Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
Previous Top Ten Tuesday Topics
- 5th July: Most Anticipated Books Releasing In the Second Half of 2022
- 12th July: Book Covers that Feel Like Summer
- 19th July: Some Bookish Opinions
- 26th July: Books from my Past Seasonal TBR Posts that I STILL Have Not Read
- 2nd August: Books Set In A Place I’d Love to Visit
- 9th August: Hilarious Book Titles
- 16th August: Books I Love That Were Written Over Ten Years Ago
We are looking this week at those series where you complete it and think… “That was great, if only there was more…” Perhaps you felt that you needed an update on a particular character, maybe a prequel to flesh out a backstory or a world’s mythology, or maybe just more time spent in that world because it was just so vivid and wonderful!
There are, of course, those authors who happily fill in every gap you might want! Brandon Sanderson is perhaps one: he keeps releasing collections of stories that occur between the main stories in his series – Arcanum Unbounded, containing Edgedancer and Dawnshard amongst other Cosmere novels, and Skyward Flight in the Defiant series as well as audiobook novellas Sunreach, ReDawn,and Evershore. And just when I believed that his Mistborn series was finished – two trilogies a few hundred years apart was very tidy – book seven is being written as we speak!
And the there are those series that make you think “This was a series that should have ended earlier.” Ransom Riggs’ Home for Peculiar Children springs to mind here. I enjoyed the first book. I compelted the first trilogy. I gave up on the second trilogy.
This has been a somewhat lengthy preamble, mainly because I doubt that I can find ten series to complete this list for a few reasons: firstly, I don’t read that many series any more; secondly, those that I do intend to include here may not actually be completed…
The DiscWorld Series, Terry Pratchett
The place where the story happened was a world on the back of four elephants perched on the shell of a giant turtle. That’s the advantage of space. It’s big enough to hold practically anything, and so, eventually, it does.
People think that it is strange to have a turtle ten thousand miles long and an elephant more than two thousand miles tall, which just shows that the human brain is ill-adapted for thinking and was probably originally designed for cooling the blood. It believes mere size is amazing.
There’s nothing amazing about size. Turtles are amazing, and elephants are quite astonishing. But the fact that there’s a big turtle is far less amazing than the fact that there is a turtle anywhere.
With Terry Pratchett’s untimely death in 2015, this is at least a series which has come to its conclusion, and I did hesitate to include it here because The Shepherd’s Crown, containing the quiet dignity of Granny Weatherwax’s death, was such a fitting end to the series. But there is a real pain and grief to know that we will never have a new story from Ank-Morpork, that we will never see Tiffany Aching grow into maturity, that we’ll never see Death again, or Moist von Lipwick or Lord Vetinari or Sam Vimes or Nanny Ogg…
Jackson Brodie Series, Kate Atkinson
This series is sublime! Gorgeously plotted. Fantastic characters. Layered and interwoven narratives that develop from book to book. Jackson Brodie himself is wonderful – an ex-army ex-police private detective, down to earth, pragmatic, cynical – and his complex web of relationships, marriages, co-parenting and canine are fanatstically layered and tender. But Atkinson’s writing – her dark humour, her literary and popular culture references, her faultless use of coincidence – is exquisite.
I don’t know whether Blue Sky was the last in the series – there was a fin de siecle feel about it somehow – but then again there were ten years between Started Early, Took My Dog and Big Sky so we may still be lucky!
The Dublin Murder Squad, Tana French
As with the Jackson Brodie series, I do not know that this is completed, but there was a sense of The Trespasser being a farewell. And French has gone on to write some (equally great) stand alone novels now too.
This series was, however, exceptional. I loved the premise that with each novel a secondary character from the previous novel steps up and becomes our point of view character – causing us to reevaluate and adjust our previous perceptions. And French is wonderful at writing characters, and especially small and intense cliques: the girls’ school in The Secret Place – the first I read and perhaps the black sheep in the series in some ways – or the students in The Likeness or the bond between detectives working together that we see between Antoinette Conway and Rob Ryan in In The Woods. These novels also all share a genuinely creepy gothic atmosphere, a sense that the other is never all that far away, whether it be beasts in the woods, ghosts and magic, or – as in my favourite novel, Broken Harbour – a creature in the walls of your house.
The Wolf Hall Trilogy, Hilary Mantel
There cannot be another novel continuing the story of Thomas Cromwell, can there? Weeping silently. But the character that Mantel carves from an almost insubstantial history is extraordinary… I would love more of Mantel, of her Tudor Court, more Cromwell – his formative years between leaving Putney and returning, perhaps – and more of her exquisite world building.
The Seasonal Quartet, Ali Smith
On occasion, I suppose you get what you ask for… The Season Quartet is extraordinary in its scope and ambition and the contemporaneous nature of its project – and the happy (tragic?) coincidence that Ali Smith’s decision to document the world as it unfolded opened with Brexit and closed with covid… those were momentous years! The writing, the erudition, the humaneness, the art of these novels is exquisite! And we did get another, which I must confess I have not yet read!
The Winternight Trilogy, Katherine Arden
Fantastic world building, Russian mythology, set in a critical moment in Russian history as it emerges from traditional to modern worldviews – and an exploration of the culture, the faith, the belief that is left behind in that transition, and the creatures that fed on that faith – and an extraordinary protagonist in Vasya, not falling prey to but holding her own alongside ancient supernatural beings. I’d love to spend more time either in the more traditional villages or the more modern Moscow, or in the forests with the spirits Morozko and Medved…
The Passage Trilogy, Justin Cronin
Amy Harper Bellafonte – feral child, a foundling, a convent orphan, immortal and terrrifying and innocent – is at the heart of this novel and Cronin uses her very sparingly. But there is a wealth of other characters, in a somewhat overwhelming array of timelines, that compensate for her absence. This was possibly not the best series to read during the pandemic, charting as it did the outbreak of vampirism from a Government lab to worldwide contagion… or perhaps the perfect book to read to combat lockdown anxiety…
So these are, perhaps, the novel series that I would like to have additional installments to, and additional time in their worlds, or with the characters that haunt them.
I am sure that I have missed so many, and look forward to reading your TTT lists.
As always, I would love to hear your comments on this list: which series have you read from these? Which other series would you recommend?
Upcoming Top Ten Tuesday Themes
August 30: School Freebie (In honor of school starting up soon, come up with a topic that somehow ties to school/education. The book could be set at school/college, characters could be teachers, books with school supplies on the cover, nonfiction titles, books that taught you something or how to do something, your favorite required reading in school, books you think should be required reading, your favorite banned books, etc.)
September 6: Books I Loved So Much I Had to Get a Copy for My Personal Library (Maybe you received an ARC or borrowed from a friend/the library and loved it so much you wanted your own! Or maybe you read it in one format and wanted another format, like you read it in ebook and wanted a physical copy to display on your shelves or you read it the paperback and would love to re-read it on audio. Change this TTT title to fit your post best!) (Submitted by Alecia @ The Staircase Reader)
September 13: Books with Geographical Terms in the Title (for example: mountain, island, latitude/longitude, ash, bay, beach, border, canyon, cape, city, cliff, coast, country, desert, epicenter, hamlet, highway, jungle, ocean, park, sea, shore, tide, valley, etc. For a great list, click here!) (Submitted by Lisa of Hopewell)
September 20: Books On My Fall 2022 To-Read List
September 27: Typographic Book Covers (Book covers with a design that is all or mostly all words. You can also choose to do books with nice typography if that’s easier!) (Submitted by Mareli @ Elza Reads)