Series Finished in 2018

One of my goals over the last few years has been to finish more series, rather than just starting them. It’s a tough goal. For me, finishing a series often means rereading the first books because I don’t have great recall and don’t really remember what was happening. That’s a time investment. I’m doing more backlist run-throughs but I do still start more series than I finish, which is a problem.

In 2018, I finished 31 series and started 79, so, yeah, I’m not winning this battle. Given that I probably will not continue in several of those, it’s more balanced than it sounds. But still I wanted to do a post about the ones I finished, as encouragement for me to keep going and to hype the good ones. Keep in mind, though, that I am sometimes guessing that a series is over, as publishers often don’t announce the number of books and some authors (like Meg Cabot) go back and do sequels years later.

I’m just going to do these in the order I finished them broken down month by month. Remember that I didn’t necessarily read them all this year; the dates are for when I finished the last book of the series.

APRIL

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Speaking of books I didn’t expect to have a sequel, I really didn’t anticipate either After You or Still Me, and both times I expected to be disappointed. Moyes delivers though, and, though Me Before You did best, these two are much more Christina books. Still Me was painful from a shippy perspective, but Louisa’s character arc is brilliant, and it’s amazing that it finally does truly feel like she’s really dealt with the events of book one and found who she is and what SHE wants.

Yes, I switched formats on book three, but that’s what came to me and I love British narrators. Both formats are great.

Could they stand alone? I think they could.

Favorite out of the series? Probably After You, but it’s a tough call. I like them pretty close to equally.

Satisfying ending? For sure. I felt so many things and loved the resolution.

Mechanical Hearts by J.C. Lillis

How to Repair a Mechanical Heart was recommended to me by several people, and I really liked it, but A&B was EVEN BETTER. If you loved the first one and didn’t read the sequel, SHAME. JK but srsly you should fix that because it’s super adorbs f/f and made my top books of the year.

Could they stand alone? Absolutely. There’s crossover but they’re more companions than a series.

Favorite out of the series? A&B.

Satisfying ending? Yes!

The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

These covers look so good together. This series is boss, and I feel like everyone knows that by now. If you don’t, work on that, maybe?

Could they stand alone? Illuminae and Gemina largely could, but the last book could not.

Favorite out of the series? Illuminae by a narrow margin

Satisfying ending? Yes, Obsidio wraps things up nicely but it is also the least intense of the bunch which was a bit surprising.

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

Julie Murphy’s such an immensely talented author. I reread Dumplin’ before reading Puddin’ and I’m just so massively impressed yet again by that book. Once again, I was surprised it turned into a series, so maybe there will be more someday? Can’t say I would mind, even if it would invalidate this post. ICYMI, the film adaptation is also great.

Could they stand alone? Yes. They follow different protagonists, so it shouldn’t be a problem.

Favorite out of the series? Dumplin’ because duh.

Satisfying ending? Yes, though admittedly Puddin’ doesn’t quite compare, but that’s sort of unfair because hello book one is AMAZING.

Sofia Khan by Ayisha Malik

These are some of the prettiest covers ever. End of story. I just want to stare at them. Sofia Khan Is Not Obliged isn’t a big name book but OMG IT SHOULD BE. Malik has such a talent for humor and character arcs and ripping your heart out.

Could they stand alone? Sofia Khan Is Not Obliged can but I don’t know that you could read The Other Half of Happiness without it and really have it make a lot of sense. But maybe?

Favorite out of the series? Sofia Khan Is Not Obliged, which made my list of my favorite books of 2018.

Satisfying ending? Not for me. The Other Half of Happiness would work for readers coming in wanting something that isn’t a romance. If you’re a romance reader, I’d stop after book one. (The author basically said that this series isn’t romance and was annoyed people though it was and book two shows that.)

May

Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman

Westerns have never been an interest of mine, but Bowman’s series made me rethink. I’ll talk the westerns that have romance and center on a POV other than a white male’s. Bring it on.

Can they stand alone? Absolutely. They’re set about 20 years apart and center on different people, though the couple from book one is in book two.

Favorite of the Series? Vengeance Road because I shipped it more.

Satisfying ending? Yes, though I’ll admit it’s weird when the MCs of book one are so much older in the cameos in Retribution Rails.

Chesapeake Bay Saga by Nora Roberts

After discovering Nora Roberts last year, I want to read so much more of her stuff. This is the only Roberts I read in 2018, and this series was not my favorite. The series focuses on four boys who were adopted by a loving couple out of incredibly fucked up circumstances, so they can be a lot darker and more triggering than I personally want out of a romance, and that also would make them tricky for me to want to recommend.

Could they stand alone? Sure, I don’t see why not. Romance as a general rule can.

