Author Topic: Running out of series! (Reader's Dilemma)  (Read 5545 times)

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Lynn2000

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Re: Running out of series! (Reader's Dilemma)
« Reply #30 on: June 21, 2013, 11:16:36 AM »
I was also going to suggest Susan Cooper's Dark is Rising series. Very intriguing.

Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer--Viking adventure and mythology, really exciting, thoughtful, and often funny. I think it's at least a trilogy now, and the books are pretty sizable. I think the main character is about 12, so more of a Harry Potter level.

books by Walter Moers--I read "The City of Dreaming Books" and loved it. So there's these dinosaurs, that wear clothes and live in houses and love to read, and one of them going on a quest to the big city to find the author of the most awesome story in existence. And really cool, weird, delightful stuff happens. He's written several other books that look equally creative, although I don't know if they're part of a series. They're hefty, though.

Children of the Lamp by P.B. Kerr--I've read the first one, about a pair of pre-teens who learn they're actually djinn (genies). Really interesting new set of fantasy rules, I thought. Again, Harry Potter level.

Stravaganza by Mary Hoffman--In the first book, an ill teenage boy finds he can escape to an alternate universe similar to Venice. Political intrigue, magic, and some fun alt-history stuff. Also some strong female characters. There's at least four books.

If you like teen adventure fantasy, there's Ranger's Apprentice by John Flanagan, and Last Apprentice by Joseph Delaney. Both have magic, but the latter is more ghost-busting and the former more straight fantasy. That's my impression from the first books, anyway.

Wise Child by Monica Furlong--Set in ancient Scotland, a young girl is taken in by the local witch/wise woman. At least three books.

Septimus Heap by Angie Sage--Definitely for kids, but the books are fat and there are at least four of them. Reminds me a little of Discworld and Stardust. Princess raised in secrecy, missing seventh son of a seventh son, a bit goofy sometimes.

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer--In the first book a 12-year-old criminal mastermind uses high technology to deal with the world of fairies. At least six books.

The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C. Wrede--Starts with Dealing with Dragons. Fractured and up-ended fairytales, lots of strong female characters. Each of the four books is slim, so maybe look for a compilation.

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman--Breathtaking world-building in a place that's kind of familiar, and yet not. The first book is really amazing, and the heroine is strong and complex.

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart--In the first book, a group of genius children are gathered together to infiltrate an evil training camp for kids. Clever and wacky and fun.

If straight historical is okay, check out some of L.M. Montgomery's books--most famous for Anne of Green Gables, but there's several others she's written as well, generally with well-defined young women in the lead. Or for historical royal intrigue, Jean Plaidy seems to have written at least one novel about every monarch of England--they do skew a bit romancey, but there's lots of history and politics going on as well, and often multiple powerful female characters.

Carolyn Meyer is also great for historical stuff--there's at least five independent books in her "Young Royals" series, focusing on young Elizabeth I or young Catherine de Medici, etc.--and she's also written books about young women in the Old West and the Trojan War. Karen Cushman is also great--I started with "Catherine, Called Birdy" about a rebellious medieval teenage girl, and she's also written a number of other books with young female protagonists in both the middle ages and the American West.

Anna of Byzantium by Tracy Barrett was great. Strong female character, almost unlikable, struggling to survive in the royal family of the Byzantine Empire. Daughter of Venice by Donna Jo Napoli was also a really good look at a young woman in a historical society I knew little about. Both of these authors have several other books, not sure if they're really series, though.

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale--A series now, I think. I read the first one and it was really good. Girls from remote parts of the (fake) country are gathered up in a school to be educated as a future bride for the prince.

Gail Carson Levine does nifty twists on fairytales with strong female protagonists, like Ella Enchanted.
~Lynn2000

magicdomino

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Re: Running out of series! (Reader's Dilemma)
« Reply #31 on: June 21, 2013, 11:20:29 AM »
If you enjoy character-driven science fiction, C. J. Cherryh's Foreigner series is up to 12 decent-sized books.  The main character is male, but I think you would enjoy some of the atevi (alien) women in his life.  Women don't come much stronger than the Aiji-Dowager Ilisidi.   :)

For fantasy, I just finished the three Outcast Chronicles books:  Besieged, Exile, and Santuary by Rowena Cory Daniells.

RebeccainGA

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Re: Running out of series! (Reader's Dilemma)
« Reply #32 on: June 21, 2013, 11:28:23 AM »
Loved Septmius Heap and the Mysterious Benedict Society books - got the first of them both as discounted books on bn and looking forward to more in both series. I do love magical fantasy, and YA books are certainly not out of the question for me (see Harry Potter/Hunger Games/Percy Jackson).

Thanks again to everyone - keep them coming. I've only got 80 or so in the wish list! :)

kelly_jeanie

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Re: Running out of series! (Reader's Dilemma)
« Reply #33 on: June 21, 2013, 11:49:36 AM »
A couple of authors that I love -
Alastair Reynolds, I'm not much into "hard" sci-fi but something about the way he writes is so appealing to me.  He's a physicist by trade so I love the thought he puts into the science of interstellar space travel, without making the characters an afterthought.  Start with Revelation Space and if you like it, go from there, he's written a bunch of books in that universe.

