26/01/2015

Sequels That Know How to Do Their Thing {The Birdie Musings}


There has always been a stigma associated with sequels.

Whether it's in books, or even movies, people just never expect the sequels to be anywhere near as good as the original.

Sometimes in trilogies there can be 'second book syndrome', where things just tend to drag. Or the finale is unable to live up to the expectations. But, more often than not, I've actually found myself pleasantly surprised by book sequels! 

So I present to you five sequels that I think have surpassed the original book and the reasons why they succeeded in winning my heart. 


THE INFINITE SEA
THE SECOND BOOK IN THE FIFTH WAVE SERIES

The Fifth Wave was a stand-out book for me in 2013, but after reading The Infinite Sea, I was blown away. Less forced romance and cliché love interests, it was all action, all the time, and we got a (welcome) break from Cassie's point of view to focus on Ringer, who was entirely awesome and kick-ass!

THE DREAM THIEVES
THE SECOND BOOK IN THE RAVEN CYCLE SERIES

My love for The Raven Boys is public knowledge by now. I was so sure nothing I read could come close to comparing and I wasn't looking forward to reading about Ronan for an entire book. Man, I was so wrong on all fronts. This book, right here, is the best book I have ever read and will go down in history as my favourite book. Ever. Reading more about my raven boys and getting to know Ronan more was amazing. There was more magic and action and romance and I finished it feeling so sad it had all ended.



DREAMS OF GODS AND MONSTERS
THE THIRD BOOK IN THE DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE SERIES

I loved the first book in this series, but wasn't too keen on the second, which meant I was apprehensive about reading DoGaM. Fact: I should not have been apprehensive. This was the best series ender I have ever read. The world is so vivid and there is so much going on; so much bloodshed and romance and horrible, awful, wonderful things. I was in absolute awe.


HEIR OF FIRE
THE THIRD BOOK IN THE THRONE OF GLASS SERIES

My favourite book of the series so far! Throne of Glass was a decent read for me, but Crown of Midnight is the book that really got me addicted and Assassin's Blade was the one that broke my heart. Heir of Fire blew them all out of the water easily. So many new characters lit up the pages and so many old favourites were explored more thoroughly. It was filled with magic and pulse-racing battles and an ending that had me shedding a tear.


SINNER
A SPIN-OFF BOOK FOR THE WOLVES OF MERCY FALLS SERIES

This is a spin-off book following two of the side characters from Wolves of Mercy Falls and WOW was it pure brilliance. Though I loved Sam and Grace's relationship in Shiver, there was just something so much more beautifully haunting about Cole and Isabel's story. They were both such deeply flawed characters and the dreamlike writing only helped to emphasise their shared tragedies. This is one of the best 'romances' I've read.


Do you agree with these choices, or do you think sequels are always a little disappointing? Are they just a way of dragging things out, or that they can be a cool way to develop things further?

Though it may seem like Allie has abandoned the blogosphere lately, she has actually been plotting her new (very busy) blogging schedule, while she eats cupcakes. She's found plotting is far more productive when there's food involved and hopes you guys will be pleased with her new posting plans.
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56 comments:

  1. CREYS I DID NOT LIKE INFINITE SEAAAAAAA!!! But that may be because I didn't remember anything from 5th Wave. Like who Ringer was. So I spent that book confused. OH SO CONFUSED.

    BUT DAYS. I 1000000000000%%% AGREE. Days was everything that I never thought I wanted but could never walk away from. THAT WRITING. The tragedy of war. Oh goodness, what a beautiful sequel.

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    1. NOOO, JESS. You didn't like Infinite Sea? I hereby disown you. GOOD BYE, SIR.

      See, I actually didn't like Days that much haha. I liked it, don't get me wrong, but Dreams was the one that was just magnificent and made me feel ALL THE THINGS.

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  2. I completely agree with The Infinite Sea. It wasn't quite a 4 star read for me, but it was close; and definitely an improvement over Cassie & The 5th Wave. Definitely curious to see how the series ends; especially with that cliffhanger.

    And I haven't read Dreams of Gods and Monsters, but I really liked Daughter of Smoke and Bone and I've heard the sequels are so much better, so I'm anxious to see how Karou's story continues.

    Thanks for sharing and, as always, fantastic post! <3

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    1. Yeah, most things are an improvement over Cassie, because all she does is whine about Evan. CRY ME A RIVER.

      Ohhh, Zoe. Read DoGaM, seriously. It'll be the best decision you ever make!!

