Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Arty -- Wednesday Scrolls

If you're anything like me, you love a good, long series.

Really - what can be better than book after book - after book - of awesome settings, plots, and characters? There aren't too many feelings better than looking on Amazon and seeing that Book #7 or 8, Pre-order Here.

Luckily, 2010 seems to be a pretty good year for long series continuations.

Let's start with my personal favorite - Artemis Fowl, by Eoin Colfer. The story arc consisting of the Irish teenage genius's interactions with the fairy People has been around since 2001 and has won numerous awards - well-earned awards, for once. Suspenseful, hilarious, and oddly insightful at times, it's kept me entertained through two complete series re-reads. Complete, that is, until August 3, when Artemis Fowl: The Atlantis Complex came out. In this new addition, it seems that Artemis has contracted the titular Atlantis Complex, a psychosis triggered by his earlier dabbles in magic. "Symptoms include OCD, paranoia, multiple personality disorder, and, in extreme cases, embarrassing professions of love to a certain feisty LEPrecon fairy." Throw in a plot to destroy the city of Atlantis, and you have a book that I can't wait to read. (It's sitting right there... right there! Perhaps my current book to read will magically change... for some odd reason...)

Next is John Flanagan's Ranger's Apprentice series, about the eponymous orphan Will's experiences. In the first four books, he is under the mentorship of the gruff Ranger Halt; in books five and six, he's out from under Halt's wing. The seventh goes back in time, so to speak, to when Will is an apprentice again. Now, in the eighth book, The Kings of Clonmel, released May 18 in USA, Will is on his own again. According to Amazon's blurb: "Mankind puts its faith in many things—gods, kings, money—anything for protection from the world’s many dangers. When a cult springs up in neighboring Clonmel, promising to quell the recent attacks by lawless marauders, people flock from all over to offer gold in exchange for protection. But this particular group, with which Halt is all too familiar, has a less than charitable agenda. Secrets will be unveiled and battles fought to the death as Will and Horace help Halt in ridding the land of a dangerous enemy." Though, as good series often do, Ranger's Apprentice has been losing my interest, it's definitely a book I will get my hands on soon.

A note: John Flanagan lives in Australia, and his books are published sooner there than in America. Kings came out November 8, 2008 in Flanagan's country, and the ninth book, Halt's Peril (which I am absolutely dying to read, as a firm Halt fangirl), has been out since last November. It's destined for an October Stateside release.

Another foreign implant into popular American literature is the Children of the Red King series by Jenny Nimmo - probably known more commonly as the Charlie Bone books. Something of a Harry Potter stand-in for those not quite ready for Hogwarts, but by no means any less interesting, these books have many characters, many subplots, and a lot of potential for re-reads. Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and this fascinating series met its own this May, when Charlie Bone and the Red Knight came out. In this eighth and final chapter, Charlie and his friends have to discover "the fate of his family, the evil intentions of the Bloors, what has become of Septimus Bloor's will, and, most important, the destiny of the Red King's heirs." (Amazon) Sounds like a worthy finale to me.

Speaking of magic, the Sisters Grimm (author Michael Buckley) are up to it in their ears. Though perhaps not classic material and suffering from acute cases of corny dialogue, this series about fairytales come to life is a definite must-read. I haven't read the seventh book yet, but I understand that The Inside Story, the newest installment - also book eighth - picks up right where The Everafter War left off. Sabrina and Daphne have apparently met the Master of the Scarlet Hand, and now must save their baby brother (??) by going into something called the Book of Everafter. (Excuse me, I now must go put the seventh book on my reading stack.)

Finally, there's the prolific Warriors series. No - series, plural. No - franchise. Yes, this acclaimed super-network of four base series (and there are whispers of a fifth); three published Super Editions with two more on the way; three OEL manga series and one OEL manga standalone; and four field guides will release its latest effort later this year in November, with the third book in the fourth base series Omen of the Stars. Not much about this book, entitled Night Whispers, is known, except that it centers around a prophecy given to Dovepaw, and that a new point of view will be introduced. Will it get back to whatever made the original Warriors series so great? Only time will tell...

That's the end of my rather long list. But if you know of another series that's been going on for a long time, I'd love to hear about it!

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