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.
I liked this one a little better than Carve the Mark. I think maybe because the world was more established and the complicated relationship between each character was more set. Also opening up the universe to new planets made and introducing more characters with darker skin as more than just warriors or brutal dictators also helped. That doesn’t make some of the character development any less problematic but I do think that Veronica Roth listened to the criticism of the first one and took that into account while writing this one. I’m also grateful that this is only a duology and not a trilogy. Knowing that this was the last book, I felt the pacing was better, the story more concise loose ends tied up. That being said, she did leave an opening to return to this world if she wanted to but I’m happy with how it ended.
The Fates Divide picks up right after the end of Carve the Mark. Cyra and Akos, along with Ryzek, Cisi and Isea and Eijeh have fled the arena and leaving the Shotet in chaos. With Ryzek presumed dead and Cyra leaving their is a power vacuum in Shotet that unfortunately gets filled by her once presumed dead Dad, who makes Ryzek look tame. If that wasn’t enough, Isea is grieving for her lost sister and using her Chancellor position to take revenge with the help of the Assembly. They also have those pesky little fates to contend with. They must all overcome all these obstacles and succumb to their fates but at the same time create their own. It’s tug of war. Cyra really comes into her own in this one. She has been told her whole life that she wasn’t worth it. She had a gift that could only bring pain and for that reason she pushed people away and expected people to disappoint her. Akos is rattled with guilt because he promised his dad to save his brother and that is almost impossible now. They both are way to earnest and way to self-sacrificing for my liking but it is who they are. In this one, we also get the point of view of Akos’ sister, Cisi and Eijeh. Eijeh who is destined to be an oracle but after years of torture by Ryzek has changed him but through him we see how the oracles work and how unreliable they can be. Cisi’s point of view gives us a glimpse of the other side of the Thuve and Shotet fight. The first book was only of Cyra and Akos and the Shotet. The Shotet are not well liked by and seen as pest because of their militaristic ways and constant scavenging. We can see how quickly things can escalate when you stop looking at the other side as less then they are. Our own hurt and pain blinds us to the hurt and pain of others and forces us to make rash decisions. Cisi tries to be that moderating voice before real a catastrophe happens.
Overall it was a good series that I enjoyed. I’m glad that the problems of the first book didn’t carry over to this one.
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.
So let’s talk the controversy. I was excited about reading this book because I thought it sounded interesting and was curious how Veronica Roth would follow up her Divergent series. That was until reviews started to come in and people began talking about the racism surrounding the plot. Now, I don’t necessarily think it is intentionally racist but it is definitely problematic. So the plot revolves around two different races of people who share the same planet. The fair-skinned, peaceful Thuve people and the dark-skinned warrior race Shotet. Right there raised flags for me. That the more violent people are described as being dark in skin, eyes and curly hair versus the more light skinned, blue eyed, straight hair peaceful neighbors. Everything about the Shotet’s is described violently from their language to their tradition of marking their arms with every kill. It brings up images in our society about we are programmed to think that those with darker skinned are more dangerous then those of us who have lighter skin tones. That the lighter skinned people are somehow inherently just better people. And that is why at first I felt a little uncomfortable reading it. However, it didn’t turn me off either. As the story continued, I became more invested in the characters Akos and Cyra. I don’t think ever really got past the uncomfortableness of it but I did want Cyra to best her abusive brother and Akos to rescue his. They compliment each other really well. Cyra has a gift for pain. Pain that she inflicts on others but also lives in her while Akos gift is that he nullifies the current. In this world, everyone has a gift granted by the current. Each gift is different depending on the person. Cyra brother is the ruler of the Shotet people and has been using her as his own personal torturer. She has gained the reputation of being cruel when she is only doing what she is told to do but deep down she knows that she deserves the pain she feels thanks to her painful history. Akos is kidnapped by the Shotet with his brother when their fates clash with the Shotet ruler. Both Cyra and Akos really grow throughout the novel. They both see in each other that they don’t have to be what they raised to be. That they can choose their own paths. The ending was a little meh but it did pose one interesting question that makes me at least interested in the sequel. It might be too late for Veronica to fix the unfortunate world building choices in the sequel but I do hope that in the future she takes more time to ask herself, why she is making these choices in her writing. Is it because this is who the character really is or something that has been internalized in herself coming out on the page.
