Thursday, September 6, 2012

Summer of Series

This was the summer of series for me. So much so that when the request for a blog post about what I was going to read this summer, I even missed that request.! I have figured out that during this summer I have read over 6500 pages in series alone! (Don't worry, I did read in the sunshine for a lot of them). That does not include the 3 or 4 books I read that are not part of a series. I know that I read a lot but even I am amazed at the amount. But some series are like popcorn, no matter how big, once you have had one piece, you want to go on and on. So even though I have mentioned a few of these books in previous blogs, I feel they are worth repeating.

The series that consumed most my time and interest is Song of Ice and Fire (M) by George R R Martin. I have written about Martin in a previous blog so I won't re-explain here. Most people refer to this series as Game of Thrones, which is the title of the first novel and the television show.

For those who are unaware, there are also graphic novels based on this series; one of which is a prequel to the books. Usually I read a book and then it appears on television or at the movie theatres. In this case, it was the opposite. A friend recommended the new HBO series Game of Thrones to me. It was love at first watch. Reading the five existing books has occupied most of my summer, whether reading or listening to them (as I was so enraptured with them that I requested all formats available, so that I would not have to wait so long.) Reader beware, these are long books! But the story is so suspenseful and the characters so realistic, with all their wonders and flaw's, that the pages fly by. One moment you like a character and then they do something so horrible and unexpected, you hate them. And then the same character you can suddenly feel sorry for in the next book. Martin is known to kill off major characters and even bring some “back to life”. That is what has kept me reading and I am anxiously waiting for books six and seven, which still are not written.

The other books that I read all three books of this summer is the Fifty Shades Trilogy (M) by E.L. James. I have also written about in a previous blog. This is the breakout novel of the summer, with the library having over 900 holds on the first novel at one time. I read these novels out of curiosity's sake. And anyone who knows me would be surprised that I picked them up and continued to read all three. It is no secret that I am not a fan of romance novels. I like my novels to be more “realistic” or at least funny. In an informal pole of readers I have asked you either really love the novels or couldn't stand the “horrible writing and repetition of the author. There have been readers who have counted how many times the author use the words “biting her lower lips”, being told to eat and her inner goddess talking to her and “holy crap” is used 23 times in the first three chapters! I can't say I enjoyed the novels but they have over $145 million in sales of the U.S. alone.....

The Sookie Stackhouse Series (M) by Charmaine Harris was originally known as The Southern Vampire series. This is one of those series that I had read before it was picked up by HBO to make True Blood. Sookie Stackhouse was created by Harris when she decided to “shake up her writing style by trying something new”. Sookie is a telepathic waitress working at Merlott'e Bar andGrill in Bontemp, Louisiana. All her life she has been viewed as odd but it is not until later in the series that reader discovers how odd. Sookie is part fae. This is what attracts her to vampires. Harris does not just stop with fairies and vampires, she has included wereanimals (which include panthers,wolves and tigers), shapeshifters, maenads, witches and a host of other supernatural creatures.

The latest in this series is Deadlocked. Sookie has discovered a magical fairy love object that was given to her grandmother. The Cluviel Dor grants the possessor one wish. Sookie struggles to decide what to do with this gift. Should she wish her powers away and be “normal” . But there are other creatures who wish to have the item. And as usual when it comes to Sookie's life there are all sort of complications being created each of the supernatural communities.

The novel I Micheal Bennet is part of (what else) the Michael Bennett Suspense Series (M) by James Patterson. Truthfully I am getting a little tired of the Patterson formula writing. While reading about Michael Bennett, I found that except for a few scenes here and there, I could have been reading an Alex Cross novel. Just exchange the grandmother for Alex for the grandfather of Michael. Admittedly Alex has more children than Michael and they are in different cities. But there is definitely a formula in place for Patterson. How could there not be when he has written 71 novels in 33 years. He has had 19 #1 New York Times Best Sellers and has outsold Stephen King, John Grisham and Dan Brown combined!

The next books on my list for series are the All Souls Trilogy (M) by Deborah E A Harkness and The Hunger Games (M) by Suzanne Collins. When I read the The Discovery of Witches by Harkness I was blown away, immediately was looking for another book. I was thrilled to discover that it was part of a trilogy. Book two in the series was released this summer, Shadow of Night.

I recently watched the film adaptation of The Hunger Games with my son (who has read the novel). He pointed out all of what was missing from the original story. So I guess I will have to go back and read the series.

though summer maybe coming to an end, my thirst for series reading will never be quenched!

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