Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Best/Worst Series Enders

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week.

For this week’s topic, I have some books that are definitely “best”, one that I’d consider “worst”, and a few that are problematic yet utterly memorable, so I’ve added a best/worst category:

BEST:

1) First Lord’s Fury by Jim Butcher (Codex Alera). I love the seemingly never-ending Dresden Files series, but with Codex Alera, Jim Butcher shows that he knows how to wrap up a story with style. Totally terrific.

2) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling (Harry Potter series). Even though the whole Elder Wand business was a bit more convoluted than seemed necessary… and I thought they’d never get out of that tent… by the end, I was satisfied and uplifted by this dramatic, emotional, and sharply delivered finale.

3) Timeless by Gail Carriger (Parasol Protectorate series). Loved.

4) Tempest Reborn by Nicole Peeler (Jane True series). Loved this one too.

5) Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games). I could quibble about minor details, but why bother? Mockingjay is powerful and painful, as is fitting for this brutal series.

6) Y: The Last Man, volume 10: Whys and Wherefores by Brian K. Vaughan (Y: The Last Man). Not that the final volume is somehow more spectacular than the series as a whole. This is just my way of paying tribute to a graphic novel series that’s simply excellent from start to finish.

Best/Worst:

All of these are problematic for me, in one way or another, and yet each totally works as the conclusion to a series.

7) The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman (His Dark Materials). I love this trilogy as a whole, but I did find parts of The Amber Spyglass a bit too full of mumbo-jumbo for my liking. (How’s that for vague?) Still, the end of the story for Lyra and Will is so heart-breaking — and yet so perfect in its own way — that I’ve never really gotten over it. Something that leaves such an indelible impression belongs on a top 10 list for sure!

8) Them or Us by David Moody (Hater series). This entire series is so bloody and disturbing that I don’t quite know what to do with it. It’s certainly powerful and hard to put down, but seriously upsetting to nth degree. This 3rd book provides a convincing conclusion to the trilogy — but it’s hard for me to just put it on my “best” list, simply because it’s in no way an enjoyable reading experience.

9) Specials by Scott Westerfeld (Uglies). Okay, I know that there is actually a fourth book in the series (Extras) — but I never felt the need to read it, since it seems like an addendum rather than flowing with the story of the first three books. I liked the Uglies series quite a bit, but felt that each book was a little less intriguing than the previous one. Overall, though, it’s a terrific trilogy (like I said, for me, it’s a trilogy!), and I thought Specials really tied it up very well.

Worst:

10) Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris (Sookie Stackhouse). This is a series that should have ended several books before it did, and it shows in the finale. Nothing much of any import actually happens. An epilogue in an earlier book would have sufficed, really, to let us know what ended up happening with all of the characters. If we still cared. Which I mostly didn’t.

What series do you think ended spectacularly? And which ones were a total bomb? Let me know, and leave me your links so I can check out your top 10!

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29 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Best/Worst Series Enders

    • Well, you could try a good friend of mine’s solution. She was going to borrow the copy I was reading, and at the last minute said “just tell me what happens”. Once I made sure that she really meant it, I gave her a 3-minute recap. She said “oh” and “thanks for saving me the time!”

  1. Interesting to see Jim Butcher’s series make it on a few people’s lists this week 🙂 I only read the first book but I hope to get around to the others at some point.

    The Amber Spyglass was pretty bittersweet, probably the first time I encountered a trilogy that wrapped up that way.

    My TTT

    • I really love Codex Alera (it’s another series that ends up on my top 10 lists A LOT), so I’d say stick with it! The Amber Spyglass still breaks my heart, and I want more! I wish Philip Pullman would go back to this world, but it sounds like that’s not likely to happen.

    • Thanks — I don’t think I will! I picked up a copy from the library after I’d read Specials, but when I saw that it didn’t really connect, I returned it!

  2. I should read Timeless, I stopped after the first 3 books in that series, but it wasn’t for lack of interest. Just realized I never read The Amber Spyglass, only the first 2 in that trilogy.
    Love to see the Harry Potter love!

    • I always have Harry Potter love! 🙂 I’d definitely recommend going back to the Parasol Protectorate series — never a dull moment, and it always makes me smile!

  3. See, while I absolutely loved the last few pages of Mockingjay, there were so many issues I had with the rest of the book that I can’t say it’s one of my favourite endings. That’s why I put it on both my best/worst lists.

    • Well, Mockingjay definitely didn’t go in any direction that I might have anticipated ahead of time — but overall, I thought it was pretty great, although really bleak and awful too.

  4. Glad to see I’m not the only one who put Mockingjay on the best instead of worst list. 😀 I really need to read Jim Butcher. I have him on my shelf, but can’t seem to get around to it. Great list! 😀

    My TTT

    • I’ve yet to be disappointed by a Jim Butcher book! I didn’t realize that so many people disliked Mockingjay — is it just the ‘shippers who didn’t like the romantic pairing at the end? I thought it was all rather bleak, but that was appropriate for the tone of the story throughout the series.

  5. I so feel the same way about the Uglies series. I have meant to pick-up Extras for so long now but don’t really feel that the need. The series is so over in Specials that I’m not sure what else there really is to say.

    As someone who loves Charlaine Harris and has read (and owns) all the Sookie Stackhouse books, I have yet to crack Dead Ever After. The series had certainly gone downhill after the last few books but I do not know if I can take the disappointment of a terrible series ender here. I will read it eventually but the need to brace myself for the disappointment.

    • It’s a shame — I really liked the series up through book 8 or so, but felt it really ran out of steam at that point and should have wrapped up while it was still strong. Oh well…

  6. Oh, Mockingjay… see, unlike a lot of people who’ve put it on their “worst” list, I don’t have issues with any particular thing that happens in the book or the way that it ends… I just didn’t care much for the book itself. It feels very scattered, and very rushed, and while it should be super-powerful, I thought it was the weakest of the three. I liked the very end, I thought it was the perfect way to end Katniss’s story… I just thought the book as a whole was rather disappointing.

    But, I wasn’t a mega fan of the series either. Maybe if I were more invested, I wouldn’t have noticed some of this other stuff.

    • Yeah, I had no idea so many people were unhappy with Mockingjay. I thought it wrapped up Katniss’s story as well as it could be wrapped up — and if it had been a sunshiny ending, it would have felt totally false.

    • Yes it was — but I still had to read it. After investing all that time in the series over the years, I guess I needed to be able to say I’d finished!

  7. I definitely agree that the Sookie Stackhouse series should not have dragged on as long as it did. The quality of the books seriously deteriorated in the later books.

    While I liked Timeless, it didn’t live up to my expectations for the finale of the series. My favorite books in the series are the first two. Soulless is one I could reread and enjoy. I’ve been meaning to pick up the graphic novel versions just for fun. I also want to try the Tempest series because I’ve seen it as a recommendation for fans of Soulless.

    • The Soulless mangas are pretty fun — no replacement for the novels, but they’re cute as a side dish! I really like the Tempest series (the author is hilarious) — I hope you give it a try!

  8. Oh, your list reminds me that I need to finish up the Parasol Protectorate series! I liked those books quite a lot (well, every other one, actually…), but I never rounded out the set. Thanks for sharing your list, and for visiting my TTT post!

    • Thanks, Cecelia! Now I’m looking forward to the Prudence series, which I think Gail Carriger is coming back to in 2015 (?). Her books are always so much fun!

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