I’ll be honest with you guys, the actual answer to this prompt for me is not the book I’m going to be picking. You see, of the three The Lord of the Rings volumes, The Two Towers is my favorite. But I’ve always considered The Lord of the Rings to be one novel. It was published as three because at the time a 1,000 page novel was unthinkable, but Tolkien intended it to be one book. And the three books don’t really stand on their own. They’re meant to be read back to back to back.
So I’m not picking that.
Instead I had a very difficult time choosing between two books, both in the same series. It’s a five part series, and books three and four are both AMAZING, and I love them for different reasons. It’s so hard to choose!
So, as I do, I chose the one that made my heart gush all the romantic feels. Especially the end. Good gargoyles, that end!
My favorite middle book in a series is…
The Mark of Athena
It is no secret that I love the Percy Jackson books. If possible I love the Heroes of Olympus series MORE. I feel that The Mark of Athena and The House of Hades are the crowning achievement of Rick Riordan’s career. They’re more mature and thought-provoking, but still shine with his trademark sense of humor and preposterously well-researched Greek mythology.
I love that this series gives us multiple point-of-views, and the characters are more diverse. And I don’t just mean diverse in terms of gender, sexuality, and race. Their personalities are so unique, and I really got attached to all of them, especially the new characters. If you’re not on Team Leo, I’m judging you.
I think the teamwork themes are stronger in this series, as the Greeks and Romans, traditional enemies, learn that they can’t succeed without one another. Riordan asks a lot of questions about the nature of evil, making villains and gods alike somewhere in the grey-area between good and evil. Asking if monsters are born evil, or if evilness is thrust upon them.
Mark of Athena is my favorite of this series for several reasons. Annabeth was always my favorite character in the Percy Jackson world, and finally reading from her POV was a dream come true. Her and Percy’s romance was especially heart-melting in this book, when they’ve lived apart from each other and desperately been trying to find each other, but knowing they might never see each other again after the end of this book. And gods, (spoiler) at the end, when Percy jumps into Tartarus after her! I just about died of an epic-swoon.
But I also find the adventures in this book to be great fun. I loved the new monsters and gods introduced in this book. Finally seeing Heracles was great fun, though he turned out to be a big time jerk. And Piper really started coming into her own, which was great to see.
Just, all in all, a great middle book in the series. Loved it, can’t recommend it highly enough.
Not Quite the End
Favorite Middle Book in a Series
The Mark of Athena – Katie @ Never Not Reading (that’s me!)
Queen of Shadows – Adrienne @ Darque Dreamer Reads
This Cruel Design – Teri Polen
Down Among the Sticks and Bones – Krista and Dawlyn @ Little Blind Book Finds
Down Among the Sticks and Bones – Samantha @ Modern Witch’s Bookshelf
A Court of Mist and Fury – Flavia @ Flavia the Bibliophile
A Court of Mist and Fury – Plot Monster
A Court of Mist and Fury and Heir of Fire – Sophie @ Beware the Reader
Charmed Things – Deanna @ Deanna Writes About
The Girl in the Tower – Lucinda @ Lucinda is Reading
The Heart Forger – Dani @ Mousai Books
Calendar Girls is a monthly blog event created by Melanie at MNBernard Books, and Flavia at Flavia the Bibliophile, and is now be hosted by me (!), Katie and Adrienne at Darque Dreamer Reads. It is designed to ignite bookish discussions among readers, and was inspired by the 1961 Neil Sedaka song, Calendar Girl.
Just like the song, each month has a different theme. Each blogger picks their favorite book from the theme, and on the first Monday of the month reveals their pick in a Calendar Girls post. Make sure to post back to the hostess’s post, and I will make a master list for the month. The master lists allow everyone to see the other Calendar Girls’ picks and to pop on over to their blogs. Thus, we all get to chat about books and even make some new friends!
Check in next week for our December theme!