As I’ve said many times in the past, the second book in a series is normally my favourite installment. The first book takes too long establishing the location and the plot, while the third book never lives up to my expectations.
These five books are all the second book in the series, and the best installments by far.
Remember: click on the book covers to view them on Goodreads, and their titles to purchase them via my Amazon affiliate link!
5) ‘Golden Son‘ by Pierce Brown
Okay, this is totally cheating, because I love every book in Pierce Brown’s Red Rising trilogy. However, there’s something gripping about the second novel. I almost rated the third book a four star (gasp!) but the second book has a much wider scope than the first installment. Reading this book was scary because I loved ‘Red Rising’ so much, but ‘Golden Son’ cemented my faith in Pierce Brown.
4) ‘Never Forget‘ by Richard Davis
The only adult novel on the list, ‘Never Forget’ is a near perfect crime novel. In comparison, the first novel was bland and utterly predictable. Where I rolled my eyes constantly during ‘False Prophet’, I was on the edge of my seat for ‘Never Forget’ and never wanted it to end.
3) ‘Here be Witches‘ by Sarah Mussi
The third installment in Sarah Mussi’s Snowdonia Chronicles hasn’t been released yet, but ‘Here Be Witches’ is far superior to ‘Here Be Dragons’, the first book in the series. I had so much to complain about when I reviewed ‘Here Be Dragons’ but with the second book in the series Sarah fixes all of the problems in the first book. I’m so excited to see what happens in the third installment, and whether it keeps getting better.
2) ‘Siege and Storm‘ by Leigh Bardugo
‘Siege and Storm’ is by far the best installment in Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy. I enjoyed ‘Shadow and Bone’, but when it came to ‘Ruin and Rising’ I was unbearably disappointed. (In fact, I could have sworn I gave it one star… But according to Goodreads I was generous, and it still earned three!). ‘Siege and Storm’ was very very close to getting five stars, and it’s the only reason that I would consider rereading this trilogy.
1) ‘The Invasion of the Tearling‘ by Erika Johansen
I hated Erika Johansen’s debut novel, ‘The Queen of the Tearling’. One of my colleagues convincing me that the series got better: the only reason I carried on. I flew through ‘The Invasion of the Tearling’, and I think it’s the best installment to a series that I’ve EVER read. Erika solves all of the problems laced throughout the first book, effectively sets up the third novel, features a wondrous amount of character development AND introduces a new viewpoint. This book is unbeatable. It was so good, I forgot to review it! *face palm*
(Sadly, the third book in the series is a huge disappointment. Overall, this is still one of the worst trilogies I’ve ever read…)
That’s it for this week’s Top Five Wednesday! Which do you prefer – the start, middle or end of a series – and why?