Madalyn’s Favorite Series Starters | January Monthly Recommendations

Posted January 26, 2018 by Madalyn || 15 Comments

Monthly Recommendations is a Goodreads group created and hosted by Kayla Rayne @ Kayla Rayne and Trina @ Between Chapters. I used to do these videos when I was on BookTube, and I really miss them, so I’ve decided to try to do them on the blog every month. January’s topic is the best first books in series. It was hard to narrow down, but I ended up choosing eight series openers that left me breathless and needing more. Without further ado, onto the books!

madalyn’s list

(Covers link to Goodreads)

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire // This book utterly enchanted me. It struck the perfect balance of whimsy and darkness, and it left me desperate to learn more about all of the worlds connected to our own.

A Great & Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray // I mean, this is my all-time favorite series, so, like, obviously I love this first book. It set the scene perfectly for the future books in the series. I couldn’t wait to read more about Gemma, Victorian England, and the Realms.

The Diviners by Libba Bray // Another Libba Bray book (no one is surprised), because she is the queen of setting up an intriguing story and building more and more intricate plots and characters on top of that foundation in future books. I couldn’t wait to see how the cast of varying characters we meet in The Diviners would be connected in future books, and of course I wanted to spend more time in 1920’s New York City.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo // This book is a masterclass in plot and pacing. The cast of characters is so well-developed; by the end of this book I honestly would have read ANYTHING Leigh Bardugo wrote about them. Plus, the ending perfectly sets up the next book!


Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare // Most Cassandra Clare fans agree that her writing has improved significantly with each new book, and Lady Midnight is the perfect example of that. It builds upon the Shadowhunter world that readers already know in new and interesting ways, and it perfectly sets up a plot that has significance not only to this story arc, but to all the future Shadowhunter books.

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson // I try not to mention Brandon Sanderson’s books too often since he holds some pretty queerphobic views as a human, but damn if this series isn’t close to perfect. Each book in the Mistborn trilogy is vastly different. This first one is high-stakes and full of action, and it leaves off in a place that left me immediately needing to continue.

Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra & Dhonielle Clayton // Contemporary series can be hard to pull off, but I adore this duology. This first book made me fall in love with YA contemporary all over again. I loved being in this setting so much that I immediately went into the sequel, Shiny Broken Pieces.

My Favorite Thing Is Monsters, vol. 1 by Emil Ferris // Y’all already know how much I adore this book, but it’s also the first book in a duology!!! I can’t wait for the second book because: 1.) I want to protect Karen Ruiz and be inside her head forever, 2.) I’m dying to see more of Ferris’s beautiful art, and 3.) I need to know the resolution of the mystery introduced in the first volume!

Tell me about your favorite series starters! Do you also love any of these?

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15 responses to “Madalyn’s Favorite Series Starters | January Monthly Recommendations

  1. i haven’t read any of these books, but i plan to read lady midnight sometime this year! my favorite series starters are the bear and the nightingale by katherine arden, the wrath and the dawn by renee ahdieh, and starcrossed by josephine angelini!

  2. I’m reading Lady Midnight right now, and I am absolutely loving it. I think it’s the strongest series opener out of all of the Shadowhunters chronicles yet! At least, that’s what I think when I’m halfway through with it! 😀 I keep seeing so much buzz for The Wayward Children series! I haven’t heard of it until now, and all of a sudden I see so much praise.

    Thanks for the recommendations!

  3. Cristina @ Girl in the Pages

    YES to Tiny Pretty Things- I LOVED that duology! I loved Libba Bray’s Great and Terrible Beauty books and really wanted to get into The Diviners, but I checked it out from the library once and it was SO massive and I had a hard time getting used to the early 1900’s tone of speaking…I’d love to give it another shot one day!

    • I wish the Tiny Pretty Things duology got more love! It’s seriously all of my favorite aspects of YA contemporary in one series. I loooove Libba Bray. The Diviners is definitely intimidating, but the audiobooks for that series are the best of any I’ve EVER listened to. Seriously, the narrator is a sorceress or something. They’re mind-blowingly good, and they have definitely made it quicker to get through that series!

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