Welcome to Smugglivus 2012! Throughout this month, we will have daily guests – authors and bloggers alike – looking back at their favorite reads of 2012, and looking forward to events and upcoming books in 2013.

Who: Sarah Rees Brennan, the author behind the Demon’s Lexicon books – an awesome supernatural YA series that is one of Ana’s favourites.

Sarah Rees Brennan Bren_Unspoken hires cover

Recent Work: Unpoken, The Lynburn Legacy, Book 1, first in a new trilogy which promises to be as great as her first one.

Give a warm hand to Sarah, folks!

THE LIST OF TWO

(note: there are more than two things on this list)

Book two of a trilogy, I think, tells you more than book one about where the series is going. Book two is where you step it up or you make it clear that there will be no stepping up! Ever! No gamechangers, no character development, hope you enjoyed this very dull bridge to book three!

I feel like TV serieseses…es work in the same way as book serieseses, often: you know with book two or with season two if what you’re getting is a story sustainable over time.

Me bagging on the second books of a series would be like school on a Sunday–no class!–and also, look, I have one second book in a trilogy out already, and another coming: those who live in glass houses should not throw stones or get super naked and do dances in their glassy living rooms.

But I figured I could talk about the season twos of TV shows that I have been watching, and shed some light on how serieses fall down or step it up.

So my friend Karen and I are both big fans of Revenge, the tale of a lady with a cold heart and a dark secret set in the glitzy world of the super rich in the Hamptons, plotting to take down all her enemies while cloaked in a secret identity!

badassemily

Karen hasn’t had the chance to watch season two yet…

SARAH: Uh-oh, wait until you meet AIDEN.
KAREN: Who is Aiden?
SARAH: a dark revenger! motivated by the rapey maybe-murder of his sister so many revengey skillz!
In one episode he handles the situation while Emily sits in her house… next door.
He’s got the revenging covered, little lady!
Sometimes he does things for Emily without her knowledge or consent!
When she finds out that these things have been done, she is upset.
But Aiden knows best!

Emily’s markedly more emotional with him: key characteristics of her, like her fear of and chilly withdrawal–at times–from intimacy, are suddenly wiped away. A lady’s not going to hold back from her MAN.

(Unless said people are handsome! It’s important to trust the handsome.)

It’s just boring: this guy’s Batman, and a billion hard-boiled private detectives, and a billion more comic book and TV show heroes whose path of darkness and pain is strewn with the broken bodies of women (who make him feel really bad! Oh my God, was it really super duper necessary to put his sister aboard Sex Slave Train? We have a WORD for this: it’s called fridging, it’s a thing!) and he’s making a really unique, compelling heroine more boring, too, by pushing her into a role and behaviours we’ve all seen one million times. Snooze!

Aiden himself isn’t the issue: the issue is that Aiden and his role makes me worry that the Revenge people didn’t know what made this show fresh and new and interesting, or what made us love Emily: that seeing a lady who could play Batman, and who hid ruthless badassery behind blond curls and sweet smiles and politeness, was great, and that we weren’t all praying for a big strong man to come sweep her off her revengey little feet.

evil queen

If someone had told me this time last year that I’d be liking season two of Once Upon A Time more than season two of Revenge, I would have called them a liar. ‘Liar! I saw the episode where the dwarf born out of an egg romanced the fairy in the jellyfish costume!’ I would have said. ‘Liar!’

In the first season, all about fairytale characters cursed to forget who they are and live half-lives, cursed lives, in Maine (no, not MAINE!), there was a whole lot of a birth mother laying claim to her biological child, and the biological child rejecting his adopted mother the Evil Queen as, well, evil. Now we’re actually going deeper, looking at fairytale archetypes like the one in Rapunzel and saying, well, if the wicked witch adopted and raised you, the wicked witch is your mother, and how do you deal with that?

(Evil Queen Mother and Son: divided in morality, united in judgin’ people and awesome magic. You raise ‘em, you teach ‘em the cold stare.)

Especially when she loves you, and you love her: especially if one story folds into another folds into another, and not all of them end well: if the good and innocent become evil, because good doesn’t always defeat evil, if the Beast truly hurt people before (and after…) he met Beauty, and how hurting people can become a loop with everybody hurting others, and no way out of the pain but to put down your weapons, hope–and know that means you could be hurt worse than ever.

