Bookish List

25 Sequels Challenge Wrap Up

Hi, it’s Sabrina!  About a year ago, I set myself a challenge to read 25 specific sequels before I turned 25.  And, well, here we are – I am turning 25 tomorrow!  So, today I thought I would talk you through all the sequels that I read from that challenge over the course of the year!  I did end up changing a few around due to circumstances out of my control, but I tried my best to stay true to my original plans.  Plans which, by the way, were not as strict as you might have expected, as you will probably notice in this post.  Overall, I’m happy with the way this challenge went – even though I didn’t technically complete it, I had a good go at it and got a lot of books that I wanted to read, read.  Now, let me tell you about those books!

*Even though I am only talking about sequels, there are no spoilers in this post!*

#2 in the Brown Sisters trilogy
⬆️ 4.75 stars
#3 in the Brown Sisters trilogy
⬆️ 5 stars
#1.5 in the Ravenswood series
⬇️ 4.75 stars

Take a Hint, Dani Brown, Act Your Age, Eve Brown and Damaged Goods by Talia Hibbert

Let’s start on a positive note! I read Get A Life, Chloe Brown at the beginning of last year and almost didn’t continue with the series because I didn’t love it but to my surprise, the sequels became instant favourites, as did Damaged Goods. There is one particular scene from Dani’s story that still makes my heart tense up when I think about it and I absolutely adored Dani and Zafir. But, as much as I loved them, something about Eve’s book worked a tiny little bit better for me – I think it was the humour. I was constantly grinning while reading that one! As for the novella, it was such a cozy, comforting story, even though it deals with some heavy topics.  I was often worried because there were so many opportunities for tropes that I hate, but the author subverted them at every turn.  I would read any number of novellas about the two featured characters!

Competence by Gail Carriger

#3 in the Custard Protocol series
⬇️ 1 star

Now to one of my bigger disappointments, if not the biggest disappointment, of this challenge 😦 While I love the Parasol Protectorate series by this author, I hadn’t loved the first two books in the Custard Protocol one as much, but I had still been enjoying them. All that changed with Competence which earned my first one star rating of the year and put me off of reading anything else by the author, at least for a good long while. It was extremely boring, possibly because a lot of it was spent in one character’s head. I also felt that it was very disrespectful to certain characters. And going back to my first statement – yeah, this was definitely the biggest disappointment of this challenge.

Only Ashes Remain by Rebecca Schaeffer

#2 in the Market of Monsters trilogy
⬆️ 4 stars

I was lucky to find a recap of the first book in this series online, but even if I hadn’t I think this sequel did a good job of reminding the reader without being annoying about it. I really enjoyed this book too – the fast pace came as a welcome surprise (because it’s a relatively long book for YA) and I was enthralled by the twists and turns the plot took. I also liked the way morality was explored through both the main character and the various side characters. You never really know what Nita is going to do next, though you will always be able to understand the thinking behind it. Unfortunately my library doesn’t have the final book in the trilogy (not yet, anyway), but I’m happy I got to read this sequel at least.

#2 in the Psy-Changeling series
⬇️ 2.5 stars
#3 in the Psy-Changeling series
⬆️ 3.5 stars

Visions of Heat and Caressed by Ice by Nalini Singh

As you can see, I managed to read two more books in the Psy-Changeling series this year! I worried for a while that I wouldn’t be able to continue because the third book was missing from my library, but it turned out that they were just getting a new copy. There are some parts of this series that I love – the characters are always interesting and the world building is fantastic – and some parts that I hate – like certain elements of the writing style – but I’m overall entertained enough to hopefully continue with the series soon. I particularly enjoyed how Caressed by Ice brought together the political aspects of the story that have been introduced gradually through the series so far and I really want to see how that progresses. And of course, I want more Psy-Changeling romances!

Drowned Country by Emily Tesh

#2 in the Greenhollow duology
⏸ 4 stars

I first read Silver in the Wood a couple of years ago, so not only did I read the sequel, Drowned Country, this year but I picked up the first one again too.  I found them both as an audiobook on Libby, and I absolutely loved the narrator – he really added a lot to these short fantasy stories, particularly by emphasising the creepy elements.  In the end, I enjoyed both novellas about the same amount.  As much as I liked the stories, I wish they were longer so there was more depth, especially when it comes to relationship development – the vibes were there, but the on page evidence was lacking a little, if that makes sense.  Still, I do really like the magical, slightly spooky atmosphere to the books and, relatedly, the well-realised settings that are, in my opinion, their strongest component.

