So while I’m waiting for my next appointment with the doc, my main method of killing time is catching up on all those book trilogies and series I need to finish or catch up on. I’m pretty much not allowing myself to buy any more books that are not part of a series right now so I’ll finally be up to date. And recently, I fell utterly in love with a trilogy that had me rushing to the book store to buy the next book like a junkie running to get their next fix.
This had me thinking about my current favorite trilogies and series. There are some I absolutely love and will be a fan of forever while I’ve sort of grown apart from others and only mean to finish them because I hate unfinished business.
Because us book nerds are all about sharing our recs with other book nerds, I decided I could as well post my favorites here…
The Maze Runner Trilogy by James Dashner
Thomas wakes up with no memory and finds himself in an elevator that takes him up to a strange place called The Glade which is set within a maze. Except for him, there are a few dozen other boys who have no memory either. All they know is that the only way away from The Glade is through the maze and so they try to make it through, fighting monsters and trying to solve the strange mystery of who they are and how they got there.
This is the trilogy I meant. God, how love this story! I bought the first book, even though I was a little doubtful if this was a story for me. It sounded very…sci-fi, if that makes sense. But it’s been a long time since a book has gripped me so much. You just can’t set it aside because you want to read the next chapter, then the next, and then the next. You just want to know how it all comes together, who those kids are, who put them in the maze and why. Just when you think you’ve reached a point where it’s okay to take a break, something else happens that has you hooked. So when I finished the first book, I tried to force myself not to buy the second right away – and failed. Same story after I finished that one. I am reading book number three, The Death Cure, right now and my obsesession is still going strong. It’s so sad that this is only a trilogy, not a series with seven million parts.
And by the way, the first movie will be out this October.
- Book 1: The Maze Runner
- Book 2: The Scorch Trials
- Book 3: The Death Cure
The Peculiar Children Series by Ransom Riggs
After his grandfather died under mysterious circumstances, Jacob persuades his dad to take him to the tiny Welsh island where his grandfather grew up. He knows there’s something strange about the old man’s history and something unbelievable must have happened in his youth. Once there, he discovers that his grandfather was a very special man with a very extra-ordinary childhood – and that there are others like him.
I blogged about the first book of this series here and after reading the second book, my excitement hasn’t decreased a tiny bit. It still reminds me a lot of Harry Potter in the way that, despite all the supernatural and mysterious things happening in this great adventure, it seems believable, like an island like that with peculiar people on it could really exist. It’s so detailed and just wonderfully constructed. I can’t wait for the next part to be out.
I also highly recommend the books to be read as at least paperbacks, if not hardcovers. I know e-readers are convenient but in this case, the books are complete pieces of fine art. The author constructed a lot of the story around old, peculiar pictures he found on flea markets and elsewhere and those, of course, look best in a real book. I own the paperback versions and they also look really nice for a book lover like me. They’re bound quite firmly and feel quite heavy and I just love looking at them.
- Book 1: Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children
- Book 2: Hollow City
Night School Series by C. J. Daugherty
After Allie’s brother vanished, she’s been causing nothing but trouble, getting kicked out of school being only one of the problems her parents have to deal with. When they finally can’t take it anymore, they send her off to the prestigious Cimmeria Academy. Soon Allie discovers that this strange place is more than just an expensive boarding school for the children of the rich and the famous and what seemed to her as a particularly big punishment suddenly doesn’t seem to be only about teaching her some manners. It doesn’t seem to be a coincidence that her parents sent her to Cimmeria, where students are members of secret clubs and engage in some odd nightly activities.
I started reading this series when Amazon offered the first book as a free download as part of their Kindle Christmas offers two years ago. The covers (both, German and English) are so cliché and make it seem like your average YA fantasy book, possibly involving vampires and werewolves, but they really aren’t anything like that at all. There’s a lot of mystery inside these books and they always keep you on your toes. I’ve read the first two and am itching to start #3 soon. So far, with both books, I was so caught up in the story that I actually yelled at my Kindle when I tapped the display to turn the page and found that I’d reached the end of the book and been left with a terribly cruel cliffhanger.
