Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week.
This week’s theme is Top Ten Best Sequels Ever. According to the nice folks at Dictionary.com, a sequel is:
a literary work, movie, etc., that is complete in itself but continues the narrative of a preceding work
Well, that makes it tough. Do books in an ongoing series count? Some would, I suppose, although there are many that I wouldn’t call complete in themselves. I had originally thought to write a list of two book duos (duologies), but my brain came up short. So… giving it my best shot, here are my choices for the top 10 books that “continue the narrative of a preceding work” yet are complete in themselves as well. Or something along those lines.
1) Doctor Sleep by Stephen King: Cheating a bit here! I haven’t read it, obviously, since today (Tuesday) is the release date… but I’m excited to read this sequel to The Shining – and I’m so sure that it’ll be awesome, I’m making it #1 on my list!
2) You Suck and Bite Me by Christopher Moore. Well, I’ve never read a Christopher Moore book that I haven’t enjoyed (yup, I even like Island of the Sequined Love Nun!), but these two follow-ups to Bloodsucking Fiends are both funny and take the original story in all sorts of goofy directions.
3) War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk. On a more serious note, Herman Wouk’s The Winds of War is powerful on its own, but put it together with its sequel, War and Remembrance, and you have a devastating pair of novels that convey the terror and sorrow of the Holocaust through the experiences of one family. Unforgettable.
4) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling. I love the entire series, but I’ve always felt that GoF has its own powerful adventure/thriller story to tell that makes it a tremendous read on its own. The TriWizard Tournament gives GoF a framework that functions beautifully in a way that makes this book less episodic than some of the others and more of a unified whole.
5) The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice. Published nine years after Interview With The Vampire, The Vampire Lestat brought vampires back into pop culture in a big way, and kickstarted Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles series. By shifting the focus from Louis to Lestat, Rice added an element of fun — and rock-star glamour — that made The Vampire Lestat a must-read and really took the lead in making vampires sexy once again.
6) The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood. When I read Oryx and Crake, I never expected the story to continue… so I was thrilled when I found out about The Year of the Flood, which is both sequel and companion to Oryx and Crake. Likewise, when I read The Year of the Flood, I had no idea that a 3rd book was in the works… and now I have MaddAddam waiting to be read!
7) Changes by Jim Butcher. The Dresden Files series is huge at this point (14 books and counting), so it’s hard to pick any one volume to single out as a great sequel. But, I’m including Changes here because it really is one of the most memorable of the series, an incredibly suspenseful and thrilling installment that lives up to its title completely by serving as a total game-changer for all of the major characters. For me, Changes breathed fresh life into the series just when it needed it most, making it exciting and shocking all over again.
8) Talulla Rising by Glen Duncan. This sequel to The Last Werewolf shifts the story to a new narrator in a continuation that’s just as gory, thoughtful, and mind-boggling as the first book.
9) Dreamquake by Elizabeth Knox. I am so fond of this duology, which does not appear to be as well known as it should be. Dream Hunters introduces us to a world in which dreams are performed by super-stars in lavish opera halls. In Dreamquake, we learn more about the origins of these dreams and find the keys to understanding how and why this all came about. This is a powerful story, masterfully told in two compelling novels.
10) Parable of the Talents by Octavia Butler. Parable of the Sower introduces us to a not-too-distant future that’s horribly familiar, and Parable of the Talents takes that world and makes it even more awful. The characters are unforgettable, and in Parable of the Talents, we get a sequel just as moving and painful as the first book — if not more so.
What are your favorite sequels? Which are the best of the best?
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