Top 10 Tuesday: Series I’d Like to Finish or Continue with Someday

This week’s TTT topic is: book series I’ve given up on. I had a think about this for a little bit and since I didn’t feel comfortable including any series where I only read the first book before going, nah, not for me, I was running a bit short on selections. Instead I’m going with Jana’s (That Artsy Reader Girl) provided alternative which is: series I’d still like to finish someday. To give myself some more options, I’m also including series I want to continue with at some point. For me, this means the series hasn’t finished being written yet but I’m a little behind on it.

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The Lunar Chronicles – Marissa Meyer

I only started this series last year so it’s definitely not the oldest unfinished one on my shelves. At this point I’ve only got one book to go, Winter, which is relatively sizeable. I’ve been really enjoying it so far, mostly because the characters are strong, different, funny, AND ethnically diverse, which is always great. It’s a really well done fairytale retelling series but there’s still a lot of originality which keeps it feeling fresh, fun and surprising.


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The Inheritance Cycle – Christopher Paolini

It feels like I’ve had only one book left in this series FOREVER. Oh wait, it actually has been forever. I’ve reread books one and two quite a few times over the years, and read book three once, but for some reason I never make it all the way through. I get busy, or distracted, or something. I’m determined to get there though, it will happen! Watch out Eragon & Saphira, I’m coming for you…eventually.


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The Mortal Instruments – Cassandra Clare

I gave up on this series after reading City of Fallen Angels years ago because it was so annoyingly bad. The problem is, I now really want to read The Dark Artifices and after reading about 180 pages into Lady Midnight, I found myself fairly lost. Then I realised some of the characters and backstory had been introduced in City of Heavenly Fire. I’m sure you can see where this going. So yes, I’m going to reread the first four books, finish the rest of the series and then finally make my way back to Lady Midnight. Lord save me from death by Clace angst.


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The Raven Cycle – Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Cycle is one of those series that I felt pressured to read because of the amount of love the books get online. I found The Raven Boys a bit of an average read. It had it’s moments, but the tone and plot was always slightly odd. However, still I persisted – I mean, people LOVE these books, right? I had to be missing something. This idea pushed me through the next two entries in the series and unfortunately I still don’t fully get the crazy level of devotion people have to them. However, because of all my answered questions, as well as the amount of time I’ve now invested, I feel like I have to finish it all off by reading The Raven King, so that’s what I’ll do.


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Mistborn Trilogy – Brandon Sanderson

I read The Final Empire a few years ago back when I was at university and quite enjoyed it. The magic system was really original, the characters were interesting, the book got me with a twist about two thirds in, and I really loved the idea of the hero defeating the villain only to become one. I’ve had the second book for a while but haven’t been in the mood to read it yet. I’d definitely like to in the future though.


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The Grisha Trilogy – Leigh Bardugo

Originally, after finishing Shadow and Bone I had intended not to read anymore of this series. Mostly because the plot felt a little mediocre and I found the idea of Mal as Alina’s love interest extremely boring. However recently I’ve been thinking that I might finish the series after all. This is in large part due to the fact that I’d like to get a proper introduction to Nikolai (everyone seems to adore him) so that if I end up wanting to read King of Scars, I’ll be able to do so.  I also happen to be a fan of The Darkling as a villain so if I keep going, I’ll get some more development with him too.


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Poison Study Series – Maria V. Synder

I read Poison Study a long time ago now, we’re talking way back, when I was in mid high school. At the time it seemed like another series I didn’t think I would continue with. Like the Grisha books though, recently I’ve been seriously considering going back to it. It seems weird but I think that now, having gotten a bit older and read more widely, I’d enjoy the book a lot more than I first did. Guess the only way to find out is a re-read.


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Outlander Series – Diana Gabaldon

This is the first series on my list that isn’t actually complete yet, although it’s about eight books plus several novellas and spin offs in already. These are really long novels at around a thousand pages each so they do take a fair amount of time to get through, which means you really need to be in the mood. I took a break after reading Drums of Autumn as it wasn’t exactly my favourite in the series and I’ve heard that the next one, The Fiery Cross is the low point in the books before they very successfully pick up again. The motivation isn’t there right now, but it will be further down the line.