Plus, season two has the spell broken, and an entirely different situation going on: how to deal with life after the curse, how to be fairytale characters in the real world, with bonus giving us new interesting characters and establishing a happily married, totally committed couple as one of the main focuses of the show.

dreamboat wolf pack

Then there’s Teen Wolf, season two.

Lord, was that a shock. I was not overly impressed with Teen Wolf season one, though I did think it was kind of ridiculovable and definitely ridicularious:

SARAH: Watch Teen Wolf, the first season is terrible, I turned off the pilot in a fit of rage!
FRIEND: Your selling skills are masterful.
SARAH: But season two is much better!
FRIEND: Well–
SARAH: I mean, there’s a giant lizard.
FRIEND: Are you actually playing a prank on me now?
SARAH: I DON’T JOKE ABOUT GIANT LIZARDS.
SARAH: … that’s not true, I’ve got so many jokes about giant lizards. If you watch Teen Wolf with me you can hear them all!

The hero, who in season one kept hiding things from his girlfriend and kept valuing lacrosse over other people’s lives, went through a sea change, but was still believable as the same person. You felt like he’d always had good intentions, and now you were sure he’d keep to them. And also, the plot of season two was that everybody loved Scott McCall, and… you understood it, because suddenly, you loved him too.

The heroine got told she had a DESTINY of possible darkness and violence, and ended up embracing said destiny after a personal tragedy, and did some REALLY BAD THINGS (stabby, stabby things) and was like ‘No hero! Mine is a high and lonely destiny, I gotta think about my issues, we cannot be!’ and the hero was like ‘<3 <3 <3 baby I’ll wait.’

Also, they added some new werewolf dreamboats, I mean come on, I’m not made of stone.

(Werewolf dreamboats. The first rule of werewolf club is to be really, really, really, ridiculously good-looking. Now who wants to go get their eyebrows waxed with me?)

… I like e-evil ladies may be the takeaway here?

In 2012 the first book of my new series came out, which was wonderful and challenging and terrifying. In 2013, the second book will come out, and you guys will see if I keep the narrative promises made in the first book, and change the game to a more exciting one.

If you want to be ready for Untold in 2013, you can win the first book Unspoken now by commenting and telling me about the second season of TV, second book or movie, that either disappointed or delighted you.

You heard her! Comment away for a chance to win a copy of Unspoken by telling us about the second season of TV, second book or movie, that either disappointed or delighted you. Contest is open to ALL and will run until Saturday January 5 at 11:59 PM (PST). Good luck!

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70 Responses to Smugglivus 2012 Guest Author (& Giveaway): Sarah Rees Brennan

  1. Joanna says:

    I have to agree with you re: Revenge, Aiden is unnecessary and needs to go away to sulk in a batcave somewhere remote so Emily can have her personality back. (Or she can hunt him down for going away etc. etc. to demonstrate just how good she is at the revenge business and leave his carcass behind while she rides off into the sunset. Either is fine with me.)

    What I did enjoy this year was the second season of Suits! I thought the first one was tedious with its tired I’m an Egotistic Douche But I Dress Well routine but thankfully the second season lent more depth to most characters. And Gina Torres takes shit from nobody.

  2. Meghan M. says:

    Oh, boy. There are just so many disappointing/frustrating second seasons!
    I suppose first I should mention about how disappointing I was in Linger, the second book in Maggie Stiefvater’s Wolves of Mercy Falls series. I had known nothing about the series, but a friend and fellow librarian had recommended the first book to me and I had adored it.
    … and then I realized it was a trilogy. The second book was not as tight or, well, good, as the first one. I almost didn’t want to know what happened at the end of the trilogy, I just wanted to keep that first beautiful, heart-wrenching, sweet, and slightly melancholy book in my brain forever.

    However, on a more positive note, I found Laini Taylor’s sequel to Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Days of Blood and Starlight, to be just as good as its predecessor! (I also must agree with Sarah regarding everything she said about the second season of Teen Wolf.)

  3. Erin says:

    Ummm…one question…does ‘ALL’ include those who don’t live anywhere in the U.S.? Like maybe Asia?

    Anyway, doesn’t matter, because I finally get to rant about how disappointing Insurgent was for me, especially after how amazing Divergent was.

