I love reading series; I think the fact you can be so fully immersed into the world is wonderful, and there is so much scope for world building. Think of the things you’re still learning about the novel and characters in the final novel that you never even thought about in the first!
The majority of the series on my shelf have been read… apart from the final novel. It’s always this last volume that I have trouble finishing. Why is that?
Whilst I want to tackle my TBR (oh, and unhaul a whole bunch of books), I want to take this Christmas to both revisit and discover some awesome book series. I have about four weeks of Christmas holidays, but I will be working on uni work and of course Christmas is always a busy time of the year anyway, but here’s what I’d like to read!
This review will be SPOILER-FREE of all three books, but I wanted to share my thoughts on the entire series. I read them so close together, I actually think I’d have a hard time separating them into separate books! There will be a (large) spoiler paragraph towards the end, mainly probably talking about my bae, Sam. ❤
Dustwalk is a deadly, unforgiving town, and Amani would do anything to escape it. When a stranger gives her that chance, she takes it without second thoughts. But dangerous creatures lurk in the night, the handsome stranger she escaped with isn’t all he seems, and Amani may be hurtling towards something bigger than she ever imagined she could be apart of.
It took me a while to get into the first book – probably about 50 or 100 pages – but once I did, there was no way I was putting this trilogy down.
The first book had so much rich world-building, and I think that this brought it down a little. There was a lot of info-dumping of the myths, and I actually think that Hamilton could write and publish a separate book of all of the myths of Amani’s world. I would definitely read it, because she’s created some truly interesting stories, and they sound so realistic, too, as if they could be in any mythology in our world.
Like I said, this series was a slow start. I’d tried to read it a couple of times before, but kept putting it down because I just wasn’t gripped at all. The writing style wasn’t particularly unfriendly, but there just seemed to be no real hook until Jin arrived. (Side note: JIN I LOVE YOU FOREVER.)
The actual story line can’t be taken much further than the first book without major spoilers, but I will tell you that it’s concerned with a Rebel Prince and a civil war. I think that civil war – which is what this boils down to – is something that happens surprisingly often, and so it was a great plot line for a fantasy world, linking it to our own real world.
Hamilton’s writing is refreshing because, and this isn’t an insult, it’s quite simple. There are no long metaphors, particularly, or epithets, and the lexis she chooses is simplistic but powerful enough that it evokes a really strong sense of location in the reader. I wanted to feel the sand between my toes, a sheema across my face, and a gun in my hands.
The characters were just brilliant, because they’re all so different. I think that Hamilton showed really realistic relationships and connections – Amani and Jin are the typical YA couple, but even then they had a relatively slow-burn relationship. But when you’re in an environment as harsh as Amani’s, and you’ve saved each other’s lives a couple of times, it’s understandable that you form a strong connection.
ALSO, there is quite a large time jump between books 1 and 2 – a year. I think that this really helped move the characters along, establish the war in a lot more detail, and also helped with characters and their romantic relationships, and friendships. I really dislike it when books have unrealistic timelines, ie ones that seem to happy too quickly to be conceivable. Hamilton did a great job with the timescale in this series, I think.
Jin and Ahmed, his brother, had such a great relationship too, because it was a real sibling relationship, but with the added power imbalance too. I won’t say why they had this power imbalance (you work it out pretty quickly), but there were other really strong sibling relationships in this series as well. It’s a nice refreshing relief to know that not every character has a romantic partner (coughthroneofglasscough). AND FRIENDSHIPS! Can we talk about Amani and Shazad? Their friendship was my all time favourite thing.
Okay so this is going to be the spoiler paragraph, for ALL THREE BOOKS! Firstly, let’s discuss my favourite character – Sam. I don’t know if it’s because I have a weakness for men named Sam (don’t ask) or because he was just so broken and cute and clever and questioning himself and his morality or… wait, no, it’s because of those. I wish so hard that he’d survived the final book, and gone on to live a really happy life with Shazad! Secondly, speaking of Sam’s death, let’s talk about others. Hamilton didn’t mince the deaths in this book, and yes, it was cliche with Amani and Jin coming back, but I actually kinda liked it. I liked that it showed the Djinn, god-like creatures, had some of the humanity they breathed into the models of people they created in their own likeness.
The ending of this trilogy was so well put together that it a) brought tears to my eyes and b) has inspired me so much. I would love to write a trilogy like this, and the happiness that this series brings me is immense! I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s my favourite trilogy of all time, but it’s definitely staying on my bookshelf, and I’ve recommended it so much since finishing it a couple of weeks ago.
If you haven’t read Rebel of the Sands yet, I would highly recommend picking it up, and if you’re unsure about continuing the series, take my guarantee that books 2 & 3 are way better. I really hope that you enjoy this series as much as I do if you choose to read it!
Ratings: Book 1: 3.5/5 ; book 2: 5/5 ; book 3: 5/5
Goodreads book 1 ; book 2 ; book 3
Source: Book 1 bought from Waterstones, books 2 & 3 from Amazon
I looooove binging book series, and if you’re reading this blog post I guess you either love it, or you want to start too. I’ve suggested 8 book series below, all of which I’ve binged, or read pretty close together, and one point or another. They’re all fantastic, I recommend them highly, and only, like, 2, are series that you would see on every single other blogger’s list… yes, they’re totally Harry Potter and The Mortal Instruments.
Harry Potter by JK Rowling (7 books)
Of course this has to make the list, despite being the most cliche recommendation on here. When I first read the series, I read them all back to back within about 3 weeks! #WorthIt
The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare (6 books)
This is a series that I don’t think I actually binged, but I forget details so quickly it’s basically necessary to binge. They’re not too long, so perfect to snuggle up with and just pick up one after the other!
Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton (3 books)
I binged this trilogy and thoroughly enjoyed it! It’s definitely worth binging this series because you will be in agony knowing if your favourite characters are going to live or die…!
Fairytale Retellings by Jackson Pearce (4 books)
I frickin’ adore this series, and it definitely doesn’t get the hype it deserves! All of the books are interlinked in a way that you’ll only notice if you’re perceptive (it’s so satisfying realising that though!) and this is definitely a series that made me want to be a writer. It’s brilliant, and I can’t recommend it enough!
Murder Most Unladylike series by Robin Stevens (6+ books)
Earlier this year, I spent about a week reading one of these books every night, and it was brilliant. The 7th comes out pretty soon, so right now is the perfect time to binge books 1-6 before Death in the Spotlight is released.
The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare (3 books)
I don’t know why TMI is earlier on this list than TID, because I preferred this series wayyyy more, and I so wish it’d been 6 books too. Jem, Tessa, and Will are three fantastic characters and the setting is one of my favourites – steampunk Victorian London! If you’re hesitating reading these hyped books, pick up the first, and you’ll be desperately wanting the rest.
Stalking Jack the Ripper series by Kerri Maniscalco (2+ books)
This might be my all time favourite series. I LOVE these books so much, and would actually scream it from the rooftops if I could, but I think the neighbours would call the police on me. *ahem* It’s fantastic. Book 3 comes out soon, so there’s only 2 books for you to binge before then!
The Young Elites by Marie Lu (3 books)
I feel like this series should be way more hyped than it is. Maybe it was when it first came out in 2014, I don’t know, but it’s a fantastic, short fantasy series, and I would highly recommend binging the lot. They’re short enough that they could probably be in a bind-up, and would be the size of all these fantasy books of a monstrous size that are beginning to appear (read: Sarah J Maas…).
I hope that these series have given you some ideas to binge read in the future! As I said, I love all of them, and can highly recommend them all.
Hello all! Today I thought I would share 5 lovely book series that I really need to finish…!
Magnus Chase series by Rick Riordan (Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer, Magnus Chase and the Hammer of Thor, Magnus Chase and the Ship of the Dead)
I love Rick Riordan’s books, and I only have the last book in this series to read! I highly, highly recommend all of his books, but when you read Magnus Chase after reading the others, you discover so many more Easter eggs!
Skin Books series by Alice Broadway (Ink, Spark, Untitled Book #3)
SPARK, book 2 in this series, was only released about a week ago, so I haven’t really had that much time to read it, but I really want to read this one and the last in the series… although that will probably be released in 2019 or something…
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Days of Blood & Starlight, Dreams of Gods & Monsters)
I adored the first in this series, and I actually own the second, but I haven’t read it yet; and I think I will probably have to revisit it before I read the next ones in the series though, because I can’t really remember how it finished.
The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury (The Sin Eater’s Daughter, The Sleeping Prince, The Scarecrow Queen)
The first of this series was brilliant and really different to anything I’ve read before, but I have yet to finish the trilogy despite Melinda Salisbury kindly sending me the entire trilogy… so I should probably get reading.
Finishing School by Gail Carriger (Etiquette & Espionage, Curtsies & Conspiracies, Waistcoats & Weaponry, Manners & Mutiny)
I realise that by a complete accident I have put all trilogies on here, but now here’s a series of four books… and, once again, I’ve only read the first (I’m sensing yet another trend…) but it was hilarious, and I would love to finish it (especially as they’re such quick reads!).
So here are 5 I need to finish, what is on your list?
Ari has always been an outsider. With freakish teal hair and astonishingly green eyes, she certainly looks like one. With her father gone and her mother dead, Ari goes out search for answers to her past. When her search uncovers a message from her mother telling her to run, she realises that someone – or something – is getting too close. But it’s impossible to know exactly what she’s meant to be avoiding. Returning to her birthplace of New Orleans, ravaged by hurricanes thirteen years earlier, she discovers she isn’t so different after all. But, if that is the case, why is every terrifying she meets so scared… of her?
Well, I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting to like this as much as I did. I didn’t, to start with – it didn’t seem really my thing, and a bit kind of OTT. But I stuck with it, as I tend to do nowadays, and at around the halfway mark, things really began to pick up.
I LOVE series novels: Harry Potter, Fairytale Retellings series, House of Night, the Hunger Games, Percy Jackson… yeah, there are a lot out there.
I like series because they normally mean there’s going to be an epic plot, and that means lots of subplots (I love subplots). Perhaps there’s an underlying theme of romance, or all of the adventures lead up to one massive one in the final novel or there’s an underlying mystery and all of the ends are tied up in the final one… (Well, a girl can dream, can’t she?!)
Epic plots also mean epic characters and lots of them. A quick Google Search tells me that there are 772 characters in Harry Potter (I also got distracted for 20 minutes just now trying to name the top 200 (I got to 122)). LOADSA CHARACTERS! There’s probably not enough pages in a stand-alone novel for that many. Sure, you might lose track of them. But dude. Isn’t it pretty awesome?!
Of course series do have downsides. For example, it costs a lot to buy them all, or you might only buy one and then by the time you get the next in the series, you’ve forgotten what happened in the first one. It’s a struggle when you read books during the series too or two series at the same time; these can get a bit confusing!
Still, series are pretty awesome and take a lot of work to do, so kudos to any authors out there who have written a series of novels.
What’s your opinion on series novels? Do you love them, hate them? Read them often? I’d love to hear your thoughts!