Favorite in the series? Sea Swept. Even that one wasn’t a favorite though, but I had the most fun with it.

Satisfying ending? In the context of this series, I guess so. Chesapeake Blue was the one I liked second best, so it ended on a decent note.

The Disgraceful Dukes by Lenora Bell

After I read everything Tessa Dare had ever written, I had a strong need for more historical romance with a more modern flair and without the problematic classical tropes. Bell was one of the authors people recommended a lot, and I totally see why. All three are great fun with hijinks-filled plots and a tendency to use humor over melodrama, which is the way I like it.

Could they stand alone? Absolutely.

Favorite of the series? Blame It on the Duke. I liked them all, but this is the only one I strongly shipped.

Satisfying ending? Hell yeah. I’m always thrilled when the last book in the series is the best (though admittedly that can sometimes make it tough for people to GET there).

Destiny by Beverly Jenkins

My first reads by Beverly Jenkins but definitely not my last. I was impressed by the creativity of this series (if not the editing she received), even though one installment was basically every trope I don’t personally enjoy (Destiny’s Surrender).

Could they stand alone? Yes

Favorite of the series? Destiny’s Embrace, because hate-to-love ship.

Satisfying ending? Book three isn’t my favorite obviously but it does center on a lady pirate soooooo yes.

June

Turner by Courtney Milan

When I really, really, REALLY love an author’s work, I read them obsessively to the point where I will read everything they have ever written. Sometimes this means I read books I don’t like that much. The Turner series was not a huge hit for me. Milan’s talented but these ran much darker than I personally enjoy.

Could they stand alone? Like most romance, yes.

Favorite of the series? The novella, Unlocked, was the only one in the series I really liked. It’s ironic because usually I don’t like Milan’s novellas much but I love her novels.

Satisfying Ending? Not really, but the whole series wasn’t very satisfying to me. If it’s your thing, maybe? IDK.

Roaring Twenties by Jenn Bennett

Because of my love of Jenn Bennett’s YA contemporaries, I had to go back and read her adult paranormal series. I read Arcadia Bell a couple years ago and liked it, but I was REALLY looking forward to the Roaring Twenties series because LOOK AT THEM. They’re pretty good, but on the whole I do prefer her YA contemporaries to her paranormal romances.

Could they stand alone? I think so. I don’t remember much of an overriding plot.

Favorite of the Series? Bitter Spirits, as it was the one I couldn’t put down.

Satisfying ending? Not really. I’d been so excited for Bo’s book, as the one diverse book in the bunch, but it wasn’t the shippy amazingness I dreamed of, though ymmv as shippery is very subjective.

A Tyranny of Petticoats edited by Jessica Spotswood

You may be like, “this is only kind of a series,” to which I say, “IT STILL COUNTS.” Anthologies aren’t usually done in a series, but they’re clearly a set with these gorgeous covers, so it goes on the list. I’m not a big anthology person, but I would absolutely read more like this.

Could they stand alone? Duh.

Favorite of the series?The Radical Element, which is one of the best anthologies I’ve read. Usually I struggle with them because there are so many stories I don’t like, but they were almost all very strong in this one.

Satisfying ending? Doesn’t truly apply here lbr but book two was better so yes.

July

Rosemarked by Livia Blackburne

After not being hugely impressed by Blackburne’s debut fantasy, I was on the fence about Rosemarked, especially because I loathe that cover, but I gave it a chance and ended up really liking this series!

Can they stand alone? Absolutely not.

Favorite of the series? Rosemarked.

Satisfying ending? Somewhat. Umbertouched felt really rushed. It might have worked better as a trilogy. Still pretty good but harried.

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer

The day I learned Rev would get a book I was so thrilled. This series is a bit darker and sadder than I usually like out of contemporary, but they’re so well done and shippy with great character arcs that I love them anyway.

Could they stand alone? Yes.

Favorite of the series? Letters to the Lost. I shipped that one so much.

Satisfying ending? Yes, but also I would love another companion in this series about Rev’s foster brother from More Than We Can Tell

Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn

The covers for this are adorable, and they really capture the silly superhero spirit of these books. Not total favorites, but this series did sell me on Sarah Kuhn, because I do love authors who don’t shy away from humor.

Could they stand alone? Maybe, but I wouldn’t super recommend it. They’re pretty interwoven so it might not be the best experience, despite the fact that the MC changes.

Favorite of the series? Heroine Complex, which had the best ship according to my specific tastes.

Satisfying ending? Okay but not great. Heroine’s Journey went a bit less romance, which was frustrating for me as a romance-focused reader.

