Happy Sunday Bookish Folk!
Good evening all! How are we all doing? Great I hope. It may be the end of the weekend but worry not I have a treat for you.
I have been meaning to do this post for a little while now, so why not restart my Sundays Seven with this little gem!
Here I am going to give you seven books that I feel have been a solid second instalment in their series. As much as we love series’ sometimes the middle book is a weaker book. Don’t get me wrong they are still good books but they sometimes fall victim to middle book syndrome!
What is middle book syndrome do you ask? Well, you may know it as ‘Second Book Slump’. Either way it refers to those second books that don’t quite live up to the first book. There are tons of reasons for this and some are even worth it! Some authors opt for more character development. They have already won you over so now they take the time to build their characters. Which again is not a bad thing at all but it can mean a lag in pace and we always notice it!
I see a good amount of people calling out series’ that slump but I am not about that, because the books are still solid books, they just miss some of the marks we readers demand. We are needy folk!
Any who, away from my ramblings. Let’s get to it…
ON TO THE BOOKS…
THE CRIMSON CAMPAIGN BY BRIAN MCCLELLAN
As the fantastic reviewer Petrik said in his review of this book “It’s not an exaggeration to say that The Crimson Campaign is a marvellous sequel that’s better than the first book in every aspect“.
Petrik speaks the truth!
McClellan showed huge improvements in this instalment, not to say book one wasn’t great, it truly was but McClellan gave us so much more in book two. Characters grew, the action increased, the magic became more prevalent and so much more!
STONES OF LIGHT BY ZACK ARGYLE
I recently read this book and thoroughly enjoyed it! This is another fantastic series, and while I loved book one, book two showed so much improvement! There are so many ways for an author to avoid the slump and Zack definitely did these in this instalment. We see more character growth, the stakes are raised and Stones of Light not only moves the overall plot forward it has its own story arc too!
PRIEST OF LIES BY PETER MCLEAN
I am a HUGE fan of this series. This is a series in which every book gets better and better as it goes on. Priest of Lies continues with Tomas’ utterly distinct and incredible narration.
This is another series in which the stakes get higher and the risk greater! We also see huge development to several characters who are all pivotal to the story. This book is incredibly written and evokes so much emotion.
AN ECHO OF THINGS TO COME BY JAMES ISLINGTON
To some this might seem a slightly odd book to have on this list because it can definitely feel like a second book. Some very good friends and I decided it was a bridge book. It has some of the characteristic’s of middle book syndrome but Islington still manages to make this book shine, and I personally think that is a feat in itself. An Echo of Things to Come remains engaging throughout and despite its page count keeps you wanting to learn more about the characters and the world.
I think that is easily one of this series’ main strengths you are constantly asking ‘what is next?’.
A FOOL’S HOPE BY MIKE SHACKLE
Oh my, is this a book that knows what it is doing! Mike raises the stakes, he ups the action and anything you thought you knew he obliterates.
I think this is easily one of the best second books I have read, hence why it makes the cut!
A Fool’s Hope is intense, filled with action, packed with emotion and does not hold its punches.
If you haven’t read this series then you need to start it! NOW!
THE FIRES OF VENGEANCE BY EVAN WINTER
The Fires of Vengeance is a top quality sequel, one of which I hugely enjoyed. This is a series that I feel is going to keep getting better too. Which considering what an incredible book The Rage of Dragons was is very impressive!
This is a second book you just don’t want to end, it is another author who has you constantly wondering what is going to come next. There are cliff hanger’s throughout and the risks are immense.
It is another very intense book, which is fast paced but also has time to build on all you have already been introduced to and with exquisite detail. It builds on the already incredible The Rage of Dragons and takes you to new heights.
VALOUR BY JOHN GWYNNE
Is it really a list from me if John Gwynne doesn’t feature in it? No. No it is, and so here be Valour by John Gwynne.
If you haven’t read this series then be prepared to be wowed with every book. John Gwynne doesn’t just do book two right, he does books three and four perfect also. As one of my all time favourite series I am so chuffed to tell you that this book is phenomenal and while Malice was near perfection, Valour brings you even more!
Gwynne reveals so much more in this book. You can expect intrigue, scheming, deception, villainous POV’s, heroics, humour and SO MUCH MORE!
Some common threads I notice in these delightful books are:
- Increase in the stakes;
- Even though these are second books they still have their own plot arcs;
- Increase in pace and intensity; and
- Further development to not one but all of their book elements (characters, world, plot, reveals, etc).
Or at least that is what I think 🙂
There you have it, seven books from seven authors that know their craft and have produced an EXCELLENT sequel!
Thanks for reading.