Hey, it’s Top Ten Tuesday, a fun little meme/post prompt thing from the folks over at The Broke and the Bookish. This week it’s about the top ten series I’ve been meaning to start. I have no good excuse for not digging into these yet. Some I don’t own, but even the ones I do have been languishing in the TBR pile, buried under other things. Hopefully this list will provide a little inspiration for me to move them up the priority queue. Though I know I’m not the only one with more than a few series (and trilogies, and duologies) waiting in the wings of their reading theatre.
The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne
I’ve sort of burned out on urban fantasy at this point, but I love Kevin Hearne on Twitter and this seems like a very fun take on the “high powered supernatural person in a normal world” concept. It’s mostly been on my TBR list forever because the library doesn’t have an audiobook of it, and I sort of keep hoping they’ll get one in. However, the print version has a relatively short hold list, so I’ll hopefully read it that way soon!
The Expanse by James S.A. Corey
I know, I know, bad Ian. I love science fiction, especially clunky-spaceship, lived-in science fiction and from everything I’ve heard The Expanse will scratch that itch. I have a copy of the first book, but it’s so big it’s hard to carry around, so I haven’t given it a shot yet. I have seen a few episodes of the TV show, though, and that just made me want to read the books more.
The InCryptid Series by Seanan McGuire
Funny story: one upon a time, I put Discount Armageddon, the first book in this series, on my wish list because an urban fantasy with a ballroom dancer as the protagonist sounded awesome. I still think that! But I shied away from reading it because I wasn’t sure where the book fell in the series, or if I even needed to read the InCryptid books in order. Well, it turns out it doesn’t matter, because it’s the first! Now I just need to remember to track down a copy when I’m in an urban fantasy mood. (And probably after I’m caught up on Patricia Briggs’s work, because a few of those books are staring at me from my shelves already.)
ConFluence by Jennifer Fohler Wells
JFW is an awesome person, and ConFluence sounds like a very different take on science fiction, with a linguist as a protagonist. I really liked Arrival, and I imagine this will be in a somewhat similar vein. And even it if isn’t, I’m always a fan of non-space-marine sci-fi protagonists, especially ones that use their wits to save the day.
The Shadow Series by Lila Bowen
Another one of those series I want to get into based on author alone. Lila Bowen (aka Delilah S. Dawson) is in that esteemed category of author where I’ve loved everything of theirs I’ve read. That, plus a weird west setting, makes me desperately want to pick these up and get them read.
The Hit/Strike Duology by Delilah S. Dawson
See above, as far as being a bit ride or die for Delilah S. Dawson’s work. This duology also strikes me as a fun read because its near-future dystopia is based around banks and other financial institutions run amok. I could use a series where those bastions of capitalism get a good punch in the face.
The Icewind Dale Trilogy by R.A. Salvatore
Honestly, I love a good tie-in novel, and I hear these are particularly awesome. I also would like to see the infamous Drizz’t Do’Urden before he becomes the all-powerful invincible hero that many people love to read about, and is just part of an ensemble that isn’t held in his thrall by how awesome he (apparently) is.
The Twenty Palaces Series by Harry Connolly
Everyone I’ve heard about these books from has given them nothing but praise. While it’s unfortunate the series was discontinued, I’d still love to check these out for their unique (and, it sounds like, very dark) take on urban fantasy. I have the first book sitting on my e-reader, which is both good and bad. Good, because I already have a copy. Bad, because I never remember what books are in my digital library. Still! Someday soon, this will be read. (Perhaps I need to random roll which between these, Incryptids, and the Iron Druid Chronicles I read first. That’s fair, right?)
The Great Way Trilogy by Harry Connolly
Speaking of Harry Connolly, this is his more-recent major work. It as pitched as “epic fantasy without all the dull parts,” and from everything I hear, it delivers. Which, don’t get me wrong, I like a good epic fantasy. But I can handle maybe one of those a year, so a whole epic fantasy trilogy that packs itself into less space than a Malazan book? Sounds damn good to me.
The Malloreon by David Eddings
I was a total sucker for the Belgariad. It came at me out of nowhere, recommended by a friend, and played every single fantasy trope to a hilt in the most charming way possible, while being self-aware (but not snarky!) about the whole thing. From what I hear, the Mallorean is more of the same, and it’s self-aware about that, too. This is pretty high on my list for the next time I’m in the mood for a light fantasy read, I just need to track down a copy.
So that’s ten! But…wait! What’s that?
Popular YA Series Bonus Corner!
Bonus: His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
I hear nothing but good things about these books. I’ve had a box set of the trilogy (a very kind gift) on my shelf for like six years now. I tried reading the first book once, it didn’t click, and then I never tried again. Someday, though. Someday. I’ll finally be cool! Or at least have read a YA touchstone.
Double Bonus: The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
Narnia made the fatal mistake of not getting into my life early enough. I vaguely remember trying and not getting into the first book as a kid, but I also wasn’t much of a reader through my junior high and high school years, so that could have been part of it. (Or I might have been too young when I first tried it.) And now every time I hear about it my brain just goes “CHRISTIAN THEMES” in the same booming voice that doomsayers probably use to preach the end times. I should still read it, and I know I should, but also…eeeeeeeeeehhhhhhh. Mostly because I’m concerned my brain would be focusing too much on the Christian iconography for me to just enjoy the story. I want to give it a shot, but it’s not a priority. Still embarrassing I’ve never read it, though.
And that’s it for me! What series have you been meaning to start? Which books haunt you, looking forlornly out from your shelves, whispering to you in the night: “staaaaaaart meeeeeee?”