This is the third part of my post about all the series of books that I've started and haven't finished yet. Part 1 is here and part 2 is here.
Author: James Clavell
I didn't do my research properly, so my list of series is out of order. Nooooo. More to the point, Shogun is a pretty great book. It's not perfect, and I thought the love story was really missing heat, but the book couldn't fail to be awesome since it's set in feudal Japan i.e. there are totally samurai in this book. But the rest of the series is set all over the place in Asia (Japanese POW camp, Hong Kong, Iraq) and in time, meaning that the coolest things about Shogun probably don't carry over to the rest of the series.
Will I Finish It? I definitely liked the first book enough that I'd be willing to read more by James Clavell, so I might cherry pick some of the other books in the series. I won't decide whether I'll read the whole thing until then.
The Looking Glass Wars
Author: Frank Beddor
If The Wicked Years is a gritty reboot of Oz, The Looking Glass Wars is a gritty reboot of Wonderland, in which Alice is actually a princess of Wonderland, struggling to save it from the tyrannical rule of her Aunt Redd. While the first two books are occasional victims of excessive cleverness and I-see-what-you-did-there, they're still pretty enjoyable to read.
Will I Finish It? There's only one book to go, and lots that I'm curious (and curiouser!) about, so I'll definitely be picking up the final book.
The Lost Years of Merlin
Author: T. A. Barron
This series is the origin story of Merlin (of Arthurian fame, maybe you've heard of him). I read the first several books during my teen fantasy binges, and I love King Arthur almost/exactly as much as I love Robin Hood, so there's that.
Will I Finish It? I'm not sure. Like so much that I read when I was a teenager, I'm not sure if these books were actually good or not. It's on the backburner, anyway.
Author: Larry Niven
I read Ringworld four or five years ago and it was amazing. From what I remember, a man, a girl, and two aliens take a spaceship out to investigate a mysterious ring built around a star and awesomeness ensues. In the introduction to the edition I read, Niven mentioned how he wrote the sequel, Ringworld Engineers because a bunch of insane (or awesome, I can't decide which) people called him on his bad physics. WHAT. Anyway, the female character who is bred for luck is a really cool concept, I love love love megastructures, and the rah rah engineers aspect of the series scratches my professional pride.
Will I Finish It? I'm not sure that I want to read all four books, but Ringworld Engineers is on my reading list for sure.
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Before you say anything, I read the first Twilight book so that I could put my money where my mouth was in terms of ridiculing the series. Having done that, it was extremely obvious why teenage girls love these books: the first one was a slightly more polished version of the story I myself was writing over and over again when I was about 15, where the attractive troubled boy is drawn to the quiet, unremarkable girl, and loves her forever and ever.
Will I Finish It? I hardly think this needs to be asked. One book was enough.
The Warlord Chronicles
Author: Bernard Cornwell
My flute teacher (really) lent me the first of this historical fiction trilogy about King Arthur, and it goes right where King Raven goes wrong in terms of trying to put a realistic spin on a legend. The first two books have really influenced my ideas of ancient battles, at the very least (e.g. how keen a horse might be to break a line of spears, or the problem of corpses). However, I never quite managed to finish the third book.
Will I Finish It? I will, I'm just not sure when I'll get around to it.
Various YA series
While lots of other people were apparently reading awesome stuff during childhood, by the likes of Roald Dahl and Judy Blume, I feel like I mostly read garbage mass market paperback series like the Sweet Valley Twins, its variants e.g. Sweet Valley High, the Babysitters Club, its variants e.g. Babysitter's Little Sister, and Nancy Drew Mysteries (I actually have zero regrets about Nancy Drew and I'm planning to devote a whole post to her one of these days). Now that I'm thinking about it, I wasn't just reading terrible things when I was a kid, and maybe I should do a post about my “formative books,” too...
Will I Finish It? I got most of these terrible books from a library trailer (not sure what this should actually be called) that stopped by my street each week, and basically had to get whichever books from these series that they happened to have, so I never read the entire things. At this point, that's ok with me, though. I won't be revisiting any of them anytime soon.
...TO BE CONCLUDED...