So 2016 is almost over. Thank God or Oh No. Who knows what 2017 will bring but we do know it will bring plenty of good books. Here are 10 I’m really looking forward too.
Pyromanticby Lish McBride. – I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy of this one and it was everything I hoped it would. I can’t wait for it to come out in March so I can read again.
A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas – The second book was one of my favorite books of this year and the way it ended makes me even more excited for it. Feyre is back in the Spring Court with Tamlin but this time she knows who she is and who he really is.
Always and Forever, Lara Jeanby Jenny Han – I didn’t even know this was even in the works when I read To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and it’s sequel P.S. I Still Love You earlier this year. I found the two books to be very charming and sweet. I loved Lara Jean and Peter and I thought their story was over but I guess not. I’m still holding out for Kitty novel.
The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon – This is another book I got an early look at and for all of you still waiting, it’ll be worth it. I’m going to re-read The Bone Season and The Mime-Order again before this one comes out.
King’s Cageby Victoria Aveyard – Mare gave herself up to Maven and who knows what that sadistic bastard has planned for her. Will Cal save her or will she save herself? Will Farley forgive her? The rebellion continues
Carve the Markby Veronica Roth – This Veronica’s first book since the Divergent series ended. No matter how you felt about Allegiant you have to admit that Roth is one brave storyteller.
Strange the Dreamerby Laini Taylor – If her last series, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, is anything to go by this one is going to be a real crowd pleaser!
The Ship of the Deadand The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan – Rick Riordan has been on a winning streak lately with both his Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard and The Trials of Apollo series’. Not only are they imaginative they are truly fun. Riordan hasn’t been afraid to take on tough subjects and bring a diverse cast of characters to his books and make them both relatable and accessible. It’s going to be a busy year for Percy Jackson.
Silver Starsby Michael Grant – In this revisionist history story we met three brave women who are fighting in World War 2. The end of the last book saw our three heroines have all survived their first battle but the war is still a few years from ending. There are more battles to be fought before our heroines get to go home.
What books are you looking forward to reading in 2017?
And we are back. Well, I am. As I’m writing this Kate is on a plane on her way home. New Orleans was great! We both had a lot of fun. It’s such a chill city. It was a lot of fun walking around and seeing the sights. I do hope we get to go back again some day.
But back to business. The movie adaption of Insurgent by Veronica Roth comes out tomorrow. I have mixed feelings about the movie of Divergent, I overall liked it but I have reservations about this one. First the trailer makes it pretty clear they did some major changes and I’m not sure if that’s going to be good or bad. Insurgent was a hard book to read because Tris suffers from PTSD and no one tries to help her and it was beyond frustrating. I’m not sure how that will play on screen or if they will sort of gloss over it kinda like they did with Katniss in Mockingay Part 1. I guess I’ll find out when I see it later this or next week.
There are other YA movie adaptations coming soon that I’m pretty excited. Of course Mockingjay Part 2. That’s definitely going to be brutal. Moviefone highlighted a few that are in the works. Some that I knew of like The 5th Wave and Mrs. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. The former should make a good movie and the latter, well hopefully with Tim Burton at the helm it will be better then the book. I didn’t know that Daughter of Smoke and Bone,Grasshopper Jungle, Immortal Rules and Shadow and Bone have all been optioned. That’s awesome! I think both Kate and I have said how much we loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. That will be really interesting to see how that plays out on the big screen. Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa is excellent Vampire Dystopian novel. I also think that Smoke and Bone by Leigh Bardugo is being produced by David Heyman of Harry Potter fame. So I have a lot faith that will be well done. And Edgar Wright is attached to direct Grasshopper Jungle? Yes please! I know we have talked a lot about this book lately and it’s flaws but it was an entertaining book and I actually think if done right will make a better movie.
So book fans, we have a lot of good books being made into movies in the upcoming years. Let’s hope that they are all more like Harry Potter and Hunger Games and less like The Giver or Percy Jackson.
P.S. Not mentioned in the article but Maggie Stiefvater’s Scorpio Races and Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor and Park have also been optioned. I’m not sure where Scorpio Races is in development but I do know that Miss Rowell was asked to write the screenplay for Eleanor and Park and well I can’t wait for both of these!