As we take a look back at 2018 we started some really great series but we also sadly had to say goodbye to others. It’s always a bittersweet reading the final book. On the one hand you finally get to know how it ends but on the other hand sometimes you are not ready to let go quite yet. So let’s raise a glass to the books that have entertained us over the last couple of years and who knows, maybe our favorite authors will one day return to your fave characters.
Falling Kingdom Series by Morgan Rhodes – This epic “Game of Thrones” YA series finally came to a close after it’s 6 books. Alliances were built and destroyed, Gods sent packing and love conquers all. It was quite a ride.
Front Lines Series (Soldier Girls) by Michael Grant – Rio, Frangie, and Rainey fight until the end of the World War Two. After three books of following our girls through battle, we finally see them through the end and what they did with their lives afterward.
Carve the Mark Duology by Veronica Roth – Some of the story building was problematic but it was an original idea that was was engrossing. I do feel that there is enough story left over that Veronica could return this world, she could.
Charlotte Holmes Trilogy by Brittany Cavallaro – There have been many different takes on Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. This time around the Holmes and Watson families have a long history as does the Holmes family and the Moriarty family and a century worth of feuds come to end with Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson in the center. Truly an enjoyable series for any Holmes or mystery fans.
Talon Series by Julie Kagawa – Ember, Riley,Garrett and the soldiers of St. George have no choice to team up if they are going to save the world from Talon After 5 books it’s been a wild ride
Red Queen Series by Victoria Aveyard – This may have been one of my favorite YA series since The Hunger Games ended. It had a little bit of everything. Super Powers, class warfare, racism and political philosophy. I’m sad that it’s over because it was pretty great but I do look forward to what Victoria does next.
Warcross Series by Marie Lu – Virtual reality game is about to take dow the world unless Emika can stop it. Really it’s not that farfetched and that’s part of it’s brilliance. Emika is one of the coolest YA heroine.
The Tiger’s Saga by Colleen Houck – This one was kind of disappointment. This maybe an example of knowing when to stop. Even though it was always planned on being a quintet, the fourth book was released almost 4 years ago and the story had pretty much been wrapped up. Tiger’s Dream while a wrap up of Kishan’s arc but was a really long rehash of the last four books. It didn’t add anything to the story and sort of made me upset with Kishan.
Strange the Dreamer Duology by Laini Taylor – These two books were beautiful and heartbreaking. Everyone is living with some sort of a trauma and doing what they can to survive. We finally see the true depths of what the people of Weep had to live through and it’s horrifying. You really can’t blame any of them for their anger but despite all the hurt there is a real hopefulness to it.
Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J Maas – Seven books and several twists and turns later we finally see how Aelin’s story ends and it’s epic. There have been so many stories and characters it was almost hard to believe that Sarah was able to tie it all together in a satisfying ending. It was heartbreaking and hopeful and one wild ride.
What a way to end a series. It was seven books in the making and finally know how it all came together. Aelin and her friends have been on a quite a journey. From the beginning when Aelin was just an assassin and Dorian was a spoiled Prince. It was expanded so far beyond that now. To other continents and other worlds. What I liked about this was that every character had a role to play in the ending and that is quite a feat as there are a lot of characters. I mean we are talking about Game of Thrones level of characters. They are all flawed people but have one goal to defeat Erawan and Maeve and create a better world. It wasn’t easy and there were many twists and turns along the way. It started off slow as the characters were spread far and wide. It also took me awhile to reacquaint myself with some of the characters as for most of them it’s been two years since the last time we have seen them but once they started to come together that it really started to pick up and get going. So many story arcs to wrap up and most of them were. I think a few left open a bit that we could go back and revisit Erilea. Let’s get back to Aelin as she is really the heroine here. Of all the characters she has been through the most. She started out as a assassin and ended up a Queen. She has endured enough trauma for several lifetimes and would have been forgiven if she gave up and she had plenty of chances to do just that but she doesn’t. She gave everything she had for her country and her friends. She used her intelligence and skills to outwit and defeat her enemies as much as she used her power. I’ll miss reading about her because she was fun, smart and spunky. If you haven’t read this series you should and lucky you, you can now read it in it’s entirety without wearing years between books.
Summer is over and now it’s to look forward to some fall reading. So get your pumpkin spice latte ready as here are some of the books I can’t wait to read this fall.
The Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor (October 2)-The sequel to Strange the Dreamer and left off one big cliffhanger.