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  3. Ohh I can't wait to read The Dream Thieves! I have it on my to-read pile, and I recently just re read Raven Boys for the same purpose. So excited now! It's awesome when sequels do a n awesome job. I can't wait to read about Ronan <3333

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    1. IT IS THE BEST THING EVER OMG YOU WILL LOVE IT. I push that book on so many people, because it's just truly fantastic and it made me fall so in love with Ronan

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  4. I love this post! So many times I think we are afraid of second books but a lot of the time they can be just as good or even better than the first and I love it when that happens!

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    1. Yeah, I think they can be better because a lot of stuff is already established, so there's less 'setting the scene'

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  5. I haven't read any of these books, so I can't offer an opinion, but I like the general idea of this post. I think second book syndrome definitely exists, but there ARE a lot of great sequels out there too. I didn't like Throne of Glass much, but I hate not finishing series and everyone keeps raving about it, so it bothers me every time I see it mentioned. Completist speaking. :D

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    1. Second book syndrome is a big thing. Like, I felt that way with Scarlet in The Lunar Chronicles. But then, Siiri absolutely loved that one! So I guess second book syndrome is purely subjective!

      Honestly, ToG just got SO AWESOME with Crown of Midnight and then Heir of Fire. I would recommend it a thousand times

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  6. Oh man, I so agree with Heir or Fire (or even Crown of Midnight!) I didn't like the first book THAT much and thought it felt pretty amateur-ish, BUT HERE COMES CoM and HoF AND MY LIFE WAS RUINED FOR THE BETTER. Really goes to show that series that gets better with every installment aren't dying out!

    Faye at The Social Potato

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    1. YES ME TOO, I HATE CROWN OF MIDNIGHT FOR DESTROYING MY MENTAL STABILITY. It got me far too obsessed with that series to think straight!

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  7. Ah yes, the dreaded 2nd book, but of course there are some that don't fall for that. Richelle Mead Vampire Academy got better and better with each book for me

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    1. I've never read Vampire Academy, but so many people keep telling me to. I think I was put off by the film, even though I KNOW they're not at all alike

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  8. I defo agree with The Infinite Sea, it really dragged me out of a reading slump, and I loved all the books in the DoSaB series, but I really did not enjoy The Dream Thieves. I think sequels have issues, but it is so nice when you read one and it's just as good as the first book!

    Mands @ The Bookish Manicurist

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    1. Ohh really??? I'm honestly shocked about Dream Thieves, because that seems to be everyone's favourite of the series! Have you read BLLB?

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  9. I completely agree with you! And the first series that came to my mind was Throne of Glass. I feel like each one just keeps on getting better and BETTER!!! Ugh LOVE! Also, I felt about that with the Grisha trilogy too and HP obviously. :)

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    1. YES! That is the most perfect example, because the first book was so-so but then the second and third were TOO AWESOME. It's ridiculous

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  10. So I just learned your a fan of books that make the romance take a back seat Allie. I'm not saying Heir of Fire wasn't good (but after CoM I suffered love withdrawals reading that book).
    but......CLEARLY YOU HAVE NO HEART.
    love you <3

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    1. I'm a total Chaol and Celaena lover and missed them so much in Heir AND I really liked Dorian and his new LI! So I do like me so romance and I do have a TEENY TINY heart. I know because it was shattered BY THAT ENDING IN HEIR OF FIRE

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  11. Hi Allie!!!! I have found a new means to stalk you, not that I don't stalk you enough already ;) I'm thrilled to see you mention The Infinite Sea, and Dreams of Gods and Monsters on your list, as they're two books which I still need to read, but really worried about picking up as I loved The 5th Wave and Daughter of Smoke and Bone. But after hearing that you loved these, I shall try and fit these into my reading pile for next month! :)

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    1. STALK AWAY, I DO THE SAME WITH YOU ;)

      Oh my God, just wait until you read Dreams . . . seriously, it's just the best thing. I can't even explain it!

      And Infinite Sea was awesome because it was so action-packed and there's this one scene that BROKE ME IN PIECES.

      Let me know what you think of them, so I can flail with you!

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  12. In my opinion, sequels should ALWAYS exceed the original in terms of skill/story. Writing is a progressive talent. You learn. You should apply.

    YOU SHOULD GET BETTER.

    JK Rowling is a prime example. Charles Dickens. Though, in my opinion, Jane Austen pretty much stayed the same :)

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    1. I think what it is though, especially in a trilogy, authors have such a clear idea of the beginning and the end, that the middle can just act as a thing that links the two and have no real substance of its own. It can tend to drag because it can tend to simply be a tool to get the author to the part of the story they actually want to tell.

      I think JK was good because she kind of had a 'monster of the week' deal with her books, so even though there was an overarching story for the series, each book had its own tale and its own story.

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  13. The Infinite Sea was INFINITELY better (ha!) the first book, hands down. I was hooked 100% of the way, whereas with the first book I had to drag myself through several chapters at a time.