The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin

#3 in the Broken Earth trilogy
⬆️ 5 stars

I was admittedly hesitant going into this trilogy finale, because I hadn’t loved its predecessor, The Obelisk Gate, as much as I had been hoping to after adoring The Fifth Season.  However, shockingly, this quickly became my favourite book of the whole trilogy!  I don’t think I’ve ever liked the last book in a series the most, so this is quite a feat!  I loved the way this instalment tied everything together and continued character development while still introducing and satisfactorily incorporating fresh ideas to the story.  Additionally, this author’s writing style works so, so well for me which made every reading session a treat.  This series has raised the bar so high that I’m a little worried I’ll never read anything quite on its level again.

A Heart So Fierce and Broken and A Vow So Bold and Deadly by Brigid Kemmerer

#2 in the Cursebreakers trilogy
⬇️ 2.75 stars
#3 in the Cursebreakers trilogy
⏸ on hold

Unfortunately, we are back in disappointment territory, because A Heart So Fierce and Broken did not meet my, admittedly high, expectations.  I’d been excited to find out one of my favourite characters from the first book would have POV chapters in this one, but I didn’t realise that would come at the expense of my other favourite’s POV, which was a huge bummer 😦  I found the plot to be, for the most part, very boring and I hated the way some characters acted (that other POV really would have helped me to deal with this).  And while I have technically started reading A Vow So Bold and Deadly, (I’m 10% into it), I’m putting it on hold for now (perhaps forever), because I just can’t drum up enough enthusiasm to read more of it.  Though to be fair, I am currently experiencing a massive reading slump, so it may be more my fault than the book’s.

Making Up by Lucy Parker

#3 in the London Celebrities series
⬆️ 4 stars

I initially planned to read Pretty Face, the second book in this series, but unfortunately it was no longer available at my library, so I went for the next book.  As a side note – luckily they do have a copy of the author’s new book, Battle Royal, so I’m looking forward to reading that!  Anyway, Making Up was a whole lot of fun with some serious topics delicately explored as well which tends to be my favourite kind of romance book.  I also liked how the two main characters’ careers and other interests factored heavily into the story, and not in a cliched way.  I thought the romance was really cute, and I didn’t have any of the pacing issues I had with Headliners, (the last book in the series that I read), so overall this was a win!

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

#3 in the Shadow and Bone trilogy
⬇️ 3 stars

Like with Drowned Country, I went to the effort of rereading the previous instalment in the series (Siege and Storm) before finally picking up the trilogy’s finale.  The first time I read Shadow and Bone was back in 2014 and I wish I had completed the whole trilogy back then because I think I would have enjoyed it much more overall.  Ruin and Rising was just okay and frankly had several important plot elements that didn’t make much logical sense to me.  It’s a bit sad because I used to adore the first and second book, but now I don’t have any strong feelings toward them at all.  I guess that is always the risk when rereading your favourite books! I’m still planning to read Six of Crows, but I think that will be at least a few months into the future.

The Wicker King and The Legend of the Golden Raven by K. Ancrum

#1 in the Wicker King series
⏸ 5 stars
#1.5 in the Wicker King series
⏸ 5 stars

K. Ancrum is officially one of my favourite authors, now that I’ve read three 5 stars books from her!  And I’m not even rounding up, which is very rare for me!  The Wicker King was exactly what I was hoping for, and more – fantastic writing and amazing characters in unconventional, often heartbreaking, situations with an ultimately hopeful ending.  I read The Legend of the Golden Raven (a short novella that explores a different perspective from The Wicker King) quite some time after, and I had seen a fair few negative reviews for it, but I really enjoyed it!  I loved the way the “fairytale” portion of the story was added in, and the reader really got to see things the way Jack was seeing them.  So, this was excellent as I found two new favourites!

When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain by Nghi Vo

#2 in the Singing Hills Cycle
⬆️ 4.25 stars

I ended up liking this book a lot more than the first one, The Empress of Salt and Fortune.  Being a sequel worked in its favour, because while I didn’t feel I got to know the “main character” well enough in the first book, that was expanded upon in the second and was no longer an issue for me.  I also loved (and understood) the plot much better in this book.  This is going to be hard to understand if you haven’t read this, but I think it was super clever the way different interpretations of the stories within this book were featured and the framing they were given within the bigger picture – it gave the novella a well-rounded and mythological feeling.  I’m actually excited now for the next novellas in the series!