Kage Baker, her Company series.  I also liked her book The Anvil Of The World, there might be a few more set in that world?

Valery Leith, Everien series.  (Hmm, didn't realize this was a pseudonym for a sci-fi author!  Learned something new today.)

Tad Williams, Otherland series - Not sure if this is a bit dated now, it's set in a virtual reality world but I loved it.

workerbee

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Re: Running out of series! (Reader's Dilemma)
« Reply #34 on: June 21, 2013, 11:53:54 AM »
Have you already read Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and the two following?

I've also enjoyed Phillipa Gregory (The Other Boleyn Girl, The Boleyn Inheritance, etc.). May not be what you're looking for.

I'm a fast and voracious reader as well. I find one side effect is that I tend to forget that I've read something! I'll get about 1/3 of the way through a "new" book and start thinking....hmmm, this sounds VERY familiar....  ::)

Tea Drinker

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Re: Running out of series! (Reader's Dilemma)
« Reply #35 on: June 21, 2013, 12:12:13 PM »
Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone mystery series, starting with _A Is for Alibi_. She's up to U, I think; I didn't like the last couple as well, but even if you stop at S, that's 18 books.

Octavia Butler's _Lilith's Brood_, which someone recommended, is good, but rather dark. (Butler was very good, but little of her stuff could be called cheerful.)

Since you asked for strong women characters, I'm going to plug my friend Jo Walton's _The King's Peace_ and _The King's Name_. (It's about a trilogy's worth of book, which Tor for some reason published as two volumes.) Jo also writes book review/recommendation posts at Tor.com, many of them about older sf and fantasy (and sometimes non-genre books).
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CakeBeret

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Re: Running out of series! (Reader's Dilemma)
« Reply #36 on: June 21, 2013, 12:13:16 PM »
Ooh, seconding Artemis Fowl. I loved those books and in fact I think I need to re-read them.
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TotterGirl

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Re: Running out of series! (Reader's Dilemma)
« Reply #37 on: June 21, 2013, 12:38:06 PM »
I just skimmed the thread, so I may have missed it, but I did not see Tamora Pierce mentioned.
I've not read anything of hers I didn't like.  And most as in over 3/4's of her main characters are women, and strong women at that.
  Series Titles:  Song of the Lioness Quartet
                        The Immortals War Quartet
                         The Protector of the Small Quartet - my personal favorite
                        The Trickster duet
           These are sort of fantasy types and set in the same kingdom/world whatever.
                  The Circle of Magic Quartet
                   The Circle Opens Quartet
                   This group  is also sort of fantasy and has several singles as well, but is set in a different kingdom/world than the others.
                 

ETA:  These are considered youth/young adult books, but are really worth the read.

Also, if you like strong women, Garth Nix's Abhorsen series is about some of the strongest women ever.
Titles:  Sabriel, Lariel, and Abhorsen.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2013, 12:45:21 PM by TotterGirl »

RebeccainGA

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Re: Running out of series! (Reader's Dilemma)
« Reply #38 on: June 21, 2013, 12:43:44 PM »
Have you already read Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and the two following?

I've also enjoyed Phillipa Gregory (The Other Boleyn Girl, The Boleyn Inheritance, etc.). May not be what you're looking for.

I'm a fast and voracious reader as well. I find one side effect is that I tend to forget that I've read something! I'll get about 1/3 of the way through a "new" book and start thinking....hmmm, this sounds VERY familiar....  ::)

I have read both the "Girl" series and the Boleyn books. Liked them all, but Phillipa Gregory is starting to get tedious - I read a new, just out book, and was swearing I'd read it before - no, just large chunks that were all but verbatim from another book in the series, from another point of view.

I do forget sometimes that I've read a book - particularly if I read it in a different format the last time. The fact that I listen to 2 hours of audiobook a day commuting plus reading dead tree books and ebooks means that I have to be careful not to duplicate. I could, so easily!

Ereine

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Re: Running out of series! (Reader's Dilemma)
« Reply #39 on: June 21, 2013, 12:55:17 PM »
If you don't mind epic fantasy there's Malazan Book of Fallen series by Steven Erikson, possibly the grandest fantasy ever with tons of races and cultures and gods and magic and main characters (including some strong women). I've tried recommending it to people over the years but I don't think that anyone of them has read it, probably because the series is ten books of about 800 pages each but that wouldn't be a problem for you. They aren't the easiest and fluffiest fantasy but I found them well worth the effort (and I tend to only read books with guaranteed happy endings but I'm willing to make an exception for Erikson). He's writing a new trilogy in the same world and his friend (and co-creator of the World) Ian Esslemont has written maybe six thick novels about it too. They created the world together, I think that they're both archeologists or anthropologists and it shows.

