Book Series I Won’t Finish

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I recently posted about all of the book series I need to catch up on, so today I thought it would be fun to talk about some of the ones I don't intend to continue reading. Now, I will probably upset some people here because all of these book series have very strong fan bases, but I have to be honest and just didn't enjoy these books. Let me know if you felt the same way or if you think these series get better in later books.

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

When I first heard about this book series, I thought it was going to be right up my alley. It's a young adult dystopian series about the final wave of an alien attack on Earth. The first book was getting amazing reviews on Goodreads, so I picked it up as soon as I could. The last thing I expected from The 5th Wave was being bored reading it, and yet that's exactly what happened. I remember being baffled by all the 5 star reviews, because the way I saw it... it was a paint-by-numbers alien invasion story. I thought it was incredibly predictable, and on top of that teen romance was the last thing I wanted in a science fiction disaster novel like this. Don't get me wrong, this book had some redeeming qualities such as good pacing, and some suspense because the characters didn't know what the aliens looked like. However, what I wanted was an exciting original survival story I was promised, and I ended up very disappointed. After that, of course, I didn't have any motivation to pick up the sequel (especially since I've been hearing some mixed things about it).

The Ender Quintet by Orson Scott Card

After watching the movie adaptation of the first book, I really wanted to read the series. Ender's Game is set in the future when the smartest kids are being trained in a military academy to defend the Earth against a possible future alien attack. Andrew "Ender" Wiggin ends up in the training program, and quickly becomes the best at anything he tries to do. No, really, ANYTHING. Though the world in this book was very imaginative and easy to visualize because of the vivid descriptions, I found the characters very difficult to relate to (especially Ender). On top of that, the book was filled with sexism, stereotyping, and derogatory terms that were brushed off as jokes. While I understand this was written back in the '80s, it doesn't make discrimination OK. I also kept finding out more and more about the author's personal views, which led me to the decision to never buy any of his books ever again. I wasn't going to continue with the series based on my experience with Ender's Game alone, and even though I have been told the series gets more interesting later on, I don't think I could get over the personal issues to give the next book a shot.

Caster Chronicles by Kami Garcia

Now, this series is one where I actually attempted the second book out of curiosity, but realized I just couldn't do it. I have a full review of Beautiful Creatures (the first book in the series) on this blog, and you can read all about the issues that I had with it. I ended up thinking the story was OK for paranormal romance, but way too slow. This book involves a regular 16-year-old guy named Ethan and a powerful caster named Lena. As you can imagine, there are all kinds of obstacles and impending doom involved. The problem that I had with Beautiful Creatures was that it felt like 590 pages of setup for the next book, which took me a while to get through. When I started the second book in the series, I hoped that I would finally see some livelier pacing and a more compelling story line, but it was just as slow and whiny as the first one. At that point I knew I wouldn't be able to get through another book of that (or the rest of the series, for that matter), so I actually left the book unfinished. 

Splintered by A.G. Howard

Splintered was a book I really wanted to love. I thought a modernized, darker retelling of Alice in Wonderland sounded like a great idea for a book series, but it just ended up being not my cup of tea. To the author's credit, I actually really enjoyed the writing and the spin that she put on the story. However, I just couldn't get excited about what was going on, and didn't really care about the characters. I kept pushing myself to continue reading, but around the halfway mark I finally gave up because it started to feel like homework. I'm actually pretty sad about this because I still really like the idea of this book series (come on, it's about a dark, dangerous, and messed up Wonderland!), and I know a lot of people really love these books, but there are so many other things I would rather be reading that I don't really see myself ever going back to even finish the first one. I did see that the reviews seem to favor the sequels, so maybe the series gets better later on. Have any of you read this?

Starbound by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Out of all of these, this is a book series I attempted most recently. I have a full book review of These Broken Stars (which is the first book in the series), and I actually thought this was an alright book, for what it was trying to achieve. This is a young adult science fiction romance novel, with a heavy emphasis on the romance. My biggest issue were the characters: I couldn't relate to them, didn't really care what happens to them, and I thought their decision-making was pretty terrible. The good news is, this book was a really quick read and the pacing made it reasonably entertaining. However, this series is just not something I want to continue reading—I'm not the biggest fan of romance novels, especially not young adult romance. There is too much eye-rolling involved for me, and that may result in an injury. I honestly think I would have enjoyed this way more about 10 years ago, but at this point I don't care to continue reading the series. 

How about you? Are there any popular book series that just didn't work for you?

BooksMarianna Neal