Thursday, November 29, 2012

Discussion & List: The Joy of Book Two

I have a love/hate relationship with series, but today I'm going to focus on the positive and gush about my explosive love for series, particularly book two.

Starting a series is great with all of its first-date suspense, hope, and possibilities. Few things come close to the delicious anticipation of wondering if I'll fall head over heels for this book and open a brand new chapter of awesomeness in my life.

Life was never the same

And then, if the stars align and everything comes together perfectly, then there's the wait for the second book. And, yeah, it's excruciating. But it's also kind of fun because even though I have to wait, I KNOW there will be a big payoff when the time comes due.

Plus, since it's only the second book, so I know I can read the book without all the sadness that comes along with reading the last book in the series when you know it's really The End.

It's like Christmas, or my birthday. Sure they only come once a year, but when they DO come, they're filled with piles of presents and tons of tasty food and general wonderfulness. And the best part is, I know these things are coming. I can rely on that guaranteed happiness, even if I have to wait a whole year for it.

And we get to do this EVERY year!

The second book in a series is often a dangerous thing, fraught with all sorts of peril like series stretching and the introduction of the dreaded Secondary Love Interest. Usually, second books scare the life out of me.

This didn't work out well for anyone

BUT, every rare once in a while a first book is so incredible, so special, so perfect that I KNOW the next book will be nothing short of chocolate fudge levels of perfection.

(Of course I'm still a little afraid I'll experience a crushing blow if the book doesn't live up to my super high expectations, but shhh, I'm pretending that isn't even a fraction of a possibility. Because, I just, I cannot fathom that reality.)

I've had my heart crushed way too many times by book disappointment, so I don't let my heart run wild after just any old book. I'm picky and jaded and I don't want to be hurt again.

 So this is my teeny tiny list of sequels I've allowed myself to throw all caution to the wind and fall madly in love with the mere idea of their existence.

They'd better live up.

Fair warning: There be (tiny) spoilers for the first books here!

The Pirate's Wish by Cassandra Rose Clarke
sequel to The Pirate's Curse

The first book hit pretty much all of my marks for a Special Shelf book with its sleepover friend paragon of a main character, sizzling hate-turned-love romance, and heaps of fantasy peril and action. The ending left off with the potential for an even more excitement-filled quest to come, and if the strength of the first book is any indication, The Pirate's Curse is going to set a new high in quest-fantasy.

I'm banking on The Pirate's Wish having all that, and more. Namely, I want more sizzle in the romance. Sure it was pretty close to perfect in the first book, but I felt like Naji was holding out in that department a little. He's a little too closed off and mysterious, so I'm hoping book two sheds a little more light on his, presumably, growing feelings for Ananna.

An 11th hour name change wouldn't hurt, either (I mean, Naji?? I'm still not over it).

The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen
sequel to The False Prince

The idea of basking in Sage's presence is enough for me. I don't even care all that much what he's doing.

But, I'd prefer if he were scheming and manipulating and being cheeky about it all like he was in The False Prince. The blurb gives me hope that there will be a good dose of twistyness mixed with clever plotting and murder (always good for a book, I think).

I like that the blurb makes it sound like Sage has matured and gotten all responsible in The Runaway King (I always love a Capable Guy), but I'm hoping his signature sass hasn't been completely set aside. Also, a little more development of that barely-there distrustful romance would be fantastic. But just a smidgen.

The only thing I'm really not jumping for joy over is the name change. I read the blurb three times thinking, "Who the heck is Jaron?!" before I realized that, oh yeah, that's Sage's real name. But, pfft. He'll always be Sage to me.

The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle by Christopher Healy
sequel to The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom

I can't stop recommending The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom. Adults, kids, teens, tweens—I've even made the elderly whip out their magnifiers and read that book. My pitch is simple: Do you like to laugh? Well then, do I have a book for you!

I'm expecting nothing less out of Christopher Healy's follow up. The cover and blurb are certainly worthy and I have no doubt the author is up to the task. So, my expectations? Super high. But my fears the book might not fulfill those expectations? Practically zero. I have total confidence, Mr. Healy.

I don't really have doubts or hopes for this sequel. Not like the other books. In this case, I just hope The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle is filled with all of the same characters (and maybe a few new ones, too. Evil villainS? Plural? Yessssss) and that they're acting exactly like themselves. And, ok, maybe it would be cute to see the rearranged couples pair up a little more solidly, but that isn't a requirement at all.

Biggest reason I'm crossing my fingers in hopeful anticipation? I desperately want Bronson Pinchot to record an audiobook version.

Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers
sequel to Grave Mercy

I know this book is following different characters from the main duo in Grave Mercy, but I'm kind of okay with that. Don't get me wrong, I loved Ismae and Duvall, but I'm all about the slow burn romance and that ship has sailed for them already. When the romance comes together in book one, all book two usually offers is conflict and third parties. Or sappy, spark-less tru wuv. Either way, no thank you!

So I'm all over the idea of keeping the awesome world of assassin nuns, gods of death, and courtly intrigue but turning the focus on two new love interests. Sybella is even more distrustful and prickly than Ismae, so I'm not expecting any kind of instalove nonsense out of her. In fact, the only instalove I'm pretty certain about is the love I have for Sybella, and I can't wait to get to know her even more.

