June 22, 2015

Trilogy Enders: Winners, Disappointments and Unknowns

I was inspired to write this post after reading End of Days by Susan Ee, the last book in the Angelfall trilogy that fans had waited 1.5 years for. I decided not to write a review but long story short, I was very disappointed. But it got me thinking about series enders in general. The ones that solidified my love for a series, the ones that disappointed me for a variety of reasons and lastly, the ones I haven’t read yet (because I haven’t had time or I’m a little scared to!).

(in no particular order)

My original winners list was surprisingly long so to narrow it down, I checked Goodreads and only kept the books I gave full 5 stars to. When I looked at my final list, I knew it was the right call because these choices seriously makes my heart go a flutter (and tempts me to go on a re-read binge).

Six of these books made me cry. They all were epic endings. They all surprised me in one way or another but at the same time, the progression of each series as a whole towards these final moments felt organic and right. And I kept thinking about them days after finishing.

(in no particular order)
End of Days by Susan Ee
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

There’s a bunch of reasons why I felt let down by these series enders. With Allegiance, End of Days, Mockingjay and Bitterblue, I admit my expectations were super high but ultimately, I felt they were missing the emotional element that made me feel so tied to the series in the first place. Whether it was the pacing, unnecessary drama or moments that didn’t make sense, the only word that comes to mind is disappointing. (I respect differing opinions though! They just didn’t do it for me.)

With Sacrifice and Boundless, it was the love triangle. You know that one where it isn’t really a love triangle because it’s so obvious that the heroine will absolutely choose her first love no matter what  but the author makes you fall for the other guy in the second book anyway (yes, I’m bitter; Team Steldor + Team Christian for life!). I still enjoyed both series overall so this was a different kind disappointed.

(in no particular order)
Ashes to Ashes (Burn for Burn, #3) by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian
The Retribution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #3) by Michelle Hodkin
Ruins (Partials Sequence #3)
False Future (False Memory, #3) by Dan Krokos
Echoes of Us (The Hybrid Chronicles #3) by Kat Zhang
Requiem (Delirium, #3)

Most of these books I haven’t gotten to yet either because of lack of time or, because I wasn’t entirely thrilled with its predecessor. Ashes with Ashes is the exception because while I didn’t love the first book, I was absolutely gripped by the second. Then came in the polarizing reviews about the third and it made me very, very afraid. One of these days I’ll have to take it out from the library and just see how it goes.

***

Series enders are bittersweet and most of all, tough (I don’t envy those authors!). But I have no doubt that most of the time, opinions will be divided. I am happy to say that most of the ones I’ve read left me feeling pretty good. There’s just something about the disappointing ones that make me want to throw my hands up in frustration (or write a blog post). Still, I’m looking forward to seeing how more of my favorite series wrap things up!

What are your favorite trilogy series enders, disappointments and unknowns?
Did you feel similarly about the books I mentioned?
Would love to hear your thoughts!

6 comments:

  1. The Bitter Kingdom was a great final book! I was let down by Ruin and Rising, though. And I'll admit I'm in the minority, but I love Mockingjay and like Allegiant. Champion is still an unknown for me, as is In the Afterlight (I still have to read Never Fade). Emeralds & Ashes (the final book in the At Somerton trilogy) was definitely a win for me. Ooh, and I liked Mortal Heart, the third His Fair Assassin book!
    Great post idea!

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  2. This is a great post!

    Ruin and Rising and Into the Still Blue I would say are the best ending books out of all the trilogies I have read to date. Like you said, they reaffirmed my initial emotions I felt from the beginning of them and made me love the trilogy so much more.

    Allegiant was probably the biggest disappointment that I've ever felt for a book. It broke my heart and tainted the other two books for me. I wasn't thrilled with The Retribution of Mara Dyer. It felt unfinished and all over the place. Mockingjay broke my heart but not because I thought it was bad necessarily but I agree that it didn't hold up with the other two books.

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  3. Oh goodness, series enders! It's always a tough call, a tough book to write and to read, especially when you have such high hopes. We actually have a lot of series enders we both loved (Strange and Ever After, Ruin & Rising, The Bitter Kingdom), but there's one we disagree on - Mockingjay. I really liked how that one ended, but mostly because it made me cry when I read it :)

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  4. Clockwork Princess is the winner of the winners!! It was SO perfect. In The Afterlight, Into the Still Blue, and Champion were all really good too :)

    Soundless was a bit disappointing, I'll admit. Mockingjay and Allegiant were utter letdowns.

    Ashes to Ashes and Requiem were both really bad too.. I didn't even try to read Retribution. I have no interest at all...

    Nice post!!

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  5. I was so excited when I saw you tweeting about this post today--I love seeing how people feel about series conclusions. I totally agree with you about In the Afterlight and Champion. Those were some solid conclusions that I loved! It was interesting to see your disappointments list because I totally loved Mockingjay and Bitterblue (I actually think Bitterblue is my favorite of that trilogy). I hope the books you have left to read don't disappoint!

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  6. I completely agree with your assessment of End of Days, Allegiant and Mockingjay. Those series had SO MUCH potential and they just crashed and burned. :(
    I wrote a post about finishing series recently (http://ofdragonsandhearts.com/2015/06/finishing-series/) where I wrote down all the series I still need to finish (those would fall under the "unknowns" for me). I have so many of them! Oops.
    But for the great endings... Hmmm... Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor was good (though perhaps a bit too long).

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