Last week, I talked a bit about the appeal of a book series to both readers and writers. We discussed the learning curve of a story, binge culture and episodic fiction, and the love of a world, as well as a few models authors can use to take advantage of reader habits.
This week, I want to dive into some of my favorite completed series. I have finished more series than these, but today I only want to discuss the things I love. There have absolutely been series I completed that I didn’t love, but I don’t believe in calling those out. It’s not so fair to the author, and everyone has their own taste in fiction!
So without further ado, my favorite series (that I’ve completed). Buckle up, ‘cuz we are going to talk about a TON of books this month! Check out the end of each description to learn about the age level and/or how clean it is, if that concerns you.
Passenger, by Alexandra Bracken
This is a duology about a violinist who just happens to also be from a time-traveling family. The main character gets tied up in the evil-doings and excitement of the time travelers, moving from time and place while trying to find her way home again. This is young adult and pretty clean.
The Darkest Minds, by Alexandra Bracken
Okay, so I LOVE Alex Bracken. She writes great stories, and she is such a nice human. This is the series that first introduced me to her (yes it was a movie, but trust me, the books are much better!). If you don’t know, this is about a plague that sweeps through the US, killing most children. The ones who survive develop psychic abilities, and this is their story, one of fear and struggle and triumph! This is young adult and fairly clean to read.
Weather Warden, by Rachel Caine
This is one of my favorite urban fantasy series! The earth is protected and controlled by wardens and their enslaved djinn…only the djinn are tired of being trapped. Every book gets better and better, and I am in love with this world and magic system! Caution: for older readers (includes on-page sex).
Artemis Fowl, by Eoin Colfer
I started this series way back in middle school and completed it in college, and it is absolutely delightful! It follows child evil genius Artemis Fowl and his tricks on the fairy folk. Middle grade, clean for all ages.
Diamond of the Rockies, by Kristen Heitzmann
This one was from my Western/historical fiction craze when I was younger. It follows the journey of an Italian-American woman as she moves out West to the frontier and ends up starting her own restaurant…while also dealing with a bothersome, cranky man. Some adult situations, but is Christian fiction.
Elemental Origins, by A.L. Knorr
This is a delightful indie urban fantasy series intended for young adults. Each book in this series follows a different character with a different elemental ability, starting with mermaids. Clean and good for all ages.
Cheney Duvall, M.D., by Lynn & Gilbert Morris
I must have read this series three times through, at least. This is a Christian historical fiction starring Cheney Duvall, one of the first female doctors, and follows her around the country with her trusty nurse, ex-pugilist Shiloh Irons! Cheney is from a well-to-do family but struggles to be recognized as a real doctor while struggling to understand people who don’t belong to her class. It’s so, so good! There’s even a few books in a spinoff series, The Inheritance. Hmm, may be time for another read-through… Clean, but there are marriage situations/discussions as the series progresses.
Ashfall, by Mike Mullin
By far, this is one of the best trilogies I have read. It’s a sci-fi that takes place after the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts, and the main character is separated from his family and must find his way in a new, and incredibly dangerous, world. It also has one of the BEST endings I’ve ever seen in a series. Young adult, but very adult dangers. You have been warned.
Zenta and Matsuzo, by Lensey Namioka
This is a middle grade, but it’s historical fiction. It follows a ronin (masterless samurai) and his sidekick as they solve mysteries in feudal Japan. I loved reading these in the summer and eventually collected the whole series. Clean reads for kids!
The Cooper Kids, by Frank Peretti
This is a Christian middle grade that follows the two children of an archaeologist. My dad used to read these to us, so it’s got some great sentimental value to me. I loved all the adventures they had and the places they got to visit. Clean read!
Lost Voices, by Sarah Porter
This is BY FAR one of my favorite mermaid series. It follows a girl who gives up on the world, so the sea changes her into a mermaid. Now, she must learn this new life and deal with her fellow mermaids, their hatred of humanity, and humanity’s hatred of them. Fairly clean, but some discussion related to adult situations.
Harry Potter, by J.K. Rowling
I don’t need to explain this, but of course it had to be on the list. I didn’t read these until college, but I was sucked into the world like everyone else and was actually surprised to find so many moral and religious themes sprinkled throughout, particularly in the last book. Clean, but gets darker as the series progresses, in case you didn’t know.
Tales of Goldstone Wood, by Anne Elisabeth Stengl
This is a Christian high fantasy series that was slated to have another book or two, but I’m not sure if that’s going to happen, so I’ve included it as complete. It’s a traditional feeling fantasy, but each book follows different characters and stories (with a few consistent characters woven throughout) and has plenty of warm, Christian themes. One of the best fantasy series I’ve ever read! Clean!
The Raven Cycle, by Maggie Stiefvater
I. Love. This. Series. I’d call this a young adult magic realism. It follows Blue, the non-psychic daughter of a psychic who meets a group of boys from the nearby school and joins in their quest to find an ancient lost Welsh king supposedly buried somewhere in the area…and if you find him, he’ll grant you a wish. Clean!
Saga of the Sierras, by Brock & Bodie Thoene
This is another from my Western days. It’s a Christian historic fiction and follows a bunch of different characters out in 1800s California, through all the danger and intrigue they face, as well as dealing with living on a frontier. Clean!
The Castle in the Attic, by Elizabeth Winthrop
Finally, this one is another childhood favorite. Much like The Indian in the Cupboard, it involves a tiny toy that turns out to be real! The children get to visit the castle kingdom by visiting a toy castle in the attic, and they have adventures! Yay! Clean!
These are only a fraction of the series I’ve finished. If I wrote them all here, it’d take us forever to get through it! I did enjoy other series as well, but these are some that really stand out to me, even years after I read them.
So tell me below: what series have you completed and loved? Are there any I’m missing out on?
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