Recommend A… Trilogy

It’s hard to recommend a trilogy these days because books seem to default in sets of three nowadays, especially in YA.  Sometimes this works, but sometimes it comes across as a main story with a weaker two-part secondary story tacked on to it.  Exhibit A: “Hunger Games” was awesome, “Catching Fire” was good but started to do some odd things with Katniss’s character, and “Mockingjay,” well, let’s not even talk about it.  I’m reading the “Delirium” trilogy now, but the third book isn’t out yet and I haven’t been able to read “Pandemonium” yet, so the jury is out on its success as a coherent story.

Is it too cliche to recommend “Lord of the Rings?”  Are there still people who haven’t read it yet?  Because they should.  Now there’s a trilogy with a sweeping, cohesive story, of which no single book can stand alone.

How about “His Dark Materials” by Philip Pullman?  It’s a hard trilogy to classify: its 12-year-old heroine should place it cleanly in YA, but the issues it tackles – first love, organized religion, and ethics in science – are challenging at any age.  Throw in some steampunky tech, armored warrior bears, and immortal witches, and you’ve got a good story.

Obviously there are a gajillion trilogies to read – what do you recommend?

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5 thoughts on “Recommend A… Trilogy

  1. Everything that’s coming to mind is more than a three-book arc. Although, really, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy MUST be named, as it is called a trilogy.

    I think Nancy Kress’ Sleepless books was a trilogy, but again, the first book is by far the best (Beggars in Spain). A lot of the sub groups of Anne McCaffery’s Pern novels were trilogies — I’m currently trying to track down the other books in the Harper Trilogy (currently out of print), starring Menolly as girl born to be a Harper.

    I think that one of my favorite things about sci-fi/fantasy is that trilogies abound. If you like a book? There are more coming. I love that.

    (But I have never read Lord of the Rings. I’ve never finished a Tolkien book.)

  2. I loved the Evil Genius trilogy by Catherine Jinks. It’s about a super smart kid who finds out that his dad is a super villian and now has to decide which side he’ll take. Very recommendable!

  3. I have been sitting here thinking for about ten minutes now, and I think my problem is that of all the trilogies I can think of to recommend, I haven’t actually finished very many of them. Ysabeau S. Wilce’s Flora series? I’ve read the first one! Gayle Greeno’s Ghatti’s Tale series? Got the first two! I’m terrible at finishing things.

    I will say, though (and I think I’ve mentioned them here before), Holly Black’s Curse Workers series is excellent, and the end of the third and final book was perfect and didn’t let me down in the slightest. (I think this is why I’m generally gun-shy about finishing trilogies, because–like you said–so often the last one or two are disappointing in comparison to the first, and it feels like a double blow since you’ve already grown to love the characters.) And, if you’re willing to give a foray into contemporary sports-themed YA, Catherine Gilbert Murdock’s Dairy Queen trilogy is truly charming and features a funny, realistic, self-effacing heroine I love to bits.

    • The Curse Workers series does sound pretty neat, especially with a fulfilling ending. I’m picking up the second book in Lauren Oliver’s Delirium trilogy today so fingers crossed…

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