Tuesday, 22 September 2015

TOP 10 INFINITY BOOK SERIES

Some series have chosen to wage wars on their inevitable endings. This is true of both television, movies and their many spinoffs, and, of course, books. The proverbial series that would not end has long since been dubbed an infinity series, both by the fans and - more frequently - by the naysayers.

Now, these infinity book series can go one of both ways, depending on our enjoyment: each new release and a promise of more elates us if we love the series in question, or we groan and wish the ending would just come. But never is an infinity series more daunting than when we approach it from an outsider's perspective, never having delved into it before. The "I promise you won't regret it" advice bears far less weight at the prospect of having to read fifteen books in a series.

So this Tuesday, we have picked the ten series we have read which seemed to go on forever. Some we have loved. Some we have hated. And some are the kind where one of us is still trying to get the other to read. ("I would, but there are ten!")






1. The Shadowhunter Chronicles by Cassandra Clare


As a truly double-digit book series, Cassandra Clare's Shadowhunter Chronicles are the prime example of a daunting series to get into. It is popular, it is everywhere. It boasts 10 books, a series guide, a manga series, a movie and a soon-to-air television show, not to mention an impact it has had on the YA community as a whole. It's all but impossible to discuss Young Adult literature with an avid fan without the Shadowhunters being worked into that conversation at some point. To say that the Shadowhunters are here to stay is all but redundant, given Cassandra's contract to continue expanding the series until... what was it... 2021? But fans of the series had better start recommending it to their friends now. It is not easy being recommended to read a 10-book series. And it's only going to get harder each year as more and more books are added.






2. The Selection by Kiera Cass



With no intention of bashing The Selection as a whole, it does need to be said that Kiera Cass's idea for the series was never one which warranted a trilogy. Having read and enjoyed the first in the series, we were still forced to come away from the sequel with a nagging thought that this is a very thin plot being stretched still thinner with each book. And as the third and final book was hardly better in terms of action and development, a lot of the fans were left with a nagging thought that this would have been a more enjoyable idea had it been published in one lengthy book. But what was done was done. Right?

Wrong. Following several novellas and then a novella bind-up about side characters from the series, author Kiera Cass announced that two more books would be added onto this fully completed series. Because sometimes it's really hard to let go, it seems.




3. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer



Twilight is one of those series which was clearly lengthened way past its expiration date by the unprecedented (and unexpected) success of the series. With a lack of an all-encompassing plot arcs, a multitude of unconnected subplots, and a tendency to add more drama where drama was already abounding, Stephenie Meyer's debut is a prime example of a series which, in our opinion, should have stopped at just one book. We don't have the author's ear and we can't claim for certain, but Twilight feels an awful lot like a standalone which was spawned unnecessary sequels... into infinity. The entire storyline in book 4 was a rare mix of redundant and creepy, and to this day we dearly wish it would never have happened at all. Had it remained a standalone, we feel like Twilight would have been a whole lot easier to like.






4. Vampire Academy & Bloodlines by Richelle Mead



Much like The Shadowhunter Chronicles, Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series are all these things: (1) beloved in the YA community, (2) a part of the same respective universe with overlapping characters, and (3) absolutely daunting to pick up. A part of why they're so terrifying to get into is certainly the hype. It's an expectation which the series themselves must continue to meet time and time again, as more and more books are added. But a part of it is the sheer number of books in question. "Hey, you should read this twelve-book series!" said everyone ever. "Did you say twelve?!" was the general response.










5. The Coincidence series by Jessica Sorensen



The primary problem with this series, apart from its sheer volume, is author Jessica Sorensen's parallel series (The Secret being the prime example) which bear a lot of resemblance to this one and serve chiefly to confuse people. The similarities are in the characters, in the plot, in the titles of these books, until one is eventually wondering "Is this character in this series or the other one?". And bearing all this in mind, both series are far from over, turning this into the-series-on-which-to-give-up for everyone but the most devoted fans. Dramatic relationships and tortured pasts make an appearance in each and every book of this series, with cookie-cutter characters to boot. So for all who wish to read this series, our recommendation is to read the first as a standalone, or at the very least to not pick up any books by the same author until the entire series is complete, for clarity's sake.






