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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?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.
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
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?