Sequels I Picked Up Immediately

There is nothing I love more than sinking into a good series: getting to know a cast of characters, watching them grow over time, seeing the plot and the world develop and expand over a course of books. I love the feeling of unlimited potential after finishing the first book in the series – not knowing where the next book will go, but needing to know as soon as possible. In fact, sometimes, upon finishing the first book in a new series, I am so enraptured that I have to go out and pick up the next book so I can start immediately. This is usually the true test of whether I will love a series or not. Here are some of the sequels I had to get immediately after finishing the first book in the series:

The Wicked King by Holly Black

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Right after I finish The Cruel Prince, I took about two seconds to process the ending, got dressed, and headed to Barnes & Noble to buy The Wicked King. Despite a rough start to the first book, I ended up falling in love with Jude, Cardan, and the rest of the cast. In addition, I loved the world that the series is set in. The sequel expands upon this world and gives further insight into the political workings (something I love in books), as well as building the characters and relationships between them. Though, to me, this book was nowhere near as good as the first, it is a crucial stepping stone for both the plot and the characters’ relationships in the full series. Not to mention, that ending! If you have not read this series, be warned that there is a major cliffhanger. Luckily for you, the third and final book is already out so you can hop right into the finale once you finish this sequel; I was not so fortunate at the time of reading this!

If you love fairies, politics, and interesting main characters, this is a series for you!

Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco

Rating: 4 out of 5.

If you love a fast-paced, gruesome murder mystery with a strong female lead and a swoon-worthy love interest, you should give this series a go. The first book in the series, Stalking Jack the Ripper, was an interesting retelling of the Jack the Ripper murders. We follow a female lead, Audrey Rose Wadsworth, who is interested in mortuary science (unheard of in the 1800s!), as she tries to crack the case with her partner, Thomas Cresswell. I’d be surprised if you haven’t at least heard of Thomas Cresswell; he is a beloved book boyfriend in the online book community, and for good reason! However, this series offers so much more than just a good romance!

This sequel in particular highlights the struggles of women in the late 1800s – especially those who did not subscribe to traditional gender roles – while also introducing a fun spin on the tale of Dracula. Characters are developed, relationships evolve, and an interesting mystery awaits! If any of that sounds appealing to you (which, how could it not?), I highly recommend this series.

Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I have yet to read a series as quickly as I read The Diviners series. The first book, The Diviners, was creepy and fun. It introduced a charming cast of characters that I think about more than I wish to admit (for all those curious, my favorite character is by far Evie!). The relationships between the characters are SO good, and, in this sequel, you get a further look into these relationships with the addition of a couple new characters. I found myself enjoying the scenes of them just interacting as much as the scenes that moved the plot along. On the topic of plot, I love the creepy story that culminates from one book to the next, along with the mysteries surrounding the cast. This book in particular really builds on the scary atmosphere with the introduction of new monsters that appear throughout the rest of the series, and a more clear look at the overall villain of the series.

This is one of my favorite series of all time, and with fall and Halloween approaching, now is a perfect time to pick it up! I especially recommend the audiobooks for this series; the narrator is incredible!

The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I don’t think this series is talked about enough in the book community! Stevie and her friends are a delight to read about, and the cozy but mysterious Vermont boarding school setting sucked me in from the get-go. Add in a compelling, unsolved murder mystery, and I was hooked! The cliffhanger ending of the first book, Truly Devious, left me with about a million questions and zero answers, which sent me running to my local library to grab the next book in the series. Although this sequel suffered a little from second book syndrome in my opinion, plodding a little towards the middle of the story, the ending hooked me once again! Overall this series is such a fun, twisty ride and if you’re looking for good mystery this fall, I can’t recommend this enough!

I just found out that a fourth book in this series was announced following Stevie and her friends solving yet another mystery in a new setting – and I am SO excited! The Box in the Woods comes out April 6th, 2021. April can’t get here soon enough!

One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake

No star rating for this yet as I’m still reading it (and loving it so far)! I think the concept for this series is so interesting and the political intrigue keeps me glued to my seat, ready to read more. This is definitely a character-driven series and – especially in the first book in the series – a lot of time is taken to thoroughly build the world and the relationships between characters. Lucky for me, I love those kinds of stories! I love feeling immersed in a new fantastical world and feeling like I could be friends (or rivals?) with the characters.

I’ve heard that this series only gets better, and so far that seems to be true! I’m anticipating this will be another four or five star read for me. I can’t wait to finish it!

Which sequels did you pick up immediately after reading the first book in the series? How did you feel about them? Leave a comment below letting me know!

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