The Suffering by Rin Chupeco

#2 in the Girl From the Well series
⬇️ 3.25 stars

Though I found this book okay overall, I didn’t feel that it was as good as the first book in the series, which was pretty disappointing.  I didn’t like the perspective the story was told from and there was all this romantic drama in the beginning of the book that I just didn’t care for and found annoying, if I’m honest.  Despite this, I wasn’t entirely let down because I still found the book extremely creepy at times and there was enough action to keep me entertained.  I don’t think there are going to be any more books in this series, but if there were, I would still check them out.

The Missing of Clairdelune, The Memory of Babel and The Storm of Echoes by Christelle Dabos, translated by Hildegarde Serle

#2 in the Mirror Visitor Quartet
⬆️ 4.25 stars
#3 in the Mirror Visitor Quartet
⬇️ 3.75 stars
#4 in the Mirror Visitor Quartet

Wow, my experience with this series has been a rollercoaster.  And unfortunately, like most rollercoasters, it ended with a low as I have officially DNFed the final book.  We’ll circle back to that, but for now I’ll quickly chat about the first sequel, The Missing of Clairdelune.  I wish I’d read this with my eyes, but I instead listened on audiobook and I feel that I missed some important details, though I was still absorbed in the incredible worldbuilding and interesting characters.  I liked this book about as much as I liked the first in the series.  The third book, The Memory of Babel, started off great for me – I was loving the new setting and learning even more about the world.  But some things didn’t work for me – for example, some plot points felt a bit ridiculous and I was getting  sick of every book featuring Ophelia, the main character, being abused by almost everyone around her.  This is ultimately the reason why I decided not to read the last book in its entirety, because I could see it going in this direction yet again, probably to an even greater extent than before – and reading the reviews not only confirmed this for me, but added extra reasons why I would have wasted my time continuing. So ultimately, while I did truly enjoy parts of this series, I wouldn’t really recommend it.

The Brightest Night by Jennifer L. Armentrout

#3 in the Origin series
⬇️ DNF

Unfortunately, this was yet another disappointment and I DNFed it.  I struggled sooo much through the whole first half of this book – none of it was working for me, and I was so incredibly bored.  I, perhaps controversially, didn’t like seeing the characters from previous series showing up in this book in such a big way (it was one, too stressful, and two, too easy for their personalities to change) and I didn’t like that this was not the finale to the series, as I had been expecting.  After really enjoying the previous book in this series, the let down of The Brightest Night became even worse. Several thumbs down for this one, sadly.

How To Catch a Queen and Can’t Escape Love by Alyssa Cole

#1 in the Runaway Royals series
⬆️ 4 stars
#2.6 in the Reluctant Royals series
⬇️ 3.75 stars

Neither of these were disappointing – I got what I was looking for out of them – but they weren’t new favourites either and I had my subjective issues with both of them.  How To Catch a Queen had a really interesting relationship dynamic and a cool setting and I loved the overall plot, but I hated the way one of the character’s acted through so much of the book and the other character also did stuff that I hated.  I’m coming across really negative here, but keep in mind I did give it four stars!  Can’t Escape Love was really cute and I loved both the main characters, but I wish the story had been expanded upon because it felt really rushed and it was truly a novella in the sense that I think you need to read this in tandem with A Duke By Default to really get it.

The House of Hades and The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

#4 in the Heroes of Olympus series
⬆️ 3.5 stars
#5 in the Heroes of Olympus series
⏸ on hold

Sadly I can’t tell you anything about The Blood of Olympus, because I’ve barely started reading that one, though I hope to continue with it once I’m out of this dreaded reading slump.  The House of Hades however, was an enjoyable enough read and I liked it more than some of the previous books in the series.  I liked the action scenes especially though I wish the characters had more distinct voices because I got them confused a few times.  I’m definitely a bigger fan of the original Percy Jackson series than this one, and to be honest I probably won’t read any of the other spin-off series, but it’s been a good time nonetheless.

What do you think?

Do you read series a lot? Do you struggle to get to sequels? Have you read any of the sequels I talked about? Let me know!

