Sunday, July 13, 2008

Damn the Sequels, Full Speed Ahead

My apologies to Farragut, but it had to be said. You see, once I tore my way through HP7 on that night in July last summer, I swore I wasn't going to torture myself with books in a series any longer. That's right, no more sequels for me.

I have carefully avoided the books in the Twilight series, despite the glowing reviews. (See HipWriterMama's recent post.) This is in part because I'm not a fan of "romance." I don't mean romance novels, it's just that beyond the love and longing in Jane Austen, I don't much fancy reading about it, no matter who writes it.

My reading tends to academic stuff during the year (go ahead and yawn, I do), some adult nonfiction that interests me, cookbooks, and lots of nonfiction picture books and poetry for kids. Every so often I fit in a few of the books that are on my TBR pile because they sound so darn good.

The Alchemyst has been on my TBR list since it was reviewed in TEOFT by a good friend and colleague. I've been avoiding fantasy for a while. After HP7 I decided to try some different books. I was doing beautifully until I picked up Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer in anticipation of Kidlit 2007 (Chicago) because I knew the author would be there. Laini was lovely and brilliant, just like her book, but did I mention--first in a SERIES! (The sequel, Silksinger, is due out next year.) As my sequel dread grew, The Alchemyst got pushed down, down, down the TBR list.

Which brings me to the whole gosh-darn point of this post. While at Barnes and Noble last week looking to spend a gift certificate and some coupons, I found myself browsing through the YA lit section. As I was nearing the end of the alphabet, I came upon Michael Scott and the paperback version of The Alchemyst. I opened it and began to read. I was interested by p. 6, and when Golems were mentioned on p. 12, I was a goner. You see, I love books rooted in myth, legend, and the events of history. This book has it all, and then some.

I finished The Alchemyst on Friday and then ran out and bought the sequel, The Magician. And yes, I finished it today, after starting it yesterday. Sure, I've got papers to grade, but this is an awesome way to procrastinate. So, now that I've plowed through both books this week, I need to go back and research. I want to know more about Machiavelli, Nicholas Flamel, and John Dee (all real men of history). I also found myself wanting to map the places I read about. That means a good map of California for the first book, and a map of Paris for the second. The Magician ends with a teaser--an introductory chapter to the third book, to be titled The Sorceress. Since The Magician was just released, it will be at least a year before book three hits the shelves. And did I mention that six books are planned for the series?

Damn those sequels!

BTW, Roger had an interesting trivia question this week about authors and sequels. Be sure to read the comments for some answers.


  1. I know what you mean, Tricia. Random House just sent me The Magician, and I've never read the Alchemyst. Normally I just set such books aside (because I hate reading series books out of order). But this one looked good enough to make me add The Alchemyst to my TBR list. And your post just cements that. Thanks. (grumbling about the six titles). Thanks a lot.

  2. Yep. I second Jen's thanks, as I add the Alchemyst to my list too! Oh well, it's better than the alternative.

  3. Oh, I'm so glad you liked The Alchemyst, Tricia. I just got an amazon gift certificate that may be going towards The Magician; I can't wait to read it!