Pick ‘n’ mix: the sequel(s)

Sometimes I come home from the library with armloads of new titles, new authors, debuts, ‘first’ books. This week, it seems, is Week of the Sequels. And it’s been a bit of a mixed bag, really.

A while ago I read the first in the Dog-faced Gods series, A Matter of Blood, and LOVED it. Book 2 was also a really good read. Book 3, sadly, has gripped me so little and annoyed me so much that I can’t even be bothered finishing it. It’s somewhere in the house, half-read and likely to remain that way until I find it and take it back to the library, destined to remain ever only half-finished.

Louise Penny’s series set in the tiny Quebecois town of Three Pines and featuring Detective Inspector Gamache was recommended to me by a friend. It’s been a long time since I read a ‘normal’ detective series, and I was a bit hesitant, but there’s just something about these books that I really like. I devoured Book 1, Still Life, and number 2, Dead Cold. Yesterday the third title arrived for me, and I can’t wait to pick it up. Interesting – there’s no zombies, mysterious inexplicable events (apart from the obvious murders), odd twisty interdimensional portals or much of anything really, apart from just damn good mystery writing.

I’ve only recently discovered Sarah Rayne, and I think I wrote about her somewhere here too … yup, here.  To my surprise and delight, she’s picked up and kept some of the characters from Property of a Lady, and they feature in recent release The Sin Eater. This was just as good a read as Property, and I’ll be a happy girl if this turns out to be an ongoing series.

I love FG Cottam’s books, and have just finished The Magdalena Curse.  While not a series in the strict sense, the more I read of these books, the more I see character and story patterns – impetuous but well-meaning intelligent man of action gets into sticky (often supernatural) situation, where only the interest (and then love) of a beautiful and super-sensible woman can save the day.  This sounds a bit naff, but truly isn’t – I really do like these books, and will continue to find and read them, but maybe I should take a bit of a break for a while, so the ‘pattern’ fades a bit.

Waiting on the shelf and still to be read is the second in writing team Preston and Child’s latest series featuring Gideon Crew.  The Agent Pendergast series by these guys is one of my most favouritest EVER series, and I had high hopes for Gideon, but I found book 1 to be pretty much bog-standard adventure.  I have been putting off picking up Gideon’s Corpse (!), because I am frightened it will confirm how I felt about book 1.

I’m also still on the waiting list for the next-in-series from Jim Butcher, Simon Green (two different series), Cassandra Clare, Ben Aaronovitch, and a heap of others including The Twelve  – the highly anticipated follow-up to Justin Cronin’s The Passage, a huge success with lots of readers from a couple of years ago.

What sequels are you waiting for? And what have you been thrilled or disappointed by recently?