17 thoughts on “25 Sequels Challenge Wrap Up

  1. Happy birthday!! 👏🏼👏🏼
    Congrats, you did good reading them! 😄

    So many dissapointments though oh my.. that’s a shame :/ eventually I do need to pick the brown sisters trilogy.. can’t say I’ve read a serie in a while 😅 im more of a standalone person.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Kristina!! 😀

      Yeah, there were quite a few disappointments in there, but luckily some new favourites too! Ooh yes, I can’t recommend the Brown Sisters trilogy enough! Though it is a series, you don’t need to worry about that because they can be read as standalones 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I really enjoyed the structure of this post! And kudos to you for taking this challenge!
    Not gonna lie I was a bit scared when I saw that “on hold” sign at The Blood of Olympus. 😂 I’m sorry you don’t enjoy them as much as PJO! If I were you, I’d give Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard a chance, as it’s Norse mythology with a totally new cast of characters and it’s one of my faves. 🥺 But I understand if you want to pass! I think that trilogy is Riordan’s best though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Morgan!! 🙂
      Haha, don’t worry – I will definitely be going back to The Blood of Olympus :’) It’s still on my bedside table for reading before bed, I just need to get back into the habit of actually doing that.
      Oooh okay, I will still keep the Magnus Chase series in mind then! Especially if you say it is the author’s best. Plus I haven’t really read anything that deals with Norse mythology, so that will be interesting too.
      Damn, just when I thought I was decreasing the number of books on my TBR 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Happy (early) Birthday, Sabrina!! 🎉 The idea of this challenge is so lovely and I liked seeing your wrapup 💕 It’s a great idea that you included if your rating went up or down for the sequels! I really liked Get a Life, Chloe Brown, so I’m happy to see that the sequels are even better!

    Once again you remind me that I need to start the Market of the Monsters Trilogy! I have to check if the library has the books 👀 I gave up on the A Curse So Dark and Lonely sequels when I heard all the mixed reviews, and I’m really glad I did that! It’s always so sad when sequels turn out to be disappointing, especially as the first book could have worked as a standalone 🥺 I really want to start the Mirror Visitor Quartet series, but hearing that it’s so heavy on the abuse of the MC makes me very hesitant. I cannot deal with the protagonist encountering too much trauma 😔

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Caro!! ❤ I’m glad you liked the post and how I included the rating 😀
      Yep I definitely think the sequels are better than Chloe Brown – I hope you’ll enjoy them too when/if you get to read them!

      Oooh yes I hope your library has the Market of Monsters books! They are so unique.

      Ahh I think you made the right choice giving up on the A Curse So Dark and Lonely books at that point, unfortunately 😦

      Agh, sorry to put you off of the Mirror Visitor books! You could always try the first book and see how you go – I think that was the heaviest when it comes to poor treatment of the protagonist (though from what I’ve heard, I believe the fourth book would end up being the “worst” in that sense). But to be honest, I don’t think you would end up loving it because of this, so it might not be worth your while.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I can’t believe how many sequels you found barely “OK” or even didn’t like/finish (I loved the small blue graphics you used BTW – such a nice touch!). It never happened to me (or, well, just the once, now that I think of it) to be so disappointed in a sequel. As for The Suffering, I did enjoy it as much as the first book (though in a different way), but I see what you mean.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Happy birthday, and way to go!! I hope you had an amazing birthday!

    (Also, if you see a notification of me just now following you here on WP, ignore it – I’ve been following you on Feedly and just realized I somehow wasn’t following you on here, and wanted to do both. 😂)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve honestly given up on most of the series that I’ve started. A lot of them were fantasies, and since I’ve practically given up on the fantasy genre in its entirety, that means I decided to DNF all the series in the fantasy genre without much remorse.

    I do like reading romance series though, mostly because they tend to be companions, so I don’t need to remember much before starting the next book in the series. And best of all, I can skip a book or read the books out of order, and it doesn’t make too much of a difference!

    Out of these 25 sequels I’ve read very few, but my thoughts were exactly the same as yours on the Brown Sisters series. Get a Life Chloe Brown was okay, but I didn’t love it, though I adored both Dani Brown and Eve Brown! And funnily enough, I just got myself an e-book copy of Damaged Goods, so chances are that I’ll pick that one up sometime this year!

    And although I’m about a month late, I hope you had a very happy birthday and that this year is filled with all good things for you!


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