Welcome to another Top 5 Wednesday. This week, we’re talking about series that improved with each installment. I want to make clear that none of these were series that started out weak. If a series starts too poorly, I don’t continue it. And these days with my new DNF policy, I might not even finish the first book. It has to be good from the start to get me invested, but these are the ones that grew even more wonderful as I read.
5. The Dark Tower by Stephen King. This is last mainly because I don’t fully agree with the poor reviews The Gunslinger often gets. I was enthralled with that book when I first read it. This entry is mainly here to tell anyone reading this series that you should at least persevere until the second book. The series changes a surprising amount between books one and two, and the second is more indicative of how it continues.
4. Bone by Jeff Smith. Another favorite I mention a lot. This series started out for children and ended somewhere in young adult. It takes quite a journey. It’s still fun and wonderfully sweet when it begins, but the promise of what comes later is just barely hinted at. Again, you’ve probably heard about this series and then picked up the first volume and put it back down with confusion. It gets better.
3. The Hyperion Cantos by Dan Simmons. Hyperion is an amazing novel. No one would deny it. But the second book is better. And the third is even better than that. The fourth… gets a little heavy and weird, and that’s not for everyone. But the third book is undeniably a high point for the series. It’s a joy to get there, too. The journey through this series is what makes it so incredible.
2. Swamp Thing by Alan Moore. This list is getting repetitive. Great series. Gets better with each volume. I’m running out of things to say other than read these, and even if the first volume doesn’t do it for you, the next ones will.
1. The Sandman by Neil Gaiman. Another like The Dark Tower, only I agree. The first volume isn’t fantastic. It’s okay. But by the time you get to volume four, at least, it becomes one of the best series you’ll ever read. My favorite of the entire series is seven, Brief Lives. So obviously I recommend reading until you get to the best parts.
That’s my list! Feel free to tell me yours, as well. And as always, happy geeking!
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