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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Discussion: ITS THE END

Thank you Tumblr and Daryl Dixon for helping me get through this difficult time.

I'm going to talk about a very difficult subject for many readers around the world.  This is something that plagues us constantly, year after year and can't be ignored no matter how hard you ride the Denial River.

That's right I'm talking about the end of a series.

This year marks the end of quite a few series I have followed eagerly (and in some cases) for a long while. So in this year of endings let's take a look back at some of the highlights of days gone past and make some outlandish predictions for the last novels! (mind you I've read some of these already, but I won't tell you what's truth and what's not! mwahahahah)

The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson
Book 3 of FIRE AND THORNS
Release Date: August 2013

The First Book: The Girl of Fire and Thorns
The Second Book: The Crown of Embers
Additional Materials: "Shadow Cats" and "The Shattered Mountains", prequels


What Kept Me Interested?: Elisa's evolution from frightened by her own shadow young girl to courageous and determined young woman seeking her destiny feels genuine and organic. These aren't changes overnight for her. She trusts the wrong people, makes the wrong choices (personally and diplomatically) and depends on people even as she grew stronger on a personal level. It takes her a long while to realize that even if someone cares about you, what they feel is in your best interests may hold you back from your true potential and you should never feel guilty about wanting to be better. This really hits home for me as I'm struggling to find that balance in my own life (though obviously not with the fate of an entire world at stake).

What Almost Lost Me?: Elisa is very hard to connect with at first. She's whiny, scared, bratty and stubborn. She's as much a product of her father and older sister underestimating her as she is from Ximena's coddling. Luckily this doesn't last long and she learns quickly that there are dangers lurking for the unwary.

Predictions: Well after the loss from Book 1, the emotional ups and downs of both books and the shocking dismissal at the end of Book 2 I think its high time that Elisa found herself some happiness. Look she found out that the mortality rate for Godstone Bearers is right up there with the mortality rate of Slayers (which is to say, don't plan a big party you won't make it to the legal drinking age). Then got some heavy emotional stuff piled up on her. Then got scared out of her sanity. Then figured out that sometimes those that love you are hurting you the worst. Plus she became an instant mother to a somewhat bratty child.  She NEEDS a bit of happiness to stay sane. I predict that Elisa will toss all her enemies off a cliff and throw a party to celebrate.

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Afterglow by Karsten Knight
Book 3 of WILDEFIRE
Release Date: November 2013

The First Book: Wildefire
The Second Book: Embers and Echoes
Additional Materials: None


What Kept Me Interested?: Mythology up to wazoo!  Every book had more and more mythology added on and that was pretty much enough to guarantee my love.  Also I really liked Ashline; brash, reckless and violent, plus you could say she cared too much and that blinded her on occasion.  Still she stood up for her friends, protected the weak and wanted nothing more then to grind Colt's nose into the ground.  I can't fault her for that.

What Almost Lost Me?: Colt. Seriously this guy.  Much like Ash I was taken in by his charm.  Also much like Ash I was horrified by the reveal at the end of Book 1/beginning of Book 2.  From all accounts it looks like Book 3 is going to deliver some much needed justice.  Or Knight is just really good at flimflamming us.  It could go either way.

Predictions: Everyone dies by rocks.  No seriously--look when the elements are in play you have to think its bound to happen right?  Look how often someone got smacked up side the face by a rock in Avatar: the Last Airbender or the Legend of Korra.  Playing with the elements = rock to face.  Simple science right there.  I will also accept that Saga comes Back from the Future to unload a can of CBA (Certified Bad Assery) on several characters. 

+++

With All My Soul by Rachel Vincent
Book 7 of SOUL SCREAMERS
Release Date: March 2013

The First Book: My Soul to Take
The Second Book: My Soul to Save
The Third Book: My Soul to Keep
The Fourth Book: My Soul to Steal
The Fifth Book: If I Die
The Sixth Book: Before I Wake
Additional Materials: "My Soul to Lose", "Reaper", "Never to Sleep"


What Kept Me Interested?: Tod! Admittedly I love Kaylee as well, and Sabine has grown on me.  This is another one that wove mythology throughout (though with a stronger emphasis on Celtic).  Vincent forever won my heart because she broke the mold (so to speak) of "Insta First Love" and portraying the problematic co-dependency issues so many YA paranormal series seem to find necessary therein.

