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Top 5 Wednesday: Fandoms You Are No Longer In

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme from Goodreads, created by Lainey from Gingerreadslainey and now moderated by Sam from ThoughtsOnTomes. This week the prompt is about writing about fandoms we formerly were super invested in but now are no longer a part of.

Twilight series– Believe it or not, as a grown woman, I actually liked the first novel. My book club choose it, and they had to persuade me to pick it up. As much as I would like to pretend I didn’t like it, I was sucked into the vampire and werewolf saga. As I was firmly entrenched with Team Jacob, the second book gave me a slim hope that Bella would choose him over Edward. By the third book, it was obvious Jacob had never stood a chance, plus I was unhappy about the ridiculous plot and Bella’s moping. The fourth book was a pure hate-read, but I was determined to stick it out and see how everything resolved. It was a flippin’ waste of my time.

Jonathan Kellerman’s Alex Delaware series– I have read 40+ of Jonathan Kellerman’s books, over the course of two decades. Most of the novels are thrillers about psychologist Alex Delaware and his cop buddy solving complex crimes. But after 31 of these books (plus some other standalone books), I can not stand his character anymore. The books are no longer unique, and he repeats the same tropes over and over. Both my husband and I used to read the books and discuss them afterwards, so I had a hard time giving the series up, but last year I decided enough was enough.

Twin Peaks– I am on the fence about this series. A friend of mine had the series (on VHS!), so I binge watched the two seasons and the movie ten years ago. The first season was excellent, and I loved the mystery about who killed Laura Palmer, and the odd supernatural elements to it. The second season went off the rails, and the movie didn’t match the tone of the original series, but it still retained enough atmosphere for me to think of it very fondly as a whole. When I heard of the revival, with many of the same characters, I was excited. But four episodes in, I am a very unhappy camper. Lynch’s psychedelic ideas are just too way out there for me, and there has been little reintroduction to the characters of Twin Peaks that I had loved so much.  Many people are waxing poetic about it, but I just don’t get it. I will watch a few more episodes, but…

Old Man Logan– I really loved the first volume penned by Mark Miller and illustrated by Steve McNiven. I thought it was a fresh way of telling the Wolverine story and rebooting the franchise to reflect a world weary Logan. Obviously the book was a hit, as the movie Logan was based somewhat off this story. But eventually the artist changed, and worst of all, the story was moved to the Warzones/Battleworld universe. I was not happy with the A Force: Warzones series, for I think it is a lazy device to explain an anything goes plot. I refuse to read any book set there.

Tony Hillerman’s Leaphorn/Chee series– Tony Hillerman wrote an amazing mystery series set in the Four Corners region about two Navajo police officers. The books were respectful of the reservation inhabitants and there often was an archaeology subplot(fun fact- anthropology was my minor in college). This was another series that spanned decades, but by his 18th book, the series was limping across the finish line when the author passed away. His daughter took up the mantle and has continued writing the series, even adding in Chee’s wife to reflect a woman’s perspective. Anne Hillerman is a solid but uninspiring writer, and the southwest flavor is gone from the series. I gave two of her books a chance, but won’t be continuing with further novels by her.

Giving up on a former loved series is hard, and I often drag it out longer than I should. What are your thought on the fandoms I mentioned?

-Nancy

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Top 5 Wednesday: Series That Got Worse With Each Book/Season

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Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme from Goodreads, created by Lainey from Gingerreadslainey and now moderated by Sam from ThoughtsOnTomes. This week’s topic is: series that got worse with each book/season. Unfortunately, I knew immediately what I would write about!

Old Man Logan was an awesome way of restarting Wolverine’s story, and a movie based on the series will be coming out in 2017. The first book had an intriguing line up of past and future heroes and villains, and I liked the dusty western-like feel to the illustrations. But going forward, the books had an author and illustrator change, and it is now in the Secret Wars/Warzones series, and that absolutely kills it for me. This new planet in the Marvel Universe where anything goes, rubs me the wrong way. It’s sloppy storytelling, where continuity doesn’t matter and because of that, I no longer am interested in reading the rest of the series.

Marvel 1602 was penned by the famous Neil Gaiman and I loved it. I again had the problem of the artist changing in future volumes, and the rest of the series looked amateurish to me. Kathleen recently read 1602: Witch Hunter Angela and liked it, but it is now in the Secret Wars/Warzones series, which as I stated, I hate. Done.

The X Files tv series was an absolute favorite of mine for many years. Dana Scully was a tough, smart professional who was beautiful, but that attribute was secondary, for she was all business. Fox Mulder was the believer, who was good looking enough for me to appreciate, but he also was a professional that wanted to solve the mysterious cases. Their relationship was realistic, with witty banter, and a touch of romantic tension between them. I usually liked the stand alone episodes the best, because the mythology of the series started to become unwieldy. When David Duchovny left the series for awhile and two other actors were brought in, the quality went down, way down. But I refused to give up on it. I’ve watched all the movies, and I enjoyed the recent reboot. True believers never gave up on Scully and Mulder!

The YA book, Life As We Knew It, was a solid dystopian novel about if the moon got knocked off orbit and how our weather would change drastically, which led to chaos. The main character was likable, the plot was realistic and I imagined what I would do under the same circumstances. The next two books in the series continued with the same family but also introduced another family into the mix. The quality declined, but still a good trilogy. Then the author decided to tack on another book, The Shade of the Moon, and ruined the whole series for me. Read my scathing Goodreads review to understand why.

Another example of a how a fourth book undermines the earlier books, is The Giver series. The first in the series is a classic, and for good reason. The village and moral dilemmas are fully fleshed out, and youth connect with the message of the novel. The second and third books deal with other people and villages, and it doesn’t seem as if they all reside in the same world. The fourth book, makes mention of a few earlier characters from the previous three books, but is very disjointed and rambling. Just read the first in the series, and leave it at that.

So readers, do you agree with my choices? What are your thoughts on the books and series I mentioned?

-Nancy

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