When I enter a book-world that is beautifully and thoughtfully built, with rules that I find mind altering, characters that I find fascinating, off the chart stakes, and a writing style full of searing sentences… I really, really don't want it to end.
I want to find out what happens, of course, so I inhale the pages, but when it's over, I don't want to leave. Happily-ever-after is unsatisfying when it comes too quickly. I want to see what happens with the people, discover more layers of the world and its inhabitants, see how the rules the writer started with shape and illuminate the story over time. Sometimes its cool to see a 'slice of life', but what I really want is to see how characters and places change over the course of a specific, high stakes time period; how they rise and fall and shift and deal with adversity, how they course correct, what they learn - good and bad - and I like for the writers to be able to take their time while taking me on a journey. I like tv shows better than movies for that same reason. I guess I'm just a "monogamous" type of girl.
Truthfully… I'm in between series right now - ugh! Ick! Yikes! The horror!
So I decided to use a blog entry to manipulate you all into giving me series recommendations in exchange for a few of mine. I could go on, and on and on - in fact I might do a whole blog list of my favorite series - but for now, here's the three that pop up in my mind today:
Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy was a masterpiece.
Read the first few pages and try not to be hooked. I triple dog dare you. I marvel at her sentences as much or possibly more than the brilliant way she uses our cultural concepts of monsters, fairy tales and spirituality against us, pushing the readers to see our own world with new eyes. I was so not ready to leave Karou after one book - No way! In truth, it was painful to leave her after three. I am secretly hoping for another trilogy from her, set in the same world.
One of my favorite experiences EVER was reading Terry Pratchett's Discworld books. There are a few that happen in "order", but what links them together is that they all take place in the same world. That's it. The characters in each are from completely different parts of the world. Sometimes they bump into one another, which is fantastically fun. There is one particular character (no spoilers, but Prachett lovers know who I mean) who shows up in at least a minor guest spot in every book. You recognize him because his dialog is in all capitol letters. Sometimes he is the main character in the story, sometimes he shows up in a scene to push the characters in the story forwards, and sometimes he's just passes by the protagonist like a ship in the night (always in some hysterically random and wonderful way). The books are all really great, but when HE shows up, it's like a reward/gift to those who have committed to reading every Discworld novel. You want to look at someone else and scream - "there! he just popped in! how awesome was that?!?!" Because you know who it is, even if nobody else in the scene does. Of course, the really, really great thing about this series - even better than that little gifts - is that it takes a long time to finish with Discworld. Wiki has forty-three titles listed, and I'm pretty sure they missed some.That man is a writing freak of nature, and I love him for it.
I also adore the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, because each book is told from a new protagonist's voice. The twist? It's always a cleverly re-imagined fairy tale character whose store we vaguely recognize, but somehow, she manages to surprise you with HOW she gets there, even though you know its coming. I also like that the heroine (or villain) from the last book always shows up in the next, so we don't lose them, and lastly, I love that they are always set in her brilliantly cool and complicated futuristic setting, so that with each story you are continuing to delve deeper into the hows, whys and whats of the world.
Okay, your turn!! Gimme your fave series (YA appreciated, urban fantasy preferred, but by no means is either required). I'm ready to commit to a new world!