Friday, August 24, 2012

Let's Talk: three of my favorite book series

Let's Talk is a weekly meme hosted by Melissa at i swim for oceans
(Hi, Melissa! I'm excited to be joining. Thanks for inviting me, Asheley!)

What are your top three favorite book series and why?

I had a hard time answering this question, because I find it difficult to pick "favorites." Also, series are BIG in YA and I am in the middle of over 25 of them. It's a bit of a challenge to keep them all straight. I wanted to pick series that were not everyone's favorite (aka HP or THG - I love them both too!), and not include ones that I have yet to read in their entirety. I tried to stick with the first point, but gave up on the second. I picked two series that I have yet to finish (because the books aren't out), but I LOVE the first two books in each series and am confident that I'll feel the same about the third when it comes out. 

Regarding series. Sometimes I find I feel differently about individual books than I do about them together as a whole. Because often, when I see the progression of characters over a period of time, I end up loving them more (and sometimes less). It's like the saying the whole is greater than the sum of its parts - does that make any sense at all? Anyway, on to my first Let's Talk Friday.

1. Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta
Finnikin of the Rock, Froi of the Exiles, Quintana of Charyn (coming to the US March 2013)

Melina Marchetta has demonstrated again and again that she can write ANYTHING and it will be AMAZING. The Lumatere Chronicles proves that her fantasy is just as good as her contemporary. I want to eat her words with a spoon. There is a real beauty and movement to the way she writes, giving it a poetic feel that works marvelously in fantasy. 

Even though none of her books are easy - her characters tend to endure a lot of darkness and pain -  such bright light and beauty shines. Her masterful writing is such that each word-line-paragraph-chapter is important (and meaningful) to the story - I could read them again and again and never get tired of her words. She is one of the best authors that I have read who exhibits the method of showing and not telling in her writing, and it brings a depth to her books that I rarely find anywhere else. I am also constantly blown away by her characterization. The second book in the Chronicles is called Froi of the Exiles, and it is worth it to read this series just to find out where she brings Froi from when we first meet him in Finnikin to the end of the book that bears his name. 

2. Unearthly Series by Cynthia Hand
UnearthlyHallowed, Boundless (coming January 2013)

You guys aren't going to believe this, but I'm gong to highlight a series with a serious LOVE TRIANGLE. But I love these books so. And even after two novels, I'm not sure who the heroine Clara will pick. Both guys are GREAT, but different. I do have a favorite though. However, this series is so much more than a love triangle. It is about a girl who is part angel. But though she does move to a new school at the beginning of the first book, the series is different than the standard YA paranormal romance. First, Clara knows she's part angel, so we are saved the long period where the character has to figure out what it is that's Different about them. She also knows that she was put on the earth to fulfill a purpose, and that purpose is what takes her across the country. And bonus! she has a good relationship with her mother.

 Another thing I LOVE about this series is that it is extremely discussable. You know how I like to discuss books. As Clara tries to figure out what her purpose is and what it means for her, one big theme that develops is free will vs. destiny. Perhaps that doesn't sound interesting to you, but trust me, the way it plays out through the series - including how it affects the two guys - is fascinating. (you guys need to read these books so we can talk about them!) I plan on doing  a longer post on them eventually. 

3. Elemental Mysteries Series by Elizabeth Hunter
A Hidden Fire, This Same Earth, The Force of Wind, The Fall of Water

Beginning with A Hidden Fire, the Elemental Mysteries is my favorite adult paranormal romance series (and it's self-published!). I started the first book after reading a lot of YA books, and it was refreshing to read a story about people my age, with adult problems. Beatrice is also a historian and librarian, basically she has my dream job. Giovanni is a vampire, who has lived a lot of history, and together they are amazing. I love the progression of both of their characters through the entirety of the series (individually and as a couple), and being in both of their heads enabled me to understand and sympathize with each of them. It is clear that the characters and their story arc were well thought out by the author. Plus the books feature awesome side characters, humor, and lots of travel (Texas, Greece, California, Brazil, China, Italy). 

BONUS! A Hidden Fire is FREE this month on Amazon and Smashwords. GO get it NOW!

What are your favorite book series?


  1. Oh my gosh! I love this. Ok, ok...

    So you know I'm about to read Finnikin? In fact, I bumped Finnikin to read Daughter of the Forest. I just didn't have the heart to tell you (until now, hehe). I'm loving Daughter and I *know* I'm gonna love MM's series.

    And YAY YAY for the Unearthly & Hallowed & Boundless! I have the first two books but have yet to read them. You say they're discussable?? SIGN ME UP. Also, LOVE free will in books. LOVE it. I will throw other books across the room (not really) to read those because they are so discussable and make me feel things. You, friend, have just bumped these up in my to-read pile. (I'm not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing, sigh.)

    And another blogger I know of has raved about the Elemental Mysteries series. I don't know much about these books, though, so I went ahead and grabbed the Kindle book while it is free.

    GREAT choices. These are exciting to me because they are ones I haven't read. And YAY to you for doing Let's Talk!!

    1. Okay I had to calm myself down because I got so excited about you starting Finnikin. You are going to LOVE the series. Hopefully you can get through the first two books before Quintana comes out in March ;). And the fact that you're currently reading Daughter of the Forest - and loving it, makes me very happy. Both books are fantastic, so no worries you bumped MM's

      You definitely need to read Unearthly and Hallowed so that we can talk about them! I'm still thinking about some of the issues they bring up. (No throwing books though!) HA.

      Let's Talk was fun! I always love reading yours. Do you know if they're going to continue past the summer?

    2. I'm to the point in Daughter that I'm pretty much chapter-by-chapter, which is basically how I get when it gets emotional for me. I read and then stop and have to take it in before I go any further. I can probably get to both MM's before March...I hadn't looked at the pub date and actually thought it was much sooner, so I'm pretty happy that I have a little more wiggle room. :)

      Also Melissa is pretty passionate about Let's Talk, I think, so she'll probably continue for awhile (although it really isn't fair of me to speak for her). She usually puts the questions up in chunks like they are now.

    3. Quintana releases in Australia in September and the US in March. I'd like to get my hands on it asap, but right now all preorders are for March (even from Fishpond). Hoping that changes.

  2. Hi! I just want to ask if the Lumatere Chronicles series have some love triangle involved in it? Thank you :)

    1. One of the things I love about Melina Marchetta - besides the fact that she is an absolutely incredible writer - is the fact that her characters tend to "mate for life," and none of the books of hers I've read involve love triangles. The Lumatere Chronicles is definitely an epic series with lots of couples involved. There are three main love stories that carry throughout the series however, and they are all triangle free. That doesn't mean their stories are easy, but it's always clear who the couples are. Actually, really none of the love stories in that series has a true love triangle in it. I hope you love the books!

  3. Thank you! I'll read it for sure. :)


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