Not sure I’ve done one of these yet… and if I have, I think I’m gonna try to give it a little twist by saying that these are some of my favorite book… series. Most authors have at least a favorite book or hundred (and I’m no different), but having a series of books that stand out seems to be harder to find these days.
Without further ado *brain wanders off, wondering when ado became the replacement for a fuss or just a bit of trouble… and why it became so popular as a word… has it ever been popular?… why ado?… where was I?… oh, yeah*, my favorite book series:
I can’t really start with anything but Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels. (yes, that is an affiliate link… as will be any others I use below) First and foremost, almost every character in this series is like a good friend. Pratchett did such a good job creating characters that you liked… even if they weren’t very likable. For example, Lord Vetinari, the Patrician –
“He didn’t administer a reign of terror, just the occasional light shower.”
― Terry Pratchett,
Pratchett had a way of describing real world problems and modern issues using a ragtag band of humans, orcs, wizards, witches, and an odd orangutan (among others)… and presenting it as a laugh-fest in novel form. Every book had belly laughs, a few quotes to cherish, danger, excitement, and a handful of guffaws to top it all off. Of any author out there, I aspire to write books as well as he.
A very close second would have to be the Xanth series by Piers Anthony. This set of books introduced me to my love/hate relationship with puns. Every book is chock full of the best/worst puns you can imagine. Anthony would take as many pun ideas (sometimes from fans) as he could, and cram them into every corner of the fantastical world of Xanth in every book. Most of the stories followed the exact same plot, yet the characters/players would be different. We could follow along with the family line of most characters, too. In one book, so and so would be forced to go on a pun-filled adventure, fall in love, and end up with each other. A few books later, we’d follow their kid, as they were paired up with their exact opposite, and watch them deal with a different catastrophe — a plaque with the back half a cat stuck into it (a Cat-ass-trophy).
Next up is Robert Asprin’s Myth-Adventure series. Every book not only has the funniest interactions between the characters, but had a pun in the title that always included the word MYTH. The books that I happened to pick up first, had artwork on the front done by Phil Foglio, creator and artist of the amazing Girl Genius comic series. Start off with a bumbling magician, apprentice him to a demon (short for dimension traveler), which turns into a multi-dimensional magician-for-hire business that includes goons from the mob, an assassin that looks like a cute little girl, a troll, and even a pet dragon named Gleep. Stir all of that together with random puns, crazy dimensions, crazier bad guys (and gals), an assortment of misunderstandings, and you might be able to BEGIN to describe this silly series that had me reading until the wee hours of the morning.
Last, but not least, I’ll pull something that’s been a bit more recent in the reading list… the Tome of Bill series by Rick Gualtieri. (that one only let me share the first book in the series… it’s super easy to find them all) This series takes on the paranormal genre… and turns it directly on its head. Bill, a gigantic nerd/geek, wakes to find that he’s now a vampire… still in a geek/nerd body along with a bad attitude that can only get him into trouble with creatures that are stronger, and oh so much cooler, than him. While this series strays away from the pun-infested novels above, the humor is still rampant and alive (or, undead) in these. The quips and barbs that Bill tosses between his allies and enemies is NOT to be missed. Another author that I just happened to find out of the blue, and have been pleased with every new book in the series as he’s released it.
As a final mention (only because I want to mention every single book he’s ever written), I bring you Hugh Howey *insert fangirl scream here* and his WOOL/Silo series. A post-apocalyptic tale that will leave you breathless. The writing is absolutely amazing, and I guarantee that if you start this series, you’ll want to finish. Howey has even inspired a few of my own stories. If you haven’t heard of him, give him a try.
If you have a series (that might be off the beaten path a little bit), let me know about it in the comments.
See you tomorrow.