Top Ten Sequels

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

To narrow down a wide field of competitors, I’m limiting myself specifically to book two in a series. The books I’m featuring today are the sequels that I feel totally blew the first book out of the water, whether it was brilliant or just okay. These are the ones that basically had my jaw on the floor from the awesome.

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1. Kinslayer (The Lotus War #2) by Jay Kristoff: This follow up to Stormdancer is bloody brilliant, with a major emphasis on the bloody. If you like your fantasy intense and full of death, then this, my friend is a series for you.
2. Froi of the Exiles (Lumatere Chronicles #2) by Melina Marchetta: Then again, maybe you like your fantasy series a little bit fluffier with feels of the happy sorts available. Froi of the Exiles is the darkest of the series, thus my favorite, but there’s still plenty of sweetness and adorableness to be had.
3. Cold Fire (Spiritwalker #3) by Kate Elliott: Then again, maybe you live for romance. If so, Cold Fire might be more your speed. Cold Fire specifically has so many couple-y feels that I had a major freak out on Twitter because omg the sexual tension.
4. Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J. Maas: Or, maybe, you want a sequel that is jam-packed with just about everything a fantasy novel can have (which, spoiler, is a LOT). Throne of Glass was awesome, but Crown of Midnight really ups the ante and addresses a lot of the concerns people had with the first book.

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5. Everbound (Everneath #2) by Brodi Ashton: At this point you are probably realizing that fantasy has a lot of the best sequels. Deal with it. In Everbound Ashton increases the action, the drama, the feels and totally catches readers off guard with her general amazingness. If you were on the fence after Everneath, you should still read Everbound.
6. Second Helpings (Jessica Darling #2) by Megan McCafferty: Also known as “The One Where You Totally Get the Marcus Flutie Hype.” Megan McCafferty does high school feels so perfectly, and this is probably her best book ever. Obviously, she has time to beat it, but that’s going to be tough.
7. Siege and Storm (The Grisha Trilogy #2) by Leigh Bardugo: Shadow and Bone was amazing, but I thought this one was even better. I mean, Sturmhond. That’s really all I need to say here.
8. Deadline (Newsflesh Trilogy #2) by Mira Grant: My favorite book in one of my favorite series. Going into it, I didn’t think there was any way that Grant could make Deadline as good as Feed, and I was right: she made it BETTER than Feed.

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9. Where She Went (If I Stay #2) by Gayle Forman: When I heard that there was a sequel to If I Stay, my initial reaction was “Well, that’s dumb.” However, Forman totally rocked it, and proved to me that the sequel was worth the spoiler of sorts for book one provided by its existence.
10. The Shadowed Sun (Dreamblood #2) by N. K. Jemisin: There’s a lot of hype for N. K. Jemisin in the fantasy community, and I didn’t really get it with the first Dreamblood book, but with The Shadowed Sun, everything came together: the world building, the plot, the FEELS.
11. Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2) by Suzanne Collins: This might be an unpopular opinion, but when I read The Hunger Games, I didn’t understand the hype. I mean, I thought it was fun, but I wasn’t blown away. With Catching Fire, though, Collins hooked me, and I read the whole thing with bated breath.
12. Anne of Avonlea (Anne of Green Gables #2) by L.M. Montgomery: We’re going to end on some good old classic sequel. Now, Anne of Green Gables is brilliant, but in Anne of Avonlea, Anne and Gilbert are older, maturer, and finally able to set sail as one of my favorite ships ever. THE FEEEEEEELS.

So, what say you, friends? Did any of these make your list? Are there any sequels that totally surprised you with their awesome? Now’s the chance to convince me to read series I was going to stick in the graveyard!

41 responses to “Top Ten Sequels”

  1. Meg says:

    You know what I’m eyeballin’ also, hey Froi! Still TBR Lotus Wars (I am one step closer being that I now own them, but I’m a little scared of them so we’ll see what happens.) I love your list.

    • Christina Franke says:

      I totally understand that. We’ve all built them up so much. I hate hype as a reader, but as a blogger and book pusher I have to hype. #conundrum.

