Top Ten Tuesday: series

Text only: top ten TUESDAY

Top Ten Tuesday is was created by The Broke and the Bookish, and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. It’s all about books, lists and sharing the love we have of both with our bookish friends. This week, we’re talking about series that we’ve started – and I’m twisting the topic slightly, as I’m not big on negative prompts – and discussing whether we intend to finish them.

As a fantasy/scifi reader, I get sucked into a lot of series. From the age of about 8, my years were partly defined by what I was waiting for (don’t judge me): the next Alanna book, the next Deverry book, the next Malloreon book, the next Wheel of Time book.

Some of these lived up to my expectations. Some didn’t. Sometimes, it wasn’t even the writer’s fault: in the first UK edition of Sorceress of Darshiva, some clever soul at the publishing house – presumably – had replaced a good god’s name with that of a minor villain from the Belgariad, which was distracting. Worse, my edition of Polgara the Sorceress had a chunk of chapters bound into it twice (and the chapters which should have been there weren’t included at all). I was already finding Eddings repetitive – this took it a step too far.

Usually though, it’s entirely on the author or on me. It’s either not very good, or it’s just not my cup of tea – or it takes so long for the series to progress that it becomes a cup of tea I find too cold to drink. So, what will I – and won’t I – be reading to completion?

A Song of Ice and Fire – George R R Martin

I don’t know whether I’ll ever finish this series. HBO did a sufficiently good job, and I found A Feast For Crows and A Dance With Dragons incredibly frustrating as they were soooo slooooow (also: ironborn. I don’t care. Sail away). There’s a chance I’ll watch the final season of the show and never bother. On the other hand, rushing out to buy the next volume on release is so ingrained in my soul that I might just do on reflex. Assuming it ever gets written.

The Wheel of Time – Robert Jordan (& Brandon Sanderson)

I know, I know – I spent my teenage years pining for the next book to come out. And the series is now complete, and I haven’t finished it yet. Like A Song of Ice and Fire, I grew tired of the slow plot progression – and the endless procrastination introduction of new subplots – long before Jordan died. Then I found Sanderson’s prose style jarring. In the end, I decided it wasn’t worth the effort and read a Wikipedia recap. I have no regrets.

The Kingkiller Chronicle – Patrick Rothfuss

This one suffered from being overhyped. So many people raved about it I was expecting… more. Don’t get me wrong, it was fine – it whiled away the time during a lull in other series I loved – but fine was as far as I went. I liked The Wise Man’s Fear a good deal less, and I can’t imagine I’ll bother with the rest unless I somehow clear my TBR and find myself with nothing else to read. And I can’t imagine that.

The Left Hand of God – Paul Hoffman

I’d actually more or less forgotten this book until @arubunwritten linked to my evisceration review the other day. Suffice to say I found no redeeming features in the first book, although my review makes me chuckle so I guess there’s that. I still haven’t read the Wikipedia summaries to see how the series ends (…and I still don’t care).

But that’s enough grouching about books I don’t think I’ll give more time to. What about ones that I’ll definitely be reading – however long it takes for the next one to come out?

Who knows how long it will take Scott Lynch to finish the Gentleman Bastards sequence? Who cares? I will be here and happy any time another Locke Lamora book drops into my lap.

Jen Williams’s glorious scifi/fantasy cross-over epic The Winnowing Flame trilogy is nearly complete and I’ll be here to the bittersweet end (I can’t see how it can end happily, and I am girding my feelings to withstand the devastation); and I understand the end is nearly in sight for James S A Corey’s The Expanse, one of my favourite discoveries last year (no I don’t know why it took me so long to read it either).

I have no idea whether Adam Rakunas will be penning the further adventures of Padma Mehta, but I dearly hope so – there’s plenty of mileage (and rum) left in his space opera of alcohol production and labour relations. Likewise I’ll be desperately disappointed if there are no more tales from Paul Cornell of English rural witchcraft.

I’m reassured there will be at least two more PC Grant books, a series which has only got better the longer it has gone on; and I’ll be cheerleading for Aliette de Bodard’s gothic vision of alternate Paris for as long as she cares to keep writing about the doings of fallen angels and dragons.

J Y Yang has done more than enough to keep me avidly following their silkpunk novellas (next up: The Descent of Monsters), just as Gareth L Powell has me completely sold on the future adventures of the Trouble Dog and her crew. I didn’t expect to enjoy Godblind, but am sold in spite of myself, so I shall certainly be picking up the sequel Darksoul when it comes out this summer. It just goes to show that no matter how certain you are of your tastes, the right story by the right author can get you to reconsider.

What other series would you recommend to me?