Things I love: Series & Companion Novels


I’m the kind of girl who hates for a good story to end and nothing makes me more excited to come to the end of a book I have loved only to see there will be another in the series. So *EXCITED* I tell you!

A series is amazing because, for me, it means there’s great growth with the characters. You get to learn more about them and their past and sometimes their future! There’s the opportunity to expand on lesser characters or even bring in someone new to spice things up. That’s not something you always have the chance to do in one book.

To have more than one book allows the author to write these great spinning tales that can be intricate with twists and turns and surprises. I also like that most of them stick to trilogies. While I don’t mind more books (Hey, if it’s good, it’s good! I want it to go on!) I sometimes worry the authors are trying to stretch things out with pointless filler just to keep the series going.  I don’t find that happens very often, but I have seen it on occasion. As much as I love the True Blood/Sookie Stackhouse books, I fear they may be headed that way. I loved the stories lines (definitely a guilty pleasure for me) but now I’m just not sure where it’s going to go and still stay fresh, know what I mean? I hope I’m wrong. Another problem when a series is too long is that something could happen to the author.  When I say this, the Wheel of Time series immediately comes to mind. Robert Jordan died after writing eleven books of the series, leaving it unfinished. Thankfully it has been picked up and continued by another author, but that doesn’t always happen, just look at Stieg Larsson for example. We got a trilogy out of him, but he did have more books planned. Shame we won’t ever see them. These kinds of things could keep people from even picking up the first book for fear of getting involved and then never knowing what happens.

Companion novels are a love of mine as well.  A companion novel is a book that may focus on a lesser character from a previous book or they may all take place in the same town (where the town itself is a character).  Some great examples of companion novels are Anna and the French Kiss  and its companion Lola and the Boy Next Door.  While Lola focuses mainly on..well Lola, Anna and Etienne come back from the French Kiss to play a role, which I love.  My other favorite companion novels? Maggie Stiefvater‘s Lament and Ballad.  One book focuses on Dierdre (Dee) while the other focuses on her best friend James. I love the switch in perspective and I believe there’s even a third book in the series which will kind of take it out of the companion novel category for me, but I’m so excited to have another book that that doesn’t matter to me!

My present to you guys today, is a list of some of my favorite series for you to check out:

A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones): George RR Martin

The Uglies : Scott Westerfeld

The Hunger Games: Suzanne Collins

Gregor the Overlander : Suzanne Collins

Harry Potter : JK Rowlings

The October Daye Series: Seanan McGuire

The Maze Runner series: James Dashner

The Studies and the Glass series : Maria V Snyder (The two end up overlapping, which I loved!)

The Fionavar Tapestry Trilogy: Guy Gavril Kay

The Wicked Lovely Series: Melissa Marr (this series is a bit different in that the odd numbered books are the main story where as the even numbered books are companion novels!)

I could keep going and going, but hopefully some of these will catch your eye and you’ll get hooked and want to read more series as well.  The perk of most of the ones I’ve posted above is that they are finished series so you won’t have to wait for another book to come out! That always drives me crazy.  Enjoy and please feel free to share some of your favorite series or companion novels!


5 responses »

  1. My all-time favorite series is the Vorkosigan series, by Lois McMaster Bujold. She has a talent for telling different types of stories all within her extensively developed universe, and generally about the same characters. So far, she’s written sci-fi, heart-breaking drama, a comedy of errors, a mystery, stories about politics and stories I can’t even classify except to say “Sci-Fi doesn’t do it justice.”

    In addition to stories about Miles (and prequels about his mother and father) she’s also done two companion stories: Falling Free (a prequel in the far past) and Ethan of Athos (about a guy from a very different culture who ends up wandering around the galactic stage…and picks up one of our secondary characters as a guide.)

  2. I like series but the one downfall for me is when the series isn’t finished and there are more books to be released and written. I hate having to wait and sometimes I’d rather discover the series after it’s finished so I can buy all the books at once. There’s been a few series I have stayed away from because of the fact they are series and I already have enough books to read and don’t need to add 6 more! lol

    • I like series to be incrementally self-contained. Each book tells a story and you can start right there, but each book also builds on the previous books – advancing characters, deepening relationships, complicating politics, etc.

      I don’t mind short series that aren’t – trilogies and the like – but I’m not a huge fan of big, long stories that you just have to bear with the whole way through to see where they’re going. (Wheel of Time, I’m looking at you!)

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