I read a lot, as most of you know, and I read a lot of series. I like series; I like reading about characters I know and love. It's a comforting thing, and it (generally) guarantees that I'll like a book. I'm kind of looking for a new series or trilogy to chew through. Series I love:
- Madeline Robins Sarah Tolerance books (well, okay. Does it count as a series at 2? I'm still holding my breath that we'll get more of these.)
- Sue Grafton's alphabet books. I'm something like number 12 on the list for T, woot.
- Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books, but only the ones with numbers in the title that are part of the series proper. I find the bonus books insipid.
- Kage Baker's The Company novels. I just finished the series. (Well, I still have Gods and Pawns left, but it's not part of the series proper).
- Margaret Maron's Judge Deborah Knott books. I had Hard Row out from the library, but didn't get to it before I had to return it, because I was busy reading the latest Stephanie Plum book and then the latest Company novel, and now I'm 106 on the list again. Le sigh.
- Laurie King's Russel books, and her Kate Martinelli books. It's rare that I'll like 2 series from the same author, but I would read LRK's grocery list, if she saw fit to publish it.
- S.M. Stirling's Island in the Sea of Time books, and the accompanying Dies the Fire trilogy. I still need to read Meeting at Cornwallis.
- J.D. Robb's In Death series, though lately I've been bouncing off them the first couple of times. They're fine once you get past the initial angst, but I've been bouncing off of that.
- Elizabeth George's novels; I've read the first two, and it's about time I pick up the third. These are great but extra chewy, so I'm spacing them out.
- Elizabeth Gunn's Jake Hines novels
- Elizabeth Peter's Amelia Peabody novels. I've read through Lion in the Valley.
- Dorothy Gilmans' Mrs. Pollifax novels. (Great big heaping fun, if you haven't read them. A grandmother goes to the CIA and asks for a job, and they give her one. Wacky hijinks commence.)
- Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta books, until she went off the deep end. I read through Blow Fly, which was one too many.
- Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake books, ditto. I've gotten through Narcissus in Chains, and I hear they improve after that, but I haven't been ready to devote my time to the next 800 page tome yet.
- Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevermer's Cecelia and Kate books.
- Matthew Reilly's Scarecrow books
- Stephen King's Dark Tower books.
Wow. That list was fun to make, which is why it ended up going on and on and on... :)
So, from this list we can surmise that I like:
- real characters with real human reactions and issues, not cardboard cutouts that are there only to drive the plot along.
- mysteries, and especially mysteries that read like novels.
- strong female narrators and protagonists. (Not that I don't care for male voices, but it is a trend; out of these, 12 are told from female points of view, some first person, some not)
- some sci-fi, but again, it's got to read like fiction, and not just "hey look at this bright shiny neat plot device here"
- police procedurals
- magic, especially when it's a normal part of the world of the books and not some odd and strange (one of the things I loved about Cecelia and Kate was that the magic was a given part of their universe)
- books that let me see into subcultures or parts of the world I don't know a lot about (the Judge Knott books are nifty because you get a glimpse into the court system)
I don't like:
- books that are just running descriptions of battle scenes. This totally did me in on the one Harry Turtledove I tried.
- present tense. I don't know why, but use of present tense for more than a page or so in a novel will make me bounce off it, hard. It's like nails on a chalkboard.
So... does anyone have a recommendations?