Book series I started…

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I love book series of all kinds. There are historical romance book series I enjoy. There are urban fantasy book series I cant get enough of. I have a few favorite manga and graphic novel series as well. It was only after I tried to keep track of the book series I started but for some reason never continued after reading only the first book did I realize how many of them are on my reading lists. It took whole two pages just to write the titles of the firsts books of the series I started reading. Now that I look at them all I see some I’ve totally forgotten about and some I keep meaning to continue but never actually do. I managed to put them all in three rough categories:

#1 First books of a series that I will not continue

#2 First books of a series I even forgot about

#3 First books of a series I want to continue

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First I had to weed out many of the historical romances I read out of order and had no desire to follow from the beginning. There were also quite the number of graphic novel series I tried out because I wanted to learn an origin story of this or that character and never actually meaning to continue reading them. Also there were a few first books of a series I read and then switched to some prequel first book series and then everything got complicated and I just let them go. Those above mentioned I’m keeping totally out of this discussion.

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#1 First books of a series that I will not continue

These are the books that for some reason did not appeal to me enough to consider to continue reading the rest of the series. As happened with Anne Bishop Ephemera book series. I expected to like the enough to continue reading and bought first two books right away. It has been years since I read the first and will probably never read the second. Demonica series from Larissa Ione was a sort of gamble when I bought it. For some reason it did not blew me away and I did not feel like buying or reading the rest of the series. On Dublin Street book series I just joined in on the hype on the first book when it was translated to Croatian. I never felt motivated enough to read beyond that first book.

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Some of them I did not like and was disappointed after reading them. My biggest disappointment was by far Hellsing manga by Khota Hirano. I loved anime adaptations and had high expectations from the original manga. I even felt cheated on it and was later glad I did not start buying the whole series. Wrinkle in Time I read this year as a book club assignment and was not impressed at all. Beautiful Disaster was one of those books in the YA genre everybody was suddenly talking about. I found it to be shallow and boring.

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And then there were some book series in this category that I just decided they were not for me and just made a decision not to continue reading the rest of the books in the series. How to Train your Dragon and The Penderwicks were both funny and lovely but I could feel they were intended for much younger audience. I’m glad I’ve read them both but will not be reading the rest. Homeland by R.A. Salvatore is the most famous Dungeons and Dragons novelization and first book in a very long book series about the legendary elf drow Drizzt. I tried it out since I was curious about the character and since I’m an avid RPG player. After reading the first book I realized that the author had decided to keep the PG rating for the mostly American market and availability. I am not a fan of books where author ends a scene with a simple curtains down and a morning after routine. I decided to give it up altogether for lack of sex scenes. I find it hypocritical how violence is OK but sex is not OK for the readers. The last book series in this segment is Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. The violence and brutality of the book kept me on edge most of the reading. I decided to let it go since it bothered me too much. With the book series I even stopped watching the TV show. Now I’m having second thoughts and I’m continuing watching the TV show so I might go back to the books as well

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There are a few I was happy about reading and did not feel the need to continue it as a series. One of the books I was impressed with and was actually surprised at how much I liked it was Foundation by Isaac Asimov. After reading it and getting the general feel to the ideas behind the book I did not feel like reading the other books from the series. Same was with the Wallbanger series by Alice Clayton. I enjoyed the book and even bought it as a present for other but never felt the need to read the rest of the books from the series. The Shadow of the Wind was a book club reading assignment. I enjoyed the writing style and have read few other books by Carlos Ruiz Zafon before. The story for me felt complete enough and I haven’t searched out the rest of the books from the series

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#2 First books of a series I even forgot about

These books I read long ago and I forgot about reading them. With Blake Crouch‘s Wayward Pines thriller I was intrigued and picked it up even though it was not my favorite genre. I remember being immersed in the book. I even watched the TV show and enjoyed it. And I seem to forgot about it later on. I enjoyed reading YA novel Matched by Ally Condie. I even liked the book covers for all three books and how they actually made sense with the plot of the books. I never continued the series though…

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Some books and series were not actually memorable and nothing about them set them apart from similar books in their genre. I found Julia Quinn‘s Bridgertons book series not particularly memorable. The plot and the characters just seemed to blend in with many others I’ve read at the time. Down to You by M. Leighton also got lost in the sea of other similar books in the genre. I remember plot having potential but not actually delivering more than simple erotic fiction. One for the Money by Janet Evanovich is a first in a rather long book series that even got a movie. I remember enjoying the funny parts of the book. After watching the movie I was confused about the stupid plot holes that came over from the book and just forgot about the rest of the series altogether.

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When I first read these series I did not have other books of the series available for reading. Later on I just simply forgot about them. Love is Darkness was a freebie first book from Valerie Dearborn book series on Kindle. I enjoyed it quite a bit. At the time I was unsure weather to buy the other books or not. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was another book club assignment. In Croatian translation all five books are hard to come by since they are mostly sold out. I have a first one from my boyfriend and I for some reason I did not want to read the library copies.

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#3 First books of a series I want to continue

Here I have sorted book series that I want to continue and have the books ready. All I need is to start reading them, but for some reason I hesitate. Interview with the Vampire I’ve read only recently. While I have most of the other books in this series available I still hesitate to read them. I think I want to like them and have a feeling I won’t. Howl’s Moving Castle was a book I was hyped about. I loved both of the anime versions – Japanese and English voiceovers. I expected the book to blow me away but it did not. I’m still hoping to read other books of the series and keep them close by. I liked all the books by Cassandra Clare I’ve read so far. Earlier this year I’ve read Clockwork Angel. I like it despite its steampunkish traits. While the characters are quite charming I feel a bit apprehensive toward reading next books from this series. Of Saints and Shadows is an older UF book from the Shadow Saga book series by Christopher Golden. I remember it being creepy and downright scary. I always thought of picking it up again one day. I have next tree books already waiting. I think since it has been years I’ve read the first book that I might have some problems into getting into the second one now.

