Hey guys! Some of my favorite posts to make are themed lists, as they give me a chance to talk about books I’ve read that I wouldn’t really be able to talk about otherwise. I’ve already put together a list of sequels that improved upon book one , so I decided it would make sense to do the reverse and compile a list of sequels I was disappointed by. Specifically, this list will include second installments in series that were noticeably weaker than the first book was. There are some notable other sequels I can think of that I was disappointed by (namely, King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard and The Tower of Nero by Rick Riordan), but this will only include second installments. These aren’t necessarily books I disliked; in fact, some I rather enjoyed. They just didn’t live up to my expectations.
The Hammer of Thor // Rick Riordan
The Sword of Summer rating: 5/5
The Hammer of Thor rating: 3.5/5
Reason sequel was disappointing: I just remember feeling like not much was happening, and not being all that interested in the story. I also LOVED book one, so that could’ve made my disappointment even worse.
Leah on the Offbeat // Becky Albertalli
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda rating: 5/5
Leah on the Offbeat rating: 4.5/5
Reason sequel was disappointing: Obviously, by my rating I did enjoy this sequel (which is actually more of a companion novel), but I also really loved book one and felt a serious disconnect with the characters in book two. I thought some moments in the novel felt a little forced, and although it was still an entertaining read, it was missing the spark book one had.
Wildcard // Marie Lu
Warcross rating: 5/5
Wildcard rating: 4.5/5
Reason sequel was disappointing: Once again, I really enjoyed both books in this duology, but book one was just absolutely next level. It was magical, and unfortunately its sequel took a darker turn that took away that exhilarating, magic atmosphere that made the first book so special. It was still a good sequel, it just wasn’t as cinematic and page-turning as the book before.
Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow // Jessica Townsend
Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow rating: 4.75/5
Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow rating: 3.5/5
Reason sequel was disappointing: I think I just have grown out of middle-grade, and that is the main reason I didn’t enjoy book two as much. This series is hugely popular, so the fact that I found book two so average makes me think it is just the timing in which I read it.
The Shadow Cadets of Pennyroyal Academy // M. A. Larson
Pennyroyal Academy rating: 4/5
The Shadow Cadets of Pennyroyal Academy rating: 2.75/5
Reason sequel was disappointing: Similar to my last reasoning, I just read book one at a time I was enjoying these types of stories, and while I can pinpoint problems with book two, I think the main reason I couldn’t get into it was that I’d outgrown the story. That said, I found the characters pretty weak, and also viewed this as a bridge novel between the first book, and what is hopefully a better conclusion (although I don’t plan on reading it).
One Blood Ruby // Marissa Marr
Seven Black Diamonds rating: 4.5/5
One Blood Ruby rating: 3.25/5
Reason sequel was disappointing: I think book two in this duology was just definitely a weaker novel, and it appears many others agree with me. Book one was a really interesting, fast-paced urban fantasy story that I really enjoyed. Unfortunately, book two fell really flat, with weaker pacing. I also felt more disconnected from the characters than I did in the first installment.
Battle of the Beasts // Chris Columbus & Ned Vizzini
House of Secrets rating: 4/5
Battle of the Beasts rating: 3/5
Reason sequel was disappointing: I liked book one, but I wouldn’t say I was clamoring for book two. That’s the reason it took me many years to get to the sequel, and by then, I’d got to the point where middle-grade books weren’t working for me anymore. I just felt so disconnected from this sequel; the plot felt all over the place. Yet again, I wonder if I would’ve enjoyed this if I read it years ago.
The Throne of Fire // Rick Riordan
The Red Pyramid rating: 5/5
The Throne of Fire rating: 3/5
Reason sequel was disappointing: There are a lot of disappointing middle-grade sequels on this list, but most were read past my prime middle-grade era. This one, however, I read years ago when I was loving middle-grade, and especially loving Rick Riordan. I freaking loved the first book in this trilogy, but for whatever reason I could not get into book two. This continued into book three too, might I add, which was equally as disappointing as the second installment. It’s been a while since I read these so I can’t pinpoint exactly my issues, but for whatever reason, I could not connect with the last two books despite LOVING book one. It might just be a Rick Riordan thing, because despite loving a large majority of his work, I’ve been disappointed by installments in three of the five series I’ve read by him.
Have a good one!