Friday, 31 May 2019

Book Series I'm Not Going to Finish

After a month-long absence from blogging all throughout April and nearly all of May (oops) I’m back with a post I’ve been wanting to write for a while. We all have book series we love and adore, but what about the ones that didn’t capture us as much as we’d hoped? I used to get terrible book-guilt over series I hadn’t finished and forever kept telling myself that I’d eventually get around to picking up the next instalment. I’ve now made peace with the fact that there are just some series that I’m never going to complete because I didn’t love them enough to carry or I’ve outgrown the story. And that’s okay. So today I’m going to discuss the series I’ve decided to leave behind and not continue. First up:

The Millennium Series by Stieg Larsson

I was a bit late to the party with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but when I got around to it I did enjoy it. A thriller with a kick ass heroine and a mystery that kept me guessing right until the very end. So why haven’t I carried on with the series? This is a classic case of ‘I enjoyed this book at the time, but it didn’t stay with me afterwards’. As good as the story and the characters were, I found the writing to be dry and over-written. I told myself I would pick up the next book but I never felt compelled to, even when I first initially finished this one.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

This was one of those books that repeatedly kept popping up on my radar to the point where I had a fear of missing out and wanted to see what all the hype with these books was about. I went in to reading it with some trepidation, as I do with any well-known and well-loved book. What if I found it didn’t live up to the hype? In cases like those you just have to go for it and hope the story is for you. That’s how I discovered V. E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic series and I’m so glad I gave those books a chance. However, while I thought A Court of Thorns and Roses was good, I didn’t enjoy it enough to warrant me reading the rest of the series. I’m glad I gave this one a go, but ultimately this series just isn’t for me.

The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories) by Bernard Cornwell

When I picked up the first book in this epic historical fiction series a few years ago I expected to fall in love with it. Historical fiction is one of my favourite genres and I always enjoy reading books set in periods I know very little about. Ninth-century Saxon England is an era in history I’d barely touched upon so I was curious to read a historical fiction set during that time. I did enjoy it to an extent, but I think my main issue with The Last Kingdom wasn’t so much the history, but the writing style. It felt dry and although it’s been a few years since I read it, I remember being very underwhelmed by it. Sadly this just wasn't what I was looking for.

A Great and Terrible Beauty (The Gemma Doyle Series) by Libba Bray

Yet another historical fiction I had high hopes for but left me feeling lukewarm. Again, it’s not that I disliked this book, but it also didn’t leave me compelled to rush off and buy the sequel. I actually wrote a favourable review for this one a few years ago which you can check out here, but this is one of those books that didn’t stand the test of time for me. Libba Bray isn’t a complete write off for me though, and I may check out some of her other standalone novels in the future.

A Song of Ice and Fire by George. R. R. Martin

This one is a toughie. I surprised myself when I realised that this series of books just isn’t for me because I really, really wanted to love them, but I've made my peace with the fact that I'm never going to finish them. I made it as far as A Storm of Swords and called it a day. Instead, I trusted the storytelling of these books to the T.V show, which is easily one of my favourite shows of all time. However, I’m now writing this post-watching the final ever episode (sob) and my disappointment has left me wondering what more the books can offer. Yet I have a few reasons as to why I abandoned this series – too many POV’s and a writing style I couldn't gel with to name two – so as much as I love the story overall, realistically I don’t think I’m going to return to these books. My experience was that whilst they added more depth to the overall story, I found them to be long-winded and an overall slog to get through.

That being said, that doesn’t mean I won’t shy away from finding out who GRRM really feels belongs on the Iron Throne because the show really dropped a ball in that final season. Sigh.

Which series have you decided you’re never going to finish? Are on of yours on my list?

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