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A Song of Ice & Fire Series – George RR Martin

This is another series which is still many years off being finished and one in which each installment is extremely chunky, requiring motivation and concentration. When I began these a few years ago I read several very close together and burnt myself out a little about two hundred pages into A Feast for Crows. I’d like to go back to the series some day but not right now. However, considering the pace at which Martin writes, I can probably take as much time as I need.


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Red Sparrow Trilogy – Jason Matthews

I enjoyed the first book in this series a lot more than I thought I would when I read it a few months back (even with the constant references to Dominika’s clothing). I don’t read a lot of espionage or thrillers so it’s nice to have something different on occasion. After the end of book two, I’d like to continue on with the series and see where it leads.Divider

Which series do you have plans on reaching the end of soonish (or sort of soonish, or maybe even just before you die)?

Are there any series that you’ve given up on part way through because they declined in quality?

Love Ashley

 

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Top 10 Tuesday: My Favourite Series

Recently I stumbled upon an old video by book vlogger, Christine Riccio, in which she was talking through her top ten favourite book series. Suddenly I thought, you know what, why don’t I do that as a Top Ten Tuesday topic? (I mean, I never seem to do the set topics like I’m supposed to anyway…)

Of course, then I realised that picking my favourite series is actually ridiculously hard and involves a lot of questions of ‘would I rather read this or that’? And, ‘is it how I feel about the series now or are we going retrospective here’? Decisions, decisions… *shakes head* Anyway, so these are the ten I’ve ended up with and to my surprise there’s actually a lot of books I’ve only discovered in the last two years.

So the rules are simple:

  1. The series must consist (or will consist once they’re all released) of at least three books. That means no duologies – sorry, Six of Crows.
  2. I must have read at least two books in the series for it to count.

Sounds simple enough right?

Of course it’s not bloody simple. Being a bookworm is NEVER simple, I tell ya. But regardless, here they are, in no particular order (because having to do it like that might actually kill me):

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As if you didn’t see this coming. HP is my favourite series of all time. I could read these every year until the day I die and still not get sick of them (…probably). I’m not sure if it’s because I grew up with them but they’re still just as good as the first time. Every time I read them, I laugh, fall into the pits of sadness, and experience that strange sense of wonder that only the magic of Harry Potter can provide. These are the ultimate comfort books and one day, if I ever have kids, I’ll be cracking out my illustrated editions to hopefully instil the same love and appreciation in them.

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Ah, VA. You have such a terrible name and teenager-y covers and yet, the wonders you hold inside… I’ve read this series so many times and I love it. Love, love, LOVE it. So many vampire books from this period slowly became cliché or lost their “sparkle” as I aged (get it? I made a terrible Twilight joke) but these ones are still gold.  Rose remains one of my favourite protagonists, I adore the friendship between Rose and Lissa, there’s an adequate amount of kicking ass, and the dialogue is still hilarious. Plus, I’ll likely ship Rose & Dimitri til the day I die. In other words, it’s the perfect recipe for a great series as far as I’m concerned.

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My discovery from 2017 and I AM SO HAPPY ABOUT IT. Book three doesn’t come out until later this year but good things come to those who wait. The series has a unique, amusing and sometimes brash narrator, world building based on ancient Rome, an absolute bad-ass main character in Mia, and really interesting magical elements.  Godsgrave was the first sequel in a while that I was desperately keen to get my hands on the day and minute it came out (and I wasn’t disappointed!), and I feel like that adequately sums up my love for these books.

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Ah, Schwaby. Your novels make my little bookish heart sing. I adore the characters, world building, magic, and storytelling. Her writing is fantastic and I love it so much that I can’t wait to read them all again without having to wait in between novels.  This series has parallel universes, powerful magics, charismatic pirates, a thief, racially and sexually diverse characters, and an exciting plot in every book. Adventuring with Kell, Rhy, Lila and Alucard is where it’s at, guys.

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I fell in love with this series when I was about ten years old and it’s still one of my favourites. Sure, it has a lot of stuff I now know to be fantasy tropes but I don’t really care. Alanna is the definition of a strong female MC – willing to spend years as a boy just to become a knight. There’s a love triangle with a prince and a thief, a war,  a conniving magician after the throne, quests to far off places, magical artefacts, goddesses, and well, everything my fantasy loving heart desires. Better yet, the books are super short and perfect for reading in an afternoon when you’re stuck at home.

