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Author Topic: The favorite book series thread  (Read 6718 times)
Dincrest
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« on: October 26, 2008, 11:13:50 AM »

We have threads showing what people are reading and all, but there hasn't been one where we mention our favorite book series and why they hold such esteemed places in our heart.  This is a thread for series and not individual books.  Therefore, I will not mention my all time favorite book as it's a one-shot book and not part of any series.

I'd say my all time favorite book series is Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.  Where should I start?  The books are both totally hysterical and totally insightful.  I'll never look at a towel, beef, or the origins of humanity the same way again.  I voraciously tore through all 5 HHG books in about a week.  It's a classic series for a reason.  The storylines, the dialogue, the characters, everything about HHG is fantastic. 

I really liked the Harry Potter series, except for book 7.  I thought book 7 was terrible.  But though it may not be a paragon of literature like Moby Dick or something, it did something no other series I can recall did.  It captured the world and people who normally hated reading were reading.  I got sucked into that world and I love stories about school.  It's a series that stuck in my mind.  And like everyone else, I'm looking for another book series that has that same mojo.  It still amazes me how Potter's as ubiquitous as Star Wars and that people of all ages love it.  I look at people strangely if they've never experienced either SW or HP.  I tried to get into similar stuff like Young Wizards, but somehow the writing didn't pull me in like it did with Potter.

Growing up, I loved the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books.  But my favorite mystery novel series as a kid was E.W. Hildick's McGurk.  I liked how McGurk would solve kid-level crimes like a missing baseball glove and they were exciting.  Most adults would probably think a missing baseball glove is no big deal, but in the complex world of kids, there's deception, betrayal, and all those trappings that make for good mysteries.  It's only in high school and older that I got into Sherlock Holmes.  Still love Hound of the Baskervilles and those couple of stories with Moriarty.  I usually prefer British detective stories, but American espionage stories. 

I was also a massive Choose Your Own Adventure fan growing up, and I'm sure that's why I love Japanese visual novels as much as I do.  I loved the interactive nature of the stories and often wondered why books, and storytelling in general, couldn't be interactive like that. 

So what are book series you fine folks are into and why?  Are there book series you liked growing up and still stayed with you?  And are there any book series that you're somewhat meh about?  For me, I'm meh on His Dark Materials (Golden Compass, Subtle Knife, Amber Spyglass.)  Golden Compass was decent after a slow start.  Subtle Knife was the best of the trilogy because Will Parry's the best character in the series.  Amber Spyglass was boring and felt rushed in places.  It did not capture me the way other book series have. 
« Last Edit: October 26, 2008, 02:45:38 PM by Dincrest » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2008, 11:57:38 AM »

While I've always been more of a short story guy, there are two book series that I enjoy quite a bit.

I've been a fan of Frank Herbert's Dune books since I was in junior high.  It's interesting to think about how my enjoyment of them has changed over the years; when I was young I was drawn to the idea of a bunch of wandering desert nomad warriors riding worms and kicking ass, but these days I'm more interested in the sociological and psychological aspects of the series.  The original series, that is.  I hear Herbert's son and that Star Wars hack are going back and raping the interval of time between Dune and Dune Messiah now, which annoys me to no end.

I'm also a fan of Zelazny's ten Amber novels.  I'm generally sick of fantasy novels these days; if more of them were written with half as much flair and personality as the Amber books, I might read more of them.  I've found an appreciation for Zelazny's brevity as of late; the whole of the first five-book cycle is shorter than the first book in the Wheel of Time series. :P
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« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2008, 12:07:38 PM »

I don't read books often, but I found the time to read the Harry Potter series, so by default it is my favorite series. And for the record, I loved book 7 *minus* the epilogue.
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« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2008, 01:47:31 PM »

The Time Forgot and Mars series by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
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« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2008, 04:19:04 PM »

Probably my all time favorite series is still ongoing so unless he somehow rapes his own imagination there's no way it won't end better than it started. I wish the series had a proper name as each book is titled as being a Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen, it's a mouthful and if someone wants to know the series it's weird to say it that way. As it stands though it's the most "alive" world of any I've read, it's a fantasy series but without the goofy stereotypes but it doesn't take itself too seriously either.

The books are based off a Dungeons and Dragons gameworld that the author, Steven Erikson and his friend made back in the 80s, the first book was originally a screenplay for a fantasy/comedy movie but it was lost and he decided to write a book about it after that. The series has its share of evil overlords and shining heroes but you can't help but like the overlords sometimes and the heroes are at times unsure of why they do anything. A lot of the series follows a company of soldiers called the Bridgeburners but it threads out a lot from there.

Right now book 8 just came out and to be honest the series is still not closing any of its major story threads, there's at least 3 going on right now with another dozen sub-plots. It's been announced that after these 10 books are done he's doing prequel trilogy and then a sequel trilogy as well he wants to do a world encyclopedia after the main series is done. He also writes novellas (3 so far) about two characters that appeared for a short period in one of the books, they're fairly comedic books but the characters themselves are probably the most uncaring, evil guys in the whole world so far.

It's hard to really say why I like the series just because it is so involved, the first and last book are the only ones I had complaints about, the first because it was his first story and you could tell he was just getting used to writing books, I actually put the book down and after like 6 months just decided to finish it and after getting to the halfway point I couldn't stop reading. The last book is essentially narrated by a character in many spots and that character talks in the third person and is very verbose so although it sets up a lot of scenes and gives them context they're a chore to read. By the end of the book though so much happens I could read through all that shit again a thousand times and be happy with it knowing with what's about to happen.

