Hello friends! A few years ago I’ve gotten really, and I mean really, tired of cliffhangers, and ever since then the amount of on-going series I’m following has dwindled to a small number. Instead I’ve been overwhelmingly turning to “older” series that are fully published, and I’ve gotten somewhat addicted to reading them all at once. There’s something so satisfying in knowing that if a book ends with a cliffhanger I can immediately jump into its sequel without having to wait months, or even years for the next installment.
Also, being the forgetful potato I am, I frequently struggle with remembering details from the previous book(s) of a series. How much I can recall from a book depends on what kind of an impact it had on me, but even my most beloved series, The Diviners for one, aren’t exempt from containing scenes and details I’ve effectively forgotten. Because of these reasons – and also to give backlist titles some love – I definitely recommend reading older series.
In today’s post I’ve brought you four series that I’ve read recently (well, more or less recently) – some I loved, some I gave up on, but all of them are available for you right now if they float your boat. Hope you’ll enjoy getting to know these book series.
Before you get started, beware that I’m kind of.. mean in this post!? I don’t know what the heck was up with me when I originally penned it, but I’ve just finished editing it, and even though I tried to make it better, friends, I was bitter about some of these titles. *hides*
Please be aware: this post includes discussion of self-harm in The Queen of the Tearling section!
The Elemental Trilogy by Sherry Thomas
🌸 I read it mostly because I heard to ship was swoon-worthy, and I’m sorry mates, but y’all failed me- this was not what I was promised. 😭 Don’t get me wrong, the ship wasn’t awful at all – Iolanthe and Titus (those names, I cannot) had multiple great scenes, but even after three books I felt like they, as well as their relationship, weren’t well developed.
🌸 I could not for the life of me decide if the problem was me, or if the novel did, indeed, have some plot-holes. I don’t even think I’m that perceptive or critical when it comes to inconsistencies, but oh boy, some of the things here were impossible to ignore.
🌸 I really liked what Sherry Thomas did with the ‘chosen one’ trope – it happens to be one of my least favorite tropes (unless there’s a valid reason why someone becomes the chosen one) but it was used in an enjoyable and new way in The Elemental Trilogy.
🌸 Recommended? Not particularly. While it had some good parts , The Elemental Trilogy was pretty mediocre – I don’t believe I’d have missed out on anything had I not read it. That said, I did finish the whole trilogy, and would rate it between a 3 and a 4, so if it strikes you as something you’d love? Go for it!
Shadow and Bone Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo
🌸 I wasn’t going to read Shadow and Bone – I was spoiled about the romance, and multiple other things, and I heard pretty mediocre things about it. But because everyone was hyping up King of Scars and saying it’s necessary to read the Shadow and Bone trilogy to fully enjoy that, I caved in and borrowed my friends’ copies. Man, do I regret that decision!
🌸 Similarly to The Elemental Trilogy, Shadow and Bone is not terrible; but it starts on a much lower note than the aforementioned trilogy.
🌸 It feels very mediocre and unoriginal; although the magic systems is interesting and cool, the plot, the characters, and even their relationships all feel like things that have been done before. Bardugo obviously developed a lot as an author between this and Six of Crows, as the latter is (imo) far superior in all the aspects I’ve mentioned.
🌸 I felt like Bardugo was unsure where to take these characters and any development (both positive and negative) we’ve seen from them came seemingly out of nowhere. And don’t even get me started on the supporting cast – lots of filler characters, lots of people who seemed VERY interesting, but were never properly developed.
🌸 Recommended? Nope. I haven’t yet read King of Scars, so I can’t tell you if this clusterfuck is worth reading for that, but I can say it wasn’t worth reading for me. At this point I don’t even want to read KoS, because Nikolai just did not impress me all that much. Sorry?
🌸 Related post: My Problems with the Romance in Shadow and Bone
Darkest Powers Trilogy by Kelley Armstrong
🌸 Well hell, I did not expect to love this as much as I did, but here we go, friends, this is an honest to god positive review in all this negativity. I know, wow. Also! This was a reread for me – I’m working on a post, and needed this for it – but I went into it thinking I’d not enjoy it, as I was a teen when I first read it. Surprise, surprise, I found this spectacular.
🌸 I have a soft spot for the found family trope, and I bloody love when characters are forced to work together and, despite their dislike for each other, end up becoming a family. Melts my heard every. time.
🌸 I surprisingly really liked the romance! There’s a love triangle in the making, but it never quite gets the chance to become one, and it’s handled very realistically, in my opinion. I remembered this from when I first read the trilogy, but I was worried – mostly because I recalled one of the male leads being very bossy, and was afraid the relationship would feel toxic. Thankfully, that’s not the case – at least in my opinion – he tries to control everyone in an attempt to protect them, but Chloe and the rest of the gang call him out, and there’s a lot of listening and learning during the series.
🌸 Recommended? Absolutely, although beware: it definitely has an ‘early-YA’ feel to the series, and it’s not exactly the most twist-y and shocking thing you’ll read.
The Queen of the Tearling Trilogy by Erika Johansen
🌸 Buckle up, kids, we’re heading into rant territory. I got The Queen of the Tearling trilogy from the library expecting to be mesmerized, and I was! At least up to a point. The first book was a solid four star read, and I was excited for the rest of the series; however, it all went downhill in the second book.
🌸 But first, the good things! I loved how the heroine didn’t just plan to do things, and talked about making changes, but actually fought for change. She was very dedicated to serving her people, to becoming a worthy queen, and I enjoyed the hell out of how she developed during the first book.
🌸 I hated the self-harm plot of the second book – I’ve never self-harmed, and yet it was incredibly hard to read those scenes. And not just those scenes, there were a few other scenes where I felt like the heroine was intentionally working against herself, and doing things that will damage her mental health in the long run. It was tiring and frustrating to read this, so I abandoned the trilogy during the second book. That said, I’m not qualified to call the self-harm problematic or bad rep, it was simply hard to read for me.
🌸 Recommended? Not really. When I was trying to decide if I should DNF I checked the reviews for the final book, and saw that many (maybe most?) readers were dissatisfied with how things end. I decided to spoil the ending for myself, and I didn’t like it at all, so my decision was made.
Do you like to wait between the novels of a series, or do you prefer to read them all at once? Have you read any of these series? Do you plan to? What are your favorite and least favorite series so far this year?