Shadow of the Foxby Julie Kagawa (October 2)-Shapeshifters, samurais and Japanese mythology. Yes please.
A Very Large Expense of the Seaby Tahereh Mafi (October 16) In our attempt to read more diverse voices. Tahereh Mafi releases probably her most personal story yet. Shirin is a muslim girl starting a new school a year after 9/11.
Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas (October 23)- The last book in the epic Thorne of Glass series. Who will prevail and who will die?
Archenemiesby Marissa Meyer (November 6)-The second book in the Renegades trilogy. The ending of Renegades really changes the dynamics of this one.
The Storytellerby Traci Chee (November 13)- The final book in the Sea of Gold and Ink trilogy. Is the future already written for Sefia and Archer?
The Reckoning of Noah Shawby Michelle Hodkin (November 13)-Noah Shaw has done some bad things and so has her girlfriend Mara Dyer. The consequences might be finally catching up to them.
What are you looking forward to reading this fall?
What books can you not wait to read in 2018? I have lots of course but here are 10 that I really Really can’t wait to read next year.
War Storm by Victoria Aveyard. (May 15, 2018) The final book in her Red Queen Series. Will Mare and the Scarlet Guard be able take down the Silvers. Will Maven get overthrown? Will Cal stop being a dumbass?
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. (March 6, 2018) This sounds so amazing! I can’t wait to read it. Zelie comes from a long line of maji but the new crown prince wants to banish magic from the kingdom. Zelie has one chance to save magic and her people.
Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi (March 6, 2018) It’s been 4 years since the end of the Shatter Me trilogy ended or so we thought. Restore Me is going to pick up at the end of Ignite Me. Juliette is the Supreme Commander and Warner is on her side but now that she has the world at her finger tips, what’s next?
Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir. (May 22, 2018) It’s been two years since A Torch Against the Night came out and I’ve been eagerly waiting this one. Laia, Elias and Helene are all in perilously situation. I MUST KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!
Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson. (January 16, 2018) I’ll admit I was hoping it would be the next book in the Shades of London series but I’m just so glad that Maureen has a book coming out. I do love a good mystery and good ghost story too.
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. (January 2, 2018) So happy that Holly is back with a new series about fairies because no one does fairies like Holly Black.
A Case for Jamieby Brittany Cavallaro. (March 6, 2018) The final book in the Charlotte Holmes trilogy can’t come soon enough. In true Holmes form, Charlotte has really sabotage herself and Watson can’t forgive her. They try to move on with their lives but someone wants them back together and well I want them back together too.
Dread Nation by Justine Ireland. (April 3, 2018) The American Civil War is interrupted when the Dead of the battlefields come back to life. Jane is in combat school to learn how to take down the dead and with this comes opportunity but Jane wants more. Soon she is wrapped up in a conspiracies and plots that the dead are the least of her worries.
Untitled Sequel to Renegades by Marissa Meyer. (November 6, 2018) Renegades was such a great book and can’t wait to read what’s next. Nova has successfully infiltrated the Renegades and her old friends are no longer around to blow her cover. Will she betray her new friends or cement herself as a villain.
The Fates Divide by Veronica Roth. (April 10, 2018) Carve the Mark may have been problematic but it was still good. I’m curious how things will turn out for Cyra and Akos. Will they be able to escape their destinies or are they running right into them?
The Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor. (No set date) I’m not sure this is coming out in 2018 but I really hope so. Strange the Dreamer was so beautiful I can’t wait to find out what happens next, especially after what happened at the end.
Throne of Glass #7by Sarah J. Maas. (September 4, 2018) The final book in the Throne of Glass series and it’s been quite a ride for Aelin and friends. Who knows how it will all end. Well I guess Sarah J. Maas does but for everyone else it’s anyone’s guess.
Untitled (WarCross #2) by Marie Lu. (No set date) Another one I’m not sure if it’s coming out in 2018 but I’m pretty sure. I was riveted by the first book and I’m looking forward to meeting the “hacker” and all the potential he is inevitably going to cause.
Heart of Venom by Sherrilyn Kenyon. (2018) It also doesn’t have a set date besides 2018. It’s either the first in the Shadows of Fire series or #9 in the Chronicles of Nick series. However you want to look at it, it’s a switch in tone and focus for Kenyon’s Dark-Hunters. With a duel narrators of the Cyprian Malachai (Nick’s Son) and the Ambrose Malachai (Nick Himself) we find out if Nick truly does embrace his destiny or if the sacrifices he made at the end of Intensity was enough to forge his own path.
