Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Series Thoughts, 2017: Series I Won't Be Finishing

Time to throw some shade!

Not really. As with last year's list, this is not necessarily a list of books I hated. Many I really enjoyed-- yet for whatever reason, I was not left with a desire to read more.

Again, I'll only be providing descriptions/rationalizations for new entries, in blue. If you want to hear more of my thoughts on the series that appeared on the 2016, check out last year's post.

And now, on with the countdown.

Series I Won't Be Finishing:

Middle Grade:

The Mysterious Benedict Society series by Trenton Lee Stewart.
The Song of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce.
Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery.
Sherlock Files series by Tracy Barrett.
The Edge Chronicles by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell.
Ember series by Jeanne DuPrau.
Roman Mysteries series by Caroline Lawrence.

Timmy Failure series by Stephan Pastis. This was on my "Series I'm Undecided About" list in 2016. is a very strange series about a very strange child. I've listened to 3 of the books on audio with The Son, but now he's reading them on his own and I don't see me continuing with the series.

Forbidden Library series by Django Wexler. This was also on my "Series I'm Undecided About" list in 2016. 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've decided not to continue.

Sisters Grimm series by Michael Buckley. two orphaned sisters move to a town inhabited by fairy-tale creatures, and learn about their family's role in managing the relationships between these creatures and the mundane world. The Son and I listened to the first book together. It was cute, but a little young for him, and he wasn't interested in going on with it.

Samurai Detective series by Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler. Historical Mystery series that takes place in feudal Japan. Again, we read book 1, and it was pretty good, but it now seems too young for where he's at, and I don't have enough interest to continue on my own.

100 Cupboards Series by N.D. Wilson. I really recommend this one. It's about a boy who goes to live with his aunt and uncle in Kansas, where he discovers a bunch of cupboard doors behind the wallpaper in his room. Each door leads to an alternate universe... but since they're small doors, he can't quite go through them. It's an intriguing tale, but I kept wait for the  library to get book 2 on audiobook-- which they never did-- and after a while enough time had passed that if I wanted to get it from ILL or something we'd need to go back and listen to book 1 again, and I wasn't willing to go to that much effort.

Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer. I have very mixed feelings about this one. Another series that was on my "Series I'm Undecided About" list in 2016, and then in January I put book 6 on my Series Challenge list for this year. I read the first few chapters of it, and... I just didn't care. I felt super guilty and weighed down by this big obligation to finish it, but was dreading having to read it, and then had an epiphany and realized it was ridiculous to expend energy on a series I don't care about when I am in the midst of reading FORTY-NINE other series.


Young Adult:

Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld.
If I Stay duology by Gayle Forman.
Cecelia and Kate series by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevener.
Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth.
City of Beasts trilogy by Isabel Allende.
Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series by Louise Rennison.
Princess Academy series by Shannon Hale.

Falling Kingdoms series by Morgan Rhodes. Buckle up, because I have some opinions. Last year, I went on a big booktube spree, and wound up discovering a bunch of wonderful YA books through watching the reviews. I saw so many glowing reviews for this epic Fantasy YA series, and became very eager to read it. I remember checking my library shelves every time I went, but it was always checked out. When I finally got my hands on it, I was appalled. The writing was terrible, the characters were paper-thin, the world was unconvincing, and there were giant logic fails all over the place. It's just bad-- like, "I'm shocked this got published" bad. I do not understand why so many reviewers whose taste I otherwise generally respect are so taken with it. Maybe it's just me?

Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. Bardugo's Six of Crows duology, set in the same world as this trilogy, was among the best and most dazzlingly original things I read in 2016. But this one failed to grab me. There's nothing wrong with it-- the writing is solid, the world is interesting, characters are well drawn-- but the plot was entirely predictable. Nothing surprised me, which meant I wasn't left with a desire to read on to see what more happens.

The Remnant Chronicles by Mary J. Pearson. YA Fantasy set in far-future North America. This is another series I heard a lot of raving reviews for, and while I didn't think it was bad (unlike Falling Kingdoms), I wasn't into it enough to want to continue past book 1.

Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness. Dark Science Fiction about a society on a colony planet in which all the men can hear each others' thoughts. Yet another series that was on my "Series I'm Undecided About" list in 2016. I've now decided to bite the bullet and admit I'm not finishing it.

To All the Boys I Loved Before trilogy by Jenny Han. And another series that was on my "Series I'm Undecided About" list in 2016. I just don't care enough to go on with it.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children trilogy by Ransom Riggs. Interesting YA Fantasy with a historical twist, about a troubled boy discovering the very strange nature of his beloved grandfather's troubled past. I liked book 1, but not as much as I'd expected I would. I'm glad I read it, but I'm not interested enough in the story to continue.


Adult:

Ender series by Orson Scott Card.
Fifty Shades of Grey series by E.L. James.
Tairen Soul series by C.L. Wilson.
Foundation series by Isaac Asimov.
Dune series by Frank Hebert.
Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde.
Hitchhiker's Guide series by Douglas Adams.
Ringworld series by Larry Niven.
Uplift series by David Brin.
Magicians trilogy by Lev Grossman.

Glamourist Histories by Mary Kowal Robinette. Regency with magic. It sounded like an adult version of Sorcery and Cecelia, which I adored. But... I didn't like book 1. I found it boring. The romance was underdeveloped, and I had a hard time swallowing that the magic wasn't used for anything practical.

The Rosie Project series by Graeme Simison. Contemporary "GuyLit" Romance about a fortyish professor with Asperger's, and his hilariously systematic search for love. I really loved the first book, but I was completely satisfied with the ending.

Goddess Summoning series by P.C. Cast. Fantasy Romance series that are retellings of myths and fairy tales. Fun for a book or two, but painfully formulaic for six. This was on my "Series I'm Undecided About" list in 2016, and I've decided to bag it.

Liaden Universe series by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. Sci-Fi Romance series. It never grabbed me like I expected. I was on the fence about this in 2016, but I'm accepting reality and giving it a pass after 2 books.

Me Before You duology by JoJo Moyes. Woman's Fiction/Romance about a rich paraplegic and the young woman who works as his caregiver. I read book 1 for book club and found the ending satisfying. I don't feel compelled to read more.

No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith. Mystery series set in Botswana. I thought book 1 was charming and fully intended to go with the series, but book 2 didn't hold my interest.

Eli Monpress series by Rachel Aaron. I feel bad about this one. I loved Aaron's Paradox trilogy (writing as Rachel Bach), and I also really liked book 1 of this Fantasy series about a charming thief in a world of magicians and spirits. Book 2 was on my Series Reading Challenge list for this year. But I was slogging through it, and it was frankly making me kind of dread having to read 3 more books in the series, so I've decided, with regret, to set it aside.

Finally, I read a ton of Contemporary Romance in May while I was working on my own romance-y thing. Most were the first books of series, and all but one I'm not continuing with. Most I thought were pretty decent examples of what they're trying to be; they're just not enough my thing to convince me to stick with them:

Portland Heat series by Annabeth Albert
Heartbreaker Bay series by Jill Shalvis
Silver Pines series by Gwen Hayes
Tumble Creek trilogy by Victoria Dahl
Belhaven series by Emily Foster
Opposites Attract series by Erin Nichols


Comics:

Sin City.

Swamp Thing.