    What I liked about Tris in the first one was how she was appealingly strong yet vulnerable and would think things through, like how she realized when Molly stalked off after the fight without instant retribution, it was because she was planning payback. But when it came to Insurgent, she was impulsive and would randomly run around putting herself and the others in danger. Also, all the fight in her seemed to have magically disappeared into thin air, and… I don’t know how to say it, it’s just that I missed the old Tris, the selfless, brave Tris that couldn’t be stereotyped at all.

    Insurgent Tris falls into the ‘Shot someone and now cannot function at all’ category. I mean, I know it’s hard (actually, I wouldn’t know, ’cause I’ve never shot someone) but the thing with Will dragged on a little bit too long for me. (Please don’t tell me that makes me heartless…)

    Anyway, I think I’ve blathered for way too long already, and I’ll stop here. :-)

  4. Azyvli says:

    Mostly, the second book in a series doesn’t disappoint me. Take City of Ashes or Clockwork Prince, I didn’t like what happened to the main characters, but I still loved the book. Iron Daughter, the second book in the Iron Fey series, is just. So. D*mn. GOOD. And I’ve only read the first 3 or so chapters of it so far~!!! :D

  5. Ashley says:

    The second season of Veronica Mars was perfect to me. Had enough angst, good stuff, perfect ending. And now I want to re-watch it.

  6. Kitti Popovics says:

    Revenge is my favourite… really exciting :)

  7. Beth says:

    Yay, I love talk about second seasons/sequels. I’d have to say that the most well-done sequel I’ve ever read is Frances Hardinge’s Fly Trap/Twilight Robbery. Hands down.

    In TV – the second season of The West Wing is probably my favorite season of TV ever. The second season of Alias is good, and of Gilmore Girls. The second season of Slings and Arrows – theater and Shakespeare and drama and awesomeness – was not quite as good as the first season, though. And neither is the second season of Veronica Mars. And I’m still in the middle of the first season of Farscape, but I’ve been told that it gets better in the second season. So. Apparently I watch a lot of random TV.

  8. sk. says:

    the second book by stephanie perkins (i can’t recall the series’s title): lola and the boy next door, which came after the fab anna and the french kiss was a MAJOR disappointment. everyone BUT me loooooved it, but I just didn’t find the characters as likable and the ending was too predictable. There were not nearly enough fun times. Sight. Disappointments are the worst.

  9. Katie says:

    My dad was a big fan of Revenge in its first season, but hates it now. As for me, I’ve been enjoying season 2 of Once Upon a Time. I haven’t seen much of the 1st season, but season 2 is a fun ride.

  10. ruth says:

    I was pretty disappointed in the second season of Veronica Mars. And most of the third one, not that that stopped me from watching it of course. but the last three or four episodes of the series were so good.

  11. Kelsey says:

    A lot of people ridiculed (and still do) Buffy Season 1, saying how campy it was. And it WAS, but I still loved it. Then I got to Season 2 (and more importantly, the second half of Season 2), and that’s when I understood just what an amazing show Buffy was. In particular, the last 10 minutes or so of the last episode, when Buffy has to save the world while ending her world at the same time… THAT is good television. Season 2 will always be my favorite Buffy season, even with Season 3 and Season 5 making such strong cases for Best Buffy Season.

  12. Hannah H says:

    Ooh, I’ve got to watch Once Upon a Time now. There were two fairytale dramas last year, and I picked Grimm. Which may have been a mistake.

    Possibly.

    God, Grimm makes me so conflicted! The second season at least attempted to fix some of the character problems from the first one, but didn’t succeed with others. Still not enough ladies, but they’re trying. Add to that the generally uneven quality of episodes- when they’re bad, they’re awful, but the good ones are amazing.
    Still, the second season had more good episodes than bad ones. I’m sticking with it, is the moral, but it didn’t change my stance on the show significantly.

    Also, I am looking forward to season two of Teen wolf! (Yeah, it already happened, but the watching of it has not. That will change, just as soon as college apps are done.)

  13. Tina C. says:

    For me the real make it or break it happens in the first season or novel. I won’t be watching the second season of Revolution because the first failed to hold my attention in the first five episodes. I really loved the first season of Treme and the second is NOT disappointing in the least!

  14. Lexi says:

    I may need to switch shows but I too started Grimm this year (I usually watch only 1 show at a time). The 2nd is a bit better than the first but no women and getting repetitive.

  15. Jess says:

    I was about to give up on Once Upon A Time but season 2 grabbed me! I felt like the extra character twists (hook, belle) weren’t as random and carried through the season rather than just left at one episode. I can’t wait to see what happens with Cora!

