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Books I'm Missing Out On...Or Am I?

Not every book can be a soulmate, and we all know that sometimes everything from characters to plot to writing can cause a story to completely miss its mark. But what of the ones we haven't even given a chance to yet, no matter the hype? There are several reasons I could be avoiding some popular series, and with an ever-growing TBR I have plenty to fill up my time. But the ones that have me curious are those that everyone else in the universe seems to love, while I have yet to be pulled in. What am I missing? 

Here are the top five releases I missed out on in 2016...and which of them I plan to rectify in 2017.

1. A Gathering Of Shadows | V.E. Schwab

Published February 23rd 2016

I don't even have a reason for why I haven't read the first book of this series yet, A Darker Shade Of Magic. Set in old London, with magic, madness, smugglers, and world's at stake; it promises to be an exciting adventure. Since Gathering is technically the second installment, I've been missing out on this series since '15. Obviously, I'll be joining the masses soon, because with romance blurbs like this I am completely seduced:
"There's Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, and with one mad King--George III. Red London, where life and magic are revered--and where Kell was raised alongside Rhy Maresh, the roguish heir to a flourishing empire. White London--a place where people fight to control magic and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London. But no one speaks of that now."
Tell me all about Black London, please. I need to know. Piles of books on my TBR are no excuse, and as I see the hype over the third book, A Conjuring Of Light, I'm reminded I've got to get my life together and dive into this series. I missed out on the excitement over the release of Gathering last year, and now it's happening all over again (hard core FOMO)...but on the bright side I'll be reading these now, so I won't have to wait a year between each book. So yea...actually, that was my strategy all along. Sticking to it.
"After all, a shadow that was gone in the night will reappear in the morning. But the balance of magic is ever perilous, and for one city to flourish, another London must fall." 

2. Lady Midnight | Cassandra Clare

Published March 8th, 2016

Set some years after the events in The Mortal Instruments series, this new trilogy from Clare will follow Emma Carstairs and parabatai Julian Blackthorn as they try to solve murders springing up in the same manner they did in...you guessed it, The Mortal Instruments. I never got past the first three books in TMI series, though I did think Clare was on to some excellent plot lines. If only we could focus a little more on that and less on Clary and Jace, maybe I'd have stuck around. But there were key elements in this world that kept tugging at me, and the notion of parabatai was one of them. This led me to pick up The Infernal Devices, and I am very glad I gave that trilogy a chance. It was a romance, yes, and perhaps I had accepted it as such beforehand so the experience was better. Also, TID is set back in time, which I am much more fond of in my reading. Whatever the case, I liked the prequel trilogy. So I'm at a bit of a loss when it comes to Lady Midnight. The premise sounds like we're just going to get a recycled version of TMI, and without the allure of an old time period, I'm not sure Clare will make it worth my while to give it a chance. At least not any time soon.


3. The Raven King | Maggie Stiefvater

Published April 26th, 2016

A girl destined to kill her one true love. That's basically what I gathered from the blurb about the first book in this series, The Raven Boys, and I hit it with a solid PASS. But I'm a sucker for a cover, and this one just kept haunting my life. The title! The stag! The gorgeous blue night masked within the silhouette in swirling watercolor strokes! Not to mention all the hype around how excellent a final installment this is. So it took nearly an entire year of catching my eye for the cover art alone, but I will indeed be giving The Raven Cycle a chance...book one is currently downloaded on my Kindle. I have to note that if I end up loving the series, all the gorgeous printed covers will have their place in my library. Kindle version is just for the first date, which as far as chapter one, is going pretty well.


4. Empire Of Storms | Sarah J Maas

Published September 6th 2016

Celaena. Freakin. Sardothian. I'm sorry to the fans that love her and this series, but I hated her name the second I read it. So many syllables. So prettily arranged. Much like her character, so pretentious. I do know of the big twist that reveals her true identity, and that's honestly one of the reasons I have no interest in continuing past the second book. I rated Crown of Midnight highly, as I did like how it was done as well as the character development. But I saw the signs that the story and characters we were two novels in to getting to know were about to do a 180, and I was right. It was as if Maas had a better idea than the original and lazily dropped them all to turn in the complete opposite direction and give us her new story, complete with new love interests. Don't get me wrong, the fact that Celaena is...well, you know if you read it...is a plot twist for which I could have definitely fan-girled hard. And if her new life fulfilling her birthright as this somebody led her to her true love, absolutely fine. But Maas just wanted to write romance when it suited her, and drop everything on a whim for the next hottest male role, and I do not get behind that kind of storytelling. So although the world is obsessed with this series, I will likely never finish. I do have the prequel novellas on my shelf to be read one day, when the bad taste Celaena left in my mouth fades and I am prepared for the origin story I know has a sad ending.
I do have to note that I am a complete, puddle of goo mess over Maas' other series, A Court Of Thorns And Roses, more specifically the second book, A Court Of Mist And Fury. Find my reviews here: ACOTAR & ACOMAF. So just goes to show, although one series might not be for me, it doesn't mean I should write-off the author entirely.


5. Goldenhand | Garth Nix

Published October 11th, 2016

I discovered Garth Nix and his Abhorsen series this year while I attended BookCon at NYCC. THIS YEAR! After hearing him speak on a panel, I was absolutely astounded I hadn't heard of his books before. Magic, necromancy, fierce heroines...HOW had I not heard of this series? He hit the YA market two decades before it even knew it was a thing...and I am at once annoyed with myself that I didn't know of him AND excited that I may have just discovered a series to obsess over...one for which I don't have to wait years and years for sequels. I of course purchased Goldenhand and had it signed, in preparation for when I have binged the entire series and fallen in love. I hope I'm not setting my expectations too high, but somehow I do not think that's the case. This is definitely a series I am missing out on, but I don't plan to be an outsider for long.


So, how bad is it that I'm missing out on the above? Are there any others I need to make my life complete? Tweet-Tweet with suggestions and make sure to connect with me over on Goodreads or Facebook so we can geek out over books together!

Virginia DeFeo