    The Dream Thieves is still my favorite, even after BLLB was published. There just isn’t something that I’ve found that’s better than Ronan’s story <3

    Dreams of Gods and Monsters. Oh my god. THAT BOOK. It knocked Champion off the top for best series conclusion! That epilogue still makes me cry, tbh.

    Ah, Heir of Fire. My beloved book. I’m actually kind of scared for Queen of Shadows because I love HoF SO MUCH that I’m like how can that possibly be topped???

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    1. LOL. I see what you did there ;)

      I agree, even after Blue Lily, Dream Thieves was still my fave. I loved BLLB, but Ronan's book just had that special something. Plus the 'and we never talk about it again' scene? SLAYED.

      The epilogue for Dreams was AMAZING. My favourite series ender ever. I don't know how it'll be topped, but I'm interested to see if the ToG finale can do it!

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  14. First, you have made me want to read every one of these series even more now! Second, I don't think all sequels have to be disappointing at all! There are, of course, those that have bummed me out massively, but for the most part, I have liked most sequels quite a bit. I mean, Catching Fire was better than The Hunger Games. (I even liked Mockingjay a lot, even though not everyone agrees.) Captive was better than Pawn. Salt & Stone was better than Fire & Flood. Ignite Me was the best in the series.

    I think it CAN be an annoying way to drag out a series (ah hem, looking at you, 15 Shadowhunter books), but for the most part, they are great additions! Love this post idea :)

    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

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    1. Ahhh, see this is where we might have a little disagreement (LOL), because I actually thought the Shatter Me books got worse as they went on! What began as a good dystopian with some action just turned into a full-fledged romance with a little bit of plot thrown in on the side. It became one of my most frustrating reads ever and I just felt like everything was tied up too neatly and so many things were changed to make way for a love triangle resolution, that the plot just suffered miserably for it. I swear, I finished that series like, WHAT DID I READ? Haha. I'm clearly still grumpy over it :p

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  15. Oh YES to Sinner!! That was my absolute favorite of the series. I just love Cole St. Clair, I guess. :)

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    1. Me too! I wasn't a huge fan of him in Shiver. Like, I didn't mind him, but I wasn't bothered about him either but then in Sinner I was just FLOORED by him. He was aaaaamazing

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  16. Have you ever read Small Blue Thing by SC Ransom? I read the first book and thought it was really good, and then the sequel came out and I loved it. Then of course there was the third book, which topped it off well.

    I haven't read any of the ones that you mentioned though aha ><

    Amy;
    Little Moon Elephant

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    1. Oh, you should read them! If not all, then definitely Raven Boys, Throne of Glass and Daughter of Smoke and Bone – they're my favourite!

      I've never read anything by SC Ransom before. I'll GR hunt now :)

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  17. I've been in love with Throne of glass from the first book, but I never thought Heir of fire could be THAT good. It seems like the series gets more epic with every new book and I hope Sarah keeps it that way. I'm ready for it. The dream thieves was great, I think it's my favorite installment in the series so far. I wasn't blown away by Daughter of smoke and bone, but the two books after that: WOW.

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    1. Heir of Fire was just sensational. And it got better and better as the book progressed and GOD I CAN'T SORT THROUGH MY FEELINGS.

      I liked Daughter of Smoke and Bone so much buuut what I didn't like were the scenes with Madrigal. They dragged a bit for me! DoGaM was just brilliant all the way through though!

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  18. So, I should get to that copy of Dream Thieves on my shelf then? :P

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    1. More than should. MUST. HAVE TO. DOOOO IT ;)

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  19. I DNFed The Fifth Wave, and now I'm thinking that I shouldn't have, since The Infinite Sea sounds a lot better, mostly because of the "less forced romance". The romance is the reason I DNFed book one in the first place. D:

    YAY FOR THE DREAM THIEVES BEING AWESOME! I need to read The Raven Boys ASAP. Same goes for Daughter of Smoke and Bone + Dreams of Gods & Monsters!

    I agree. The Throne of Glass sequels were so much more fabulous than book one!

    For me, it really just depends on the execution. Some of my all-time favorite books are sequels (ex. Catching Fire, Battle of the Labyrinth, etc), but sometimes they aren't as awesome as the first (Up From the Grave, Stealing Parker).

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    1. Yeah, the romance in that was ridiculous and not my cup of tea at all. I wasn't interested in Evan and would rather have read about Zombie for the whole book. Thankfully, that's not too much of an issue in book 2 and things really hit their stride action-wise :D

      Wait . . . YOU HAVEN'T READ THE RAVEN BOYS? WHAT IS THIS? OH MY GOD, AIMEEE. This is not acceptable. And Daughter of Smoke & Bone too? WOMAN. Get on with it now, so your life can be complete!!

