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Series (4+ novels or 500k+) with a satisfying conclusion?

Discussion in 'Books and Anime Discussion' started by Ched, Jul 13, 2021.

  1. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    I really think this thread is one of my great failures at doing what it was supposed to do.

    @Othalan - it sounds like you're recommending good books to read, which is great and I'm quite tempted by some of those, but how were the endings / conclusions specifically?

    I'm trying to find long series with satisfying endings so I can go read spoilers and see what/how they did it.

    I feel very few series actually get the endings right so I'm trying to find ones that do. I'm not looking for recs exactly, unless that series has what you'd consider a good conclusion (even if the entire series is complete shit).
     
  2. Alistair

    Alistair Slug Club Member

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    It falls in the Young Adult space, but the Bartimaeus trilogy by Jonathan Stroud has a fairly solid ending to the overall plot. I'd guess it's closer to 400k words than 500+ though.

    Otherwise, I recall Brent Weeks' Night Angel Trilogy to be satistying in this regard, although it's been a long while since I read it. I think this'd make 500k+.

    Much as I don't like the weird political idealogy, Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series also has a strong overarching plot which he ties off quite neatly. That must be over a million words all told, maybe even 2 million.
     
  3. Dubious Destiny

    Dubious Destiny Seventh Year

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    I know this is against the purpose of this thread, but I'm always on the hunt for new books and decided to try this one. The start of the first book of this series is really bad. I've completed around a quarter of the book. Is there any shift or is this how the series goes?
     
  4. Alistair

    Alistair Slug Club Member

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    I'd say it fits the OP's requirement for a series with a generally satisfying ending overall, but I'd not say it was objectively good as a piece of literature.

    The writing is technically sound, some o the characters are well done and quite likeable and much o fthe worldbuilding is solid, but the tone is quite naive in parts, some of the prose is... passable and some of the sub plot elements are pretty contrived.

    I'd say, finish book 1 and go from there. If you can't stand the style it won't change enough in proceeding books that it'd be worth picking them up, but if it's a generally positive experience with some off notes and nitpicks, then I'd say it gets better in later books.

    Personally I enjoyed it enough to read 'em all, but your mileage may vary.
     
  5. Othalan

    Othalan Headmaster DLP Supporter

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    Well, I never actually got around to reading the final book of the Licanius Trilogy, but I did read all of The First Law. It's ending was... not exactly "satisfying", per se - depending on what you'd consider satisfying - but what it was was entirely thematically appropriate.

    Throughout the series, the general shitty-ness of the world and the people living in it were constant themes (more so than in ASoIaF even), and I remember the conclusion being both breathtakingly cynical, but also making me nod and say "yeah, that fits." I suppose I didn't feel un-satisfied (I actually enjoyed it quite a bit, though a lot of that probably had to do with novelty - I've never seen another fantasy series pull off that kind of ending, before or since), but if you're looking for a classically happy ending, well done or not, The First Law is most definitely not that.

    Oh, and the other semi-standalone books set in the First Law world that I recommended all have similar sorts of endings, at least in terms of how they feel if not in the actual details.

    EDIT: Now that I think about it, the closest equivalent I can come up with off the top of my head, without giving too much away, is the ending to that movie "Lord of War" with Nicholas Cage and Ethan Hawke.

    Basically imagine that ending, but even more twisted and cynical. If you liked how "Lord of War" ended, then you'll probably like The First Law's conclusion...
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2021
  6. Dubious Destiny

    Dubious Destiny Seventh Year

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    That's my experience with the Licanius trilogy as well. I just lost interest somewhere in the second book. I'm not entirely sure why. A lot of plot points are revealed in the second book, so I guessed the conclusion and skipped the third book.

    The first book and up to half or three quarters of the second book is good.
     
