Yesterday, I finished the last book in Pierce Brown’s Red Rising trilogy, Morning Star. I picked the first book up right after it came out in early 2014, thanks to a note about it in the newspaper, and have read each subsequent book within a month of them being released.

It’s the first time in a long time that I have followed a series so closely. In fact, Harry Potter was probably the last example, and it wasn’t until Order of the Phoenix that I actually started paying attention to the releases for those. Normally I come in after the series is all the way out, or when it’s most of the way finished, like Harry Potter. So it’s been an interesting experience, you know, actually having to wait for the next book.

At first I thought I’d talk about Morning Star exclusively, but then I realized that it wasn’t the only series I’d been following. I also recently finished the second book of Erika Johansen’s Tearling books. A few months after it came out (last July, I believe), but still fairly timely, and definitely ahead of the next book (which is due in November).

Very different animals, these two trilogies. And so has been my reaction to both of them.

  • During the actual reading of each of the Red Rising books, there were points where I contemplated dropping the series, because the main character is sometimes not an easy person to ride along with, and there’s a lot of moral ambiguity throughout. But always at the end, the book would catch my interest again so that I not only knew I’d read the next book, but that I’d look for it actively. The end of Morning Star was also satisfying for the whole trilogy, even though, for a while, it didn’t look like we were going to get there (the main character became an unreliable narrator there for a bit, which was jarring but also awesome, and I am conflicted about the whole thing).
  • The first Tearling book, The Queen of the Tearling, was awesome. I really really liked it. The second book (Invasion of the Tearling) I did not like. At all. It’s different in tone, subject matter, characterization. So, now I find myself wondering whether or not to look into the third book. Am I invested enough now that I have to see it through to the end? Do I want to see it through to the end?

What do you prefer, Squiders, reading each book as they come out, being up to date and on the edge? Or waiting until all the books are out so you don’t have to wait (and, presumably, can tell better if a series will fit your tastes all the way through)?

(Red Rising is far future scifi with a dystopian bent, the Tearling books are high fantasy with a scifi-y-ish twist, if those sound interesting to you.)

Following a Series Real-Time
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Books by Kit Campbell

City of Hope and Ruin cover
Shards cover
Hidden Worlds cover