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Yep, I’m a cookie cutter YA fantasy fan. I ain’t ashamed  of it. You guys know all about this one, I’m sure. This series re-interested me in faerie stories. While book one was a bit average, books two and three are fantastic. The fantasy world is well developed, all of the major characters are fleshed out and loveable, there’s a strong and emotionally realistic female protagonist, and the romance is gradually built up and balanced. There’s magic (which I’m always a sucker for), battles, betrayals, many, many couples to ship, and emotional turmoil. Definite winner.

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The newest addition to this list. I actually had to make some modifications to my original draft because I knew I needed this one on here. For the first 50 or so pages of RR I was so bored but then we hit Darrow’s transformation from red to gold and I was hooked. Space battles, squabbling and politics between powerful families, revenge vendettas, a group of rebels determined to overthrow a cruel regime, friendships and betrayals, gasp worthy twists, just everything really. Impossible to put down sci-fi.

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Okay, I’ll admit, I still haven’t read the last book in this series – I WILL GET THERE! I’ve read book 3 once and I’ve read books 1 & 2 a bazillion times. Once again this is another series I now know has a lot of fantasy tropes in it but don’t care. I love it. It’s the definitive dragons in fantasy series for me. Eragon and Saphira make the perfect team and I love nothing better than following them around Alegaesia in their quests to overthrow the evil  Galbatorix. There’s also amusing dwarf sidekicks, MORE magic and an awesome warrior-elf princesses. Just don’t talk to me about that travesty of a movie.

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This series is just so much fun. It’s funny, ridiculously action packed, and has actually managed to successfully get me with multiple plot twists. I mean, a hacker with pink hair, crazy AI, zombie-like outbreak, and an interstellar war. Who could say no to that? I’m really excited to get my hands on book three in March because I know it’s bound to be awesome. I also love the variations in writing style which are so different from the things I normally read and give the books a little something extra.

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Everyone needs a guilty pleasure series and this is mine. Richelle Mead is one of my favourite authors. She writes complex, witty female characters (which Georgina is, for sure), and she’s always able to make me laugh out loud. I’ll admit that this series does have a bit of a weak point around book four but overall it’s fun, sexy and really entertaining. But then again, what else would you expect of a series about a succubus?

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This was HARD okay. I just love too many books. AHHHH!! So two more bonus series just for fun.

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This isn’t a series for everyone – there’s a lot of information to take in about the world itself but if you can get past that, it’s fab. The story evolves quite a bit over time with different elements of the world and characters being fleshed out as you go along. Paige is a solid protagonist in her balance between strong and vulnerable, there’s an interesting magic system, and a good blend between the bigger stakes of the dystopian world with the issues of the criminal underworld.

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The good old Hunger Games. What can I say about this except that it’s a fantastic dystopian YA series with good world building, a strong protagonist, and a great concept. I’ve read these through several times and they’re still exciting reads that manage to drive knives through your gut (repeatedly) whilst still managing to give you some hope for the future.

Let’s Talk:

What are some of your favourite series? Are any of these in your top 10 or are you thinking about reading them some time soon?

Love Ashley

The Dim Sum Book Tag

I saw this on someone’s blog a little while back and thought it looked like fun. Then it popped up on Jessica (The Awkward Book Blogger)’s  blog the other day, and I knew I just had to give it a go (thanks Jessica)! I love dim sum and I love books, what a match made in heaven for my first book tag post.

The Dim Sum Book Tag is the brainchild of Joey @ Thoughts and Afterthoughts and Jenna @ Reading With Jenna. Dim sum is a style of Chinese cuisine in which food is served in small (tapas-like) portions and is common during yum cha (which means drinking tea). This tag is inspired by good company and good eats.

Rules:

Here are some rules to devour this tag:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you, linking back to their site
  2. Devour dim sum and answer the tag questions
  3. Tag five others to join your round table for some dim sum fun
  4. Food coma

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Tea: A book that started off hot but quickly turned cold

It (Stephen King): I wouldn’t say this one quickly turned cold because for the most part it was excellent, it just failed to stick the landing. For most of the book I was actually anxious at how scary some of it seemed and then all that went out the window with a really badly introduced sex scene and a silly explanation as to what IT was.


