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Series I’ll Likely Finish; Series I Won’t Be Finishing

A photograph of two piles of books, one pile of those whose series I'll finish, the other of series I won't finish

You’ll relate to this, I’m sure, and I’d love to hear what’s on your own lists. I’ve many book series that technically, in a dubious sense, are on the go. In some cases I have all the books already waiting (in most cases these are the series I’m not so fond of; isn’t that always the way?), others I have half the count, and more others I’d have to purchase. (Having more to purchase/borrow can sometimes itself be a reason to pause reading. It’s the reason I never got around to finishing that series with the boy wizard and man who shall not be named… and now I’ve missed collecting the set in one design.)

Whilst looking at my shelves for an idea of what to photograph in order to have some stock photos ready, I noticed how many unfinished series I had. I picked out a number of them – limited to the last book I’ve finished per series – and split them into two groups.

As I looked at them all neatly stacked on the table, I noticed a pattern that confirms something I’ve known a long time: I love fantasy but don’t make it a priority. I would say fantasy is a favourite genre but it requires a mental investment that I find difficult, a particular attention made more important due to my wish to review, and it keeps me away. I suppose what I’m saying is I love fantasy but find it hard to review, and I don’t know why. It may have something to do with my fear that I’ll miss key concepts, something I’ve got over when it comes to literary fiction and historicals but not yet imaginary worlds. I’m a video game and 90s sci-fi TV show geek who lost her way and thus doesn’t know many references any more.

Series I’ll Likely Finish

Elizabeth Chadwick’s Eleanor of Aquitaine trilogy

I’ve finished book one, The Summer Queen, and have The Winter Crown on the shelf. The first was excellent but there was that pesky factor of having to wait for the next book to be released that meant I lost track. I will get to it – I’m slowly, successfully, making my way through Chadwick’s backlist. And I thought it prudent to wait until she’s published the last book so a marathon can be a possibility.

Lian Hearn’s Tales Of The Otori series

‘Current’ book: Grass For His Pillow. I have the next two (of three) on my shelves. I’ve been reading this series almost as long as I’d been reading His Dark Materials before I finished it earlier this year… about 15 years, now. It’s an investment thing.

Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse series

Book 2, Living Dead In Dallas. I have most of this series thanks to a heavy discount that reduced the first ten books – what was published at the time – to the price of one store-bought book. (British readers may be familiar with The Book People.) This isn’t my favourite series thus the time it’s taken so far, but I like it enough to feel fairly confident in saying it will happen.

David (and Leigh!) Eddings’ The Mallorean

Book 2, King Of The Murgos. (There seems to be a pattern with this second book thing; it might be worth exploring at some point.) I pick this series up when I want older fantasy and am happy to read something repetitive. In many ways this series is a rehash of the previous, The Belgariad, that features the same characters. My problem with this ‘reboot’, as it were, is the change in Ce’Nedra and the way that because she’s had a baby she’s been largely left out. I’m making slow progress.

Series I Like Won’t Finish

Lauren Kate’s Fallen quartet

Book 2: Torment. It was a torment finishing the first two books. I went along with my standard ‘second chance’ mode of reading. I could carry on but I can’t say that interests me and negative reviews for negative reviews’ sake – no thanks.

Anna Belfrage’s Scottish time travel series

The Prodigal Son, book three. Akin to Diana Galbadon’s epic series, I read this series for a few tours and had to turn down the next two due to prior commitments.

N K Jemisin’s Inheritance trilogy

Book one, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. This book didn’t do it for me but I do plan to try another of Jemisins’ series.

Terry Pratchett’s Discworld

Book seven, Wyrd Sisters. I’m going to continue this series but being realistic there are so many books involved that I doubt I’ll ever read them all. I love Pratchett but need to read him in stages. I very much admire Jessica’s journey and am experiencing the series vicariously through her reviews.

Anyway, question time: which series do you have on the go and which have you given up on?



October 31, 2016, 1:41 pm

Considering my track record with series, I will probably never finish Discworld either. lol But, maybe!


November 1, 2016, 3:11 pm

I always complain to my husband about series versus stand alones and how I wish there were fewer series. As much as I don’t want to read books in a series I seem to manage to get myself deep into them anyway. I just started book one of a trilogy by Elizabeth Bear and it’s really good. Just finished the second book of a trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson. Waiting for the final book in Hilary Mantel’s Cromwell series. I will never read all of Patricia Highsmith’s Ripley books, I thought the first one great but have no desire to continue. I’d like to finish Proust but I keep getting stuck with volume 3 so it’s fate hangs in the balance.


November 3, 2016, 6:24 pm

Thank you for the mention :-) I also started the Sookie Stackhouse series but got distracted and forgot about it! I currently have George R.R. Martin’s epic Song of Ice and Fire series on the go – I have all the books published to date so will definitely finish those, but who knows when we’ll get the next, new book!


November 12, 2016, 10:07 am

Kailana: It’s so long! Yes, ‘maybe’ here also, of the hopeful type, like your own.

Stefanie: I often think how much I love series (because of all the times I’ll finish a standalone and want more) but when it actually comes to it there are a lot and it does take up time. And then those times you aren’t aware the book you’re reading is the first in a series – always better to know in advance, I reckon. Yes, being in the middle of many series… trying to keep up with them all! I still haven’t read Mantel, though I watched most of the adaptation and liked it a fair amount.

Jessica: It’s a good series but perhaps a bit soap opera-esque. You are racing through the Martin from what I can see! Yes – the next is supposedly in the works, isn’t it?


November 13, 2016, 10:10 pm

Yes, Martin is working on the next book, but it takes him ages to write them so I won’t be holding my breath for it!


November 14, 2016, 9:08 am

Reminds me of Philip Pullman! It is at least, I think, likely to be a long book!



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