Welcome one and all to this week’s Top 5 Wednesday post! For those of you who don’t know Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme/challenge which was created by the wonderful Lainey from gingereadslainey and is now overseen by the equally lovely Sam from Thoughts of Tomes. Every Wednesday, participants devise their Top 5 based on a given topic.
This Wednesday’s topic is Second Book Is Best: We’ve talked about series that went downhill, and series that are worth it, but which series were best in the middle? So, as you can see from the topic explanation, this is about the times when the middle book was best, i.e. the second book of a trilogy was by far the best one out of the three. Let’s not waste any time and just jump right on in to my list…
5. The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon (x)
We start of with kind of a cheating answer as this series hasn’t been completed yet! However, I think The Mime Order is by far the best book out of the three currently published in Samantha Shannon’s The Bone Season series. It’s got an amazing plot, great character development, THE BEST magic battle climax scene, and we get to see more of the underground clairvoyant gang system of Scion London – 10/10 would recommend.
(Side note: If it wasn’t for the slight cheating element, this book would probably be in the number 1 spot!)
4. Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare (x)
I make no secret of the fact I’m not really a Cassandra Clare fan, and I have next to no desire to try to read The Mortal Instruments series or The Dark Artifices – however, The Infernal Devices is set in Victorian England and that’s definitely more my jam. Also Jem Carstairs is a precious baby who I wish I could protect from the world. So obviously I enjoyed this second book in the trilogy. Also they venture into Yorkshire to visit the York Institute so I very much enjoyed seeing a place near where I grew up in a book.
3. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (x)
I think this might be a slightly controversial opinion?? I’m not sure. But I, for sure, preferred Catching Fire to The Hunger Games and definitely to Mockingjay which I really did not like. I really enjoy the way that Catching Fire gives the illusion of celebration, having won the Hunger Games and being rich and famous, and then rips it to shreds with the idea of the Quarter Quell. I also thought the characterisation and character development was a lot better in this book, and I enjoyed seeing the tributes team up with others. Also the idea of the stadium being like a clock is just so creepily brilliant that I loved it.
2. Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo (x)
I could go on and on about how I loved the Grisha trilogy and how this book has better character development and plotting and yadda yadda but I could also just say one thing and I doubt anyone would argue with me: Sturmhond. You give me the introduction of a pirate *cough* sorry privateer, and, frankly, I am sold. Yep, I’m that easy. Also I hated Mal in the first book,and I didn’t hate him in this one so… uh… character growth? When a lot of the storyline involves him it was necessary to make him at least vaguely redeemable and, hey, it didn’t completely work for the trilogy as a whole but I hated him a lot less in this one which is almost a compliment. But mostly STURMHOND.
1. A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab (x)
Carrying on my ‘Emma likes pirates’ theme, enter: Alucard. I suppose I should say more than just that but… much as we started this list with a book that features magic battle, we close this list with a book that, likewise, features a magic battle. (I must have a penchant for those?) I really loved the characters by this point in the trilogy, I think their development was A+, and the introduction of Alucard as a foil for Lila, Kell, and Rhy was nothing short of inspired. I love Alucard, I could write essays about how he made this book amazing but I’m running out of time and space, HE’S BRILLIANT.
That’s it for now, folks, those were my Top 5 series where the middle book was just the best. What second/middle books do you think were the best? Do you agree/disagree with my choices? Let’s chat in the comments below! And be sure to link me to your own Top 5 Wednesday post, if you have one, as I’d love to read it.