Saturday, July 30, 2016

Series Thoughts, Part 4: Series I'm Undecided About Finishing

And now for the last post of my series series. If you've read these series, feel free to weigh in and nudge me toward yay or nay.

Series I'm Undecided About Finishing:

Middle Grade:

Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer. Fun stories about the young scion of a legendary Irish crime family and his dealings with the fairy world. I've read 5 books and there are 3 left to go. I'm not opposed to finishing it, but I keep not getting to it, and there's a chance I never will.

Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis. I read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe when I was a kid, but never read any of the other books. I don't have a particular desire to do so, but it's a Fantasy classic and I feel like I should.

Timmy Failure series by Stephan Pastis. This is a very strange series about a very strange child. The Son loves them, and they have grown on me over 3 books. However, if he loses interest or outgrows them before the series is over, I'm sure I'll never read another one again.

Forbidden Library series by Django Wexler. I listened to the first book of this on audiobook. It had a lot of cool elements-- 1930's setting, creepy magic, books as portals to other worlds-- but I just didn't connect with the characters. I think part of the issue was the reader, who read it in this super breathy little girl voice that got on my nerves. I might be willing to give book 2 a try, though. Bonus points to the author for having the same first name as one of my late cats. 

Young Adult:

Chaos Walking series by Patrick Ness. Dark Science Fiction about a society on a colony planet in which all the men can hear each others' thoughts. I read so many raving reviews of this series, but while I was very impressed by the worldbuilding and the style of the writing, I found actual story unstructured and repetitive (seriously, how many showdowns did Todd have with that one guy? How was he not dead yet??), and was annoyed by the cliffhanger ending. It's been years since I read book 1, and my desire to finish the series wanes more every year. But I haven't given up completely.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy by Laini Taylor. Epic Urban Fantasy about a war between angels and demons. I loved book 1. Book 2 was good, but most of what I had loved about book 1 was no longer a feature of the story. I was excited for book 3, but 50 pages in I just was not feeling it. The book introduced a brand new human character that I did not give a rat's ass about, and the plot wasn't grabbing me. I chalked it up to just not being in the right mood for it, but now it's been a few years and I haven't felt the desire to pick it up again.

The Queen's Thief series. Adventure/Fantasy tales in an Ancient Greek-like setting. I enjoyed the first book, and I've heard from multiple sources that the subsequent books are even better, but it's been so long since I've read book 1 that my interest has waned, and while I certainly haven't ruled out finishing the series, it's not on my "get to soon" TBR-- which means there's a real chance I'll never get to it at all.

Graceling trilogy by Kristin Cashore. Feminist second-world Fantasy. I liked book 1, but not as much as I'd expected to... but I now strongly suspect that was mainly due to really not digging the audiobook production of it. If I do read the next 2 books, I will be reading paper copies rather than listening.

To All the Boys I Loved Before companion duology by Jenny Han. Light contemporary Romance. The main character was appropriately immature, but she didn't grow enough over the course of the book to keep my old-ass self from being annoyed with her behavior and choices. Book 1 ends on a cliffhanger, but it was still a satisfying enough ending for me. Still, I could see myself picking up book 2 some day if I'm in the mood for a zippy YA love story I can read in a few hours and that won't challenge me much.

Fire and Thorns trilogy by Rae Carson. I appreciated a lot about book 1-- the Hispanic-influenced Fantasy culture, the heroine's struggles with her weight, the beginnings of a slow-burn love story based in mutual respect-- but then I read like 25 pages of book 2, and my reaction to the big event that kicks off the novel was that I could have sworn I had read the exact same scene in book 1. I had no desire to continue, so I put it down. But now I keep reading reviews touting the awesomeness of this trilogy, so I haven't given up on the idea that I might pick it up again some day.


Kingkiller Chronicles series by Patrick Rothfuss. I loved The Name of the Wind, but then I read a few highly disparaging reviews of book 2 (the argument was that the main character's Mary Sue-ness becomes intolerable), and it made me wary of committing to such a long book. Also, there's a ginormous gap between books, so I'm not feeling any urgency.

Liaden Universe series by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. This is a Science Fiction Romance series with a fanatical fan base. I enjoyed the first book I read (Agent of Change-- probably the most well-known and oft-recommend one), but then tried to back up and read the series from the beginning, and I thought the next book I read was... not that good, on a lot of levels. It's left me iffy about giving it another try.

Goddess Summoning series by P.C. Cast. Six-book Fantasy Romance series that are retellings of myths and fairy tales. I think the first one I read was the strongest of the books, which had the unfortunate effect of leaving me slightly disappointed by the others. By the time I read book 4, I was getting fed up with how formulaic they are. But I'm not saying never again, because they are fun reads.


Sex Criminals. I book Vol. 1 to give to a relative for Christmas, and read it first (tacky, I know). I liked it, but apparently not enough to get Vol. 2 from interlibrary loan. If it popped up in my face I would read it, though.

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. It's fun and light and ridiculous, and I've read 3 volumes so I'm obviously not saying no to it, but nor am I going out of my way to get more. I'll continue to read it if I  stumble across it at the library.

Web Comics:

Vattu. I loved this when I was reading through the archives, but lately the story's been feeling unstructured to me. I think this is down to the comic updating less frequently rather than any actual flaw in it. My new approach is going to be to just check in with it 2-3 times a year.

Dicebox. Same story as Vattu.

Namesake. I was madly in love with this comic for a while, but the last chapter has been a bunch of metaphysical worldbuilding mumbo-jumbo that I have not been feeling. I'm sticking with it, but with a more skeptical attitude than before.


  1. Again, the overlap is remarkable. A couple of points, though: The Queen's Thief gets better and better. The first one was fine, didn't thrill me; the second one THRILLED me. You will LOVE the second book, and the third, seriously, guaranteed. The fourth is kind of meh--I loved it because I wasn't just in it for the clever, but 2 and 3 are so insanely clever, I swear.

    And for all that there's plenty problematic to talk about in Wise Man's Fear, you should read it. It's not unflawed, but its awesomeness carries it smoothly over the rough waters of its problematicness (problemattitude? problems.)

    I am bad at series. I can't read them all in a row, so I put them off and never come back to them because the list is so damned long. Still, it's always nice to know that there's more waiting from my favorite authors about my favorite characters.

  2. Ha, I was just going to say the same thing as Sharon! Go pick up The Queen of Attolia! I think it's my favorite of all of them, and doesn't require rereading The Thief at all, really.

    With C.S. Lewis, my favorites were always The Magician's Nephew (because it's Narnia prehistory!) and The Horse and His Boy (although I'm not sure I've read it as an adult understanding about the Orientalism and racism, so that might change things). And those are kind of stand-alone-y, since it's not about the same characters even though it's the same world.