  16. lilo medina says:

    Rebel Heart by Moira Young is the book that most dissapointed me. I looove Blood Red Road, the first book in the series. It has everything I ever want in a book: a badass heroine feared by men and women, a little spunky sister and a guy with a sense of humor. I counted the days when the sequel will come out. A year of torture! (And the author is from the UK so I know I’m going to wait a bit longer since I’m from the US)

    The day came when I got the book and I spend the whole day reading. And finished it with a deep burning anger.

    I know the author is the expert of the characters and the whole world, but I just couldn’t take it that my kickass heroine turned into a wimpy mess. Also there’s a love triangle (which I despise) or a quad?

    She made horrible decisions (I actually had to read over some scenes to see if it really happened) and other people I’ve been yearning to read just gave me a bad taste in the mouth. (Really, dude? Come here so I can kick your stupid ass!) Saba, the main character, was no longer the girl I used to understand.

    Buuuuuuuut, I feel like the third book will make up for everything when it comes out. It’s a feeling in my tummy. :p As said in the movie, Bridemaids, (hilarously awesome!) once you hit rock bottom, you can only go up.

    (Do you know how long it took me to get over this book? It was almost as bad as Pandemonium from Lauren Oliver. Oh my gosh, that ending! I am so Team Alex!)

    .

  17. mary anne says:

    Buffy Season 2 – say no more. I’ve liked the BBC show Merlin more and more with each season – it’s hokey but kind of charming. Series 2 of BBC’s Sherlock lived up to the 1st series. Most disappointing season 2 – Firefly, in its nonexistence.

    While I liked the second and third books in Lorna Freeman’s Borderlands series, I did not like them as much as the 1st book, “Covenants”. And Karen Lowachee wrote a book called Warchild, that (to me) was pretty unique and really fascinating. I read both the sequels, and again, liked them, but they didn’t grip me like the first book did.

  18. Nathan says:

    I will go positive on this one. I loved Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding, and was leery that he could follow it up in Black Lung Captain(I felt the second book in his Braided Path series was easily the weakest). No issues, it was just as good or better than the first, giving me no doubt the rest of the series will be just as good.

  19. sarac says:

    Well, it’s not the second season, but I’m sloooowly making my way through the terrible Season 1 of Torchwood, because rumor has it season 3 is awesome.

  20. JenP says:

    A lot of people say that S2 of Veronica Mars is weak, but I honestly love it. Not quite as much as S1, of course, but I think it retains a lot of what we loved.

  21. Victoria Zumbrum says:

    I thought Buffy the Vampire Slayer got even better in the second season. Thanks for the giveaway. I would love to read this book. Tore923@aol.com

  22. Stephanie O. says:

    I have to say each season I’m surprised by how much I enjoy the series Dexter. Keeps me on the edge of my seat the whole time!

    For second books that I’ve been disappointed in… I would say Scorch Trials (I felt like the whole story took me nowhere) in the Maze Runner series.

  23. rachel says:

    The second season of “Dollhouse” was great, but too short.

  24. I have to agree with another person above and say that season two of Veronica Mars was pretty awesome. Season one is mostly about Veronica figuring out her best friend’s murderer (with lots of little mysteries on the side). It was clever and witty and touching. But season two upped the game and focused even more on Veronica’s personal development. It still had an overarching mystery for the season (who orchestrated a bus crash that killed a bunch of students), but after a season of already learning the characters, we’re able to explore them even more in depth. In general the first two seasons are very good. I just wish it hadn’t been cancelled so prematurely.

  25. LisaC says:

    The second Indiana Jones movie was such a comedown from the first one.

  26. Mary Preston says:

    I’m glad I gave ONCE UPON A TIME a chance, because Season two is much better.

  27. erinf1 says:

    Thanks for the fun post! And congrats to Sarah on her newest release! Walking Dead season 2 was a bit disappointing. But I’m glad that Season 3 is sooo much better!

  28. Ellie says:

    I loooooved Lover Eternal, book nº 2 of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series.
    And I was a little disappointed by Catching Fire, but just because I loved The Hunger Games soooo much :D

  29. Alexandra the Great says:

    - Yes to Season 2 of Once Upon a Time. The relationships between people that are not exclusively about getting in each others’ pants! The action that is sometimes cheesy but in an awesome way! Strong female characters being friends! Captain Hook! (Ahem.)
    - Season 2, Episode 2 of the BBC Sherlock wasn’t the greatest. But episodes 1 and 3 MORE than made up for it (Moriarty is so delightfully insane).
    - I’ve had Season 2 of Downton Abbey forever, but haven’t got past the first episode or two. I should really remedy that.