Al Capone at Alcatraz by Gennifer Choldenko

This middle grade series isn’t my typical fare (that should be apparent from the company in this list), but I really liked the audiobooks, so I actually stuck with it. This is one of those where I thought the series ended at book three and Al Capone Throws Me a Curve came along several years later. These have an interesting historical setting (families living on Alcatraz in the 1930s because they work there) and tackles autism in a historical context (the main character’s sister).

Could they stand alone? I don’t think so but then again I didn’t reread before book four, so they may recap enough it’s not necessary because kids don’t always worry so much about order.

Favorite in the series? Not sure if I have one? *shrugs*

Satisfying ending? Somewhat. I liked the character arcs, particularly for Moose’s sister, Nat, who has been relatively undeveloped, but the plot was not the best of the series.

Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren

When I started Beautiful Bastard, I didn’t expect to like it. At all. Turns out, though, I loved the fuck (pun intended) out of not just that one but ALL of these. So much so that I preceded to ignore every other book in the world until I read every book Christina Lauren wrote (minus the YA paranormal ones because nah). No joke. I read all of their adult romance books in one month. IT WAS THE BEST. I know most people prefer their standalones, but this series is my personal favorite hands down.

Could they stand alone? No doubt. Beautiful might be a bit weird because it has the casts of all of them brought together, but it should still work.

Favorite of the series? Beautiful Secret by the slightest of margins, but I really did love ALL OF THEM.

Satisfying ending? Having the last book put together two of the secondary cast on a trip with the couples was so cheesy but omg so fucking satisfying. I regret nothing.

Wild Seasons by Christina Lauren

See? I wasn’t kidding. I immediately read this series after Beautiful Bastard, and it was awesome. Though this is where I hit the first ones I didn’t love. There were a couple in here I didn’t really ship (the first two), but they’re still worth reading. I already want to reread both of these series, if that gives you a hint at my obsession level.

Could they stand alone? Yeah.

Favorite in the series? Dark Wild Night, because it’s the nerdiest. A romance between a comic book author and comic book store owner.

Satisfying ending? Yes, actually, despite my fear that I wouldn’t like the last book which has a romance with an awful ex from book one, I loved it!

August

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Reread! These are still excellent OBVIOUSLY.

Can they standalone? The first two maybe, but WHY WOULD YOU?

Favorite of the series? That’s tough, but I guess Winter?

Satisfying ending? HELL YES. Every installment of TLC gets better and better, which is the way it should be, especially if they start as well as Cinder.

Studies in Scandal by Manda Collins

These get formulaic, using the same plot tropes from book to book, but I deeply appreciate the campy humor to them and that they don’t take themselves too seriously. Also, Collins loves the trapped in the rain trope, and that one I don’t mind one bit.

Could they stand alone? No doubt. They might be better that way than back to back, because of the plot repetition.

Favorite of the series? Either Ready Set Rogue or Duke with Benefits. I was most into those ships, but my feelings were pretty even.

Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer

My reread of TLC was because I hadn’t read Gone Rogue, and I felt like I HAD to. Such a hardship. My life is pain, obviously. Joking aside, I like these, but I do have issues with the art, and they’re just not as good as TLC, but maybe that’s an unfair measure?

Could they stand alone? I really don’t think so.

Favorite of the series? Wires and Nerve, Volume 1 (why couldn’t it have it’s own title?)

Satisfying ending? Kinda? I didn’t think the plotting in book two was as solid. They do the best they can in two volumes, but it’s hard not to be mildly disappointed compared to TLC.

Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer

There were some really cool things about this series and the way it played with fairy tales, but I really wish this had been a trilogy. Also, Harper didn’t do an audiobook of book two and omg the names are not spelled like they were pronounced and life was HARD.

Could they stand alone? Not at all.

Favorite of the series? Spindle Fire

Satisfying ending? Unfortunately not really. There was so much cool stuff in Winter Glass, but everything felt rushed, which undercut a lot of the powerful elements.

The Conquerors Saga by Kiersten White

Listen, I read audiobooks for all three. I have no fucking clue why PRH didn’t make an audio cover for JUST BOOK TWO. These sorts of things are why I twitch. And this series is SO (deservedly) successful. Why NOT? This is one of the best YA series out there IMO.

Could they stand alone? lols no

Favorite of the series? Now I Rise because the fall of Constantinople kills me every damn time. (if you think that’s a spoiler, blame your history teachers.)

Satisfying ending? So much more than I expected. There’s a nice balance between realism (aka everything is terrible) and things to make you not live the book miserable.

Lady Whistledown Strikes Back by Julia Quinn, Suzanne Enoch, Karen Hawkins, and Mia Ryan

Quinn puts together really interesting anthologies, which are really tied together. I’ve not seen any like that from another author. The ideas here are solid, but in this series I don’t think they quite worked out as well in practice.

