Top Five Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted over at Goodreads by the lovely Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. Despite vowing to incorporate this meme into my blog, I went kind of blank over the last two topics… oops. However I loved this prompt!
I tried to make it all about books, but I had to include a TV show too. I realized that this applies more to TV than books many times. Maybe it’s just that TV shows tend to be longer, with dozens of installments rather than four or five (with one notable exception which I’ve included). Anyway, I’m glad that I gave a chance to all of my pick because they were all worth it despite the initial mishaps and stumbles. It’s just great to see the moment when a series finally finds it voice and things get real!
Honorable mention: The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare
So I can’t actually include this because I haven’t finished the whole trilogy. I’ve actually still have like 30 pages left of the second book. But I’ve enjoyed Clockwork Prince soooo much more than Clockwork Angel (which I thought was just okay). I finally got invested in the characters and see why this trilogy is so beloved! Verdict is still out regarding Clockwork Princess, but I can’t wait to read it.
5. The Monsters of Verity duology by Victoria Schwab
This is only a duology which is why it ranks last on this list. The second book is definitely the strongest of the two in most senses, especially regarding the pacing. It has all the good of the first book, namely the characters and unique world, with strong development and a more dynamic plot. That said, I think that the books are better when considered as a whole. As I mentioned in my review of Our Dark Duet, I think this is an excellent example of a well executed duology.
4. The Grishaverse books by Leigh Bardugo
There actually two series here, The Shadow and Bone trilogy and the Six of Crows duology. I definitely think that the first book in the trilogy is the weakest out the all, but in my opinion, Six of Crows easily bests the entire trilogy. The world get more developed, and it doesn’t feels as derivative as some aspects of the trilogy do. Leigh Bardugo is the kind of writer that just keeps getting better and better with each book. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for this universe.
3. The Song of the Lioness quartet by Tamora Pierce
Just like Shadow and Bone, these were Pierce’s first books to be published. The series just grows so much as it progresses, just like its protagonist, Alanna. The first book starts with her as little girl, but as she matures so do the themes and other characters. It’s a great journey to see all of them change and come into their own. Though the second book, In the Hand of the Goddess, holds a special place in my heart, I adored the finale, and, objectively, it’s the best book out of the entire quartet.
2. Animorphs series by K.A. Applegate (and a bunch of other people)
This books are basically like a TV show, with 54 episodic adventures (some spanning a few more books) and overarching narrative. Despite being Middle Grade, these books have a very mature (and let’s face it, also depressing) take on war, which you wouldn’t imagine from reading the first.. six or seven books in the series. The first books don’t even include one of the main characters! Although the later, ghostwritten books do stumble at times, the complexity the series had gained by then more than makes up for it. Also holy crap, the character development throughout the books is some of the best I’ve read, or seen in anything.
1. Buffy the Vampire of Slayer
This is the only TV show I allowed myself to include. I feel like I mention my love for Buffy every other post… But whatever. Though the first season has some (okay a lot) rough episodes (a demon in the internet! Evil praying-mantis lady! The talking puppet!), once you get past it, the good stuff comes through. Like, from School Hard which is the third episode of season two onwards the show really finds its voice and it’s the best. But yeah, the first season is hard to sell. When a friend decided to watch the show (read: after months of me insisting), I actually recommended that she skip almost all but the most important season one episodes. She went and watched after having finished season 3 and now we joke about how bad they are.