Best Book Ever: Trilogies


Welcome to Best Book Ever here at Short and Sweet Reviews! 

This week, we're talking about our favorite trilogies!  I am a big fan of series when they're done right -- and there are some epic trilogies out there that do it very well!  Some of these stories can't be contained just to one book.  Here are our picks:


My favourite ever trilogy has to be MEETING DESTINY, DESTINY'S REVENGE & DESTINY'S WRATH - these make up The Destiny Series by Nancy Straight. I first read Meeting Destiny when I was approached by Nancy asking if I would like to review it. Let me tell you, I am so glad I did. I read it in a day it was just so gods damn amazing!! I reached the end and felt like my heart had been ripped out of my chest, stamped on and put back into my chest. I was so emotionally raw. I have never been touched by a book in that way in my entire life. I couldn't read anything for the next couple of days because each time I tried to start something new, I found I just couldn't do it. I wasn't emotionally ready.

I left it about a week before I picked up the second book Destiny's Revenge. But when I did, boy oh boy, Nancy didn't let me down. It isn't often I say that the next book is as good as the first but Nancy really played a blinder.

Then, just after it's release, I got Destiny's Wrath. I was emotionally torn about starting the last book. I knew that this was it. The beginning of the end. But I picked it up and again, Nancy hadn't let me down. She had written an amazing ending, befitting of the fantastic two books before it.

I get emotional now just thinking of Lauren and Max. I have to say, this is my favourite ever trilogy and probably my favourite ever books. For an Indie Author, Nancy Straight is one of the very best..


This is another tricky category, but I'm going to pick Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's books for my best trilogy ever. I admit, part of this is because I love the idea of a five-book trilogy, which is so appropriate for the sense of humor in this series. But while I think there are probably better, more accurately named trilogies, I can't deny that this series is the most fun. A good portion of my enjoyment of it is tangled up with my deep appreciation for the original, low-budget BBC television series, which preceded the first two books; it had a big influence on me as a reader and viewer of science fiction, with its quirky sense of humor, memorable characters, hugely identifiable and sympathetic protagonist, and immensely quotable dialogue. To this day, one of my favorite lines in fiction is "The huge golden spaceship hung in the air in almost exactly the way a brick doesn't." That encapsulates the style and tone of Adams' work, if you haven't encountered it before, and I'm sure these books have taught me important things about the use of language (especially puns), plotting a fast-paced novel with lots of fiddly and technical bits, and grounding the story in characters--even if I'm not nearly as funny. This series also has to be one of the most referenced in science fiction, if only for the number 42 and the comforting phrase, "Don't Panic!" So do give these books a try: The series includes The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy; The Restaurant at the End of the Universe; Life, the Universe, and Everything; So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish; and Mostly Harmless. I mean, even those titles are a lot of fun! You can typically find them all in one handy volume. There are also some related short stories and a sixth novel penned by Eoin Colfer, And Another Thing... (which I haven't read).


E.C. Myers, debut author of Fair Coin (2012 Prometheus Books)

There are so, so many good trilogies out there, but this one by Catherine Gilbert Murdock is one of my absolute favorites. I still remember how after I finished Dairy Queen, I felt almost lonely. Murdock's character's are so real that it felt like closing the back cover was cutting myself off from a circle of good friends. When I found out there would be sequels, I did a happy dance -- that I would get to spend MORE time with the Schwenk family was such a great surprise.

I heard Murdock speak once and she mentioned that she'd spent years writing screenplays before starting Dairy Queen -- it shows. Her dialogue is amazingly authentic. Not only does it sound real, age AND geographically appropriate, but each major player in the book has a distinctly characteristic manner of speaking.

D.J.'s voice is so strong and unique and even though I have never and will never be a high school farmer/ female football player/ basketball star / girl in love with the opposing team's quarterback -- I felt like I could relate to her character and her struggles. If the first book is a stunning example of character building, then the second (The Off Season) is a fabulous example of building tension. I felt like I couldn't take a full breath the whole book -- and certainly D.J. rarely had a chance to. And book three (Front and Center) was such a satisfying conclusion to D.J.'s journey.

Tiffany Schmidt, debut author of "Send Me a Sign" (2012, Walker - Bloomsbury)

As for us....


I went on a "book journey" to find my favorite trilogy. I started immediately by typing in the Hunger Games- I mean I loved the Hunger Games. After thinking about it though, although it was great- I didn't really like Mockingjay- so was it really my favorite? I did some Googling for other trilogies and stumbled upon the Gemma Doyle Trilogy. This trilogy introduced me to the emerging world of YA lit as it is today... but I didn't like the third book in that series either...

So finally I realized a series that I have loved since I was in middle school- and it never dawned on me that it actually was a trilogy until now. The Giver series by Lois Lowery was first published way back in 1993- a dystopian world far before The Hunger Games, Divergent or any of the other popular dystopians today. The trilogy is comprised of The Giver, Gathering Blue, and The Messenger. Each book focuses on a different character and significantly different storylines- but the other weaves each story together effortlessly. The Giver series is by far the best trilogy written in the Young Adult genre. Lois Lowery really set the standard for trilogies and for dystopians in this genre.

Coranne

I first read Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel's Legacy series several years ago, based on a friend's love of the series.  At that point, I hadn't spent much time reading fantasy books -- well, really, I was in the middle of grad school, so I wasn't spending much time reading anything other than research papers -- so I'd only vaguely heard of the books before.  All I knew was that my friend loved these books so much that I finally caved in and read them.  I checked the first book out of the library and probably less than halfway through, I went out and bought the whole series.

Phedre is the type of woman that lots of heroines in fantasy books aspire to be: she's brilliant, caring, devoted, and absolutely great at what she does.  She's also impulsive, headstrong, and sometimes blind to any course of action other than the one she wants to take.  Phedre is a special sort of courtesan, the only one of her kind in generations, which makes her a rarity, and a highly valued commodity.  Well-schooled in not only the arts of the courtesan, wink wink, she's also trained as a spy, taught from an early age to observe and remember, to look for clues and tells.  Throughout the course of the series, she finds herself constantly embroiled in political turmoil, traveling to the ends of the earth, and finding love in the most unexpected places.  
Carey does some excellent world-building, creating a fantasy world with similarities to medieval Europe but with a history, culture, and religion all its own.  The books are definitely not for young readers, and aren't for the squeamish -- there are a few passages that still make me want to cover my eyes, no matter how many times I've read them -- but this one is a trilogy that have stood the test of time and multiple re-readings.

Sarah

How about you? What's your favorite trilogy?

7 comments:

  1. I choose HIS DARK MATERIALS by Philip Pullman.

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    1. Beth we should have a talk sometime about that series- I just can't bring myself to read it.

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    2. I really wanted to recommend HIS DARK MATERIALS. I think it's worth reading, but as a trilogy it didn't quite hold up for me. My favorite in the series is Book 2, THE SUBTLE KNIFE. It took me a while to get into the first one, and the last book was a lot slower and heavier than the others. Whenever I reread the series, I never make it all the way through THE AMBER SPYGLASS...

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  2. Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver trilogy...there was something so poignant about that series. Not sure if it is my very favorite but it is the first that comes to mind.

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  3. While I probably would have chosen The Giver if you'd asked me a few months ago, it's actually got a fourth novel coming out in October called Son. I've read it and it ties up Jonas, Kira and Gabriel's story in a really interesting way, so look out for that!

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  4. I recognize a few of these series but others are welcome introductions. Thanks so much for sharing these.

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  5. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy is AMAZING (I've read it over 5 times!) and of course I am a huge fan of The Hunger Games Trilogy. :)

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