In which my unread book collecting has gone beyond shame
There was a time, many years ago, when I promised myself I would never buy a sequel before I’d read the first book in the series. Otherwise, there’s a chance I might not actually LIKE the first book, and then where would I be, with a stack of unread books I didn’t actually want to read any more.
Oh, how present me looks back and laughs. And laughs. And… okay, you get the picture. So here are a few of the offending series.
An Ember In the Ashes
Oh dear, I don’t even remember buying book 2. What made me decide to break my policy for it? Was it a present? I have absolutely no idea! And I also have no idea why I haven’t read them yet. Everyone loves them. Sabaa Tahir is hilarious on social media. The fourth book comes out this year so if I don’t read them soon, that’ll be ANOTHER book I end up buying without knowing if I’m committed to a series. And yet, here we are.
Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.
It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.
But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.
There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.
Even the Darkest Stars
This sounds so good! I got it in a Fairyloot box (ah yes, unread subscription box books. I have a lot of those) over two years ago and I’ve just never got round to it. Then, confronted with a fantastically good value deal at the publisher stall at YALC last year… I caved and bought book 2. But it’s so pretty! It can’t have been a bad decision. Right?
Kamzin has always dreamed of becoming one of the emperor’s royal explorers, the elite climbers tasked with mapping the wintry, mountainous Empire and spying on its enemies. She knows she could be the best in the world, if only someone would give her a chance.
But everything changes when the mysterious and eccentric River Shara, the greatest explorer ever known, arrives in her village and demands to hire Kamzin—not her older sister, Lusha, as everyone had expected—for his next expedition. This is Kamzin’s chance to prove herself—even though River’s mission to retrieve a rare talisman for the emperor means climbing Raksha, the tallest and deadliest mountain in the Aryas. Then, Lusha sets off on her own mission to Raksha with a rival explorer, and Kamzin must decide what’s most important to her: protecting her sister from the countless perils of the climb or beating her to the summit.
The challenges of climbing Raksha are unlike anything Kamzin expected—or prepared for—with avalanches, ice chasms, ghosts, and other dangers at every turn. And as dark secrets are revealed, Kamzin must unravel the truth about their mission and her companions—while surviving the deadliest climb she has ever faced.
The Knife of Never Letting Go
Alright, this one I have zero guilt for. It’s a clear violation of my policy – I bought all three at once and hadn’t even read a single book by Patrick Ness at that point. But they were all sitting there together in a second hand bookshop. In near-perfect condition. Matching editions. They were £1 each! What would you have done?
Prentisstown isn’t like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts in an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee—whose thoughts Todd can hear too, whether he wants to or not—stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that in a town where privacy is impossible, something terrible has been hidden—a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives.
But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?
Share the tsundoku confessions
Are you a series hoarder? What’s the longest series you own that’s completely unread? Or maybe you’ve learnt the hard way – have you had to unhaul a whole series after disliking the first book?
(thanks to Rachel is Writing for the inspiration!)