Could they stand alone? Yuppers

Favorite of the series? Lady Whistledown Strikes Back, because in the first, each story follows an identical timeframe with the same key locations and it was redundant af.

Satisfying ending? Doesn’t really apply but meh.

Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcser

Tolcser’s an author I’ll be watching closesy, because this was such a good debut series. That ship is excellent, and there’s so much that’s unique and clever to the world!

Could they stand alone? Nah, bruh.

Favorite of the series? Song of the Current

Satisfying ending? Somewhat. This is a super subjective thing, but Whisper of the Tide does the thing where the couple is apart for most of the book, and I basically never enjoy that plot device, especially in a conclusion, where I want a lot of good shippy moments. The book is good though, apart from that personal preference.

September

Montague Siblings by Mackenzi Lee

*sighs* There’s so much I like about this series, but I’m consistently frustrated that they aren’t what I expected or wanted. Basically, I wanted them to be historical, but they both turn into fantasy books in the last quarter, which is really weird.

Could they stand alone? Yeah, I think so.

Favorite in the series? The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by twenty thousand leagues.

Satisfying ending? Unpopular opinion but for me, no. Lady’s Guide didn’t have any of the humor I wanted, and I had several issues with it.

Bevelstoke by Julia Quinn

Like much of Julia Quinn’s backlist, Bevelstoke is a bit of a mixed bag. They’re all pretty good, but none are her best.

Could they stand alone? Obvs.

Favorite of the series?What Happened in London, which has an adorable shippy ship and hijinks.

Satisfying ending? Ehh, Ten Things I Love About You was the weakest of the series for me but entertaining.

October

Lady Most… by Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, and Connie Brockway

These anthologies are way better than the Lady Whistledown ones. While not up to a novel in ship quality, they’re totally silly and funny and you get several wee ships for the price of one.

Could they standalone? Yup, they’re unconnected.

Favorite of the series? The Lady Most Willing…, which fair warning is problematic in concept, but it was so fucking funny.

Satisfying ending? For me, yes, but it depends if you can tolerate things like Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.

Menagerie by Rachel Vincent

I have such mixed feelings about this series. There are aspects that I really enjoyed but so much of the content was deeply upsetting (intentionally but still it’s A LOT). And, especially in the last book, there are so many plot points that are not Christina things. But if you’re full of rage, these have that in spades.

Could they stand alone? Not one bit.

Favorite of the series? Menagerie

Satisfying ending? Not for me, but it might work for other readers who are more interested in View Spoiler »

Smythe-Smith Quartet by Julia Quinn

This marks my completion of Julia Quinn’s backlist (minus one series I ended up DNFing on the second and last book because it was so fucking boring). I’d been really looking forward to these because of the tie in to Bridgertons. Some were amazing. Some less so.

Could they stand alone? Of course.

Favorite of the series? Just Like Heaven, aka the shippiest banteriest one.

Satisfying ending? Nope. The last book was one of my least favorite Julia Quinn books, so that was not a great place to leave the quartet. The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy is one of those ‘lying for no good reason’ plots, and I was not a fan.

November

These Vengeful Souls by Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas

IMO there aren’t enough books in the world, especially in YA that are genuinely humorous. TVM is hilarious, but heartbreaking in equal measure, which takes serious talent. The world building is clever, the cast is fantastic, and the plotting’s excellent.

Could they stand alone? Nein.

Favorite of the series? These Ruthless Deeds, because it is the most hilarious and also the most heartbreaking

Satisfying ending? Yes, though These Vengeful Souls is not the most intense book in the series, which is a mite anticlimactic. Still loved it tons though don’t get me wrong.

This post turned out so much longer than I anticipated, but it was kinda fun to write. What series did you finish this year? Did you read any of these? What did you think?

3 responses to “Series Finished in 2018”

  1. Victoria says:

    Wow, congrats on finishing 31 series that’s such an accomplishment! I’m also super bad about finishing series, especially ones that are ongoing because I forget what happened in earlier books and don’t feel like rereading before continuing on. Good luck with your series this year!

  2. Kimberly says:

    I’ve always been a big Nora Roberts reader, but the Chesapeake Bay Series was not my favorite either. I thought the MacKade series was better, though it’s been probably 15 or more years since I read it.

    Of her standalones, The Divine Evil and The Villa are my two favorites.
    Kimberly recently posted…Short and Tweet Review of Fox 8My Profile

  3. I’m impressed with how many series you finished!! That’s always been a problem for me too unless I start bingeing something that’s already out or I’m suuuuper anticipating it (like I was with Lunar Chronicles). Hoping to read Obsidio, Retribution Rails, and Now I Rise/Bright We Burn this year!
    Morgan @ The Bookish Beagle recently posted…Review: Famous in a Small TownMy Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge