Disclaimer: There are some Amazon Affiliate links throughout this post. If you click the link and buy a book, I would get a small commission. Just enough for me to indulge in my favorite guilty pleasure, Taco Bell. This post was not influenced by my craving for Taco Bell at all. All opinions are my own, as always.
The moment I discovered reading, I fell in love. For a long time, I explored different authors and tried new books. Then, I discovered there were some authors I loved more than others (my first beloved author being Judy Blume) and found series I enjoyed, like C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia. Once I realized there were whole book series, my reading could not be stopped. (Well, not true…I did stop for almost two years as I waded through psychology journals during graduate school. Who had time to read for pleasure?)
Part of the reason I love series so much is it allows me to continue reading about the characters I enjoyed reading about in the first book. I get see how they develop and grow. Sometimes, I get frustrated with the author and what they do with the characters and books. I used to enjoy reading about Dr. Kay Scarpetta in Patricia Cornwell’s novels, but then she had an affair with a married man, something that I couldn’t imagine Scarpetta doing. Soon after, I stopped reading that series. For a long time, I read the vampire hunter series by Laurel K. Hamilton until the book became all about the main character’s sexual exploits. To me the books became more erotica than substance. I haven’t read another book in the series since that time.
However, there are other book series I can’t seem to stop reading. Not only do they draw me in, but they get better and better. As soon as I finish one book, I eagerly await the next. Here are 10 book series that have me hooked.
1. The Prey Series by John Sandford
I read John Sandford’s first book in this series, Rules of Prey, in 1995. I’ve read these books ever since! These books follow Detective Lucas Davenport of the Minneapolis Police as he tries to solve serial murders (most of the time). Not only do you get his perspective of the crime, but the author will also give you a glimpse into the perpetrator’s mind.
2. Benni Harper Mysteries by Earlene Fowler
I fell in love with the character Benni Harper when I read the first book in the series, Fool’s Puzzle. Each title is the name of a book, but don’t let that fool you. Benni’s a cowgirl who runs a co-op for artists. To her police chief husband’s consternation, she enjoys trying to solve murders that happen in her small town.
3. Gaslight Mysteries by Victoria Thompson
I love historical fiction. Historical mysteries are even better. The main character is Sarah Brandt, a widow to a doctor and a midwife, in early 1900s New York City. In the first book, Murder in Astor Place, Sarah runs across a murder and attempts to help the detective-in-charge, Frank Malloy. As the series goes on, more murders happen and Sarah and Frank’s relationship slowly develops.
4. William Monk Series and Thomas & Charlotte Pitt Series by Anne Perry
Anne Perry has to be the queen of historical mystery fiction! Her first series involved Thomas and Charlotte Pitt in Victorian London. I didn’t discover that series until after I read the William Monk series. Monk, a detective doesn’t know who he is in 1850s London. He has amnesia and the ability to solve crime. During the first book, The Face of a Stranger, Monk is assigned to solve a murder when he runs across Hester Latterly, a former nurse during the Crimean War. This pair continues to solve murders together as the series continues.
5. Chicagoland Vampire Series by Chloe Neill
I recently discovered this series and in the last 4 months, I’ve read all 10 books that have been published thus far. The series starts with Some Girls Bite where Merit, an English graduate student, is attacked by a rogue vampire, then saved by the head of Cadogan house vampires, Ethan Sullivan, when he turns her into a vampire. In this alternative reality, the general population know that vampires exist and have only known for 6 months. The series has some mystery, adventure, and adjustments for Merit as she learns how to be a vampire.
6. Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom Series by Julie Kenner
Poor Kate was living life as a soccer mom. She had long ago retired as a demon-hunter when a demon comes crashing through her window as she’s trying to get ready for a dinner party in the first book, Carpe Demon. Kate tries to balance her life as a stay-at-home mom with demon hunting while keeping her husband and children in the dark to her double life. I love this series for the adventure and humor!
7. Thursday Next Series by Jasper Fforde
If you are a book lover like me, you will probably love this series! It follows Thursday Next, a detective and war veteran in an alternative reality. She lives in England and possesses the ability to “jump” into books, interact with the characters (even changing a story or two), and jump out. She learns she has this ability in the first book, The Eyre Affair, when she needs to figure out how someone is kidnapping characters in Jane Eyre.
8. Samaria Series by Sharon Shinn
I’m not usually one who reads straight science fiction. I picked up the first in this series, Archangel, because it didn’t seem like science fiction to me. Then, I found myself hooked. Unlike other series, this one does not follow the same characters all the way through. Instead it follows the same general themes and the people of the world, Samaria. On Samaria, angels exist and possess the ability to sing to Jovah (their God) to control the weather. In the beginning of the series, the people do not understand technology but as the series progresses technology advances and they begin to question Jovah and His existence. By the end of the series, they learn about who Jovah is and the reality of faith.
Young Adult Fiction
9. Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
Unless you’ve been hiding in a closet over the past few years, I’m sure you have heard of this series. The first book, The Hunger Games, drew me in, despite my reticence reading about children trying to kill each other. The story is a powerful one about how too much power causes harm. While many people have expressed distaste for how the series ends, I found it powerful and true.
10. Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
I didn’t start this series when it first came out and became a worldwide phenomenon. In fact, I don’t believe I started reading the books until the third or fourth in the series was already published. I discovered it because someone I worked with talked about how no one should read the books because they taught witchcraft. Of course, my interest was immediately piqued. When someone tells me I can’t (or shouldn’t) do something, I have a tendency to want to know why. Instead of trusting her, I ordered the first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, from Amazon to see for myself. I quickly fell in love with the writing and characters. I understood why the books were popular and knew that all the criticism came from people who never read the books.
What is one book series that you would recommend? I’m always looking for new ones!