Monday, 6 November 2017

Calendar Girls - Nov 2017 - best end of a series - #CalendarGirlsBooks

Calendar Girls is hosted by bloggers, Flavia the Bibliophile and Melanie Noell Bernard – both have amazing blogs full of fun, bookish posts. Calendar Girls is a brand new monthly blog event inspired by Neil Sedaka’s 1961 song Calendar Girl. Just like in the song, we decided to use a specific theme for each month and choose a book based on these themes! The event is meant to incite discussions with other bloggers about books we’ve read and loved, is meant to help bloggers meet other bloggers, and also for bloggers and readers to find out about blogs which they normally may not have come across! Want to know more? Click on the links above! And it’s not too late to jump on the Calendar Girl train! Join now!

Best End of a Series

I was kind of stumped for what I was going to pick for this one. There are so, so many series endings that I hate that it was hard to think of what one I would consider the best. I hated the way Mockingjay ended off The Hunger Games series, I thought that one death at the end just ruined it. I had the exact same problem with how the Divergent series ended in Allegiance. And a similar problem with Champion's ending for the Legend series. I couldn't even bring myself to finish the last book in A.G. Howard's Splintered series because I found out about her cop-out ending and got pissed off. I didn't make it to the end of the second Cassie Clare Shadowhunter series because the 5th book annoyed me and I found out that Clare is not a nice person which put me off wanting to read the last book. To this day I still have not read The Last Battle because I found out what happens and didn't like the way it ended Narnia.

I was video chatting with Angie yesterday and she pointed out that the obvious answer should be Deathly Hallows and I replied with she's right except for one very, very big reason why I will never say that book is the best ending to the Harry Potter series. The Epilogue. It was satisfying in the moment of first reading, but that hasn't lasted. I especially can't forgive the epilogue of Deathly Hallows because it begat Harry Potter and the Cursed Child which is just bad - it's like badly written fanfiction and I just can't think of it as canon. So if I could say "Deathly Hallows minus the epilogue" that would be my answer. But I can't justify that because the epilogue exists and cannot be unattached from the novel, and therefore I cannot and will not pick it as my choice for best end of a series.

Now don't go thinking that I just hate series endings in general. There have been a lot of series endings that I have actually really enjoyed. I think Darkest Road ended the Fionavar Tapestry perfectly. I love how L.J. Smith ended the Dark Visions series in The Passion. Of all the Kelley Armstrong series that I've read her endings have never let me down, there's Forest of Ruin, The Reckoning, and The Rising. Patricia C. Wrede ended the Enchanted Forest Chronicles superbly in Talking to Dragons. Blood Prophecy was a satisfying ending to Alyxandra Harvey's Drake Chronicles. And really, you can't go wrong with Rick Riordan, I feel like he always ends his series really well.

So after all of that, which novel did I end up choosing as my pick for the best end of a series? Let's see:

 Goliath by Scott Westerfeld
Alek and Deryn are abroad the Leviathan when the ship is ordered to pick up an unusual passenger. This brilliant/maniacal inventor claims to have a weapon called Goliath that can end the war. But whose side is he really on?

While on their top-secret mission, Alek finally discovers Deryn's deeply kept secret. Two, actually. Not only is Deryn a girl disguised as a guy...she has feelings for Alek.

The crown, true love with a commoner, and the destruction of a great city all hang on Alek's next--and final--move.
-- via Goodreads
That's right, I went with the final book in Scott Westerfeld's YA dieselpunk/steampunk alternate history World War I trilogy. I finally got around to reading it back in September after having it and its predecessor Behemoth sitting on my to be read shelves for years. And all I have to say is, I am SO GLAD that I finally made time to read it. This is one of the most satisfying endings to a series that I have ever read. From beginning to end I enjoyed it as a book on its own and as the conclusion to the trilogy.

This book had a lot to accomplish. There were a lot of unrevealed secrets at the end of Behemoth that needed to get revealed and then resolved in this book. Obviously, the war itself also needed to be addressed, and there was also the continuing mystery from the previous book that needed solving. The mystery, in this case, was what caused the Tunguska Blast of 1908...and you can guarantee that everytime Tunguska and the year were mentioned that I threw out the Ray Stantz Ghostbusters quote.This book did an absolutely amazing job of grabbing all of the loose ends and tying them off in a way that worked and was gratifying.

You really can't go wrong with an alternate history that introduces Nikola Tesla and makes him into a major player alongside the fictional Crown-Prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and a cross-dressing British airman. All three want the same thing, the end of the War. That's really the major through-line of the series. The second is whether or not Aleks will make a play for the throne or not. But probably the driving force of the entire series is actually the ever-changing relationship between our intrepid Prince Aleks, and the aforementioned "airman" Dylan/Deryn Sharp. This book ends all of those plotlines perfectly and almost with a bow on it.

Do you often find yourself hating the ending of a book or series? Have you ever thought you could have done a better job ending it than the author did?


  1. Ahhhh you went with Goliath, you said you would

    1. By the time I got around to writing the post at like 10:30 last night I had almost forgotten that that was what I'd chosen haha.

  2. Yay! Another Scott Westerfeld pick! :D And I'm really excited about this series. I've been wanting to get into it, especially having liked his Uglies series and because I've been wanting to read more Steampunk. I hope I get a chance soon. Obviously I'm missing out. ;)

    1. Oh man I have been horrible at blogging this month! I didn't mean to leave everyone hanging on replies I just kept losing track of time!

      Yesss hello fellow Westerfan!I really do recommend this series, it was a really fun read, I kind of miss it now that it's done and I would love a follow-up series!

  3. I need to look up this series. I love steampunk!!

  4. I've always been interested in this series, but never took the time to read it. Sounds really cool!

    Unpopular Opinion coming: I love the HP7 epilogue. I mean, yeah, it's pretty cheezy and the book maybe would have been better if she had just left it out, but I like how everything seemed so FINE. I feel like Harry and company deserve a quiet, uneventful life after everything they went through. Plus, I had spent literally 7 or 8 years hoping and wishing for Hermione and Ron to get together, so I was mostly just rolling in warm fuzzy feelings knowing that they stayed together.

    1. Didn't mean to leave you hanging Katie, I lost track of November!

      I would have been happy with the epilogue if it had been vaguer and more open to interpretation. Don't tell us who everyone ended up with, don't tell us the kids names. Sure say so and so got married and had kids, but I feel like it would have been a better service to the fandom to let us fill in the details with fanfiction. Lord know the HP fandom is not wanting for fanworks.

  5. Great choice Lauren! I was eyeing this series not too long ago actually, but don't know much about it other than that it reminds me a little of a movie that I watched with my sister some years back...Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow? ( It was very steampunk-y, hehe. I also wasn't sure if I wanted to start this series, since it's very hit and miss for me when it comes to Westerfeld books, haha. But since you recommend this one...

    Thanks so much for participating in Calendar Girls! :D

    1. Oh man Sky Captain! That movie was a trip haha, I haven't watched it in ages and now I want to. I think you'd enjoy this series Flavia. You liked Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue right? This has a a similar feel.