It can be no surprise that I have again finished the third book in a trilogy...two actually. It is nearly impossible these days to read YA without being sucked into a trilogy. Last night I finished The Selection series by reading The One and the day before, the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy with Dreams of Gods and Monsters. One of these trilogies is one of my favorites of recent years...the other, I am not really sure about, even after having finished.
Laini Taylor is a strong world builder and I have loved all three books, beginning with Daughter of Smoke and Bone, [which I listened to courtesy of SYNC (which provides a free audio book a week through the summer - awesome!) as a way of re-reading it, just before the second book was released] and continuing with Days of Blood and Starlight, which I reread sort of by accident, but am glad I did. I could go on and on gushing about these books, but that is not helpful to readers. Instead I will say, that characters are believable and evoke a range of emotions in the reader. The world Taylor has built has consistent rules that are not muddled when the author needs the way out of a tough spot; she clearly had the entire trilogy set out before beginning so there is a clear path in the narrative that ends, not without surprises, but with no convenient plot contrivances. This sounds quite clinical, but these characteristics are part of why I loved the series so much. Not for nothing, the love story is stirring and each and every character is crafted carefully.
On the other hand, I liked The Selection series by Kiera Cass less. The trilogy began well, as I discuss here. It seems I did not review the second, The Elite, but remember liking it less than the first, and sadly now, the third book less than that. And in this case, it wasn't even the whole book, just the end which tied up the relationship between America and Maxon a bit too neatly. Here be spoilers: I feel the death of both the king and the queen was a bit much. This makes Maxon's ascension to the throne too easy. We have been set up to believe he and America will rule well together despite their youth, but I think the queen could have been allowed to live as a strengthening and guiding force without hindering their work. Losing both parents and a variety of others in one fell swoop, just pages from the end, was too much.
I'm off to hunt for the next great YA trilogy.