Immortal Reign by Morgan Rhodes. (February 6, 2018) The final book in the closest YA book to Game of Thrones with it’s epic scope, world building and body count was originally scheduled to come out this month but was pushed back. I’m sure the extra two months will be worth the wait.
Untitled by Maureen Johnson. (No set date) The Shadow Cabinet, the last book released in the Shades of London series had me on the edge of my feet and it’s been so long since it came out. I’m not sure that the next book is coming out in 2018 but Maureen has mentioned on twitter that she has two books coming out in 2018 so it’s a safe bet. *crosses fingers*
Untitled by Kendare Blake. (September 4, 2018) I didn’t know that the Three Dark Crowns was originally planned to be a duology. I’m glad that Kendare Blake and her publisher decided to extend it because there are so many things about this world and these character left to be explored.
Untitled by Traci Chee (2018) The final book in the Sea of Ink and Gold Series. Sefia and Archer continue to fight what is written and defeat their destiny while also staying ahead of their enemies.
The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green (May 1, 2018) I’m interested in this one since this in the first book that Sally Green has published since she ended her Half Bad trilogy two years ago. Half Lost left me broken and in tears. I’m not sure if I’m ready for that again but I can’t wait to see what Sally does next.
The Throne of Glass series has expanded way beyond the original books and has so many characters that Sarah J Maas basically had to pull a George R.R. Martin and split the characters up in to two books. Tower of Dawn takes place at the same time that Empire of Storms but this time in the Southern Continent. Chaol and Nesryn journey to meet the Khagan and his family in hopes of swaying them to join their cause but to also heal Chaol paralysis with their famed healers. Chaol meets the young healer Yrene, who readers first met in one of the prequel novella’s. Yrene and Chaol have the typical antagonizing relationship that turns into a romance but they have more chemistry in their first scene then Chaol and Nesryn ever did. Chaol is one of my favorite characters and I was total Celaenia/Chaol shipper and was sad when they broke off but it was inevitable since as we know Celaenia turned out to be Aelin the Queen of Terrasan. Chaol was in love with Celaenia not with Aelin and it’s not that I don’t like Nesryn but they just seemed off. I’m happy that Chaol found someone who is more his equal. Now back to the story. The Khagan and the southern Continent have powerful armies and Aelin and Dorian need all the help they need if they are going to defeat Erawen and the Valg but the Khagan are not easily persuaded. They have had peace in their lands for years and are not eager to rush into a war on another continent. They are also in mourning of their youngest daughter who supposedly killed herself but some in the family don’t believe it. After Chaol tells Yrene how he was really injured, strange things start to happen. Another healer is mysteriously murdered that not even the healers can figure out how. Are the Valg already here? Chaol, Nesryn and Yrene piece together who the Valg are and who they are really fighting. Let’s just say some holes are filled in. The nice thing about this book was that it only had 3 POV’s. As the series has grown and the world expanded and more and more characters were introduced, there were more and more storylines and subplots and POV that it was getting a little out of control. Again, think Game of Thrones. It was nice to have a much simpler storyline to follow. It was filled with the same intrigued and action as the previous books and it was nice breather before the finale comes out next year.
After I finished reading Empire of Storms, I decided to go back and read the prequel novellas as many of the characters we meet in these stories make appearance and play a role in the final book to come out next year. It’s very common for authors to publish novellas or short stories in connection with successful series. Most of the time they have little consequence to the actual narrative of the series themselves. They are just a fun story about the time before, or another character’s perspective. The further I got into Empire of Storms and the big reveals starting to come out, I realized that I these novellas were more important then I originally thought. The end was blending of Aelin’s present with Celaena’s past. If Aelin is going to defeat Erawan and reclaim her crown in Terrasan she is going to have call in all of Celaena’s favors. And so I went back and bought all the novellas. The five novella’s The Assassin and the Pirate Lord, The Assassin and the Healer, The Assassin and the Desert, The Assassin and the Underworld and The Assassin and the Empire tell the story of the months that lead her to be arrested and sent to Endovier where we meet her in the Throne of Glass that starts everything in motion. All five novellas were collected together and later published under the named The Assassin’s Blade.
