Recommended Reading | Scintillating Series Starters

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Warning: This post is entirely science fiction and fantasy. Which wasn’t exactly what I was going for when I started writing it, but, hey, most of my favorite series are science fiction and fantasy. And I’m (mostly) totally okay with that. Because let’s be honest, they make for amazing long stories.

These are all first books in series that completely hooked me, and made me want to binge read their sequels. They are books that, for the most part, I couldn’t put down (one of them is over 800 pages, and it only took me three days to read). They each set up fantastic series, and introduce wonderful worlds and characters while still telling their own stories.

  1. Red Rising by Pierce Brown. This is one of the two books that really got me back into reading after college. It’s a brilliant blend of science fiction and dystopian, with elements of fantasy and mythology scattered throughout. The trilogy it is a member of is actually complete, so I can say that, as a whole, it’s amazing. This is still one of my favorite books, and now is the perfect time to read it because there is a sequel trilogy starting in January.
  2. A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab. This book got me out of a three-month long epic reading slump, and also ignited my love for V. E. Schwab. Her writing is so beautiful, but, beyond that, her characters are fantastically diverse and dimensional and her stories are entirely original. The third and final book in this trilogy was released about a month ago, and was seriously amazing.
  3. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. I haven’t quite gotten around to the second book in this trilogy, but based on this one, I know I’m going to love it. This book is massive, epic fantasy. And it took me less than 72 hours to read. I felt anxious putting it down, because I needed to know what happened next. It’s just so. freaking. good. (Patrick Rothfuss, if you’re reading this, when are we getting book three? I need it please. Thank you.)
  4. Vicious by V. E. Schwab. Yes, another Schwab book. While ADSOM is fast-paced fantasy, this one is slow-burning science fiction. They are actually very different books, but I love them the same. So far, this is the only book in this series, but the second one – Vengeful – has been announced for sometime next year (I think). If you love super villains even a little bit, you need to read this book.
  5. Alice by Christina Henry. I remember reading this book and really not expecting very much from it. Which was a mistake, because what I got was the violent lovechild of Alice in Wonderland and Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere. It actually is a sort of Alice retelling, but it’s definitely NOT for children.
  6. Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel. Along with Red Rising, Vicious, and 1984, this book was one of the books I chose to study in the process of writing my grad school thesis. I love that it is primarily science fiction, but there is a lot of mystery and a strong mythological influence. Book two is actually set to be released next week, and it’s just as good as the first one (see my review). So it’s a great time to pick this one up if you’ve been meaning to.

What are some series starters you love? Can you recommend any favorite book series that aren’t science fiction or fantasy? Because I kind of of want to explore something new.

Hope you enjoyed this post! As always, feel free to leave any suggestions in the comments – what recommended reading post would you like to see next?

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8 thoughts on “Recommended Reading | Scintillating Series Starters

  1. VE Schwab is quickly moving up my TBR list, especially after your recommendation!

    It’s not quite fantasy in some very interesting ways, so I’d recommend Bernard Cornwell’s King Arthur trilogy, starting with THE WINTER KING.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the recommendation! It’s been a long time since I read anything Arthurian, and do want to get back into it. I would definitely recommend starting with Vicious – I think you would really like that one! But if you’re in the mood for more fantasy, A Darker Shade of Magic is amazing.

      Liked by 1 person

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