When someone talks about not finishing a series, normally I think ‘but how?!’. How can you invest so much time in characters and stories and their lives for book after book only to give up? I suppose I have that mentality because I’ve read so many fantastic series, but there have been a few instances where I haven’t managed to finish – and one of these instances is very recent.
In the past, there have been very few series I haven’t finished. The City of Bones series, for example, is one that I adored – but unfortunately as I grew older, they didn’t interest me as much. I even bought the final book of the series, as it was the only one I hadn’t read, but I never found a moment where I wanted to pick it up. It was in the same generation as the series of books such as Hush, hush by Becca Fitzpatrick, and Fallen by Lauren Kate. Both of these books I absolutely adored, and for the most part liked the second book in the series, but I grew to dislike them. I had to force myself to read the following sequels, which for me weren’t as great as the first – quite possibly due to the fact that, by the time they came out, I was older and interested in different things.
Earlier on this year, I read a book called Uprooted by Naomi Novik. It has definitely been a favourite of mine, and if you want more on that then you can read my review. Then, wonder of wonders, I discover that she has a series on dragons. I mean, come on, of course I flipped out and bought the first one. If there’s one thing I love in a great fantasy book, it’s the rare appearance of dragons that seem to make it better. Temeraire became a new favourite – again because, hello, dragons – with it’s diverse characters, brilliant detail, the alternate history of the Napoleonic wars with dragons, and my favourite relationship of all time of Captain Laurence and his dragon, Temeraire. The way he called him ‘my dear’, how he starts off like a father to him, the way that he was at first disgruntled about having to leave the navy because of a dragon – oh, it’s just magical.
So of course I pick up the second book, knowing there are currently nine in the series, ready for more. As expected, I still love the characters and their interactions, but it took me weeks to read it. Partly due to the amount of university work I had, and partly due to the fact that I wasn’t as eager to read it. Although the books are wonderful in my eyes, they aren’t particularly speedy in pace. There are beautiful moments, and scenes of action and battles, but for the most part not so much.
And so I came to the realisation that I would not be finishing this series. I admit, when I reached the end of the book, I did love it with all the wonderful secondary characters, Laurence and Temeraire (of course), the weird but perfect happenings, and the incredible imagination of Naomi Novik. Yet, I wasn’t fired up to keep reading the series. I felt like I knew the characters, and although I loved them I didn’t need to read more about them. I was happy as I was, and I’m still not sure if my final decision is a good or bad thing. To not finish a series almost feels like a waste, but again it also gives me the chance to read something new, by someone else.
Who knows, maybe at some point next year I’ll need a serious dragon fix and pick up the third. I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if that happened.