    For books…
    - Cold Fire, the second book in Kate Elliott’s Spirtwalker Trilogy is even better than the first.
    - Same goes for The FitzOsbornes in Exile and The FitzOsbornes at War by Michelle Cooper, which are even better than A Brief History of Montmaray
    - And finally (I like lists of three, okay?) Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore somehow managed to blow Graceling out of the water.

  30. Kay-Kay-Bay says:

    The second season of Community. It made the show go from something I’d watch to pass the time to one of my top three favourite TV shows ever. The characters, the references, the meta…

  31. Barbara Elness says:

    The second season of Grimm has delighted me. I was almost ready to quit, I thought the main character was kind of a wuss for being the so called Grimm that everyone was supposed to be afraid of, but he’s finally learning to use the tools he was given and acquired some skills, so the show is more entertaining now.

  32. Van P. says:

    The second season of Revenge was as good as the first one. Emily still has a lot of tricks up her sleeve.

  33. Kate & Zena says:

    I really loved the second season of Once Upon a Time (so far!) We’re starting to learn more about Regina and her past, about Rumpelstiltskin and Belle…the the episode about Red was plain amazing! The introduction of Captain Hook put a wrench in things too!

  34. Ellie says:

    I agree with the second season of Revenge…I’m just bored and disappointed with all the storylines. I also agree that Once Upon a Time got so much better this season. I loved the first season, but they really raised the bar character-wise in this season. I loved the first season of Suits, too, but the second season has really blown me away. I can’t wait for it to return in January.

  35. Erika says:

    Love Revenge and season 2 is great! I personally was very disappointed with season 2 of Once Upon a Time. Season 2 is really a disappointment after such a great first season. Thanks for the giveaway!

  36. heather says:

    I would love to win this I am excited to read this and I hope I won it.

  37. Dana says:

    I stopped seeing TV after my kids were born (who can find time to actually follow a series) but I remember enjoying Buffy second season much more than the first (thanks little brother for forcing me) and also The Closer which managed to keep up and raise the bar with season 2…

  38. Giada M. says:

    I loved The Legend of The Seeker, both season 1 and 2. The story is enchanting and the characters great. Unfortunately after season 2 this series was not renewed. ;___;
    Thank you for the interesting post! I watched season 1 of teen wolf and didn’t like it very much. But maybe I’ll give season 2 a try. ;D

  39. Dovile says:

    The most disappointing second season I can think of was on Heroes. Maybe it’s because the first one was so great and the whole idea of the series such a novelty and by the second season I became used to it, that I felt disappointment.

  40. joe moe says:

    revenge was interesting when it was fresh and new with with its first couple of episodes but got boring pretty quickly what with those fake smiles and botox-ed faces.

    anyways …

    oh yeh gods, please let me have this arc copy!!

  41. Mia says:

    Buffy season two is still my favorite season. The second season is when the show finally found it’s footing (well, okay Prophecy Girl, but still) and Joss really showed the world how amazing his stories could be and how often he would break our hearts. So many episodes in that season just kill me even to this day.

    Cold Fire is another that really stepped up it’s game. I absolutely adored Cold Magic and was terrified that Cold Fire wouldn’t live up to the first book, but boy did it ever.

  42. Suz Glo says:

    The first season of “Lost” was so good and then everything went down hill. How many seasons were there? I stopped watching during season 2 because I truly just did not care anymore.

  43. Jenny says:

    Buffy season 2 may not be my favourite season, but it was the season when I felt it was an awesome serie, and no longer a so-so serie. And this just by watching a late episode of season 2 (I didn’t care if I have missed all the previous episodes of the season 2) since it was thrilling, full of angst and sad. And the rest of season 2 didn’t disappoint, mostly by putting Angel to a more important place and giving us villains in love Spike and disturbing Drusilla.

  44. Kelley B says:

    Fringe started picking up at the end of its first season but season two was awesome!

