In between work, school, and the holidays, I haven’t gotten much reading done lately. So I’ve decided that today I’m going to share some of my favorite series with all of you that I think are extremely underrated. Some of these have been NYT bestsellers when they came out but have kind of dropped off the radar of a lot of bookworms since (a situation which must be remedied!) Without further ado, I present, in no particular order, my top 5 underrated book series.
- All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness
Goodreads Summary (Book 1): Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.
Why I recommend: This is one of my favorite series and I can’t remember how many times I’ve reread it. It combines historical fiction, paranormal, fantasy, and romance in one incredibly well-written package. I would recommend this series for anyone who enjoys any of the above!
2. The Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger
Goodreads Summary (Book 1): Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations.
First, she has no soul. Second, she’s a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.
Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire–and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.
With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London’s high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?
Why I recommend: This series is one of the funniest I’ve read in a while. It combines the paranormal with both steampunk and comedy for a series that is truly unique. The best advice I can give for this one is just hang on tight and be prepared for a hilarious time (and please don’t take this series too seriously, that would spoil all the fun!). I would recommend this to anyone looking for a lighter read. Warning- there are some slightly non-PG scenes in this series so be careful with younger readers.
3. The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
Good Summary (Book 1): The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people’s minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.
It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford – a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.
Why I recommend: I’m just not even going to try to describe this one. I’ve reread it three times now and it just keeps getting better and better. Plus the third book in the series (the author is currently planning a seven book series) will be released on March 7, 2017 so it’s the perfect time to get started! I would recommend this one to those who enjoy urban fantasy/dystopia.
4. The Chronicles of St. Mary’s by Jodi Taylor
Goodreads Summary (Book 1): “History is just one damned thing after another.”
Behind the seemingly innocuous façade of St Mary’s, a different kind of historical research is taking place. They don’t do ‘time-travel’ – they ‘investigate major historical events in contemporary time’. Maintaining the appearance of harmless eccentrics is not always within their power – especially given their propensity for causing loud explosions when things get too quiet.
Meet the disaster-magnets of St Mary’s Institute of Historical Research as they ricochet around History. Their aim is to observe and document – to try and find the answers to many of History’s unanswered questions…and not to die in the process. But one wrong move and History will fight back – to the death. And, as they soon discover – it’s not just History they’re fighting.
Follow the catastrophe curve from 11th-century London to World War I, and from the Cretaceous Period to the destruction of the Great Library at Alexandria. For wherever Historians go, chaos is sure to follow in their wake….
Why I recommend: In full disclosure, I’ve actually only read the first book in this series (I only recently discovered this absolute gem of a series). I read the entire book in one sitting because it was just too perfect and wonderful. If you need any further convincing to read this series beyond just the title seen here, the first book has a 3.96 rating on Goodreads and the rest of the series is all above a 4.1 rating. I would recommend to those who love historical fiction! (it’s also pretty funny).
5. His Fair Assassin by Robin LaFevers
Goodreads Summary (Book 1): Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?
Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.
Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?
Why I recommend: I really wanted to include a YA series and it was incredibly difficult to pick just one. However, this is one that I absolutely loved. The concept was very intriguing and unique and the writing is excellent. All of the characters leap off the page (Goodreads agrees with me – the ratings for the trilogy go 3.92, 4.15, and 4.12.) Plus the author is coming out with two new books in the series! I would recommend this one for any YA historical fiction or YA fantasy lover.