Top Ten Tuesday: Series I'd Like to Try Out

Series tend to be hard on the reader, thanks to the necessary but painful delay between releases, which is often exacerbated by an authorial penchant for mean cliffhangers. Because the extended page count allows for development of a world and characters that standalone novels rarely match, however, I do love a good series when I can find it.

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I'm always, therefore, questing after something to shelve in the high honors section with Narnia and The Wheel of Time and Harry Potter. Here are some of the next few I've considered trying.

1. The Anna-Lola-Isla series by Stephanie Perkins. I've had thoughts of picking up Anna and the French Kiss for well over a year now, and have been stuck between the appeal—Paris! Quirky heroine! Probable good writing!—and a hesitation based on having had very mixed experiences with what reviewers and marketers label as 'cute, light romances' (frequent translation: "meh") and 'sexy heroes' (usual translation: "described with a bald and uncompelling fixation on pectoral muscles.") The book looks like fun, though. I'll read it. If I like it, maybe I'll try Lola and the Boy Next Door.

2. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. Arabella has been trying to convince me to read these for months, and I've delayed because cyborgs and dystopians generally don't interest me. Good worldbuilding and characters do, however, as do fairy tale retellings—so on the hope of all that, I mean to give Cinder a read.

3. The Shannara books by Terry Brooks. There's nothing I love more than a good epic fantasy, and this is one all fantasy fans are supposed to have read, so it's long past time I give Brooks his due.

4. The Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson. I appreciated his finish of The Wheel of Time; now I'd like to see what he does with his own stories.

5. The Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey. People keep telling me it's great.

6. The Fair Godmother books by Janette Rallison. I never seem to tire of Cinderella retellings.

7. The Princess Diaries books by Meg Cabot. I loved the (first) movie so much that I've been afraid to read the books it was adapted from. Yes, I know that's heresy. At any rate, I ought to track down the original Mia Thermopolis and read her tale.

8. The Books of Pellinor by Allison Croggon. This one's been on my definitely-to-read list for a couple of years. I need to reference my to-read list more often when hunting out books, that's all.

9. The series beginning with Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi. I hear it has a gentle protagonist, which is one of my favorite things to find.

10. The Dark is Rising sequence by Susan Cooper. A series with a Potteresque storyline, but published about thirty years before Harry. It's one I've been meaning to read since forever, but see Pellinor.

What have I missed? And what series are you interested in picking up?


  1. Oh, please read The Lunar Chronicles ASAP. Believe the hype! And I must confess, I think Scarlet is even better. I loved Anna, but couldn't get into Lola. I will give Ilsa a try though. The Dark is Rising is a quick read. I read them as an adult and got sucked right in. http://wp.me/pzUn5-1r2

  2. The Dragonriders of Pern is great but it's also one of those series that went on a lot longer than it probably should've. McCaffrey and her son have basically covered Pernese history to death. So, if you're open to some recommendations, I would recommend reading the first trilogy which is Dragonflight, Dragonquest, and The White Dragon. Also the Harper Hall trilogy which is Dragonsong, Dragonsinger, & Dragondrums. Also Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern & a subsidiary story to that called Nerilka's Story.

    That's what I would consider the basic corpus of Pern & the best books of the series. Then if you like them & want to go further, there's the other thirty or so books in the series.

  3. The Mistborn series is one I want to get to one of these days.

    Regarding Shannara, again a plethora of books in the series. I've only read the first two, The Sword of Shannara & The Elfstones of Shannara. First one is highly derivative of Tolkien but not necessarily in a bad way.

    Regarding the Books of Pellinor by Croggon, I've only read the first one. Again highly derivative of Tolkien but not necessarily in a good way. I mean, it was a decent read & all but not that great, IMO.

    1. Thanks for the details on all these series! I've yet to come across something I felt was obviously derivative of Tolkien, so I'm half tempted to try Shannara just to see what that's like. :P

      Thirty books in the Pern series! I'll never get through that many. Not unless I turn out to love it like WoT... I'm therefore very open to suggestions, and would probably start with the first trilogy. :)

    2. Yeah, I just counted. There's close to thirty plus some short stories. :)

  4. Anna and the French Kiss wasn't as good to me as everyone made it out to be. It wasn't bad, it just didn't blow me away. The Lunar Chronicles is definitely worth it though. Just finished Scarlet this past week. Under the Never Sky is on my TBR list though.

    Check out my TTT.

    Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know

  5. Oh yeah, you should totally read Cinder and Scarlet. Science fiction and dystopians are something I enjoy either, but these books are amazing. You will not be disappointed.

    Also, I love Anna and Lola. Well, I liked Anna more, but Lola is great too. There's wonderful character development.

  6. I need to read Under the Never Sky too. I keep hearing amazing things. Great list.

  7. Great list! I love the Pern books, and the Dark is Rising sequence too! George (above) is right about the Pern books; I would add that it can take a while to get into the first one, and that my favorites are the first two Harper Hall books (Dragonsong and Dragonsinger) and The White Dragon.

    Cinder was a lot of fun, and neat worldbuilding as well.

    I read Sword of Shannara around the time when it came out (and doesn't that date me?!) and found it, at the time, incredibly derivative of Tolkien, who was almost the only epic fantasy to be derivative of at the time. The Shannara books have been popular, though, and that many readers can't be wrong (can they?), so maybe I ought to try them again.

    I'm not familiar with the Fair Godmother series, but like you, I'm a sucker for fairy tale retellings. I just added them to my TBR list. And I'm with you on the Princess Diary books -- I've been avoiding them on the same principle. Let me know what you think; maybe I should change my mind.

    It looks like we have several things in common, from taste in books to favorite characters to a love of music. I'll be following your blog via Blogger!

    1. Sweet, another musician! :D OK, consider yourself followed.

      Good to know all the details. I figure I at least have to give Shannara a try; if it doesn't take, ah well. And I'll almost certainly review the Princess Diaries if and when I read them... here's hoping they're awesome, because I still love that movie, for all I'm far from being a tween myself. ;)

  8. Late to this, but I thought the Princess Diaries books were hilarious and much better than the films. Not fairy tale-ish as is the film, though, be ye warned.

    After reading LotR and Prydain I tried the first Shannara book and thought it was awful; I never finished it. Perhaps I wasn't generous enough, but it was as if Brooks just ripped off Tolkein in the most blatant paint-by-numbers way, with no originality whatsoever to balance that. Perhaps you'll enjoy it or not; the only way to tell is to try it.

    I've not tried Under the Never Sky; the description has putme off. So I'll be interested to hear if it's good.



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