Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday - Favorite Second Books in Series

My name is Lenore Appelhans and I have a problem. All too often, I start series and then never get to book two.  I realized this as I was trying to find books to put on today's list.

The actual Top Ten Tuesday topic today is Top Ten Best Sequels Ever, but I've decided to list only sequels I liked MORE than the first book. You know, just because I like to complicate my life like that. That means no Catching Fire or Pandemonium or Scarlet because even though I love them, I still prefer The Hunger Games and Delirium and Cinder.  I also couldn't include Lola and the Boy Next Door or Fire, because I haven't read Anna and the French Kiss or Graceling yet. (I know!)

BUT I did find seven books that fit my strict guidelines. So that's something.

The Likeness by Tana French. This second book in the Dublin Murder Squad series is still my absolute fave of the published four. Why? Because I love Cassie as a character and it contains one of my very favorite tropes -- impersonating a doppelganger. From my reviewIt's a murder mystery, yes, but it's also so much more: Author Tana French looks at class divisions and how history still effects the present, asks what "real life" really is, and explores the slippery nature of identity.

The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness. My favorite book in the trilogy. I love how complex this whole book is and we really get to know Mayor Prentiss, one of the best villains of all time. Also, no major animal deaths in this one! Yay!  From my reviewIn KNIFE, they were pushed to their physical limits. In ASK they are pushed to their emotional and moral limits by two very ruthless leaders, each giving their arguments as to why they are the lesser of two evils.

Thumped by Megan McCafferty. Bumped was a close to perfect book for me, so intelligent and zany. But I loved Thumped just as much. And it looks like this may be the only instance I can think of where I loved books one and two of a series equally. From my reviewThese two books were so much fun, I wish Megan McCafferty would write 100 more books in the series.

Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde. (Read before blog) To me, this is the best book in the entire Thursday Next series. I love the fact that she jumps into Poe's The Raven and that she's the target of threatening coincidences. It's just so much fun. I liked it more than The Eyre Affair (maybe because I never read Jane Eyre?)

The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner. This series is out of my usual comfort zone, but I adore it so, so much, and a lot of that has to do with Gen's growth as a character (and the amazing twists of course).  From my reviewWhat I most enjoyed about the story though was Gen’s character growth. In book 1, he was clever, certainly, but also borderline unlikable for most of the book. Here he actually begins to grow into a swoonworthy romantic lead, and the transformation is stunning.

Rebel Heart by Moira Young. (My review + playlist) Hmmm... this one was a tough call, because there are certain things I liked more about Blood Red Road (Jack!), but De Malo is such a great adversary for Saba, that I'm going to go ahead and put this on the list.

The Forgetting Curve by Angie Smibert. (My review) I enjoyed this more than Memento Nora because I liked narrators Aiden and Velvet more than Nora and Micah. Plus the plot thickens and there's more conspiracy theory to dig into.

Honorable mentions:

Linger by Maggie Steifvater. Going to give a shout out to this book for introducing Cole St. Clair.
Prodigy by Marie Lu. I didn't put this on the list proper, because I still haven't gotten over my broken heart.
Star Cursed by Jessica Spotswood. Same reason as Prodigy. The end gutted me.

Which sequels did you like better?


Natalie Aguirre said...

Loved The Queen of Attolia. And Prodigy and Linger. Haven't read the rest of the series you mention. I'll have to check them out.

Unknown said...

Hm, interesting about the Queen of Attolia book. I read book 1 and found it okay, but so many people have positively RAVED about the series that I wasn't able to understand where they were coming from. Maybe I'll reread and give book 2 a try!

bermudaonion said...

I'm bad about finishing series too. I haven't even started any of those you listed. :(

lillylilac said...

Good list, I loved Linger as well.

The Cover Contessa said...

So I read The Forgetting Curve before the first one, b/c I didn't know! LOL! I enjoyed it tho. And I have not gotten to The Ask and Answer yet, but I LOVED The Knife of Never Letting Go! I really loved Linger b/c we got to meet Cole, and he turned out to be my favorite character in that series. Prodigy has been sitting on my shelf for a while, I've really got to get to that! For me, Through the Ever Night was so much better than Under the Never Sky b/c we got more of Roar, and I just ADORE Roar. And Unravel Me was phenomenal. It was so great to see more of Warner!

Kim Aippersbach said...

Terri S., you must read Queen of Attolia. You must, you must. It's completely different from the first book. Gen, oh, Gen! *bites knuckles*

Lenore: I haven't gotten around to Prodigy yet. What do you mean, heart break?! oh, no, now I don't want to read it. but I have to know. oh, you're terrible!

Anonymous said...

As much as I loved Under the Never Sky I adored Through The Ever Night just a little bit more ;)

Chris Desson said...

I have the same problem. I read a lot of firsts in a series but never continue on. Or, I read the first two and then stop. I actually liked Catching Fire better than Hunger Games which I reread this month. You nailed it on Tana French's The Likeness. I enjoyed the second one better. Have you read the third?

Anonymous said...

Super fun topic and great review.

rose.ann.castro said...

Excellent post and great list! I loved Rebel Heart and The Queen of Attolia as well. Need to check out the other books on your list! Thanks for sharing.

Ann@Blogging E-book