  45. Jamie says:

    Oh my god. The Twelve, the sequel to The Passage, was a huge and largely offensive disappointment. It was sickeningly slow-paced, confusing, overwrought, and ill-conceived. It was kind of sick to make the most empowered and interesting female character get raped over and over again. I was pretty upset at that. I ended up skimming much of the book, bored, offended, or confused about everything. (I was also confused before I started skimming, but of course it got worse for my laziness.)

  46. Maureen says:

    Revenge is a great show with so many twists that you never know what will happen and season two is just as good.

  47. Becky C. says:

    I loved season 1 of Prison Break, but season 2 stunk so bad, I stopped watching. Season 1 of Walking Dead, pure awesomeness, but season 2 just didn’t live up to it. Agree on Teen Wolf and Once Upon a Time.

  48. Ilana says:

    Doctor Who, series 2, in which I was introduced to my Doctor, the fabulous David Tennant, and the season that brought me into the fandom.

  49. bn100 says:

    Second season of Nikita was good

  50. Renee G says:

    I read Shadow of Night this year, after reading A Discovery of Witches last year. Although, I thought Deborah Harkness’ first book was outstanding, the second one was a tad bit disappointing. I found there were so many characters from book 1 and book 2 that I had trouble keeping them all straight. A good 2nd book, but not noteworthy like the first one.
    rsgrandinetti@yahoo(DOT)com

  51. Bee says:

    I must admit, I also adored season two of Teen Wolf, and badgered a friend until she caught up : ) But I was delighted by season 2 of Game of Thrones. I just think they handle the material really well, and have crafted a beautiful show, especially visually.

  52. Mieneke says:

    Daniel Polansky’s Tomorrow the Killing was a second book I loved, perhaps even more than the first one. The same goes for Chuck Eendig’s Mockingbird, which I thought was better than the first in the series, Blackbirds.

  53. I read Dust and Decay the sequel to Rot and Ruin and really liked it better. It had more emotion than the first one!

  54. Arhcadia says:

    Well, given i just went through a long-overdue buffy season 2 rewatch marathon, i have to agree with those who’ve mentioned it. I’d remembered the angst of the end of the season, but had forgotten some of the awesome of earlier in the season!
    (“There are some things i can just smell, it’s like a sixth sense.”
    “No, actually that would be one of the five.”)

  55. Arhcadia says:

    Well, given i just went through a long-overdue buffy season 2 rewatch marathon, i have to agree with those who’ve mentioned it. I’d remembered the angst of the end of the season, but had forgotten some of the awesome of earlier in the season!

    “There are some things i can just smell, it’s like a sixth sense.”
    “No, actually that would be one of the five.”

  56. Arhcadia says:

    Well, given i just went through a long-overdue buffy season 2 rewatch marathon, i have to agree with those who’ve mentioned it. I’d remembered the angst of the end of the season, but had forgotten some of the awesome of earlier in the season!

  57. Arhcadia says:

    Sorry!! It kept telling me my comment didn’t post!! Didn’t mean to spam!

  58. jenmitch says:

    i’m loving reading everyone’s comments for this! so interesting!

    so, lets see. i loved cold fire, the sequel to cold magic. so good! and can’t wait for cold steel this spring. yum.

    i’m not sure if bitterblue counts as book 2, per se, but it is more of a direct sequel to graceling than fire, so i’d like it on the list. i just loved it, the characters were complex and real and flawed and wonderful.

    oh and i loved days of blood and starlight. can’t friggin wait for book 3. i swear one of these days i’m just going to stop reading trilogies until they are completed.

    tv wise, i’m loving the second season of matt smith as dr who. they are doing some interesting stuff with having a more intense over arching storyline. and i love the dr’s friendship with rory. i’ll be finishing season 6 tonight, woo hoo! (my family and i have had a bit of a marathon over this holiday).

    and i’m so glad to see so many people talking about buffy — one of my favorite series of all time.

    i agree that once upon a time season 2 is doing a great job and is even better than season 1 — and i’m disappointed to see the stuff about revenge, since i’m halfway through season 1 — how disappointing that season 2 makes such mistakes!

    disappointments:
    hm. well i wasn’t thrilled with the serpent sea, martha wells’ sequel to the cloud roads. but i’ll still be reading book 3 when it comes out! :)

  59. Serena says:

    Well, Fire wasn’t a direct sequel to Graceling, but I loved that book as a second edition to the world the author was creating.

  60. Kaethe says:

    For my own reading and viewing, the second isn’t make-or-break. But I have to agree with you that Once Upon a Time is just getting better.