6. The Maddox Brothers series by Jamie McGuire



The Beautiful Disaster book was both a tremendous hit and a tremendous miss. On the one hand, it pretty much singlehandedly launched a new genre (namely the New Adult lit trend). On the other hand, its portrayal of some of its characters and their troubling dynamics... well, they troubled us on an entirely personal level. Following a whopping success of the release, author Jamie McGuire then followed it up with a well-known retelling of the same story from the love interest's point of view. And following a whopping success and popularity of this retelling, McGuire has now chosen to add more books and turn the standalone into a series, where each follows one of the love interest's brothers in their attempts to slay the dragon and get the girl. One can only hope the brothers are a bit less hotheaded than the original. And one can only hope that eventually the series will wrap up.



7. Rosemary Beach by Abby Glines



Having heard a lot of good things about this book series, both of us at the Honest Bookclub gave it a go. A couple of books in, we felt we had a pretty solid grasp on the series - solid enough to move on to other things and say we gave it the ol' college try. Considering the amount of sequels, we're a tad curious as to what could possibly happen in the other twelve books which are currently out. Yeah, you read that right. Abbi Glines wrote fourteen books altogether. And the series isn't over yet.

The two Rosemary Beach books (or possibly three, we aren't even sure anymore) that we have read have all just blended together in a sea of non-events and drama.

Even the action packed Harry Potter books only had seven, how can she possibly fill out fourteen books?  Surely there's only so much you can write about this beach, and not to mention the oh-so-pretty people who live there.



8. The Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris



In the wider circles, this series is known simply as True Blood. And much like the wildly popular HBO series which slowly lost steam overtime until its inevitable, underwhelming conclusion - the book series ended in much the same vein. Following the success of the first handful of books (and their TV adaptation), the series went on to spawn ridiculous plots, kill off beloved characters (or reduce them to far-less-beloved characters overtime) and add heaps and bounds of drama. By the time book 13 was published and announced to be the final one, hardly anyone was sad to hear the news. There's a lot of southern charm and gothic goodness to be found in Sookie Stackhouse's early exploits. As long as one can stop before the series goes downhill, this is still a tentative recommendation on our end - provided you like Vampires, sex and/or gore.







9. Pushing The Limits by Katie McGarry



This series is like a lot of other New Adult books that just won't stop. It's sequel after sequel, draining money from its fans, and it's book after book of a friend of a friend falling in love with that one guy who roomed with that one other guy in that one previous book that one time.
It's been done before.

The Pushing The Limits series boasts seven books (including the novellas) and there is no stopping yet. For all who wish to board this train and see it to its final stop, the time is now. Soon this series will go into the double digits and catching up will seem impossible. 

Not to mention that infinity series are becoming somewhat of a trend in NA, and quite frankly, it's off-putting. We're paying to read the same thing over again with new names.





10. 50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James



We've read all three books. Why? We're not sure, but it happened. And we can confidently say about this series as a whole is that three books was two books too many to write. Books 2 and 3 didn't so much supply meaning as they did meaningless drama. Or that was our take on it. Car chases, kidnappings, attempted rape, helicopter crashes, paparazzi scandals, people going missing, murderous ex girlfriends. You name it, it has happened - to the detriment of the overall plot and/or character development. As readers who dislike both needless drama and a prolonging of obviously-finished storylines, 50 Shades successfully hit two of our particular pet peeves, and earned itself a resounding no in terms of rating.
But this is the way of infinite series - sometimes they were never intended to be series at all. Sometimes the first book is a promise the rest of the series just can't keep. And it all crashes and burns. Like a helicopter during an attempted murder plot.
See what we did there?
But wait - there's more! Following the underwhelming second and still more underwhelming third book, E.L. James went on to pen and publish Grey, an exact retelling of the events from book 1 from Christian Grey's point of view. And par for the course (or rather the downward spiral), this latest in the 50 Shades series was the absolute worst of the lot, leaving us to say - it really should have been just one.






Apart from the actual length of the series above, everything else is up for debate, of course. Positive or negative, our opinions of these series are our own and we more than welcome your own. Leave us a comment below and let us know why we're right or wrong, or find us all over social media.

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