Stand Alone or Series Commitment

I am not a cliff hanger kind of gal. If I’m reading a book or watching a movie, I want it to be fully self contained. I first noticed this need the first time I saw The Empire Strikes Back. It didn’t end. It just stopped.

Because that is not for me, and I have associated cliff hangers with series, I have restricted myself to stand alone novels. Long running mystery series don’t have that issue, all are self contained, so those had been the exception to my rule, but I’ve actually found a couple trilogies and a duology that I have enjoyed, so I decided to share them with you.

Jason Hough wrote the Dire Earth CycleDarwin’s Elevator was the first book, which I reviewed. I’d liked the first book, so I completed the series, and it didn’t disappoint. When I saw that he had written a two-book series follow up, I asked for an advanced reader copy – which was granted. I received the book for free in return for an honest review. I liked it so much I postponed this blog post by a day so it came out on the book’s release date.

The new book – Injection Burn – felt like home.

Injection Burn

Jason Hough has his world down. There is tons of action and numerous twists. The trilogy really needs to be read before this duology, and they are all worth it. You know I don’t do spoilers, but suffice it to say it is comforting to reunite with old favorite characters.

Earlier this year I went to a book signing event where David Brin was taking about an anthology he edited. Joining him was Scott Sigler, who had written a short story in the collection. Scott was really interesting, and I put one of his books into my library queue when I got home that night. Two days later, Alive, the first book in his Generations Trilogy, was a Goodreads deal. It was a sign. I had to buy it, and I’m so glad I did.


It starts out where a group of teenagers wake up in a room, they don’t know where or even who they are, but they know they are in danger. What an awesome premise, and the rest of the book delivers. The characters were well developed, and the action sequences had excellent pacing. The trilogy is now complete – book three dropped while I was reading book one – so there will be no waiting as I move through the series.

I’m just going to go out and say it: I have a fan crush on Margaret Atwood. I want to write as well as she does one day – she is the gold standard for me. Her MaddAddam series is so me. Books one and two (Oryx and Crake and Year of the Flood) can be read in any order. Book three, MaddAddam, ties everything together and does it masterfully.


Only Margaret Atwood can have a character named F$%k that comes to people in trouble who call out his name … and make it work effortlessly.

These three authors are all very different, but each managed to leave me wanting more in a format I typically don’t enjoy.

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