The novella’s we see Celaena in her full Adarlan’s Assassin glory. She is the most feared assassin in the land and she knows it. As Arobynn Hamel’s protege she is at the top of her game, when she is sent to the Skull’s bay to meet with Captain Rolfe, the Pirate Lord. When she finds out that her master is going into the Slave business, she defies him for the first time. With the help of fellow assassin Sam Cortlandt she not only saves the slaves Arobynn was trading but all the slaves. All good deeds don’t go unpunished. She is severely punished and sent to the desert to learn from the Mute Master of the Silent Assassins. Here she meets Ansel of Briarcliff, her first real female friendship and new skills. Upon her return Arobynn gives her a mission that she can’t refuse but it ends up in even bigger betrayal that she pays off her and Sam’s debt’s and leaves Arobynn behind. Celaena and Sam have fallen in love and plan to Rithfold behind but not before they do one last job. This leads to tragedy and ultimately what leads to the beginning of the series. Caleana’s exploits are alluded too in the earlier books but didn’t really have much to do with the actual plot until our heroes make their way to Skull’s Bay to try to convince Captain Rolfe to join their cause. Since the last time Aelin was there, she destroyed the docks and ended the very profitable slave trade for the Pirate King. So, not the best impression to leave on the a possible ally. The Pirate Lord and Ansel have been mentioned before but in passing. I used to think it was just a wink to not only Celaena’s past but also to all those readers who read the novellas but both Rolfe and Ansel play a pivotable role in Aelin’s plans to win the war. The stories gives us a sense about who Celaena was before the action of the series and how deep the scars run for her. From the books, we know how complicated her relationship with Arobynn is but since it all happened before the action of the series we didn’t get see how toxic it truly was. We also get to know Sam. His death is major part of Celaena’s story arc in the first two books. It’s what haunts her and motivates her to seek out Arobynn for the truth. These are some of the rare series novellas that actually further the series plot and for that for fans of the Throne of Glass series, it’s worth reading all the novellas.
First, can we talk about her badass jacket on the cover? I really want a jacket like that. Anyhoo, at the end of the last book. The King of Adarlan is dead, killed by Dorian while he was under Erawan’s spell. He broke away from his power but not in time to save Chaol from terrible back injury that we still don’t know the extent of his injuries. Will he be able to walk again? Is he even still alive? Aelin, has taken her former masters money and has one of the Wyrdkeys and now is heading home to Terrasan with Rowan, Aedion and Lysandra. Manon and her thirteen save Elide from Morath after Kaltain blows up half the mountain not before she gives Elide the second Wyrdkey. Lorcan, has come to Erilea to get the keys for Maeve. So all the players are in play, well except for Chaol who is MIA and eventually they all meet up to find the lock that will once and for all rid the world of Erawan. With a book with so many characters it would be easy to lose track of who is who and where they belong in the story but the story lines are woven so seamlessly together that it feels like one story. Each character has their arc that we have seen true growth in. Dorian was a sheltered and naive Prince when we first meet him but now he has hardened. He has experience loss and has find strength in his power. As he begins to understand his power, he starts to gave more confidence in himself. They all have grown so much from the first book. When I think about Throne of Glass it almost feels like a completely different series because they books have gone so far. As Aelin, Dorian, Aedion and Manon have grown and mature so have the books. They are far more complicated as the characters themselves have become far more complicated. The most complicated of them all is our former assassin turned Queen, Aelin. She has so much power that she doesn’t even know how powerful she is but one thing that has changed her ability to outsmart her opponents. She always had a plan in motion but I had no idea how long she had been planning her strategy. Some go as far back as the first and second book. It’s almost mind blowing about how the dots all are connecting and with one book to go the endgame is in sight. The ending is pretty devastating but totally worth the pain. Really looking forward to finding out how this will end.
So I haven’t been reading as much lately because well life and Gilmore Girls. I’ve recently just finished watching all 7 seasons of Gilmore Girls. I know it’s weird it’s taken me this long to watch the show but what better time to do it then right before the new season, right? Anyway, while I was binge watching several books have come out and now I’m hopelessly behind. I’m still reading Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas. I have waiting in the wings.
The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan just came out. The latest in his Magnus Chase series with Norse gods. Then there’s Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo the sequel to Six of Crows. And then The Bronze Key by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare. Also The Midnight Star by Marie Lu the finale of The Young Elites Trilogy.
I have also recently picked up The Swan Riders by Erin Bow, the sequel to Scorpion Rules. I had no idea there was a sequel so I’m super excited for that. A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro and The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin are two books that were impulse buys. I have so much to read but what else is new.