As I was putting this week’s list together it became clear that I don’t often FINISH series all the way to the bitter (or delightful!) end. I could think of several series I had started with the best of intentions, but for whatever reason I never picked up the final few books (*cough*TheWheelofTime*cough*). In the past couple of years this effect has been compounded by what I call ‘series fatigue.’ What’s that about? I don’t want to read too many series at one time, so instead I opt to read a lot stand-alones. Which is fine. But it made today’s post a little more difficult to construct.
Top Ten Best/Worst Series Enders
1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling – Now these first five are the BEST series-ending books, in my opinion. I’m not saying I loved Harry Potter book seven with a passion, but I felt it was a fitting conclusion and it made me weep into my quilt…
2. Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery – Rilla’s story was actually my favorite out of all of the ‘Anne’ books, and that’s a bit funny because it’s about Anne’s daughter, and not Anne. But the story itself is all bitter/sweet. Tragic and romantic in one tidy, book-sized bundle.
3. The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien – I’ve heard the arguments that this ‘trilogy’ was actually one large book, blahblahblah. Look, everyone. It came in three volumes when I was a teen, and I read this one last. I thought it was great. Elves, hobbits, magic, good triumphing in the end… you know, the best sort of story!
4. Abhorsen by Garth Nix – All of the entries in The Old Kingdom series rocked my face off, but I think Nix amped up the suspense and stakes for this series-ender.
5. Extras by Scott Westerfeld – Again, in this case the final book was my favorite of the entire series. I wasn’t the biggest fan of Tally, and once we got to follow another heroine in the same world it all came together for me.
6. Dragondrums by Anne McCaffrey – And now we’re onto the WORST side of the list. I enjoyed McCaffrey’s trilogy of Pern stories for younger readers, but this final one took a rather interesting direction, plot-wise. It wasn’t terrible, just my least favorite of the Harper Hall books.
7. The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis – Now, this is a Lewis book I didn’t like much or understand as a child. I get it NOW, but back in the days when my mother was reading it aloud bit by bit, the symbolism and metaphor were lost on me. Plus, what happened to Susan?!
8. The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman – In the His Dark Materials trilogy, Pullman re-imagined familiar tales and myths, and at the same time took the story into new, sometimes disturbing territory. The final book in the series was the most problematic for me as a reader, though I appreciated Pullman’s ingenuity the whole while.
9. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins – Did not like. Shouldn’t have read it. I KNEW it was going to disappoint me (honestly, I thought each successive book in the series got worse).
10. Lord Sunday by Garth Nix – After enjoying all six previous books in The Keys to the Kingdom series, Nix stumped me with this one. I realize that the narrative had to end, but Nix took a story shortcut that annoyed me, if anything. Ah well, I’ll always have books 1-6!
Would any of these books make your list?