  7. Othalan

    Othalan Headmaster DLP Supporter

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    Well, tbh I didn't actually lose interest so much as I was released from prison before I got around to reading the final book. Once I had decent-paying work, school, video games and internet back to fill my days, the amount of time I spent reading actual ink-and-paper books cratered pretty catastrophically, and hasn't recovered since.

    Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure I actually have a copy of The Light of All That Falls around my house somewhere, but I just haven't gotten around to digging it out yet. Sadly, though it feels like heresy to admit it here, my copies of Peace Talks and Battle Ground have suffered the same fate. I'd gotten about a quarter of the way through Peace Talks when my schedule changed and interrupted the time I'd set aside to read it, and both books have been collecting dust on my shelf ever since...
     
  8. Teyrn

    Teyrn Order Member

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    "The Sword of Truth" series by Terry Goodkind arguably has a solid ending, depending on if you continue reading the books that come after what was meant to be the end. (As far as I'm concerned the series ended at Confessor, I didn't read anything past that.)

    To be clear, it's not entirely satisfying in that it's somewhat realistic and not everything ends perfectly happy-happy etc. But I don't recall any glaring plot lines that failed to be tied off etc.
     
  9. KaiDASH

    KaiDASH Auror DLP Supporter

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    The Alex Verus series by Benedict Jacka recently had it's 12th and final book release.

    I think it was a good ending to the series, had a generally overarching plot driving everything forward and obviously it's 12 books long so it fills the length requirement.

    Of potential interest to you as well, he has written lengthy Authors Commentary on each book & extra details on his situation prior to being published at all, along with his decisions when he was trying to decide where exactly to take & end the series.

    https://benedictjacka.co.uk/2021/04/02/author-commentary-on-the-alex-verus-series/
     
  10. Rayndeon

    Rayndeon Professor

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    Echoing this recommendation as well. Alex Verus is a good alternative to the Dresden Files if you're looking for an urban fantasy series to sink your teeth into. (In some dimensions, it's arguably better than the Dresden Files) There's a series of worldbuilding articles you can find on the author's website; it can help add to the experience, but it is definitely not necessary to enjoy the series.

    Another urban fantasy series I'd strongly recommend is the Matthew Swift series, written by Catherine Webb, under the pen name "Kate Griffin." (She's better known these days under her pen name "Claire North" for "The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August") Starting with A Madness of Angels, the Matthew Swift series features its titular protagonist as a sorcerer in London - a magician in tune with and that draws power from the city itself. After being murdered by his once mentor, Matthew resurrects as a being fused with the blue electric angels: an entity formed by the advent of telecommunications. Matthew goes on to look for answers and deal with his newfound existence.

    The series features an interesting protagonist and unique magic system, but I think it's the author's prose and the way that London itself is described and even characterized throughout the series. It is described to an extent to almost act like a secondary character in the series, and I think the author's style in describing Matthew's internal thought processes and the events and world around are what really draw you into the story.
     
  11. Shinysavage

    Shinysavage Madman With A Box ~ Prestige ~

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    I absolutely love the Matthew Swift books (and to a lesser extent the spin-offs), but I'm not sure I'd say they really have a conclusion at all. It's not that kind of series, IMO.
     
  12. Rayndeon

    Rayndeon Professor

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    Yeah, to my understanding, I think the author was intending on continuing the series, but other book projects ended up taking precedence.
     
  13. fuubar

    fuubar Headmaster

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    The final novel for The Expanse, Leviathan Falls, came out this past month. I'd say it definitely falls into the satisfactory conclusion category. The series had it's flaws and may have been a bit long in some places but was enjoyable and quite solid overall.

    There are a few reasons I liked it and it felt satisfying - no spoilers.

    The characters continued to be in character to the end, no crazy jumps in motivation that stood out to me to make the plot move from a to b. (One of the big moments at the end that could have been this was just another "yep, goddamnit Holden, that is what you would do") The new reveals, bar one (which had prior grounding but was still surprising) expanded on what was already known, there were no major deus ex devices or authorial asspulls to get things resolved. Myself and many others online had predicted, in broad strokes, the big way that the primary conflict remaining would be resolved. The author's didn't shy away from that just for surprise factor or happy, cozy endings; they laid the ground work in the prior 8 novels and executed on it in an entertaining, interesting way.

