotten around to reading Clockwork Prince. I guess I'll just have to reread the entire series once it's all out :)

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    2. Yes, it wasn't like the Iron Fey series much at all :/ I agree. I've kinda already blocked out book two, but I'll try TMS.
      I adored the second book :) It was just as good in some similar ways and different ways at the same time. The characters were still beautiful and unique the second time around, but there were battles and it was mainly focused on the Chimaera and angels. Which I liked. I really hope you are able to get Clockwork Prince, it was much better than Clockwork Angel and was brilliant! (in my opinion) I've got it to reread before I get Clockwork Princess :D Thanks for the follow!

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    3. That's good to hear. I love the characters, and battles are always good. I like the sound of the new focus, and I'm glad that Clockwork Prince is even better. I love when authors keep surprising us!

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  5. I love Tamora Pierce and that whole Tortall series she did. I have only read the first book in the Beca Cooper series but I really need to read the second and third book which have been sitting on my shelf impatiently waiting for me.

    There are so many series out there, especially for YA, that it gets hard to keep up with all of them.

    I think it is easier to keep up with adult series then teen ones lol.

    Thanks for the great post

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    1. It's so true how hard it is to keep up with YA series. There are several whose last books have recently come out, but there are so many series out there nowadays that it's hard to keep on top of all of them.

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