Ola bibliophiles! How have things been? I promised I’d be back and here I am, kicking it off with Top 5 Wednesday. This week’s topic is: Series that got better. Sometimes you’ve got to push through to get to the good stuff.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

Blurb:

Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price …

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.

I really struggled with A Court of Thorns and Roses, so much that it took a shit load of convincing to continue the series. I just couldn’t stomach the relationship that developed in the first book, something about it didn’t sit well with me. However, since reading the rest of the books I get why Maas wrote the first book the way she did and I have subsequently fallen head-over-heel for this world and the characters that inhabit it. I have also convinced so many of my friend to give the series a chance and may have converted contemporary readers into fantasy enthusiast.

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Blurb:

Sixteen-year-old Cinder is considered a technological mistake by most of society and a burden by her stepmother. Being cyborg does have its benefits, though: Cinder’s brain interference has given her an uncanny ability to fix things (robots, hovers, her own malfunctioning parts), making her the best mechanic in New Beijing. This reputation brings Prince Kai himself to her weekly market booth, needing her to repair a broken android before the annual ball. He jokingly calls it “a matter of national security,” but Cinder suspects it’s more serious than he’s letting on.

Although eager to impress the prince, Cinder’s intentions are derailed when her younger stepsister, and only human friend, is infected with the fatal plague that’s been devastating Earth for a decade. Blaming Cinder for her daughter’s illness, Cinder’s stepmother volunteers her body for plague research, an “honor” that no one has survived.

But it doesn’t take long for the scientists to discover something unusual about their new guinea pig. Something others would kill for.

I’m currently on the third book but I remember reading Cinder and thinking it was okayish. But after reading Scarlet I was hooked. I love the fact that these retellings are set in a dystopian future with awesome tech, spaceship and these humanoid aliens who live on the moon and have developed the power of mind control. Definitely a series worth getting sucked into.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

This trilogy is written so beautifully, however it can be a little intimidating at first. It takes a couple of chapters to get use to Laini Taylor’s style and the pace is quite slow in the beginning but I guarantee that about 60 pages in you will not be able to put it down. As the trilogy progresses there is a bit of a transition from the urban fantasy themes in Daughter of Smoke and Bone to more high fantasy in Days of Blood and Starlight. The world that Laini creates, along with the mythology it is paired with is phenomenal. And the protagonist, Karou, despite her unique disposition is easy to relate to. This trilogy is one of my top five.

Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Blurb:

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

If the above blurb doesn’t pique your interest then I honestly don’t know what will. This trilogy starts off strong and only gets better with each book. The third book is scheduled to be published in 2018.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her … but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead … quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined. 

Throne of Glass is one of those fantasy series that is super hyped up so a lot of people read the first book and never further because the first book falls short of their expectations. Personally, I remember feeling a little disappointed after reading the first novel myself. That being said you’ve got to remember that this is a 6 book series plus a prequel and a companion novel. The first book serves an introduction to the protagonist and the world. This is one of those series that get more epic with each book. Maas is a mastermind at plot and creating intricate and intertwining twists.

If you participate in Top 5 Wednesday please leave a link to your post in the comments below. And even if you don’t, let me know which series/trilogies you thinks have gotten better with each book.

Series that got better

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