    Writing this all out, the biggest thing for me is that the story had a well defined end point and a framework within which the world worked and the author's remained consistent with that to the end.
     
  14. Mr. Mixed Bag

    Mr. Mixed Bag DA Member

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    This may well be useless because you list it in the first post, but I feel I have to toss a vote behind the Percy Jackson series. The ending (talking about the first five books, because it gets more complicated with the sequel series) is just tight.

    Part of what I love about it is to do with the plot structure of the final book. A huge portion (I wanna say at least half) effectively becomes wave after wave of action. This is significantly more than the book before it, which in turn had more than the one before it, etc. Basically, as the stakes go up so does the action, which makes sure the reader can feel it.

    The other side is the characters. Almost all of the important ones have consistent arcs that slowly build them up as they age. They never change overnight or without reason, but by the end they're far more mature than the start. It's all very satisfying. Plus, although Heroes of Olympus is where he plays with it more, Riordan is my favorite romance writer within adventure/fantasy stories.

    But above all else, I love the ending because it feels like it was all planned. Every subplot wraps up. Every character gets their moment. No miraculous introductions are needed at the last second. And best of all, no ballooned word count taking the final book to four times the length of the earlier ones *cough*Rowling*cough*. In some ways the whole series feels like it could be one book, so carefully do certain themes and points carry over from the first to last. It just felt complete to me.
     
  15. DarkAizen

    DarkAizen Professor DLP Supporter

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    A series with a good ending and excellent storytelling is by far The Broken Earth Series by N.K. Jemesin
    Each book has won the Hugo for fantasy.

    Other than that, the First Law series is okay-ish, it has 3 stand-alone books and another trilogy set 20 years after, but basically, they are all the same book more or less.

    I would also recommend Red Rising by Pierce Brown the first trilogy is wrapped up pretty nicely, and the second one is coming to an end I think.
     
  16. Alexx of Arabia

    Alexx of Arabia Streetshitter

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    TBH other than Sanderson I feel most fantasy authors don't do endings well. Wheel of time, Harry Potter, First Law all had disappointing endings. First law in particular made me not want to pick an Abercrombie book again. I feel if you planned out everything in the beginning like Sanderson does you get good endings. Make up as you write often results in disappointing endings.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2022
  17. Mutton

    Mutton Order Member

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    First Law? Its ending I felt was well telegraphed and worked in the greater themes, it was just a downer because that's kind of the point.
     
  18. Ched

    Ched Da Trek Moderator DLP Supporter ⭐⭐

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    @Mr. Mixed Bag I should read Percy Jackson again I guess. I just hated so much about the series in general that maybe I didn’t give it a fair shake in how it tied up. And at this point I can’t really remember.
    Thanks for explaining as well as you did.
     
  19. Mr. Mixed Bag

    Mr. Mixed Bag DA Member

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    No problem. It's my favorite series so I'm always happy to write paragraphs about it.

    But I will say that if you didn't like the series itself I'm not sure it's possible to appreciate the ending, not because of anything specific to that series but just as a general rule of thumb. Like, even an ending that keeps to the tone of the series and wraps things up nicely will probably fall flat if the tone it's continuing and the plots it's tying up didn't land with you in the first place. Personally I think that's why so many endings feel unsatisfactory and it can be a difficult search to find one that doesn't, just because you kind of have to be invested and engaged when you hit an ending for it to stand a chance of hitting the right buttons.
     
  20. Alexx of Arabia

    Alexx of Arabia Streetshitter

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    Ok It's been a while since I read it but that was most depression ending I still remember reading in all fantasy. Credit to Abercrombie but I don't read fantasy for grimdark.
     
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