November 29, 2014

Series finales and rankings

So many YA series that I've been following came to an end this year. Some were published last year, but I didn't read the final book until this year. Others released their last installments in 2014. It was a great year of series finales for me, but at the same time, I'm a little sad to say farewell to some of my favorites.

Without further ado, these are the series I finished in 2014, ranked by how much I enjoyed the overall series.

1. Series: Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
Books: Rot & Ruin, Dust & Decay, Flesh & Bone, Fire & Ash
I started reading the Rot & Ruin series in 2012, and the first three books all made yearly my top 10 lists. These are my favorite zombie books of all time and one of my favorite series ever.

2. Series: Razorland by Ann Aguirre
Books: Enclave, Outpost, Horde
This series kept getting better with every book. I liked Enclave, but I loved Outpost. It came in at #3 on my list of favorite reads of 2013. And guess what, Horde was even better!

3. Series: Newsflesh by Mira Grant
Books: Feed, Deadline, Blackout
How is it that my favorite series are all zombie-related? Who knows? It certainly wasn't intentional because I'm not that much of a zombie fan. Feed and Deadline both made my top 10 favorite reads lists in the years that I read them.

4. Series: Legend by Marie Lu
Books: Legend, Prodigy, Champion
Legend was my favorite book read in 2013. Then I read Prodigy and Champion in the first half of 2014, which is fairly quick for me in getting through a series. While I like Marie Lu's writing, the trilogy lost its way a little in book 2, but it ended on a strong note. Overall, a very satisfying series.

5. Series: Dust Lands by Moira Young
Books: Blood Red Road, Rebel Heart, Raging Star
I loved Blood Red Road, and it was my second most favorite read of 2012. The writing style of this series takes a little getting used to, but once I did, I was hooked. I think it's that style that lends a level of gritty emotion to this series that isn't often found in other YA books.

6. Series: Unwind by Neal Shusterman
Books: Unwind, UnWholly, UnSouled, Undivided
I loved the first book of the series. The concept was original and scary, and the story was gripping. UnWholly and UnSouled didn't measure up to Unwind (I partly blame the introduction of the dreaded love triangle for this), but the series ended with another great book in Undivided.

7. Series: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Books: Under the Never Sky, Through the Ever Night, Into the Still Blue
Under the Never Sky was my #4 favorite read of 2012. The other two books in the series didn't quite live up to the first, but this was still a very good series overall.

8. Series: Grisha by Leigh Bardugo
Books: Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, Ruin and Rising
The first two books in this trilogy were good, but the conclusion was great! It's one of the best series finale books I've read.

9. Series: Partials Sequence by Dan Wells
Books: Partials, Fragments, Ruins
Unlike the Grisha series, I enjoyed the first two books in the Partials Sequence, but the third book fell flat. The plot lines split into too many groups for me to easily follow, and the characters all started to annoy me to the point where I didn't care which side won or if they both died out. Not a good sign, and it made the ending a non-event for me.

10. Series: Divergent by Veronica Roth
Books: Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant
Believe it or not, despite all of the hype over the Divergent movie and books this year, I never got into this series like many others did. Divergent was pretty good, but Insurgent suffered the sophomore slump, and Allegiant was somewhere in between the two. Also, count me among the readers who didn't like the ending. So much of what happened in this series didn't make sense and didn't need to happen the way it did, which is one of my biggest problems with it.

11. Series: Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
Books: Article 5, Breaking Point, Three
This was a series that was decent but never progressed beyond that. It had a very typical YA dystopian story line, and in some ways, that hurt it as the writing didn't wow me and it didn't offer anything original that wasn't already found in other books of the same genre. If I had to compare it to something, I'd label it as a poor man's Legend.

Although I don't anticipate next year to be as eventful, there's one series conclusion that I'm very much looking forward to... and dreading at the same time because I don't want to say good-bye.

Series: The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
Books: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Winter (to be released Feb 2015)
The Lunar Chronicles has become one of my all-time favorite series. The first three books have all been fantastic. Even as new characters are introduced, Marissa Meyer has done a wonderful job of keeping me engaged. I can't wait for Winter in 2015!

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