Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Recent Reads - Digi Series

When I first discovered digital reading, I was a bit frustrated that e-books were often still as expensive as a physical copy. It just seemed like they SHOULD be less expensive, as they didn't require materials, printing, etc.  I have found that there are many e-books that are offered for free or greatly reduced prices. Today I thought I'd spotlight a couple of my favorite series I read last year.

I started the "Saving Mars" series in January of last year. Book 1 had been offered for free, and then the first three books were offered in a set for $.99. I read all three and really enjoyed them. Books four and five were out, but I knew there was a sixth book set. I postponed finishing reading the series until the final book was out for I could read them back to back... I'll also admit I was watching for any deals on the final three books too (I'm cheap!). I ended up buying the final three (about $4-$5 each, a deal was offered after I'd already purchased mine but I think the prices have gone up again). 

I really like how the covers are so consistent through the series. The individual books have run together a bit in my mind, yet I remember each book having a definite conclusion (no big cliffhangers) while leaving things open for the next book. Sometimes I just have to wonder where these authors come up with all the unique details and world building. This series takes place on a struggling Mars colony, and on Earth ... but there are some interesting changes here (re-bodying!).  Anyway, these books were fun and easy to read, and clean (from a parental perspective). As far as I know, this six series set is only available as a digital download.

Another series I read last year was "The Frost Chronicles" ... a set of five books.  I can't remember where I heard about this one, but as an Amazon Prime member, I get to borrow a book from the Kindle Lending Library once a month. I picked this as one of my selections.

This series introduced us to a small village in a harsh landscape. Out in the woods roam monsters called "Watchers" ... I couldn't help but recall the movie "Watcher in the Woods" from my younger days (I can't remember the actual plot of the movie, just the title). The setting also had some parallels to M.NightShyamalan's "The Village"(I wondered if the twist there might come into play, but it didn't.) At the end of this book, I couldn't help but think of "Stargate" ...

I really liked the book and was anxious to continue on with the series. Not quite anxious enough to spend money to buy the next books ... but I was always waiting for the end of the month to come, for my Kindle borrowing limit to reset, so I could download the next book. I'd finish them in just a few days (even though I had to read them exclusively on my Kindle, which means I couldn't read them on my phone while I was out and about). 

 ... I remember being a bit disappointed in book 2 (Thorns). Many books suffer as a series continues. It was just a little depressing, not much action. I was happy when  book 3 and the remaining books came back to the level of book 1. There is the stereotypical love triangle here ... no real winner between the boys for me, I'd root for the one that was the most present at the time. These books did tend to just END, leaving me hanging for the next book.

But both this series and the Saving Mars series had long term endings at the final conclusion. Like in Harry Potter, where it then quickly sums up years, giving the reader a glimpse of the future for the characters we've grown to love. That is always a definite ending for a series. The Frost Chronicles actually have a couple novellas ... which I haven't read. Like I said, I'm cheap. I have a hard time paying $2 for those tiny reads.

I do believe the Frost Chronicles are published in print, as well as digital format, but they are less expensive as an e-book. And if you are part of Kindle Unlimited, or Prime, you can read them for free.

Has anyone else enjoyed these series?

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Reading is part of my exercise routine. I read while I ride my stationary bike. I prefer the ease of digital reading and am featuring a "Recent Reads" topic the 2nd Tuesday of each month on the blog.

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