June SFFF LIT: Series
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Welcome to the June SFF KIT. Good fantasy and science fiction can amaze, motivate, and spark the imagination. Plus, they are simply fun to read. Of course if you read these genres then you are probably reading more than a few series and trilogies. So whether you are exploring the stars with Captain Kirk jumping through time with Doctor Who or off on a quest with Aragon, June is a great month for catching up on your series reading.
I've posted a couple of pictures of some popular series both science fiction and fantasy, but please let us know which series you will be reading in June. Don’t forget to list your books on the WIKI: https://wiki.librarything.com/index.php/2018_SFFKIT
I am going away for a week so I thought had better post this a little early.
As a series junkie this is a month that I have been looking forward to. My plans are to read the following:
The Farthest Shore by Ursula Le Guin, the third book in her Earthsea Cycle
The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen, the second book in the Queen of the Tearling trilogy
Memory by Lois McMaster Bujold, another entry in the fantastic Vorkosigan series
>3 fuzzi: Ever since we did a year-long group read of the Vorkosigan series I've been continuing to work my way through the books. I am a big fan. :)
Yay, Doctor Who! I still have two Doctor Who novels in my Pool to read, so perhaps I will prioritize those.
I also have Ancillary Sword, by Ann Leckie, in the Pool...that would be an even better choice!
I'm planning to read Ghostly Echoes by William Ritter, the third book in a series of YA historical mystery/fantasy novels.
During June there is a group read of Ursula Le Guin's work, if anyone is working on one of her series, the thread is here: http://www.librarything.com/topic/291332
I completed my reread of Dead Until Dark, the first in the Southern Vampire series.
I am reading the second in a series, Waking Gods by Sylvia Neuvel. I have an insane number that will work for this month. Hope I can get to several.
It's not in the LT database yet, but I just finished reading Rivers of London Vol. 5: Cry Fox (by Ben Aaronovitch.) In this urban fantasy series, DCI/Wizard-in-the-Making Peter Grant becomes involved in a kidnapping case. The little girl who is being held for ransom is also featured in "Vol. 2: Night Witch" in another abduction scheme. Now that it has happened again there are certain credibility issues that obfuscate the case.
"Cry Fox" is a part of a graphic novel series that seems to work as something as a stopgap between Aaronovitch's Peter Grant series. I can't claim that they are great stories, often they are lame or feel incomplete but I read them for the little bits of detail that I can glean and that will probably show up in the next full-length novel (Nov. 2018.) The artwork is in full color and done with considerable detail:
And in other news, I had to put aside Only Human (The Themis Files #3 by Sylvain Neuvel; narrated by a full cast) - This is the long-anticipated conclusion to the giant robots trilogy! I couldn't wait until my credit was available so that I could download it but within the first hour or so, I became so anxious that I didn't want to listen anymore! There is an extremely manipulative Russian agent that got me so wound up that I felt ill, so I've put it aside for some other time when I might be able to handle it. I've heard she only gets worse as the story goes on, so I think I made the right choice for me, for now anyway.
>21 Tanya-dogearedcopy:, I really dislike that Russian.Iis it the geneticist or a different agent? I’ve really disliked her all along, not looking forward to her being even worse.
COMPLETED Ash and Quill, the latest so far in the Great Library series.
Having read all three in quick in succession, I can offer the following series review:
In a parallel world to ours, the Great Library of Alexandria was not destroyed but has come to be the ruler of the world. With it's great power has come corruption at the top. A plucky group of students (book 1) who go on to become scholars and soldiers plot and plan, and fight to stay alive after one of them invents a printing press, the one invention the Library is determined to suppress at all costs.
In the first two books I was far more interested in the world the author has created than in the characters and plot, and it was only curiosity about how this world's history differed from our own that kept me going into book 2 and then on to book 3, by which time the characters had started to grow on me. Book 3 finished with a real cliff-hanger so I'm looking forward to the next one when it comes out.
>22 Kristelh: It's a different Russian agent, and she makes the Russian geneticist look like Mary Poppins. Seriously, this new Russian agent is a piece of work.
I did finish the second title in the Chronicles of St. Mary's series, A Symphony of Echoes (by Jodi Taylor) earlier this week. The series is about a team of time-traveling historians, sort of like a Magic Treehouse Adventure for adults! In this book, the team interacts with history (Queen Mary & Bothwell incident) as opposed to just observing. In doing so, they run the risk of creating a paradox: By altering history, you change the present/future. I can't say that this series is well written: Transitional bridges do not seem to be the writer's forte but the individual scene work is pretty good, and it's all fun!
I finished A wizard of Earthsea. To be honest, I was underwhelmed as I could not find it in me to like Ged or get interested in his journey.
I have just finished the third volume in the Earthsea Cycle, The Farthest Shore. This series is definitely dated and very different from the fantasies that are written today. Less action and far more philosophy.
I figure a trilogy constitutes a series? I picked up Exiles of ColSec and The caves of Klydor off the shelf after thirty years. This is YA and probably dystopian, too. Juvenile delinquents get sent on distant planets to start colonies there, but this time the shuttles crashes and the survivors have to fend for themselves.
Very competently written, but the plot is not very original and the books are very short, there's little time for worldbuilding. So no need to rush out and track down the final instalment.
Well, I'm kinda bummed that I didn't finish Moon is a Harsh Mistress in time. The revolution has started at least and I'm halfway through.