Chiu Chow Dumpling: A book that features elements of land and sea

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A Conjuring of Light (V. E. Schwab): I love this series, it’s one of my favourites of recent years. It took me a while to get into this instalment for some reason but by the time Kell, Lila and Alucard were sailing around in search of a certain item, I was definitely mesmerised again.


Rice Noodle Roll: A favourite multilayered character you’ve read (ex. traits? skills? morally ambiguous?)

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Kaz Brekkar – Six of Crows (Leigh Bardugo): I love a good anti-hero. It’s always wonderful to get a character that has layers, one that you’re not sure exactly what they’re going to do in a given situation. Kaz is exactly that. He has a heart, but it’s buried beneath a very carefully crafted façade, and he never fails to surprise me!


Shrimp Dumpling: A book with a transparent blurb that gives the story away.

I can’t think of anything I’ve read recently that’s done this however someone I know recently read The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu and they thought the blurb gave away massive late book spoilers.


Steamed BBQ Pork Buns: A book that is fluffy on the outside but packs a punch of flavor (ex. message? depth? controversy?)

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Pride & Prejudice (Jane Austen): Sure, the message is pretty evident from the title, but I’m going with it anyway. Wrapped up in a love story are two important ideas. First, we shouldn’t judge people based on their families, their wealth, first appearances, etc. It’s important to get to know them because they may surprise you. Second, we must not let pride and stubbornness get in the way of doing the right thing.

Side note, I love BBQ pork buns. If I could live off them without getting fat, I would.


Chicken Feet: A book with divided opinions

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Throne of Glass (Sarah J. Maas): I know so many people who adore this series and then others, like myself, who haven’t really been that impressed. The opinions have only gotten more divided as the series has gone on, particularly in regards to book 5.


Lotus-Wrapped Sticky Rice: A book you’ve received/given that was nicely packaged

To be honest, I’ve never received or given a book in anything other than your basic wrapping paper. I mean, sure I’ve had some nice wrapping paper, but nothing that sticks out in my memory. Plus, the stuff I wrap tends to look like a truck’s run over it so I doubt we’d classify that as nicely packaged. Clearly I need to up my game!


Egg Custard Tart: A book that uses simple ingredients and clichés but executes it perfectly.

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Eragon (Christopher Paolini): A lot of people would probably disagree with me on this, but I actually quite enjoy Eragon. It includes so many different fantasy tropes – the old and wise mentor, the chosen one, an evil ruler, a damsel to be rescued, and so on. Yet, I still think it’s a solid fantasy book. Maybe not “perfect” as the question says but pretty good!


Mango Pudding with Evaporated Milk: Any book recommendation + beverage/snack that’s a winning combination

I don’t usually eat while I read, mostly because I’m worried about getting anything on my books, but also because I’m really not coordinated enough to do both at same time. However, if I had to pick something, it’d probably be hot chocolate because what story couldn’t possibly go with hot chocolate?


Fried Sesame Balls: A book cover with embossed text/design you just love to run your fingers over.

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Uprooted (Naomi Novik): I love running my fingers over the gold ripples at the top. Also, it’s just generally an amazing looking cover.


Dim Sum Steam Cart: The type of carrying bag you use to bring books around.

To be honest I only really carry my books and kindle around inside my handbag. Super boring, I know. It’s of a reasonable size and made of brown leather. I’ve had it for several years now and it was a birthday gift from my aunt and uncle. It has heaps of space, looks great with everything and is super durable!

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Tag

I tag (all of which are wonderful blogs that you should check out if you haven’t already):

Azia @ The Uncharted World Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense | Wendy @ Birdie Bookworm | Jackie @ Too Much of a Book Nerd | Alice @ Arctic Books | Nicole @ Live Life Reading | Swetlana @ Reading Through the Nights | Taylor @ Mischievously Managed Books

Feel free to skip it if you’ve already done it (oops!), don’t do tags, or just generally don’t want to do it.

Also, if you’re feeling up for dim sum fun, I tag you too!

And…Food Coma!! *passes out*

Love Ashley