Reading & Listening

Series Loves

I’ve always been a fan of a good series (reading through Little HouseAnne of Green Gables, and the Emily series on a yearly basis for much of my childhood). There’s something so comforting about returning to characters after months or years or days of separation – you’ve both changed, and it adds a fun dimension to the reading. Sometimes it takes me awhile to slip back into the groove of the story if it’s been awhile, but once I do it’s cozy and complete. As I compile this list I realize that almost all of these series were “read” on audiobook. I have a long commute – about 2.5 hours roundtrip – and a compelling story makes it bearable.

Some great series have recently wrapped up and some promising news ones are just beginning. Here’s my list of what keeps me watching my holds queue:

Cinder

THE LUNAR CHRONICLES by Marissa Meyer

A (bear with me) post-apocalyptic/alternate reality with androids and spaceships and a Lunar colony ruled by an evil queen fighting a collection of heroines based off of fairy tales- sort of. Very readable saga full of tough girls and good secondary characters. Excellent on audiobook.

  • Cinder
  • Scarlett
  • Cress
  • Fairest: Levana’s Story
  • Winter (coming out November 10th)

Name of the Star

SHADES OF LONDON by Maureen Johnson

I love Maureen Johnson and would read anything she wrote, honestly. But this series mixes her unique abilities to show us the inside of someone’s brain (but not all the way) with supernatural ghosty goodness. And some love triangulation, because of course. Audiobook is decent — not knock your socks off, but it’s fun to hear the narrator switch from main character’s Southern accent to Eton posh and back again.

  • The Name of the Star
  • The Madness Underneath
  • The Shadow Cabinet

The Whispering Skull

LOCKWOOD & CO. by Jonathan Stroud

Seriously scary ghost story series. Like, really, they are scary. Blood dripping from ceilings is just the beginning. It’s modern day London but ghosts have been floating around causing havoc since the turn of the century (1900) and gangs of roaming kids are dealing with them because adults can’t see them. I LOVE THESE BOOKS. Also totally amazing on audiobooks with a honey voiced narrator.

  • The Screaming Staircase
  • The Whispering Skull
  • The Hollow Boy (coming out September 15th! Hooray!) UPDATED 9/16/15 – SO GOOD OH MY GOSH IT WAS SO GOOD!

The Reluctant Assassin

W.A.R.P. by Eoin Colfer

This time-traveling gone awry series from the author of the Artemis Fowl series has two totally amazing things going for it: 1) a Shawnee girl is the hero and 2) the villain is the most ruthless, unstoppable one I’ve ever read. And he’s kind of charming. But mostly he’s totally insane and will not give up and he never dies and JESUS, SERIOUSLY? Fun on audiobook, for sure.

  • The Reluctant Assassin
  • The Hangman’s Revolution
  • The Forever Man (also coming out September 15th)

Anna and the French Kiss

ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins

The fluffiest fluff of all of the fluffs to read. Like, beyond Princess Diaries level of fluff. BUT they are fun and the characters are witty and seem fresh and aren’t dated even when there are references that should make them seem that way. Romance series that gets progressively hotter as they go – wish they’d been around when I was a sappy eyed teen.

  • Anna and the French Kiss
  • Lola and the Boy Next Door
  • Isla and the Happily Ever After

Etiquette & Espionage

FINISHING SCHOOL by Gail Carriger

Another series where the audiobook really makes the whole thing. The accents and names and ridiculousness all really come through wonderfully on audio. Steampunk shenanigans with girls in charge. And parasols.

  • Etiquette & Espionage
  • Curtsies & Conspiracies
  • Waistcoasts & Weaponry
  • Manners & Mutiny (coming in November)

The Diviners

THE DIVINERS by Libba Bray

A pretty heavy YA entry (murder, ghosts, torture) – this series is bursting with period details of the Roaring 20s in New York. There’s some witchyness and some voodoo and some scary dude with tattoos that move who likes to murder people and is hoping to bring about the Antichrist. Or something like that. Fun on audiobook, most definitely.

  • The Diviners
  • Lair of Dreams – on hold! UPDATE 9/30/15 listening to it now on eAudiobook and it’s fantastic – maybe better than first?

Seraphina

SEREPHINA by Rachel Hartman

The first book was delightful and I really loved it, despite it being very High Fantasy, which isn’t usually my thing. Dragons exist, are very smart and powerful, and can pass as humans so of course there’s a bunch of societal/class stuff wrapped up in that. The writing is really lovely and thank god for audiobooks because the vocabulary and names in this world are out of control.

  • Serephina
  • Shadow Scale – on hold!

Glass Sentence

THE MAPMAKERS by S.E. Grove

Similar in tone and scope to the Golden Compass series — can’t wait to see if the second lives up to the first.

  • The Mapmakers
  • The Golden Specific – on hold!

 

 

 

Curse of the Blue Tattoo

BLOODY JACK by L. A. Meyer

This series got to be very plodding and repetitive over time – not surprising with 12 titles – so I did end up skipping some chunks. The narrator for this series IS Jacky Faber and no bones about it. I can’t read these books in print for the life of me. It just doesn’t work for me. Yes, you will get very, very sick of hearing the phrases “I cahn’t! I cahn’t!” and “Awww, Jaime!” but stick with it. Standouts are the first 4 – the first 3 are fun and rollicking and then In the Belly of the Bloodhound comes and smacks you upside the head with slavery and kidnapping and other filthy business. Well done, though. I came back in for the finale and although it wasn’t exactly great, it was the end of the road for many, many characters and therefore a satisfying wrap up. I bolded my favorites.

  • Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary “Jacky” Faber, Ship’s Boy
  • Curse of the Blue Tattoo
  • Under the Jolly Roger
  • In the Belly of the Bloodhound
  • Mississippi Jack
  • My Bonny Light Horseman
  • Rapture of the Deep (skipped)
  • The Wake of the Lorelei Lee
  • The Mark of the Golden Dragon (skipped)
  • Viva Jacquelina! (skipped)
  • Boston Jacky (skipped)
  • Wild Rover No More: Being the Last Recorded Account of the Life & Times of Jacky Faber

What series have you hooked, gentle reader?

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