NutellaNut

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Re: Running out of series! (Reader's Dilemma)
« Reply #40 on: June 21, 2013, 01:00:12 PM »
One of my go-to authors for richly-envisioned worlds, well-written characters, and nice BIG books is Michelle Sagara/Michelle West.  Under the name Michelle West, I especially love her "Sun Sword" series.  It's also set in the same universe as the series "The Sacred Hunt" (which comes before the events in the Sun Sword, but is not necessary to read the Sun Sword) and "The House War" (which is best read after the Sun Sword).  Then there is her "Chronicles of Elantra" series, which is fantasy/police procedural set in a city populated with several different races of beings and magic.  All of her series feature strong women protagonists (sometimes several as they are multiple-POV).

I echo the recommendation for Guy Gavriel Kay.  Beautiful, lyrical, emotional and stirring.  I first found him through his Fionavar Tapestry novels when I was a teen, and have loved his books ever since.

I love love love Doris Egan's The Complete Ivory.  I really wish she would write more about those characters. 

I really enjoy it when we have these kind of threads - I take notes every time and find more books to love!


Barney girl

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Re: Running out of series! (Reader's Dilemma)
« Reply #41 on: June 21, 2013, 01:02:13 PM »
Given that you said you wanted dense books and included historical on your list could I suggest Dorothy Dunnett's House of Nicolo and Lymond series. There are 8 Nicolo, which are set in the merchant trading of the fifteenth century and range over Europe, Iceland, West Africa and the remnants of Byzantium. The Lymond books are set about 100 years later and range equally widely, but always linking back to Scotland.

They are very complex and it's not always easy to understand the motivations of the characters. (You might find something clarified or a layer of confusion added several books later), but well worth the read.

There are strong female characters (not all of whom survive).

The Lymond books are probably a bit more melodramatic than Nicolo and there are always arguments about which series to start with.

I see they are available on Kindle, so assume you can get them on Nook too. They're about 5.99 each, so not cheap, but the paperbacks are several inches thick, so you're not getting a short read even with one.

wx4caster

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Re: Running out of series! (Reader's Dilemma)
« Reply #42 on: June 21, 2013, 01:09:46 PM »
Oh, wait!  Check out Tad Williams.  He writes fantasy type stuff that I've enjoyed.  I can't think of the name of any of the series at the moment, though.

Memory, Sorrow and Thorn (first book is The Dragonbone Chair). FYI: I read these before attempting Jordan's Wheel of Time and found them far superior.

So many of my favorite authors have been already mentioned (Guy Gavriel Kay, Edward Rutherford, GRR Martin, Terry Pratchett, etc).

Orson Scott Card has a 5 book series that starts with Memory of Earth that was very good.

Terry Goodkind has a fun fantasy series that starts with Wizard's First Rule. Be warned that the 3rd to last book is a bad synopsis of the previous 7 and the last two books are the grand finale.

Robin Hobb has a number of fantasy books, most of which take place in the same universe. She has writes published other books as Megan Lindholm.

Wilbur Smith's River God, 7th Scroll and Warlock are very good. The 4th in the series (The Quest) should be avoided at all costs.

And Jack Whyte writes an Arthurian legend series that starts with The Singing Sword written in a way that presents a realistic story that could later be distorted and embellished by storytellers into the versions we have today.
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clio917

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Re: Running out of series! (Reader's Dilemma)
« Reply #43 on: June 21, 2013, 01:24:33 PM »
Hmmm... Have you tried Sara Douglass? I'm not sure if her books are in e-format, but start with Wayfarer Redemption.

Neil Gaiman has a brand new book out. I haven't read it yet, but it's sure to be good.

I also second Stephen King's Dark Tower series. Some parts are a little "meh" (and I say that as a die hard King fan) but it's very good over all.

If you like steampunk with a side of zombies, Cherie Priest's Clockwork Century books are really good - all strong women characters. Start with Boneshaker.

Firecat

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Re: Running out of series! (Reader's Dilemma)
« Reply #44 on: June 21, 2013, 01:37:05 PM »
I agree with the recommendation to stop at about Book 9 of the Anita Blake series. It's not the scrabble that bothered me - it was the 50 pages of moralizing about it before and after.

If you like hard sci-fi at all, I recommend the Honor Harrington series by David Weber. The first one is "On Basilisk Station."

I also enjoyed Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn.

Robin McKinley's books are generally shorter, but well worth the read anyway. Especially "The Hero and the Crown" and "The Blue Sword."

Sara Douglass is good, too.

You might enjoy Patricia Keneally Morrison; the premise of her series that starts with (I think) "The Copper Crown" is that, centuries ago, the Celts left Earth and re-established themselves on other planets. Which is quite a surprise to a group of space travellers from Earth who suddenly  meet up with them.

Have you read James Herriot? "All Creatures Great and Small" is the first of his; I tend to go back to these when I need something engaging, but not demanding.

James Michener has some good ones, I particularly enjoyed "Hawaii" and "The Source." Fair warning, the first 50 pages or so of "Hawaii" is all volcanoes erupting and snakes crawling around and such. But after that, I really enjoyed it.

Gail Carriger's series that starts with "Soulless" is a very fun read, too, and is complete. She's also just started a spin-off young adult series that looks promising.