I love book series. I love falling in love with characters and returning to them over and over again. I love seeing a story arc pay off at the end of a trilogy. But I am absolutely terrible at continuing a series once I start it! So last year, I launched a personal endeavor, the Great Series Read Project.
The Great Series Read Project was an attempt to motivate myself to actually read a series through to completion. I made a list of all the series I had started or had bought books for and needed to start. The plan was to choose one of those series, then read a book a month until I finished the series (or caught up to whatever was currently released), then rinse and repeat. Seemed simple enough, no?
What Actually Happened
So did this plan work out? Yes and no. As of writing this, I managed to get up-to-date on eleven series, DNF’d another two series, and am in-progress on…six others (oops). So the good news is, I’m actually managed to get up to date on several things! What ended up happening in many instances though, is that in 2019 I requested (and received) ARCs for sequels to books I hadn’t yet read, which meant that a lot of book ones and their sequels got pushed to the top of the TBR, instead of completed trilogies/series. This DID result in some fantastic reads, like JADE CITY and THE POPPY WAR, and I’m now ready for the trilogy finales when they drop in 2020, huzzah! In fact, I should be able to mark complete on several series in 2020, which is fantastic news for my completionist brain.
The part that went a little astray was that the true goal of this project was yet another attempt to get into my backlist. All those books I bought that are sitting on my shelves, it’s time to read them! Because of the allure of the shiny ARC, they often keep making it into the top five of my TBR, but never that coveted first spot. My goal was to read at least one sequel a month (or start a series from the list) and while I didn’t manage it every month, I did have some successes. Most notably, keeping this project in mind made sure I actually followed through and read WORDS OF RADIANCE this summer, having read THE WAY OF KINGS last Christmas (I’m letting myself spread these out since they are MASSIVE books). And I did actually let myself reread two books this year so that I could reread the sequels with plots fresh in my brain! Huzzah! I read SIX OF CROWS and CROOKED KINGDOM in back to back months! So there were plenty of small victories to be found, in no small part because I tried so very hard to push myself to squeeze in one sequel a month, even if it wasn’t the sequel I originally planned.
So Where Do I Go From Here?
At the end of the day, I’ve found the Great Series Read Project is a good tool to keep books in front of my eyes. Having that page on the blog, even if nobody looks at it but me, constantly reminds me of the series I have in progress and gives me that little extra push to move things to the top of the stack. So I’m keeping this going into next year! To that end, I’m rounding up five completed series I want to start and/or finish in the coming months. It’s not the first time I’ve made one of these lists (oh yikes, I still need to finish/start most of those….) nor will it be the last, nor will I confine my reading to the series below, but progress will be made!
THE TETHERED MAGE by Melissa Caruso
Every time I mention that I haven’t started this series, I get a lot of confused looks. By all accounts, this series is ABSOLUTELY something I will love. Magic and court intrigue and action, oh my! I’ve had the first book for a few years now, and it was on my list for Wyrd and Wonder earlier this year, but somehow this series has failed to make it to the top of my stack. I would love to actually get through the whole series in 2020, especially since a new trilogy in the same world is on the way!
BOOK OF THE ANCESTOR by Mark Lawrence
This series was one I successfully started for the Great Series Read Project, but didn’t manage to continue on with. I’m kind of okay with that, because, having received the first two books in mass market paperback after winning a giveaway, I’ve been waiting for book three to be released in the same edition because dang it, I will have a beautiful symmetrical series on my shelves! Like TETHERED MAGE, there’s another trilogy beginning soon in this world, so I’m hoping to check this series off in early 2020, continuing with GREY SISTER.
SPELLSLINGER by Sebastien de Castell
I will DEFINITELY by starting this series next year, after the wonderful people of Orbit sent me a review copy of book one. This is a fully completed six book series, and is supposed to be a fantastic ride, and I would love to blitz through this one book at a time.
THE SALVAGERS by Alex White
Technically, this trilogy isn’t completed yet, but book three comes out in summer 2020 so it might as well be! A sci-fi adventure about a crew of treasure hunters who accidentally salvage a war ship and get themselves into a whole mess of trouble. This sounds like a whole bunch of fun and an excellent candidate for my 2020 series list!
HIS FAIR ASSASSIN by Robin LaFevers
Last but not least, a YA trilogy that’s been on my shelves for a while! A young woman escapes from being forced into an arranged marriage and instead joins a convent where she trains to be an assassin. After her training, she’s sent to a royal court to become involved in intrigue and death. Oh and romance. Because what’s a little cat-and-mouse without the risk of falling in love with your target?
So those are (some) of my top priority series of 2020. What series would you like to tackle in the new year?