What Almost Lost Me?:  Nash and/or Sabine.  Some of Kaylee's choices in Book 4 also troubled me.  I was very afraid of where Vincent was taking the series after the whole Demon's Breath thing and wasn't sure if my heart could take the fact that it might go in a direction I wouldn't enjoy.

Predictions: After once again proving that she has more sense than most teens her age, Kaylee wins the day by tricking the bad guy into selling his soul to her cousin Sophie (who then makes him her biatch).  To round out the day Kaylee makes brownies, explains some hard truths to Nash and rides off into the sunset with Tod.

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Daylighters by Rachel Caine
Book 15 of MORGANVILLE VAMPIRES
Release Date: November 2013

The First Book: Glass Houses
The Second Book: The Dead Girls' Dance
The Third Book: Midnight Alley
The Fourth BookFeast of Fools
The Fifth Book: Lord of Misrule
The Sixth Book: Carpe Corpus
The Seventh Book: Fade Out
The Eighth Book: Kiss of Death
The Ninth Book: Ghost Town
The Tenth Book: Bite Club
The Eleventh Book: Last Breath
The Twelfth Book: Black Dawn
The Thirteenth Book: Bitter Blood
The Fourteenth Book: Fall of Night
Additional Materials: Everything Listed in This List on GoodReads

What Kept Me Interested?: I came into this series very reluctantly.  Around book 3 I think.  And then spent an entire Saturday catching up (the first 8 or so books were fairly short by YA standards today) and eagerly awaiting the next book.  I love Claire.  And once he was introduced Myrnin (who yes I think looks just like David Tennant on a crazy day) became the love of my life.  This man can do no wrong in my book (except for that one time, but we don't talk about that one time).  Oh right.  Also I found the series vastly more interesting because it wasn't at a boarding school, but an entire town to play around in.

What Almost Lost Me?: Shane/Claire. I will never, ever in my life be a Shane/Claire fan.  I will tolerate it, because I'm not immune to some of the sweet stuff he does, but they are not my couple of choice Michael/Claire is.  Or Myrnin/Claire.  More seriously this series has never had a moment of 'I won't read the next book', much like the Soul Screamers books, despite the length I enjoy each book I'm a few behind however.

Predictions: All the vampires become humans, Myrnin proposes to Claire and they do Mad Scientific Research Together while Shane pouts in the corner.

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The Dead Sleep Eternally in the Wilderness Part 2 byYukako Kabei
Book 9 of KIELI
Release Date: September 2013

The First Book: The Dead Sleep in Wilderness

The Second Book: White Wake on the Sand
The Third Book: Prisoners Bound for Another Planet
The Fourth BookLong Night Beside a Deep Pool
The Fifth Book: The Sunlit Garden Where it Began Part 1
The Sixth Book: The Sunlit Garden Where it Began Part 2
The Seventh Book: As the Deep Ravine's Wind Howls
The Eighth Book: The Dead Sleep Eternally in the Wilderness Part 1 
Additional Materials: There is an artbook/short story, but I'm not sure if it will be translated into English

What Kept Me Interested?: Please excuse the japanese edition, the English edition doesn't have a cover yet.  I love Kieli.  Its this bittersweet oddly morbid, somewhat disturbing, not quite steampunk (sandpunk?) science fiction paranormal story about a girl who sees ghosts, a soldier who's basically a zombie and a radio possessed by a ghost with an attitude.  Its hardly ever a let down and several passages have given me nightmares.

What Almost Lost Me?: Honestly speaking I have never NOT wanted to continue this series. I love it so much.  And Yen Press does an outstanding job with translation and presentation.

Predictions: nothing good I'll say that much.  Kabei has basically been spending the last couple of books trying to tell Kieli "Look, this love you feel is utterly doomed and fraught with danger and horrifying death, and no it won't change" by basically showing her that it ended badly for her mother, several of Harvey's friends and oh look she's almost been killed at least once a book.  Pretty much if she survives I'll be shocked.

Why yes there's an overabundance of YA...mostly because my non-YA series keep getting renewed for more books...or are extremely long-lived (looking at you Stormlight Archive).  Even my historical romances, which I can always sort of count on to end, just keep going!  Its throwing my poor bookshelves into crazy disarray (and the least said about stand alones the better).

Anyone else have a book series ending this year?