Series That Never Sucked

Have you ever had that experience where you love a series, but you can't help but notice how the writing has gone downhill? You love the characters, but the books are starting to seem episodic and nothing really changes? I'm looking at you Evanovich.

Well, a couple of my favortie series have gone that way and I wanted to take a moment to commemorate the ones that have thus far avoided what I am now calling the Series Downward Spiral.

Patricia Brigg's Mercedes Thompson Series
Number of books: 8
Status: Ongoing
I love this series. I just finished reading this last one, Night Broken, so I'm still running on the high from that book and probably will be over gushy about this series. I'll try to keep it short and o the point: the major innovation that Briggs brings to the paranormal series population is change. Her characters change, her worlds change. It's a crazy concept, I know.

I'll try to explain without giving too much of the story away. In most series, each book is just more of the same. And in some cases, that's great. You like how the first one went and you want more. But Briggs' worlds have major shifts - one group of supernaturals declares war on the US, another decides to cooperate with the FBI to help boost their image. The characters change, too. Life events have lasting effects and patterns are changed.

I'm being super vague, I know. But if I could make you read one series on this list, it would be this one.

Also, the covers. The covers.

Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampire Series
Number of Books: 13?
Status: Ended
Despite the crazy-pants turn the popular TV series True Blood has taken with the series, I will always appreciate the original. Because throughout the story, Sookie, our heroine, just becomes more and more disenfranchised with the whole supernatural institution.

She falls in love with men, but when they do something froggy, she kicks them to the curb. That's what I really appreciate about this series. Sookie doesn't forgive these massively horrible things her lovers do just because she loves them. Love is something that is earned, not given blindly.

It's an authentic portrayal (I mean, minus vampires, etc.) of what a real dating life is. Sookie may be a waitress, but she is not stupid, and she knows exactly who she is, which is really a great way to be. This series is over now, but I love the way it ended. If you haven't read it, I would suggest it. As much as I love True Blood for it's own wacky story lines, only the first season is really similar to the books in any way, shape, or form.

Kristain Britain's Green Rider Series
Number of Books: 5
Status: Ongoing
This series seriously just keeps getting better and better. It started out with Green Rider, which was a true-blue adventure tale with monsters and spies and coups and all sorts of other interesting things. But the subsequent books have broadened the scope of the story to the point where it's this massively intertwined narrative that spans over centuries and countries.

The world building is excellent, the characters are interesting, and the dogged determination of the protagonist to not be involved in any of this shit is truly inspiring.

If I had one major complaint about this series, it would be that each book takes about four years to come out.


But that is a trade I am willing to make if they continue to be awesome. I guess.

J.K.Rowling's Harrry Potter Series
Number of Books: 7 Glorious tomes
Status: Ended
Obvi. If I have to explain this, I don't know if we can hang out any more...

All excessive fan-girling aside, this series is truly an example of a dynamic and masterful narrative. In the beginning the stories were simple and clear-cut because the protagonists were eleven and everything is simple and clear-cut when you are eleven. Just ask my nephew.

As the story grows, so do the characters, who look deeper into what is actually going on in their world. Things that were true in the first couple of books are examined with a more jaded eye and turn out to be not exactly what you wanted them to be. And I think that's fantastic.

Meg Cabot's 1800-Where-Are-You Series
Number of Books: 5
Status: Ended
Though this series suffered from originally being planned as a 6 part and ending up as a 5 part, I still count it as one of the best YA series.

To be fair, though, the very fact that it was cut short might have been what saved it. Cabot has a tendency to ride storylines into the ground, and I say that with all the love in my heart because Meg Cabot was who inspired me to write in the first place.

To be honest, the greatness of this series rests in the last book, in which all the characters have changed and conclusions are drawn. I would have liked to read the book between the last two books, because it would have been endlessly entertaining and dealt with a lot of things that interest me - spies, international intrigue, etc - but I understand why the last book was more important.

I will be adding to this list as time goes on, because I know I've left some out. Let me know what your favorite series is and I will check it out!


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I am a legit writer living in Durham, North Carolina, working at a publishing company, and ruthlessly fumigate for travel bugs on a daily basis. Follow my adventures as I try to get published, learn marketing voodoo, and pretend to be an adult.

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