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And for the end I have books that I want to read but have problems with getting the actual books from the series. Some like Log Horizon manga I have issues with identifying the second volume manga edition. I keep coming up with light novelization and I’m not interested in those at all. supposedly the author Mamare Touno had some legal issues and even the anime series has stopped. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness was an absolute pleasure to read. I really loved Croatian translation edition in hardcover. I’m thinking on getting a hardcover copy for sure. Not sure yet will it be in English or Croatian though.The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams was a part of a reading challenge from my boyfriend. It is one of his favorite book series. He used to have them and borrowed them to someone who never returned them. I’m planing to get the whole series for him someday in a nice package with the new books coming out this year.

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It has been a while since I made a post this long. Hopefully you did not find it too boring.

Outlander – Review

After more than a month of trudging trough it I finally finished Outlander (Outlander series book 1 ) by Diana Gabaldon

1322638297Outlandertpb3wideWith almost 800 pages this book has it all. Action, drama, romance, fantasy elements, historical tidbits and erotic tidbits, swoon worthy male character and female characters with fire and inteligence.

For years I have heard lots of nice things about this series and my expectations were met. What prompted me to finally take the time and read it was the TV series which came out summer 2014. I wanted to read the books before the show!

First book was written in 1991 and in more than 20 years there are only 8 books and 11 novellas in it – 8 novellas are Lord John series. All books are nice and sturdy brick like features that promise a full historical saga experience.

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For those who are interested here is a list chronology:

1) OUTLANDER
2) DRAGONFLY IN AMBER
3) VOYAGER
3.1) Lord John and the Hellfire Club (novella)
3.2) Lord John and the Private Matter (novel)
3.3) Lord John and the Succubus (novella)
3.4) Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade
3.5) Lord John and the Haunted Soldier (novella)
3.6) Lord John and the Custom of the Army (novella)
3.7) The Scottish Prisoner (a Lord John novel)
3.8) Lord John and the Plague of Zombies (novella in the anthology titled “Down These Strange Streets”)
4) DRUMS OF AUTUMN
4.1) The Outlandish Companion (a non-fiction guide to the OUTLANDER world and covers big books 1-4. )
5) THE FIERY CROSS
6) A BREATH OF SNOW AND ASHES
7) AN ECHO IN THE BONE
7.1) A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows
7.2) The Space Between
7.3) Virgins ( novella from an anthology titled “Dangerous Women” )
8) WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART’S BLOOD

“Lord John and the Hand of Devils” is a collection that contains: Lord John and the Hellfire Club, Lord John and the Succubus and Lord John and the Haunted Soldier

*ACHTUNG! ACHTUNG!*

Text below contains spoilers and my personal experience on the first book and first eight episodes of the TV series.

You have been warned.

kilt dropThere are many things I loved about this book and then there are some that just did not sit well with me at all. The concept of time travel is a complicate one to write and even more so when the author wants to be taken seriously. On this part Diana Gabaldon has done a really good job. There are many intricate historical details in the books. One of the main topics in the books is Jacobite rebellion. What was even more impressing the air date of the first half season (8 episodes) coincided with a Scottish referendum on the question are they going to stay as a part of Great Britain or seek political independence.

I love the drama and the romance part of the book. Jamie Fraser is a very interesting character and makes for an excellent book boyfriend. Jamie turns out as an educated highlander that speaks several languages fluently, wields a bastard sword proficiently, is devoted as a puppy, has impressive sexual stamina and then some!

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For those who do not know what this picture is about he is saying the motto of his clan. Motto of the clan Fraser means “I am ready”

Another thing I loved about this book are some girl power details – as I like to call them. The little things here and there that testify on how awesome and powerful women really are. For example there is Jamie’s sister Jenny  and a scene in which she, about a week after giving birth, rides out with Claire to track down which way English dragoons have taken Jamie. Some of the details are described in a way that makes you wonder on the fact that history is mostly written by men and role of a woman is mostly reduced to wife and a mother at best.

There are things that bothered me more in the TV series than in the books. One of those was a character of Jack Randall – Black Jack. The whole concept of this character is kinda strange for me: him being an ancestor of Frank – the man she leaves behind. The scenes in the TV series were much more intense than those in the books. In the TV version he kinda scares me. In the books I must have viewed him trough the narration of Claire and that made him less frightening.

One other thing that is bothering me is when Claire decides to stay with Jamie in the past. For first third of the book she is thorn between one husband and the other. I must admit that her denial and thoughts on both of them annoyed me a bit. And when she finally made up her mind I didn’t like how lightly she betrayed Frank – especially if we consider how in the years they have been married and estranged, she was faithful and loyal to him. Suddenly there’s this redheaded highlander that sweeps her of her feet and she falls madly in love with him. I don’t know what would have made it better for me but the decision just did not sit well with me at all. Maybe I was influenced by TV show here. The scenes where they show Frank desperately searching for Claire after she disappears were heavy with emotion and made an impact on me. Through the whole first book Frank is only mentioned at the beginning and that makes the world of difference I guess.

Steamy scenes were nice to read and watch!

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The rape talk and explanation did not bother me as much I thought they would. Black Jack is a real sadist and all the drama, passion and pain give him more dimensions as a character. Graphic violence in the TV series was much more intense and I’m actually scared what they will come up with to surprise those who read the books.

I’m mostly wondering the audience reaction when Jamie spanks Claire silly!

I’m still thinking on giving a next book in the series a go. The first one was all consuming.