  61. Emma says:

    Oddly enough, Chamber of Secrets is my least favourite Harry Potter book. I’m currently reading Palace of Stone (Book 2 of Princess Academy) and the Calling (Book 2 of Darkness Rising), and enjoying both!

  62. Superbwg says:

    I’m usually not a fan of second books because they seem to just be there to make a book a trilogy, that being said I have been pleasently suprised by a few second books, I love the two towers as both the second book and second movie in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I loved the second season of Lost, and I have to agree with our lovely author and say I am very happily suprised at how much I like the second season of Once Upon A Time.

  63. Shelver506 says:

    The second book that most quickly comes to mind is THE CROWN OF EMBERS by Rae Carson. I was so afraid that I wouldn’t like the sequel to GIRL OF FIRE & THORNS, but it was soooooooooo good. Mind-blowingly good.

  64. Tia says:

    I agree with the second season of Revenge being disappointing. I loved the first season. I did enjoy the second season of Pretty Little Liars. The Walking Dead season 2 was also really good. I am looking forward to the third seasons of those two. I haven’t given up on Revenge yet, but I am hoping for improvement, or they may lose a viewer.

  65. Lozza says:

    The Two Towers is by far my favorite of the LOTR movies- I think I just found the time in Rohan to be particularly interesting and well done.

  66. LeAnn says:

    I really disliked the second season of Downton Abbey. I loved the first season and the second was just awful. I’ve watched the third season, though, and it has recaptured my love for the show.

    I am also hugely disappointed with the second volume in the American Vampire graphic novel series. I loved the first volume but just recently read the second thinking, “What the hell happened?”

    And Insurgent was not as good as Divergent. I’m hoping the final book in the series is more like Divergent.

  67. Fiona says:

    I was just telling a friend about The Heir of Sea and Fire, second in Patricia McKillip’s Riddle-Master trilogy (originally published in the late 1970s, I believe). It has excellent ladies (plural!), a hero in need of rescue, adventure, true love, and plot twists. The POV character, Raederle, was the love interest in Book 1, and here she gets her own voice. She commandeers a vessel to search for the missing hero, teams up with two other excellent ladies, and discovers that her own magical powers are much, much vaster than previously assumed. (Re: those powers, our hero says: Well, some magicians are trying to kill me with similar arcane powers. But if you think the powers are cool, my love, they must have some value for good! I trust your judgment!)

    Finally, bereft of her friends and allies and on the run from an ominous force, she sits down alone in the middle of a haunted wasteland and summons a ghost.

    SCARY GHOST WARRIOR-KING: You think you can bargain with me and bend me to your will? I’m your most terrifyingly hostile dead ancestor! I will kill you slowly and painfully! I will crunch on your bones and laugh about it!
    RAEDERLE: …
    RAEDERLE: Oh puh-leeze.

    Like all McKillip’s work, this book is lyrically, devastatingly beautiful on a word-by-word level, and I think the Riddle-Master trilogy is the most emotionally satisfying thing in her vast and gorgeous body of writing.

    My second favorite second book is A Web of Air by Philip Reeve (second favorite only because I think the third Fever Crumb book is the real game-changer in certain areas). Our hilariously deadpan teen engineer heroine is back! Having adventures! Falling in love! Subverting eighteenth-century Robinson Crusoe narrative tropes! Building airplanes! That’s my girl.

  68. Joel says:

    It’s been a while, but season 2 of Babylon Five was the greatest. See how everything changed, started to hang together, was awesome. The next couple of years were great, though seaseon 5 was a big letdown… :(

  69. Liz says:

    I am reaching back a few years here, but the second season of the TV show Heroes (and third and fourth) was such a letdown after such a fun first season. Put the cheerleader out of her misery . . .

  70. Virginia Díaz says:

    The second book in the “love me with lies” series by Tarryn Fisher. It’s called Dirty red and it’s from the villain’s POV. It’s not the I liked it better then the first, cause I didn’t but I was amazed that this author could make read a book about someone so amoral and selfish but that I really enjoyed. Don’t get me wrong, Leah the MC is not the villain you love to hate, she’s someone you absolutely hate, in the first book she does awful things to win and in the end she won and got what she wanted, however in Dirty red you get to understand how she became such a terrible and what I absolutely loved about this book is that the author didn’t try to make us love her in fact she never redeemed herself. So, to summarize I loved this book because it was different from anything I’ve ever read before.

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