  2. Ellis says:

    Hahaha, you went over the limit. Welcome to the club. I have so many firsts of the books you listed here: Finnikin of the Rock, Cold Magic, Throne of Glass, If I Stay, Everneath, Shadow and Bone, and I still have to read all of those… Yay for Catching Fire! I think it’s the best book in the series. Love, love, love it.
    Ellis recently posted…Top Ten Best Sequels EvahMy Profile

  3. Uhm yes for Kinslayer, Froi of the Exiles and Catching Fire! Amazing sequels that just gave all the feels.

    I was blown away by The Eternity Cure, I think it was soo much better than The Immortal Rules, thanks to Kanin ;D I haven’t read enough sequels this year though so I can’t talk about anymore xD

    • Christina Franke says:

      I was one of the oddballs who didn’t like The Eternity Cure as much as The Immortal Rules, but I also didn’t care all that much for Kanin. Jackal was the only real plus of the sequel for me. I desperately want to break up Zeke and Allie, so she can have her badassery back.

  4. Steena says:

    I’m so with you on Catching Fire. Hunger Games was okay but I did not really feel for that series until Catching Fire.

    And all the love for Anne of Avonlea. Less love for Anne of Windy Poplars, also known as Anne Fixes Everyone Else’s Lives While Waiting To Get Married.

    • Christina Franke says:

      Less love for the rest of the Anne series, which I always end up DNFing when she starts having kids. She loses her awesome and becomes a boring mom. Sigh. Although I do think I should skip and read at least Rilla of Ingleside maybe.

      • Steena says:

        I love Anne of the Island too. Anne of Windy Poplars, Anne’s House of Dreams, and Anne of Ingleside are boring, I agree. Though maybe I’d feel different now that I’m a mom? I doubt it. I recall them being very maudlin.

        I liked Rainbow Valley because it’s about the kids and their childhood adventures. It’s very evocative of childhood memories – playing pretend in the backyard, getting into squabbles with neighbor kids, etc. It’s pretty and nostalgic.

        You should read Rilla. It’s not my favorite because I don’t personally like Rilla herself but the story is good and her love interest is worth it.

        • Christina Franke says:

          Then I may need to read the last couple at some point, much as I hate skipping part of a series. Hmmmm. We’ll see. It may just be one of those things I keep putting off and I’ll die before I get there. Haha.

  5. I still need to read #1 (as soon as you tell me which pages to skip), #5 (on my shelf), #6 (I know!! I am getting to it), & #9 (on my shelf). I can’t agree with you on Catching Fire, but I’m with you on Anne of Avonlea.

    I am so, so bad with series though. I could only come up with 7 for this list today.

    • Christina Franke says:

      ACK. Remind me when I’m at home, lady.

      Do you not like THG or just didn’t like that one? I feel like I should know this, but I do not.

  6. Loved Where She Went! I haven’t read most of the other sequels yet except for Catching Fire.
    Aly @ My Heart Hearts Books recently posted…Ten Best Sequels EverMy Profile

  7. Danielle says:

    Great list! I’m only a quarter done with Kinslayer and I already love it a hundred times more than the first.

    Yes on Catching Fire. I loved the 75th Games and the Quarter Quell idea and mostly Wiress and Beetee.

    I’ve read Anne of Green Gables a dozen times, but I never read any of the sequels! I should add that.

    • Christina Franke says:

      Oooh, a hundred times! Excitement. Glad to see Jessie made you get on that ASAP!

      I do not remember all of those Catching Fire things, so obviously I need a reread.

      O_O You’ve never read Anne of Avonlea? You SHOULD. However, you might want to stop there, because Anne gets really boring post-marriage.

  8. Tiffany says:

    Ooooo….Deadline looks really interesting. I am going to have to start that series. Thanks!
    Tiffany recently posted…Danylle’s Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Best Sequels EverMy Profile

  9. Adriana C says:

    Great list! Where She Went and Catching Fire made my list too. And I need to add ti my wishlist a lot of them.
    Here is My Top 10 Tuesday
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  10. Jenni says:

    Totally agree with you on Where She Went. THat book was brilliant. I have to ask: WHERE IS SCARLET!?!?!
    Jenni recently posted…No Angel Blog Tour StopMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      Lol! Scarlet’s on the list, but it’s not in the top 12. It’s somewhere down just off screen. I do love that sequel though!

