July 26th: Series That Got Better
— We’ve talked about series that went downhill with each book, but talk about series that are worth pushing through the first (or first few…) books to get to the good stuff!
So I’m really new to the blogging community (if you don’t count GoodReads) and this is my first ever Top 5 Wednesday, so bear with me. I just want to start by saying that the first book in each of these series wasn’t bad necessarily, it’s just that the series got better and better as it went on. These are in no particular order.
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Celaena Sardothien is one of the best assassins in the world, but mixing with the wrong people landed her in a death camp where she should have spent the rest of her life. Instead, after a year-long stay in the camp, she is offered the deal of a lifetime: Compete for the chance to be the King’s Champion, and if she wins she will work for the King for a few years and then earn her freedom. She agrees, but the King doesn’t know that Celaena holds one of the biggest kept secrets and that it might just be his downfall.
This is literally my all-time favorite series so I might be prejudiced, AND I had the luxury of reading the series after the novellas were released so I already knew Celaena when I went into book one, so that may have made the series better for me–BUT I do admit that book one can come across vaguely boring and non-assassin-y. But fear not! When you end book five you will become part of the SJM Obsessed Psychotic Fangirl Cult that is this series.
Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton
First Book in the Anita Blake Series
Take a deep breath and PREPARE Yo’SELF for this (so far) 25 book long series. In this world, Vampires are “out of the coffin” and with them comes a slew of problems. Anita Blake is an Animator, a person with the ability to raise the dead, and a Vampire Slayer; dubbed “The Executioner”. She’s the one that gets to kill all the bad little vampires who break the law. This is a paranormal romance series, that looks at all the aspects of Anita’s life: her work with the police, her interactions with vampires, raising zombies, and all the problems that arise when you start to see the creatures you thought were evil as real people, and how it affects her choices. This is a really great example of a series with a morally gray MC, and honestly this book is just as much focused on killing, gore, and horror as the romance.
To me, this series started off okay, mainly focused on her police work and zombie raising, but I think this series got a lot better as it went on (especially as we got more Ted Forrester/Edward, amiright?) and it focused more on the relationships she develops with the vampire/shapeshifter community, the culmination of her power, and her moral dilemmas that she deals with when she kills.
Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
I’m sorry, but I literally have NO IDEA how to give a shortened synopsis on this series.
For me, the first two books were interesting, but I really wasn’t super invested (or so I thought). I don’t know when it happened, but sometime during book 3 it was just suddenly “HOLY CRAP THIS IS THE BEST THING SINCE SLICED BREAD”. I had been invested in the world and the politics, but I hadn’t really cared about the characters until book three, so this is definitely a good example.
Now I’ve got two series that are a little less well-known:
Dirty Blood by Heather Hildenbrand
It’s been a while since I read this series, so i’ll link the GoodReads description here.
This series was really good from the start, it’s one of those werewolf-y YA’s that is somehow not generic, but it just got better and better.
Death’s Hand by S.M. Reine
The first book in the very long Descentverse series.
This is the beginning to a very long story, that spans over NINE separate series. I never actually made it all the way through because I needed a chance of scenery but if you put in the effort it’s worth it, and I’ll definitely be finishing this series at a later date. It’s got werewolves and angels, Adam and Eve, betrayal and love, friendship and death; I mean literally everything. This was probably the first or second series I read when I first got my Kindle.