Ten Series I Haven’t Finished


Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Series I Haven’t Finished

I love a good series, but sometimes I just can’t continue reading. Whether the books are just badly written, or life just gets in my way, there are several series that I’ve never finished.

The Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery

Don’t get me wrong: I love Anne Shirley, Gilbert Blythe, and the rest of Prince Edward Island. I really do. I just got bored. Anne of Windy Poplars was the last book I finished, and it’s just letters between Anne and Gilbert. I don’t mind epistolary novels—actually, I like them a lot—but it was the fourth book, and Anne and Gilbert were still not together. Montgomery was killing me with the long distance love letters. Their romance was too drawn out.

I stopped after Windy Poplars and didn’t try to continue until about three years ago when I discovered that the series was on the internet. Anne’s House of Dreams was a little bit better, but I lost interest after chapter five.

The unofficial Little Women trilogy by Louisa May Alcott

I really like Louisa May Alcott’s stories and characters, but I hate her writing style. She’s so patronizing.

The Redwall series by Brian Jacques

There are 23 books in the Redwall series. I’m going to save myself the trouble of listing them and just tell you that I have only read the first one, Redwall.

I hate books with talking animals. I know, I know, I love Narnia, but that’s really it. As soon as an animal starts speaking, I just lose interest. I started reading Redwall because a lot of my classmates were, but it was Christmas 2001, and The Lord of the Rings soon distracted me. I never looked back.

The original Shannara trilogy and its subsequent sequels by Terry Brooks

My friend lent me The Sword of Shannara after I finished The Lord of the Rings. I found it so similar to LOTR that I grew bored.

The Pendragon Cycle by Stephen R. Lawhead

Taliesin was the only book in the Pendragon Cycle that my tiny school library in Kazakhstan had.

The Russians series by Judith Pella with Michael Phillips

Technically, I did finish this series. I read all of the books, some more than once. I really loved them.

Sadly, the author chose to end the series horribly. If I remember correctly, Passage Into Light ends with a cliffhanger: one of the characters is attacked and passes out on the street, and then the novel ends. I truly thought there was another book out there somewhere waiting for me to read. I still keep hoping Judith Pella will finally write it.

I feel cheated. That’s why I’ve included it here on this list: I didn’t finish the series because the author didn’t finish writing it.

The Love Comes Softly series by Janette Oke

When you’re a missionary kid, you get a lot of free stuff. However, your swag bag usually consists of hand-me-downs and Focus on the Family cassette tapes.

I got a beat-up copy of Love’s Unending Legacy out of a box of assorted items some little old ladies in a tiny country church put together for my family. Since I read pretty much anything I could get my hands on, I didn’t allow my distaste for Christian romance fiction to stop me. It was okay. I didn’t think about it again until several years later when I was in college and watched the TV film Love Comes Softly with Katherine Heigl before she was in Grey’s Anatomy and Knocked Up. (I know, right? Weird.)

The King Raven Trilogy by Stephen R. Lawhead

I love Robin Hood, and I loved the first two books of King Raven trilogy. The amount of research and depth Lawhead put into them was as fascinating as the story he created. Hood was great, and Scarlet was spellbinding. (Seriously, if you need a lesson in writing a distinct voice for a character, read Scarlet. It’s fantastic.)

I was highly anticipating the release of Tuck, but unfortunately, I was working in Kazakhstan when it finally arrived in bookstores. Periodically I will go in search for it at bookstores, but they either only have Hood or they only have a hardcover copy of Tuck. I’m cheap: I rarely buy hardcover books. As the years have passed, I’ve lost the urgency to read Tuck and finish the series.

Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, also known as Daniel Handler

I really wanted to read these books. I love how dark they are yet how sweet and hopeful they can be, too. I love the Baudelaire Orphans, and I love Count Olaf. I love Lemony Snicket and his humor. I love Daniel Handler’s writing style and the world he created. I love the movie. I even love the soundtrack.

I hate how formulaic the books are.

The Percy Jackson & the Olympians series by Rick Riordan

A work in progress

This series is a work in progress. I really loved The Lightning Thief, but I didn’t like The Sea of Monsters at all. (Seriously, Percy, do your Greek mythology homework, and you won’t find yourself always caught unawares by the gods and titans.) Last week I found The Titan’s Curse for six bucks at Wal-Mart, and I enjoyed it enough to renew my interest in the series. Percy appears to have become a little smarter and less annoying. Ah, maturity.

(There’s a second series, too, right? The Heroes of Olympus or something like that? Does it have anything to do with Percy? I have absolutely no idea, but I don’t want to Google it because I don’t want to spoil anything for myself. Hmm…)

Have any of you read any of these series? Are they worth finishing, or was I right to quit?

Are there any series that you’ve never finished?

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12 thoughts on “Ten Series I Haven’t Finished

  1. I loved the Redwall books, but I never finished the series because A. there are so darn many! and B. they become predictable. I can understand the aversion to talking animals, but I was raised on Watership Down.

    • I dislike predictable books. (One reason why I lost steam with the Percy Jackson books and Lemony Snicket.) I haven’t read Watership Down, and for some reason I am always confused when people mention that talking animals are a part of it. To me the title sounds like it should be some great Cold War thriller. As I have no knowledge at all about it, I do not know if my assumption is at all close to being accurate. I highly doubt it if it has talking animals…

      • It depends on the book and the nature of the predictability to me, really. I get bored when a series is predictable, though. The problem, for me, is figuring out if and when my own writing is predictable and if and when that is ok!

        Hahahah! Well, Watership Down not only includes talking animals, it is all talking animals… hares, mostly. Give it a try and see what you think, as it is very different from the Redwall talking animals, who are basically just human stand-ins. I feel that WD does a good job of showing what sapient hares might be like. They don’t wear clothes or wield weapons. They are just hares trying to live in England in the 1970s. It does have some human-war-and-society themes in it, like the horrors of poison gas, military regimes, and the question of whether or not might is the primary attribute of a leader. It’s a good book, all around, and the first full-length novel my brother and I ever read for ourselves. I’ve practically destroyed my main copy by reading it too much.

  2. I would recommend trying the Lemony Snicket books again. I too was a bit put off by how formulaic the first ones were. But I kept reading and was pleasantly surprised at how the series ended.

    • I really want to start reading Lemony Snicket again. I tend to spend too much time on Pinterest and Tumblr (when I have internet), and so many quotations from the books have ended up on pretty pictures reblogged and repinned across the internet. It’s enough to make me curious. Maybe one day.

  3. I finished the Anne of Green Gables series, but I understand why you stopped; the last couple books were the sort of thing you slog through. The Alcott books I’ve read several times and absolutely loved. I’ve never thought of Alcott as patronizing, but maybe that’s because I haven’t read her books since I was about ten. Like you, I found the Sword of Shannara off-putting because it didn’t seem original enough, even though so many people raved about it. I absolutely recommend finishing both of Lawhead’s series (hey, while you’re at it, I’d recommend all his books). I quite enjoyed the Series of Unfortunate events, until the last two books, in which the plot floundered.

    • Yes, I wanted to quit the Anne books before I bored myself of them. I might read them later. Most of these books I still want to read (well, not the Shannara books); I’ve just forgotten them. 😦
      I really do love Lawhead. He’s fantastic.

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  7. I just finished reading “The Russians” for the second time. There is a part where a character passes out on the street, but it isn’t at the end of the last book. The last book ties up some of the loose ends. I’d recommend reading that series again. It is very good.

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