  11. YAY for Catching Fire. I love, love, LOVE that book. I still think it’s the best one of the series.I have Siege and Storm on my bookshelf but I haven’t been able to read it yet. I think I’ll bump it up a bit on my TBR now.
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  12. I really neeed to read Throne of Glass so I can get to Crown of Midnight. I’ve heard great things about both!

    Here’s My TTT
    Nikki H @ Take Me Away… recently posted…TTT: Top 10 Best Sequels EVER!My Profile

  13. I spy so many great sequels! (Okay, that was cheesy. Ignore me.)

    1. Kinslayer: Unngghhh, I’m so jealous of anyone who’s read KINSLAYER, because I simply adored the previous book, and now because I’m flat broke (and saving up early for Christmas), I’m going to have to wait. And I love that there’s an emphasis on bloody. Does that make me sound sick?

    2. Froi of the Exiles: You won’t believe how many TTTs I’ve seen with this book on them. And it makes me feel so guilty because I’ve been putting off reading FINNIKIN. I just… I just don’t want to be letdown, okay? And pfft. Dark books are my thing.

    4. Crown of Midnight: YET another sequel I have not read. I adored THRONE OF GLASS, and I’ve heard that CoM is much darker and bloodier than the first. I’m also curious to see more of Celaena’s assassin-side, since I didn’t get to see much of that before.

    5. Everbound: “At this point you are probably realizing that fantasy has a lot of the best sequels.” — That’s to be expected from only the BEST GENRE EVER. No, I take that back. Sci-fi is the best genre, but it sorely lacks in good sequels, unfortunately. I loved EVERNEATH to death, so that probably means I’ll love EVERBOUND to high heaven.

    7. Siege and Storm: Finally, one sequel I’ve read. But yes. Sturmhond satisfies all.

    11. Catching Fire: I love that Suzanne Collins is a ruthless writer who doesn’t hesitate to make her characters — and readers — suffer. That’s how I felt about CF. Heartbreaking, but also hopeful. MOCKINGJAY was the same, though I can’t understand why some people disliked it…

    Great list, Christina! This just reminded me of how much I’m missing out by not reading these sequels. Eh.
    Megan @ Adrift on Vulcan recently posted…September’s Reaping: Mindy McGinnis + GiveawayMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      1. Well, it would make you sound sick if I didn’t totally refuse to give 5 stars to an epic fantasy book without some main character murder. BLOOD IS NECESSARY. LET THEM WASH IN IT.

      2. Bahaha, Froi is the best one. Finnikin’s slow-going for about half of it, but the ending is one of my favorite book endings ever. So cute.

      4. There is an AWESOME assassin-y scene where she cuts errybody down and it’s fantabulous.

      5. Fantasy is totally my home. I’ve come to love contemps, but fantasy will probably always be dearest to me.

      11. Pretty much my favorite thing about Mockingjay is how Peeta and Katniss get a fucked up ever after, rather than an HEA.

  14. Bonnie says:

    Siege and Storm and Catching Fire and Deadline. YES! I’m really loving the sound of that Kate Elliott series! Great picks. 🙂
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  15. Alessandra says:

    Second Helpings rules!!! When Jessica and Marcus kiss in the bathroom at her grandma’s funeral… the feels.
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  16. Arial says:

    Froi of the Exiles, yes. A million times yes. Definitely one of, if not the most, fantastic sequels ever. I think that its darkness really made the series stronger overall.

    I haven’t read Crown of Midnight yet! I need to get on that.
    Arial recently posted…Condensed Review – The Lux SeriesMy Profile

    • Christina Franke says:

      That’s why Froi was my favorite one. Way darker than the other two. It was so close to being a five star book, but Marchetta doesn’t quite have the lethal instinct you need for high fantasy.

