Top Ten Tuesday: Best/Worst Series Enders

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday from The Broke and the Bookish is the Best/Worst Series Enders. I was going to split this in half, but all the series enders that stood out to me were bad ones, so I decided to go with all Worst Series Enders. And there’s only 9.

The Worst:

Requiem (Delirium, #3)
1. Requiem – the end to the Delirium series by Lauren Oliver

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Millennium, #3)

2. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest – the end to the Millennium trilogy by Stieg Larsson.

Monsters (Ashes Trilogy, #3)

3. Monsters – the end to the Ashes trilogy by Ilsa Bick

Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, #6)

4. Last Sacrifice – the end to the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead

The Savage Grace (The Dark Divine, #3)

5. The Savage Grace – the end to the Dark Divine series by Bree Despain

Rapture (Fallen, #4)

6. Rapture – the end of the Fallen series by Lauren Kate

Breaking Dawn (Twilight, #4)

7. Breaking Dawn – the end to the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer.

As Sure as the Dawn (Mark of the Lion, #3)

8. As Sure as the Dawn – the end to the Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers

Reached (Matched, #3)

9. Reached – the end to the Matched trilogy by Ally Condie

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Monsters by Ilsa Bick – 2 stars (out of 5)

Monsters (Ashes Trilogy, #3)

*I received a copy of this book from NegGalley.*

Synopsis from Good Reads:

When her parents died, Alex thought things couldn’t get much worse-until the doctors found the monster in her head.

She headed into the wilderness as a good-bye, to leave everything behind. But then the end of the world happened, and Alex took the first step down a treacherous road of betrayal and terror and death.

Now, with no hope of rescue-on the brink of starvation in a winter that just won’t quit-she discovers a new and horrifying truth.

The Change isn’t over.
The Changed are still evolving.
And…they’ve had help.

With this final volume of The Ashes Trilogy, Ilsa J. Bick delivers a riveting, blockbuster finish, returning readers to a brutal, post-apocalyptic world where no one is safe and hope is in short supply.

A world where, from these ashes, the monsters may rise.

My Thoughts:

Oh, I really wanted to like this book. I loved the first book in the trilogy, Ashes. The second book, Shadows, I didn’t care for as much, but I eagerly anticipated this novel, hoping that it would really bring it all together. I really wanted to like this book. But, while it had its moments, it just didn’t live up to my expectations.

Where it did work for me was Bick’s writing. She writes great, empathetic, relatable characters. She is also a master for detail. While I personally do not usually care for so much detail, I understand that there are readers who do and they would not be disappointed with Bick’s work.

There is a section in the back of the book (and on Ilsa Bick’s website) that gives you a recap of characters and where we left off with them in Shadows. Unless you’re doing a binge-reading of the series, it’s necessary to read this because there is basically no recap within the story. I had to refer to  it several times in the beginning and I appreciated having it there.

The majority of the book was pretty action packed. But a lot of the action, especially in the beginning chapters, seemed so forced. There were detailed accounts of Alex’s fight against drowning by water or by snow. And there wasn’t a second I thought she wouldn’t make it out. You don’t kill off your main character in the first few chapters. The story didn’t really interest me at all until we got into a chapter in the fifties or sixties (that sounds like a lot, but the chapters aren’t very long. But on the other hand, this book felt about 200 pages longer than it needed to be).

Though I loved him in the first book, I haven’t really cared at all about Tom since then. The chapters from his point of view were just so uninteresting to me. I did like him a little more towards the end of the book, though. I actually liked the story a lot better once all the storylines and POVs converged.

Chris remains my favorite character. He goes through a lot in this book and he really grows up. I love him.

One of my biggest complaints in this book is that we don’t spend a lot of time with Alex. The first book was all from Alex’s POV, but the second book branched out into several POVs. Monsters continued that multiple POV style and it didn’t always work for me. I felt like most of the time we either stayed with a particular POV for too long or jumped away too quickly.

I didn’t really understand the “explanation” of what was going on with the communication system of the Changed and not-quite-but-almost-Changed. And we never really get an explanation as to why everything happens. The characters make several comments about how their life isn’t like a book and if it was a book, this or this would happen. Tom says once, “If this was a book or movie, there’d be some guy who’d explain it, give you all the answers. Tidy everything up, wrap it with a bow. We’ll never know…” It seemed like Bick was giving herself an out to not fully resolve things. But this is a book and wanted things resolved. Or at least something more than the very ambiguous ending that we got.

Overall, I was pretty disappointed with this book. Though the writing was good and there were a few scenes that really captivated me, it mostly just seemed like a lot of things happening for the sake of having action scenes and not really necessary to the story. Due to my compulsive need to finish a series, I’m still glad I read it and I would still recommend that anybody who has already invested in this trilogy see it through to the end and read Monsters.

Monday’s Minutes

Monday’s Minutes is my weekly update on what I’m reading and what I’m reading next.

WHAT I’M READING

The Night Circus

Happy Labor Day! On this wonderful day off of work I’m reading The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. It’s one of those books I’ve noticed time and time again, but always passed over. But, after seeing so many great reviews for it, I decided it was finally time to read it. I’m about 100 pages in. I don’t know exactly what I expected from this book, but it’s not at all what I expected – that makes sense, right? So far the pace is slow, but the writing is beautiful.

WHAT I’M READING NEXT


Monsters by Ilsa Bick, the third book in the Ashes trilogy. I just got an advanced copy from NetGalley and I’m dying to read this! I’m super tempted to start this now, but I’m going to finish Night Circus first.

What are your Monday’s Minutes?