- Book 1: Night School
- Book 2: Legacy
- Book 3: Fracture
- Book 4: Resistance
- Book 5: tba
Starters Series by Lissa Price
A war has left the world in pieces. All adults have been killed by an infection invented by the enemy, only children and teenagers (Starters) and seniors (Enders) are left. Few Starters are fortunate enough to have a real home and Callie and her brother aren’t in that position. They move from abandoned building to abandoned building, hoping they won’t get caught and put in an Institution. Left with little to no money, they struggle to get by. Then Callie finds out about Prime Destinations, a company that offers rich Enders an opportunity to rent a Starter’s young and able body for a period of time, offering them an opportunity to do all the things their old and weak bodies won’t let them do anymore. Reluctantly, Callie agrees to sign the contract, allowing an anonymous Ender to rent her body for a while, hoping to get the funds to afford a better life for her and her brother. But then something goes wrong and Callie finds herself still in her own body, with her renter merely a voice in her head that is trying to convince her to commit what seems like a serious crime to Callie but what the voice claims will eventually save her and every other young person left in the world.
To be honest, I have no idea if ‘series’ can even be used here. There are only two books, Starters and Enders, and I think the story is concluded. Starters has been on my wishlist since I first heard about it years ago. But as life goes, I forgot about it, then other books came along, then I remembered it but couldn’t find it anywhere and forgot about it again. Until this new edition was released and I stumbled upon it and finally picked it up. And – also as life as a book nerd goes – I found myself wishing I had read it earlier because it was every bit as gripping as I thought it would be. I know post-war stories set in a dystopian world are very common in YA fiction right now, so the basic setting isn’t new but the rest of the story is very original and takes a different approach to what otherwise feels like a subject that’s been chewed well and spit out by a bunch of authors. I love how it also portraits what we know today, a huge gap between young and old, rich and poor, in an exaggerated manner. And I found it mind-boggling to imagine an old soul in a young body. We’re so used to imagining old people as fragile inside out because we only go by their outer experience and Lissa Price plays with that, putting the personalities of seniors who are perhaps old and experienced but still playful and childish at times in the bodies of teens and, even in writing, I automatically perceived them as completely different people.
- Book 1: Starters
- Book 2: Enders
Trylle Trilogy by Amanda Hocking
After a difficult childhood that reached its terrible peak when her mother, convinced she was a monster, tried to kill her, Wendy Everly is now seventeen and discovers that her mother was right about one thing: She isn’t her child. Soon, Wendy discovers that she’s been switched with another child straight after her birth and that she isn’t human, after all. She’s a Trylle, a being close enough to humans to pass as one of them but with skills they don’t have. And even more so, she’s the daughter of the Trylle queen, making her one of the most important people in their world.
Reunited with her mother and back in her kingdom, Wendy has to discover that the world of the Trylle isn’t peaceful at all and she’s landed right in the mids of a raging war between her people and the Vittra.
I almost didn’t include this series because frankly, Amanda Hocking’s writing isn’t as elaborate as the other authors’ in this list. She’s quite young and you can tell that, even though she’s published a lot, she’s still in the very beginning of her career as a fantasy author. This isn’t a flaw, of course, but it still makes you stop and contemplate the story here and there. Sometimes she builds up suspense and then lets the ball drop too fast, killing off whatever grand climax she’d been building up towards.
But still, the story around Wendy Everly is unique and gripping. What I liked most is that Hocking invented the world of the Trylle and while you can see that not everything here was completely original, maybe even influenced by other stories or movies, it’s a very creative and original story. Because the writing is a little more simple than in the other series mentioned here, I’d say this is probably the best casual summer read.
- Book 1: Switched
- Book 2: Torn
- Book 3: Ascend