  17. Fantasy sequels ARE the best. And I just think fantasies are more likely to be series than many other genres, so that may also have something to do with it. You’ve listed so many series that I’ve been meaning to read now (Throne of Glass, The Lotus War, Everneath, Dreamblood) and a few I’m ashamed to admit I haven’t continued past the first yet (Lumatere Chronicles, Spiritwalker). Guess I need to get reading!
    Amanda @ Late Nights with Good Books recently posted…Top Ten Best Sequels EverMy Profile

  18. Cait says:

    Cold Fire series is on my TBR list well to be bought list as well. I thought that series sounded interesting. here is my list:
    Cait recently posted…Book Review of Omens by Kelley ArmstrongMy Profile

  19. Sturmhond, yes yes yes.

    Second Helpings in the copy i have i actually wrote Marcus Feels lots of Feels.

    Love your top ten.

    Books Buying Beauty

  20. Katie says:

    I’m so with you on a lot of these. CATCHING FIRE is my favorite in the series, and I thought CROWN OF MIDNIGHT was even better than THRONE OF GLASS. Also, SIEGE & STORM was crazy amazing, way better than SHADOW & BONE for me, even though the Darkling wasn’t in it as much.
    Katie recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Best SequelsMy Profile

  21. Dahlia Adler says:

    I literally just read FINNIKIN last week and have had so many people tell me how good FROI is and that it’s their fave of the series, which… yeah, if it’s better than FINNIKIN, I’ll be buying that ASAP. I haven’t read most of these, but SECOND HELPINGS is definitely my favorite on the list!

  22. Lyn Kaye says:

    Catching Fire made my list, because it is honestly the best book out of the trilogy. The characters were great, I loved the mystery and the premise, and the clothing.

    Loved this!
    Lyn Kaye recently posted…Book Review: Shanghai Girls by Lisa SeeMy Profile

  23. Molli says:

    I finally bought the first Jessica Darling book for my Nook a few months ago because I’ve literally not read a single less-than-stellar review. I’m really curious about them.

    Ohhhh, Crown of Midnight BROKE ME. And Siege & Storm – well we all know that one made me sob. Darn sequels being so/too good.
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  24. Oh hellz yes: Crown of Midnight (♥),Catching Fire and ANNE of Avonlea!! 😀 I could NOT agree more! Though I still need to read the Lotus Wars and the Grisha series *hangs head in shame* Same goes for the Everneath series and the Lumatere Chronicles. Epic TTT post ^^
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  25. Jessie says:


    Kinslayer – we’ve flailed many times over this. If I had done this TTT, this would also have been my #1.

    FROI! Also would have been on my list. I really enjoyed reading Finnikin, but Froi just left that in the dust. I cannot wait to read Quintana — I need it to come out in paperback ASAP.

    Cold Fire – how glad am I that you were talking about this series on twitter? I don’t know how I missed this before but I LOVE THIS SERIES. Again, I liked book one, but Cold Fire was just FREAKING FANTASTIC.

    Crown of Midnight excelled. It actually made me into a fan of the series. I was veeery iffy after ToG, but damn does Maas bring it for book two.

    Second Helpings remains my favorite of the Jessica Darling series. (Though I am only three books in.)

    SIEGE AND STORM. Aka the book that gave us Sturmhond. The gift that never stops giving. I cannot wait for book three. Where, hopefully, Mal will die and Alina will realize her love for Sturmy.

    You’re gonna kill me, but I wasn’t the hugest fan of Deadline. I mean, I liked it, but nowhere near as much as Feed. Also the THING that happens at the end? I thought was a really cheap twist.

    T_T Where She Went broke me even more than If I Stay. Adam was such a great protagonist/narrator. I didn’t think she could top IIS, but damn, she definitely did.

    Fun picks XD
    Jessie recently posted…15 Day Blogger Challenge – Blog AppealMy Profile

  26. Gillian says:

    KINSLAYER YES. Dark and gritty and terrible, yess.

    CROWN OF MIDNIGHT YES. Hammer to the feels and even better than the first.

    *needs to read Everbound FAST*

    SECOND HELPINGS YES. Marcus Flutie <3333

    SIEGE AND STORM YES. Totally better than the first. And helloooo, Sturmhond.

    Where She Went was amazing. Haha, didn't realize it was a spoiler until you mentioned it because I am stupide

    CATCHING FIRE YES. MY FAVORITE OF THE THREE. I mean, I WAS blown away by The Hunger Games, but CATCHING FIRE is even better.

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