Another favorite that's done is the Prince of Nothing series written by Scott Baker, it's a fantasy series but much of the mainstays of fantasy stay a fair distance from the story. Magic doesn't happen until the second book even. The story and world is very mature, there's a lot of bloodletting, language and sex (sometimes all at the same time). It's a very impactful series though, I couldn't read the last book for awhile because of the way the emotional pain and fear the main character is experiencing is described was just too much. The series has an excellent ending as well which helps. There is a two part sequel being worked on right now too so I'm really looking forward to that.
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« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2008, 08:43:18 PM »

I, uhh, can only repeat Book of the New Sun here. Maybe the whole Solar Cycle if I get around to reading the Book of the Short Sun series though.

Since it's brought up though I'd like to check out the Chronicles of Amber. I've been too busy reading other stuff to finish Lord of Light, but what I have read was fantastic.
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« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2008, 05:21:13 PM »

I'd say my all time favorite book series is Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy...

I was also a massive Choose Your Own Adventure fan growing up...

I'm sure I'll think of more, but these are definitely two series I love a ton.  I believe I have mp3s of every episode of the radio show of HHGTG, so...

I have over 3,000 books now (thanks in big part to my wife), and since both my wife and I loved the CYOA books, we're really making an effort to get a complete collection.  My three favorites were definitely The Cave of Time (book 1), Deadwood, and... one where there were aliens and you were trying to get to an ending where you were in a utopian society, except that there was no path that lead to that ending.  I thought that was brilliant!
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Dincrest
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« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2008, 08:46:37 AM »

Tooks, you're probably aware of this website, but it's an excellent comprehensive site for gamebook series like CYOA, Time Machine, Fighting Fantasy, and more.  http://gamebooks.org/

CYOA's I felt were dependent upon the author.  Some authors wrote amazing stuff and others not so well.  Mystery of Ura Senke was awesome, You are a Shark was really creative, and Mystery of Chimney Rock (later retitled Curse of the Haunted Mansion) was genuinely frightening, especially some of those illustrations. 

I never got to hear the HHG radio show, but an old coworker of mine said that Marvin's singing in book 1 was an absolute gutbuster in the radio show. 
« Last Edit: October 29, 2008, 08:48:14 AM by Dincrest » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2008, 11:15:57 AM »

By default, it's Goosebumps. Only because it's the only series in which I've read more than one book.
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« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2008, 01:48:15 PM »

Tooks, you're probably aware of this website, but it's an excellent comprehensive site for gamebook series like CYOA, Time Machine, Fighting Fantasy, and more.  http://gamebooks.org/

CYOA's I felt were dependent upon the author.  Some authors wrote amazing stuff and others not so well.

Cool - didn't know about that site.  Definitely would agree about the author by author thing, too.  Some are better... some are worse.
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« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2008, 01:24:18 AM »

A Song of Ice and Fire.

Goddammit, Martin, finish the fifth fucking book. You start writing book 4, and blam have to cut it in two and release only half of it, then promise that the second half of book 4 (being 5 now) will be released within a year or so.

http://georgerrmartin.com/if-update.html

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« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2008, 07:57:14 AM »

Quote
Seeing as how I made you wait so long between updates, however, I'll throw out one small teaser, and mention I'm adding some chapters from the point of view of one of the characters featured in the first lot of Ice & Fire miniatures from Dark Sword, a character who has never had a POV in any of the earlier books.

Oh snap, I hope that's the Hound he's hinting at.  Assuming he's still alive, that is; he killed off so many characters in those last two books that I can't quite recall if he's made it this far. :P
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« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2008, 09:47:27 PM »

A song of ice and fire would be up there for me but the long wait essentially soured the whole thing for me. Sure once book 5 is out I'll be happy as can be but book 9 (or sadly I might be serious saying book 10) of the Malaz series will be out and between the two, I'll pick Malaz. I started reading Ice and Fire first and never really encountered so much killing of characters and just the general sense of scale of events happening in the world but the Malaz series overshadows everything present here, and most of the character's deaths hit a lot harder, just the last book of the series had a character die and I almost vomited over it (for just overall impact, not the grossness of the death).

But then again in the Malaz books death isn't always that hard a disability to overcome.
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« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2008, 05:28:40 PM »

Probably the Dark Tower books or the Shannara(sp?) series .
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« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2008, 01:47:04 AM »

I'm also a fan of Zelazny's ten Amber novels.  I'm generally sick of fantasy novels these days; if more of them were written with half as much flair and personality as the Amber books, I might read more of them.  I've found an appreciation for Zelazny's brevity as of late; the whole of the first five-book cycle is shorter than the first book in the Wheel of Time series. :P

Oh fuck yes.

I can't even remember how many times I've read these books. I absolutely love them. I'm actually pretty happy they've never been spoiled by a film adaptation.

Also big fan of the Vampire Hunter D series. Really, really enjoying these books. Not high art, but they're at least creative and original. Doesn't feel like it's just being done as a cash-in - so far anyway.

Sentimental favourite - Fighting Fantasy books. *Loved* these when I was a kid. Actually bought 4 old ones from a used book store this summer that I was missing from my collection.

Ran across this! Wonder if it's Europe only. http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/fighting-fantasy-gamebooks-to-come-to-handhelds

Really remember enjoying the Myth series by Robert Asprin when I was younger.

I was also a big Choose Your Own Adventure mark as well as the official D&D books put out by TSR in the old days, but I can't remember what they were called. Find Your Fate? Whatever.

The Dark Tower series.......is a mixed bag. First three are great. Fourth - meh. Fifth- very good. Sixth - okay. Seventh - meh.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2008, 01:53:20 AM by Lard » Logged

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