A Series of Posts About Series - Part 2

This is the second part of my post about all the series of books that I've started and haven't finished yet. Part 1 is here.

Author: Isaac Asimov

This series is the first one where I became keenly aware of the difference between writing order and chronological order (I'm one of those people who thinks The Magician's Nephew should be read before The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe). The original Foundation trilogy is an sf classic, and psychohistory, the mathematical method of predicting the future, is in it, fully formed (although the book itself carries a lot of 50s weirdness, like how there isn't a single woman in the entire thing, if I recall correctly). Prelude to Foundation, which wasn't written until much later, tells the story of how Hari Seldon develops psychohistory in the first place, and of course I read it first because it comes first chronologically. As much as I love Isaac Asimov, Foundation the book was kind of a weird step down after that.

Will I Finish It? Contrary to everything I just said, I do still want to read the last two books in the original trilogy, but I'm not sure whether I'll read any of the other newer books. I'm fairly certain that Asimov has other works that are worth checking out first.

Gemma Doyle
Author: Libba Bray

This YA trilogy caught my eye thanks to the corset on the first book's cover (I am being serious right now). Gemma Doyle is a student at a girls' school that isn't quite what it seems i.e. there is magic involved. Not a very demanding read, and it falls victim to what I like to call the Historical Tomboy trope, where the main character is especially rebellious against gender roles of her time. (This is an exceptionally irritating trope in modern fantasy, but that's another topic for another time.) Still, Gemma's a likeable character and fun to follow around.

Will I Finish It? I'll probably pick up the final book in the trilogy sooner rather than later. The books read quickly and I'm interested to see how the story will end.

Green Rider
Author: Kristen Britain

Not to be too hard on Kristen Britain, but I think Green Rider was one of the last "conventional" fantasy books that I read in high school, before my frustration with the genre resulted in my rejection of most of its offerings. The series is about a young girl who becomes a sort of royal messenger, but the first book (the only one I read) isn't written very well, with strange character tics (the main character tucking strands of hair behind her ears, which happened so frequently that I still remember it now) in place of real characterization. Credit where it's due, though, Britain clearly knows more about wilderness survival that just about any other author.

Will I Finish It? This is one series I definitely won't be returning to. It's possible that the later books improve, but I'm just not the target audience for this kind of book anymore.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Author: Douglas Adams

Believe it or not, I had never heard of Douglas Adams before I read his obituary in 2001. I read the first Hitchhiker's Guide book that summer, and moved on to one or two of its sequels shortly after. At that point I'd been reading Pratchett for a couple of years already, though, and I found I liked Adams less, so I abandoned the series.

Will I Finish It? These books deserve another chance, considering their place in the geek canon (hence why I haven't even bothered to tell you what they're about). I'll get back to them eventually, for sure, but I still haven't decided whether I'll read Eoin Colfer's conclusion of the series.

The Inheritance Cycle
Author: Christopher Paolini

Probably the best example of derivative fantasy on this list, this is the story of a boy and his dragon, with clear Star Wars and LOTR parallels scattered throughout. I read the first three books at my brother's prompting, and the final book of the series, Inheritance, has finally been published.

Will I Finish It? There are tons of problems with these books, but my completionism means I really want to see how they'll end, so yes, I'm going to finish the series.

King Raven
Author: Stephen R. Lawhead

I love Robin Hood with probably most of my heart, and I'd enjoyed Lawhead's book The Iron Lance as a teenager, so I recommended the first book in this trilogy, Hood, to a friend of mine, and borrowed it after she read it. Unfortunately, further reading seems to indicate that Lawhead is excessively Christian, and his "historical" Robin Hood isn't close enough in tone to the legend, or adept enough in distinguishing itself.

Will I Finish It? Nope. I struggled through the last two books of Lawhead's Celtic Crusades trilogy, and I'm not really interested in reading anything else written by him.

Little Women
Author: Louisa May Alcott

When I talked about my love of unicorns in Part 1, I mentioned how that love had some pretty clear origins in movies and tv. Well. I can trace probably about 75% of my personality to Little Women (the book, not the unofficial trilogy). My early gleanings on everything from sisterhood, writing, friendship, romance, goodness, etc. etc. ad nauseam come straight from this book, and all of that has stuck with me to this day. I read Little Men a bit later, but I don't think I ever made my way to Jo's Boys. Anyway, you might imagine my absolute horror when I found out about a year ago that my copy of Little Women, which used to belong to my mom, is actually an abridged edition. What.

Will I Finish It? Most definitely. Of course, I need to get a full edition of the first book somewhere, and then I'll be diving in for sure.


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