I did this post around the same time last year and plan on making it an annual thing every November time. So all the series I mention below were completed between November 2019 and November 2020!
I finished 3 massive trilogies this year. One I absolutely loved and I felt that a whole was in my heart, one which I really enjoyed but didn’t love where the ending went and one that just didn’t work out! So, let’s talk about them!
- Series: Arc of a Scythe
- Author: Neal Shusterman
- Number of books: 3
- Month finished: January 2020
- Favourite Book: No. 2 – Thunderhead
Plot for Book 1: A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control. Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.
I highly recommend this series. If anyone is looking for a good dystopian series I always send them this way. For me, the stand out element was the world building. This world is so well thought-out and through different people’s POVs we get to learn in various ways how this world works. I personally wasn’t the biggest fan of how it ended but it’s still an amazing series that I will always reach for.
- Series: Caraval
- Author: Stephanie Garber
- Number of books: 3
- Month finished: May 2020
- Favourite book: No. 1 – Caraval
Plot for Book 1: Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over. But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner. Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic.
I loved the first book. It was a brilliant guilty pleasure read with romance, magic and a pretty good mystery but sadly the rest of the series fell short for me. Bad structuring, last minute decision that didn’t make sense and suddenly drastic stakes that came out of nowhere hindered the experience.
- Series: The Winternight Trilogy
- Author: Katherine Arden
- Number of books: 3
- Month finished: September 2020
- Favourite Book: No. 3 – The Winter of the Witch
Plot for Book 1: At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil. After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows. And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent. As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.
I had a bit of a rocky start with this series. I read the first book and it just didn’t capture me in the way it seemed to do with others. I was really considering not continuing the series but I decided to give the second book a go and that book was INCREDIBLE! All of the problems I had in the first book were eradicated and I was super invested and by the time I read the third book I was a blubbering mess. I would 1000% recommend this series despite the fact that I didn’t connect to the story straightaway.