My only fear? I wasn't IN LOVE with Sybella's soon-to-be-main-squeeze. So, yeah, I'm worried I won't be feeling this romance the way I was with Duvall. But I trust Robin, so I'm not too worried. Plus, I'm sure I'll be plenty distracted with all of the historical fantasy world building and political intrigue.

Also, Sybella. I really have fallen in instalove.

What about you?

What series are you SO in love with that you just KNOW the second book will be complete perfection for you?

Do you have any hopes or fears for them?


  1. Great post! I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with series too. When they're good, they're very very good, and when they're not it's awful.

    1. Haha, very true! Oooh I think the worst is when they're not very good, but I keep reading them anyway for some reason. Then it's like sweet mercy when the series finally ends.

  2. Second books SCARE me because I want them to be as good as (or better than) the first book, but... it's so hard to live up to that. However. I always feel that if the second book lives up to or surpasses the first, it's a sign of a really good series (and author).

    1. Me too!! They are scary. It's very rare that I have enough confidence (star struck?) that I'm so enthusiastic about second books as I am about these four. I agree with you, if an author can pull out a second book that is as good as or better than the first, then I know I've struck gold.

  3. While I LOVE to get second books, I'm often left unimpressed (in YA mainly), which leads me to push reading the third book out forever. I have tons and tons of started YA trilogies that I've started and have yet to finish. And since I forgot all the details, I would pretty much need to reread books 1 and 2. So yea...thanks for the whining outlet. :)

  4. I got a copy of The Runaway King--but I seriously am thinking about wrapping it up and putting it under my Christmas tree--delayed gratification and all that. At least during Christmas break I can read with fewer interruptions! I also am excited for Dark Triumph!

  5. I have such a love/hate relationship with series as well...and it seems in YA there is almost nothing but series...Grrr! But it's the little girl with the curl...can go both ways!

  6. I'm so scared to read sequels. I'm getting really frustrated lately with the super hyped up books (when I like the second book better everyone else is saying how crap they are :( ). Then when I do love a first book to pieces I'm always slightly disappointed by the second. But I did love (LOVE) The False Prince and cannot wait for the second. Looking forward to The Pirate's Wish as well :)

    And Detergent (aka Divergent #3) BETTER live up to my expectations with the super long wait time!!!

    Great post :)

  7. Oh wow...I didn't realize that the synopsis was already up for False Prince #2. I am so so excited for that book.

    But usually the second book is a disappointment to me. It just complicates the wonders of the first book. Generally the third book wraps things up well but the second book is too often mess.

    Great post!

  8. I'm starting to think all these series sometimes are more of a hassle than I enjoy them. I've probably been dissapointed more often than vice versa and many times when the year's wait is finally over I'm not that into the series anymore. I sort of have a new year's resolution not to start to many series and rather continue with the one's I already started so I'm counting on the sequels to be good. The one I have high hopes for is Feedback by Robison Wells. Variant was a very positive surprise for me. I know this is already out in english but since I read the first one in norwegian I think I'll wait.
    I really like this post by the way, spot on!

  9. I totally agree about A Hero's Guide...I freakin' loved that book!!! =) I would also add Fragments by Dan Wells to that list, as Partials was YA perfection for me. =)

  10. Second books usually break my heart. There is usually heartache or some kind of peril usually questions how is there going to be a book 3.

    Some have both of these & are actually better than the first. Clockwork Prince.

    Amy @

  11. I'm with you on the Hero's guide! I so hope Bronson Princhot records the audiobook version because the first audio book was MADE OF AWESOME.

    I haven't read the others though Im very curious about the Assassin's Curse.

  12. I've more often than not been disappointed by second books, though I see your point about not needing to be sad about the second book being the end. Still, I think it's hard for writers to get book two just right.

  13. I'm a real critic when it comes to sequels of my favourite books. It's very hard to impress me to say the least. But usually I know when an author is going to write something brilliant - take for example the authors Richelle Mead, Rachel Vincent and Jeaniene FRrost . . . now with those three I just know will write some really brilliant stuff.

  14. I have to sequels to books that I absolutely loved on my book shelf right now and I'm too scared to pick them up because I would hate to be disappointed. Another thing that surprises me is how readers think the series will pan out compared to what the author writes. Sometimes we aren't all on the same page.

  15. I love this topic.. second book sometimes they knock your socks off or they just are filled with fluff and don't really move the story along much. Recently, I read Crossed and I felt like it was one of those books which was I think what you'd call a "Story-stretcher". But, then I'm almost done reading Days of Blood and Starlight (Book 2 of Daughter of Smoke and Bone) this book is BETTER than the first book. Ya gotta love it when that happens huh?

    As for you I'm eagerly anticipating The Pirate's Wish. I think it may out do the first book.


It's all about friendly conversation here at Small Review :) I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Be sure to check back again because I do make every effort to reply to your comments here.

Because I am absolutely terrible about following through with blog awards, I can't in good conscience accept any more. Thank you very much for thinking of me though!

Spam WILL be deleted. Attacks on myself or other comments WILL be deleted.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...