10 Great Book Series
1. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
If you’re a bookworm, chances are you have read and loved the Harry Potter series. I know I have. I always associate autumn with Harry Potter, and around October, I get an uncontrollable urge to have a Harry Potter reading session of all of the books in order followed by a binge-watching session of all of the movies, culminating around Halloween. There is something very endearing about Harry and company, unraveling mysteries, overcoming challenges, and along the way they mature from little kids to teenagers. As if I really need to justify including this on a top ten list of great book series.
2. A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin
When I was in college many years ago, I had an awesome roommate (Hi Vee! You’re famous!) who pointed me in the direction of this series. It was so long ago that there were only three books in the series, way before it was even in consideration to be a show. I started reading it and I was immediately hooked. I loved the way that each chapter was told from the perspective of a different character, allowing us to see the plot and subplots unfolding in all sorts of angles that didn’t add up until all of a sudden things started making sense. I’ve been through the struggle of waiting forever for the next book to be released, although it’s now been 8 years since the last book was released and I’m starting to think there aren’t going to be any more books coming out.
3. Earth’s Children by Jean M. Auel
I’m pretty sure this was the very first book series that I ever really read and is set in prehistoric times. Clan of the Cave Bear, the first book, opens with an earthquake that leaves Ayla, a very young girl, alone. A clan finds her close to death and takes her in, even though she is very different from them both physically and mentally. She is trained as a medicine woman, but struggles to find her place among them. I’ve gone back to these books and read the series many times over the years. The level of research that went into this series is astounding, and Ayla is an amazing and strong character. Which reminds me, I think I’m about due to read this series again soon.
4. Will Trent by Karin Slaughter
This is a series that I happened to come upon in my library one day and absolutely fell in LOVE with! I’ve written a few reviews about books in the series so far on the blog, although ideally these should be read in order. (I found that out the hard way after reading book #8 first by accident, where I found out series spoilers too soon). It’s about Special Agent Will Trent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigations, the state’s version of the FBI, who is a genuinely good guy with a seriously messed up background. It has criminals, villains you love to hate, women in positions of power in male-dominated fields, a mix of sarcastic and goofy humor, and Will, who goes to any length to get the bad guys (or girls). Karin Slaughter is a master of page-turning suspense, and I can’t ever put her books down until I finish reading.
5. D.I. Callanach by Helen S. Fields
This series right here is another one I picked at random from the library. Oh. My. God. I started reading the book having no idea what I was getting myself into. From the first page I couldn’t stop reading until I had finished the book, mostly because I was too scared to stop until I knew what happened. There are plenty of horrifying and gory scenes, and nearly every book is just plain terrifying. I’m not talking about the type of terror from vampires or ghosts, but the horror that comes from serial killers that you could pass on the street and never know it. The kind that goes undetected until someone like handsome and brilliant (and French/Scottish) D.I. Luc Callanach comes along and happens upon a lucky break. Oh yeah, and they take place in Scotland, so when it gets too scary, I try hearing a Scottish accent in my head to take the edge off. Like Karin Slaughter, I find myself staying up till all hours of the night/morning reading these books. Yet I can’t stop because they’re just that good!
6. Folk of the Air by Holly Black
This is a YA fantasy series that I have quickly fallen in serious love with. Although the third book doesn’t get released until November, the first two (The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King) are the story of Jude, a girl whose parents are killed in front of her and her two sisters, and then the murderer (who happens to be the father of her oldest sister) takes them all to the kingdom of Faerie, where they are raised. Jude wants to be a knight in the High Court (which is pretty bad-ass), but in the process she gets tangled up in palace intrigue.
7. Crown of Shards by Jennifer Estep
Magic, assassination plots, murder, intrigue, politics, biting sarcasm, smoldering desire, gladiators, and strong female leaders – what isn’t there to love about this series? Starting with Kill the Queen, followed by Protect the Prince, and the upcoming Crush the King, this series features Everleigh Saffira Winter Blair. She’s smart, sassy, and usually thinks ten steps ahead. The books are full of combat and witty banter between the characters. There’s plenty of sexual tension and page turning action from the first page to the last.
8. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Another series that has been made into movies, but I still love the books more. I read the first three books in three days, and I just heard that there is a prequel being released in 2020. Of course, this means that I will have to reread the first three books to brush up on my knowledge of the series, since it has been quite some time since I’ve read them. If you haven’t noticed, I seem to love books with a strong female lead (enter Katniss Everdeen), although this is one of the few book series in the dystopian genre that I do really enjoy. If the previous three books are any indication, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is sure to be a hit.
9. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Yet another well-written book series that I felt was not done justice by the movie franchise. The books tell the story of Bella Swan, who moves from Arizona to live with her father in Washington. While there, she falls in love with Edward Cullen, who turns out to be a vampire, but she also forms a close bond with Jacob Black, who is a werewolf. There’s a love triangle that forms, as Bella struggles to navigate her difficult relationships. It’s been a long time since I read these books, but I recall loving how they were written. I also remember being so disappointed in how the movies were done, and how much of the books didn’t come across on the big screen. Even if you didn’t like the movies, I’d suggest giving the book series a try. They are big books, but they are definitely worth a shot.
10. Millennium by Stieg Larsson
The last series I chose was the one starting with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. The books were incredibly suspenseful, and had several plot lines woven together masterfully. The books take place in Sweden and involve a murder mystery, financial intrigue, long-held family secrets, legal issues, and even romance. The major characters are Lisbeth Salander, a young woman who is a complete non-conformist who is tech-savvy and absolutely brilliant, and Mikael Blomqvist, a journalist struggling after a libel conviction. The writing is incredible, and there is a lot of action. The movie is definitely not recommended – it does absolutely no justice to this book. There's more books than just these three, but they are written by a different author, since Stieg Larsson passed away, and I haven't read any of the newer books yet.
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