Wednesday 23 December 2009

FIVE Challenge: Series

FIVE Great Series

Further explanation of the FIVE Challenge here.

This was tricky as I could consider any series that had a title published this year. It could include series that were well and truly into the depths of their overall arc or a series starting out. The notion of a "series" was interesting as well. I chose to include sequential and companion series under this umbrella, however I choose to disallow The Girlfriend Series (Allen and Unwin) as multiple authors contribute.

Again, in no particular order.

5. The Moorhawke Series by Celine Kiernan (Allen & Unwin)
2009 Title - The Poison Throne

It reminded me of Tamora Pierce's work so immediately captured my interest. There is intrigue a-plenty, a love interest with missing digits, a dastardly king and a strong female protagonist in an invented Medieval world. It's GOOD know the kind where the characterisation is ememplery, the world building incredible real and detailed and the journey worth the time?

I got my hands on The Crowded Shadows this week and am excited to see what happens.

Read review of The Poison Throne here.

4. The Graceling Companion Series by Kristin Cashore (Gollancz Australia)
2009 Title: Fire

I feel blessed to have discovered Kristin Cashore's writing these past few months. The expansiveness of her tales and the fantastically realised characters create a very real reading experience for her audience. She's so good that you forget you are reading a fantasy novel, their world feels like your own. With an exception to a few funky names this companion series (it doesn't flow directly into one another, the time line and realities are different), they are breathtaking reads, Fire especially.

Follow the links to read my reviews of Graceling (2008) and Fire (2009).

3. Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness (Walker Books Australia)
2009 Title: The Ask and the Answer

Umm...if you've read either of the titles of this series you know why it's on the list.

The first novel, The Knife of Never Letting Go, is an action packed exploration of planet settlement, gender inequality, distrust, paranoia and violence all wrapped up in the package of a 'on the road' story. The Ask and the Answer pushes the characters from innocence into a mass of political machinations in a tense thriller covering racism, occupation and guerilla warfare.

It's a layered and quickly paced series that pushes conventions and conceptions.

Follow the links to read my reviews of The Knife of Never Letting Go (2008) and The Ask and the Answer (2009).

2. Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead (Penguin Australia)
2009 Title: Blood Promise

You can disregard this as pulp...I did but I still read, and read, and read. I have many problems with characterisation, pacing and plot points but I am always engaged.

Having been able to speak to Richelle about the series, I feel like I have a better appreciation of where she's heading. I also feel that Blood Promise propelled Rose and the series in general into the wider sphere of the world.

The industry is teaming with the vampire genre (or Bit Lit) and I believe this is the strongest series on offer.

Follow the links to read my not so keen reviews of Vampire Academy, Frostbite, Shadow Kiss and Blood Promise.

1. The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)
2009 Title: Catching Fire

It's a juggernaut that isn't losing any momentum because of it's fantastic premise and building danger to the protagonist (Katniss) and her family and friends. Though how she's survived to this point I'll never know.

Catching Fire was a great exploration of country wide political tension and revolution with the uprisings throughout Panem offset by the mindless violence and strategising of the games. While Catching Fire lost some of the momentum of The Hunger Games and had some needless repetition, it is a strong series that is sure to conclude explosively.

Follow the links to read my reviews of The Hunger Games (2008) and Catching Fire (2009).

Tomorrow... FIVE Great Re-Reads



Natalie Hatch said...

I discovered Kenneth Oppel's "Skyborn" series this year. Absolutely loved it and all the brass gadgetry (shiny!). I also liked Ally Carter's "Gallagher Girls" series, more MG than YA, having girls train at a spy school? I like it.

Rhiannon Hart said...

Tamora Pierce? *whiskers bristle* So buying The Poison Throne ASAP!

And general squeeing over my three faves there ;)

By the way I reviewed Fire recently. I love love loved it except that the romance totally fizzled for me. Where was the declaration, the first kiss etc etc? They kinda just agreed they were in love, she had a minor freakout and then ... the end. I thought Fire and youknowwhoMrSexyPants had the most awesome chemistry at the beginning (OMG, when she rode out to distract the raptors while the army got the the tunnel, one of my favourite scenes of all time!) and then, blah. Drop by and let me know what you think.

jennifer said...

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others, it must be helpful for other's. thanx and good job.
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