Top Ten Tuesday: How does it end? I’ll look it up online, because I’m not continuing these ones

I thought that it was going to be a bit challenging to find series that I’m not going to complete. Turns out I was wrong. There’s actually a ton of firsts in series that I started but I’ll never finish. Sometimes it’s because I didn’t enjoy the characters; other times it’s because I found the plot lacking. And sometimes, they just aren’t my thing, even though the synopsis made it sound super interesting. Usually I stop with the first book, but there are a few series where I’ve gone on to read the second or more. Basically that comes down to my mood.

The series I’m listing here are books I’ve read over the past few years. Some of them are extremely popular and are loved by many readers. But for me, these are books I just didn’t connect with on a level that’s needed to commit to three or more books. It’s purely my opinion, though I am curious if anyone feels the same!

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1. An Ember in the Ashes and A Torch Against the Night: I didn’t particularly love the world. It was very harsh, which is fine, but it felt like the world building relied too heavily on the reader to fill in the blanks. The characters were okay. The problems I had in the first book basically became more problematic in the second, so I decided not to continue this planned four book series.

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2. The Bone Witch: I wanted to love this one. I think the dual perspective killed it for me. Both followed the main character, Tea: one in the past as she’s finding her powers and the other in the present as she’s trying to explain her actions. It split the book in a way that was confusing and kept me from fully immersing myself into the story. I did love the cover, though! There’s three books planned.

3. The 100: Maybe if I had read this one before seeing the show I would have liked it. I feel like the ideas in this book––though interesting––are undeveloped. It may get better in the next ones, but I think I’ll just stick to the show. Apparently the things I like about the show aren’t even in the books, which is weird. There’s four books in this series.

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4. The Graces: The reason I wanted to read this in the first place was because there’s witches in it. I’m a huge fan of Charmed, and have been constantly chasing that witch high ever since then. (Send me witchy read recommendations!) This had an unreliable narrator and I found that I just didn’t particularly care about anything that happened. So far there’s only two books in this series.

5. Blackhearts: I knew going into this that it was a prequel to Blackheart becoming Blackheart, but I still expected more pirate action than there ended up being.

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[A Torch Against the Night] Sabaa Tahir

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Right then. This is the continuation of the An Ember in the Ashes series that nearly everyone seems to gush over but me. I’m not sure if it’s just the over-hype or the fact that it takes a long time for me to get into the story, but I feel like this series is kind of…boring. Which bums me out. It has all of the hallmarks of what I should like in a series, but for some reason I just can’t lose myself in it. I thought that this one would be better than the first because Ember was a debut novel, but A Torch Against the Night was only marginally better for me. I keep reading them because I want to see what it is about them, but once I finish the book I’m not really enthusiastic about it.

A Torch Against the Night begins where Ember left off, with the results of the Trials and the flight of Laia and Elias. They’re desperate to get out of a city where their descriptions are known, desperate to try to rescue Laia’s brother from the dreaded Kauf prison. Though they’re unlikely allies, Laia and Elias work together because they both don’t believe in the Martial Empire. When the burden of the journey falls heavily on Laia’s shoulders, she has to decide if she will allow it to break her or if she will rise above the hardships and be reforged anew.

Torch is a book that deals in the reforging of characters. Whether you’re a slave Scholar, a ruling Martial, or a free Tribeswoman, the choices that you make thrust you toward a new self. Often the characters would fight against the inevitability of their breaking point, other times they would run toward it because they knew they needed to change. Actions have a lot of consequences in this book, even more so than what I remember from Ember. It ups the ante a little bit by pitting former friends against each other. I liked how the characters all related to each other because of this reforging of self. Additionally, the different paths that the reforging could take was explored with each individual character. Not all of them made it to the other side whole.

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