Hey guys! I decided to compile a list of some sequels that improved on the first book in the series. I almost titled this post “Sequel That Were Even Better Than the First Book,” but I removed “Even” because some of these sequels followed up some books I didn’t really like to begin with. Either way, here they are!
Siege and Storm
Contrary to public opinion, I thought Shadow and Bone was incredibly boring. I remember reading it and struggling to get through it all the way through. Siege and Storm started off slow for me as well, but by the end I loved it so much. The conclusion to the trilogy was really good as well. It’s been a while since I read the trilogy, and I wonder if I would still dislike Shadow and Bone if I read it now.
I enjoyed Shatter Me, but wasn’t obsessed with it like many people were. However, Unravel Me was pure entertainment for me. This was the book that got me invested in the series for sure.
One of Us is Next
I actually loved One of Us is Lying despite the mixed reviews, but I ended up loving One of Us if Next even more. I was riveted the entire time so much so that I finished it in one day. I thought One of Us is Next was way more interesting than One of Us is Lying, which is saying a lot because I was obsessed with book one.
The Scorch Trials
Unlike most people, I thought the Maze Runner trilogy got better as the books went on. I enjoyed The Maze Runner a lot, but not quite as much as the other popular dystopian books at the time. However, after loving The Scorch Trials, the characters and world became an all-time favorite of mine. Similarly, I also liked the last two films in the Maze Runner franchise better than the original, which is a pretty unpopular opinion.
The Girl the Sea Gave Back
I was pretty apathetic towards Sky Before the Deep, and I really didn’t understand all the acclaim for the book. Based on that, and the fact that people felt its sequel was significantly worse, I did not expect to like The Girl the Sea Gave Back very much. However, I was way more interested in the sequel than book one. I thought there was way more intrigue and suspense.
The Sea of Monsters
I really liked The Lightning Thief, but The Sea of Monsters was when I truly got the hype for the Percy Jackson books. I just enjoyed the missions and mystery way more in the sequel than in the original.
Crown of Midnight
I didn’t totally understand the hype for this series after Throne of Glass, which I thought was solid but not anything special. However, Crown of Midnight was epic. I thought it was way more action-packed and intense, and I also felt way more invested and conflicted regarding the characters and their relationships. This book started my expanding love for the series, which continued to expand and get better.
Out of all the books on the list, this one is probably the closest to being just as good as the first book, but in a really good way because both were incredible. There was such a craze for this series, but there was a lot of mixed opinions because some people felt it was very tropey. Regardless, I loved Red Queen, and I ended up loving Glass Sword slightly more. I thought both were just super action-packed and I was always on the edge of my seat to see what would happen next.
The Pillars of Ponderay
I liked The Fires of Calderon, but I never expected to like the sequels as much as I did. I thought the series would just continue to be a solid, slightly forgettable, middle-grade series. I was so wrong. The Pillars of Ponderay is one of four books on my ultimate-favorites list on Goodreads. It was that good. I just remember loving every second of this story and flying through it. Side note: The Traitor of Belltroll, the conclusion, was nearly as good too.
I was pretty underwhelmed by The Darkest Minds, a book that was so hyped but I was so uninterested for almost all of its 500 pages. I was pretty nervous to read Never Fade, which was another 500 page book, but I ended up really liking it. There was way more action, and I felt there was a complexity the sequel had that book one lacked. Unfortunately, In the Afterlight ended up being even worse than The Darkest Minds, but that’s for another post…