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  20. I totally agree about Heir of Fire, holy darn was it good! I've heard great things about Raven Boys #2, can't wait to love it! So happy you liked Infinite Sea, I've heard some mixed things, but I trust your opinion! :) Lovely post <33

    Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books

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    1. Dream Thieves is honestly too wonderful for words. The character exploration and growth is just insanely good – Ronan is one of the most complex and brilliant characters I've ever read about!

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  21. I don't have any of these books read! I haven't even read the Fifth Wave, which haunts me to this day. I do have the Dream Thieves but I wasn't all that impressed with the raven boys, to be honest. I'll probably end up trying it since you said that it's better than it's first book :)

    great post!

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    1. Nooooooo, The Raven Boys! You must read Dream Thieves and see if it changes your mind! I DEMAND IT :P

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  22. I have yet to read any of these, but I am very pleased with the Laini Taylor one! I read Daughter of Smoke and Bone and thought it was really good and I need to pick that series up again. I think Croak by Gina Damico was a very decent trilogy all the way through, as was The Maze Runner by James Dashner. I also thought Frostbite (Vampire Academy #2) was better than the first one.

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    1. I haven't tried The Maze Runner series OR the Vamp Academy books yet! They're on my TBR, but I never seem to get around to them, I'm so preoccupied with all the new releases LOL

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  23. That's good to hear about The Infinite Sea. It's been so long since I read the first book, I hope I haven't forgot everything! Most of these I haven't started yet (the series) but there are a couple I have only read the first (or first two, but not more than that).

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    1. I forgot a bit, but I just read a recap / my review before I started Infinite Sea, to refresh my memory :P

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  24. Couldn't agree more with both The Infinite Sea and also the Throne of Glass series, I just finished Crown of Midnight and it blew book one out of the water. I can't wait to begin Heir of Fire! Cassie ended up being one of those love sick forlorn teens, and Ringer was such a brilliant change of pace. I would have gone mental if I has to spend the entire read reading about how she was pining over Evan. Hopefully she pulls herself together for the finale!

    Great post Allie <3

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    1. Oh my God, WHEN YOU READ HEIR OF FIRE LET ME KNOW! That book is so epic and I have to know what you think immediately after you've read it!!!!

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  25. OMG OMG! I absolutely agree about Sinner, although I can't say that for the Dream Thieves. *gulps* I LOVED it of course, but The Raven Boys is forever my hugest and most wonderfulest favourite. I really think Crown of Midnight was the highlight of the series for me so far....SO MUCH CHALEANA. But afjdklafds Scarlet was better than Cinder, imo, and Insurgent was the BEST in that trilogy. And Mockingjay. :') I love Mockingjay.

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    1. I get why Raven Boys is your favourite :D they're both so epic, but for me Dream Thieves just went that extra mile. I think because the character relationships were already established so I could fangirl over how much they all loved each other a little more haha. IDK, something about Dream Thieves just really hit home with me and it has this special place in my tiny heart :D

      CHALEANA IS EVERYTHING <333

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  26. I totally agree Allie, I'm beginning to see second books improve now instead of being the lame and boring middle book! I'm actually quite excited by your reviews for some of these, including Infinite Sea, Dream Thieves and of course, DoGaM. I loved Crown of Midnight and thought it was much better than the first, even though I loved that one too!

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    1. Same! Once upon a time second books were just pointless, but now they're such a unique way to develop the world and add more detail to wonderful stories.

      I cannot WAIT until you read Dream Thieves. OHHHH THE GANSEY <33

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  27. I love this post! The only one I've read of these is The Dream Thieves but I completely agree - it's my favorite of the series and better than the first book, for sure. I mean, it's Ronan's story and it's just so incredible.
    I hope to read Sinner SOON!

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    1. Ohhh, another Dream Thieves lover. YES. Ronan was beyond incredible!

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  28. I didn't like The Dream Thieves as much as The Raven Boys. I didn't like Ronan after reading the first book. I still don't. I'm kind of on the fence as to whether I'm even going to finish this series (though I do want to know what happens with the prophecy).

    Laini Taylor's series was pretty spectacular, and I did really enjoy the sequels, so I agree with you 100% there. I was pleasantly surprised that books #2 and #3 were just as strong as the first book.

    I can't really think of many sequels that I thought were better than the first book. Maybe Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (my favourite of the whole series, and book #3). Other than that, though... it's hard to find really good sequels!

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    1. Really? I somehow just adored Ronan after reading that. He's just so . . . layered. Like a little Ronan onion haha. Have you read Blue Lily?

      Laini Taylor just got better and better as she went on. I can't believe how vivid her world was!

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