But . . . I'm reading Foxmask by Juliet Marillier which is part of her Children of the Light Isles series, and if I can carve out the time with a hammer and chisel it might just be time to read Lord of Emporers by Guy Gavriel Kay, one of my all-time favorite authors and a book I've had languishing on my TBR shelf for far too long.
>31 MissWatson: I should have mentioned in the opening post that trilogies definitely count as series here!
>33 DeltaQueen50: Thanks, Judy. There are so many of those to choose from!
Last week I read The Flowers of Vashnoi which is a new novella in the Vorkosigan series.
I've finished After the End by Amy Plum, the first book in an interesting YA series. I've also finished Golden Fool by Robin Hobb, book 2 of the Tawny Man Trilogy. It's been so long since I've visited this world, I had forgotten how much I enjoyed it. I might move onto book 3 as soon as I finish the mystery I'm working on, I usually like to take a bit of a break between books in a series, but I really want to read more of this world.
I've finished The Iron Khan, the fifth in Liz Williams' Detective Inspector Chen fantasy series set in an alternative Singapore. Also Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic, a pretty proto-typical urban fantasy but good light entertainment and the first of a series. Also the second in the Dido Kent historical mystery series set in the Regency period, A Gentleman of Fortune. Also Foiled, a YA graphic novel by Jane Yolen that is the first of a series. Finally, reread the Beka Cooper trilogy by Tamora Pierce. Actually, haven't read a book this month that ISN'T part of a series! Only the mystery doesn't fit this thread's parameters.
I have been away from LT for several weeks - partly due to the fact that I ended up succumbing to the draw of the Liaden series and read the remaining 9 or 10 of them during the final week of May! Now I have to try to wait patiently until the next book comes out :/
But since that was in May, I won't go into details about the books and instead talk about the other SF/fantasy series I have been indulging in:
This year I have been making my way through The Wheel of Time series and finished The Fires of Heaven (#5 in the series) a week ago. I missed the presence of Perrin in this one.
I have also read Interesting Times, one of the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett. I love this series - so funny!
Finished Swallowing Darkness by Laurell K. Hamilton (Number 7 in the Meredith Gentry series). It didn't quite live up to earlier books in the series, but that may have been me? Regardless, full review written. I plan on getting to number 8 sooner than later, just in case my taking a break from the series was part of the reason it took me so long to engage with this one.
I finished my June book today - I've been wanting to start the St. Mary's books for a long time and thought this was a perfect opportunity:
Just One Damned Thing After Another
The first in a series about an historical research facility, St. Mary's, and the high jinks the time-traveling historians get up to.
What a hoot - I love the characters, the laugh-aloud moments, the seat-edge twists, and the little plot puzzles to solve along the way.
>47 Robertgreaves: I hope you like it as much as I did, Robert. Tons of LT folks are fans already, I know.
>46 scaifea: Amber, I've been meaning to start that series for the longest time! Great to hear you enjoyed it.
>46 scaifea: I just read that one last month and I am hooked! I finished the third in the series, A Second Chance a couple of days ago and picked up the short story/novella prequel, The Very First Damned Thing to read later this week. In A Second Chance, you get more hints that the base timeline is in the near-future, and a rather breathtaking story set in Troy. So far it's my favorite in the series, though it was quite a tear-jerker. Leon makes a rather fateful decision... The series is so highly addictive that I know I could go through them all in just a few days, so I'm deliberately holding off on getting the fourth one until I clear some more backlog!
>52 Tanya-dogearedcopy: I'm glad you're so into the series! I know when they first came out they were super popular amongst the 75ers, but I'm just now getting round to them. Hopefully I'll pick up a copy of the second book soonish.
I finished the second in a two-part series by one of my favorite authors. Foxmask by Juliet Marillier is the second in her "Light Isles" series and picks up in a different part of these islands with the second generation of the characters from Wolfskin. In this book a different section of these islands is explored, the Lost Isles, currently the Faroe Islands, with Marillier's radiant ideas about early times and peoples.
I *know* I saw a group read for Stardust a while back as a group read for June. Why can't I find the link? I do want to be a part of it even though it's right at the end of the month.
Wait - never mind - I found it, and the discussion only started this Monday. So I'm not too late for the party!
Ooh! I just found out there are some short stories that fit in-between the Chronicles of St.Mary's novels! I picked up The Very First Damned Thing (by Jodi Taylor) which is actually ".5" in the series or a prequel, though I'm not sure the last line would have been such a thrill if I didn't already know what it portended! ;-)
EDIT: I should probably mention what the short story is about! It's about the assembly and set up of the historical research team at St. Mary's, a former priory now being retrofitted to serve the time travelers. Evey major character from the first full novel gets a bit of ink, a glimpse into their respective pasts, futures, whatever :-D
>56 Tanya-dogearedcopy: For a first time reader, would you recommend starting with the novel or the prequel story?
>57 Robertgreaves: It could go either way actually. For those who are strict chronologists, starting with the prequel is a no-brainer but that said, there is a sort of deliciousness in knowing what you know when you read the novel first and then go back to the prequel. If you start with the prequel, there's a sort of bewilderment (a lot of, "So what?") and not enough enticement to continue whereas if you go back to the prequel, you experience a lot of "Aha! moments.
Last night I discovered that audible.com has the short stories available for free, but in this case (this short story) I definitely recommend the print over the audio. The performance (by the author) is frankly uninspired and uninspiring. Oddly, there doesn't seem to be any lightheartedness or sense of humor conveyed :-/
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