Sunday 1 January 2012

2012: The End of Days?

No, unlike many people I am not talking about the Mayan apocalypse prophecy. Instead I am referring to some of my favourite book series that are scheduled to come to an end in 2012. I'm a typical boy when it comes to reading - I love series books. In the past, before I started The Book Zone and I had a little more time on my hands, I would often re-read all the books in a series prior to a new instalment being published. I did this with Harry Potter, The Saga of Darren Shan and the original Percy Jackson series, amongst many others.

For me, a series coming to an end is usually a bitter-sweet experience. Sweet because it is great to finally come to the end of a much-loved and long-running story; bitter because it means that there will be no more. That's it. The End. With 2012 now upon us I know that I am going to experience those same emotions this year as several of my favourite series of recent years are coming to a close.

The first of these is M.G. Harris's truly amazing Joshua Files series. I have been reading (and loving) the ongoing adventures of Josh Garcia ever since the orange gel covered book screamed "Buy Me!" back in 2008. It is going to feel a little odd not having a new Joshua Files book to look forward to once the final book in the series, Apocalypse Moon, has been published in April. I know that M.G. has other projects in the pipeline, and if they are even only half as good as her Joshua Files books I will be queuing up to read them.

Another series scheduled for a conclusion this year, and not before time, is the final book in Anthony Horowitz's Power of Five series. There seems to be no end to this man's writing talent - Scorpia Rising was a mighty fine end to the Alex Rider series and I am sure that Anthony will bring P of F to an equally brilliant conclusion. He has warned over on his blog that "it has a pretty bleak conclusion" and also that it is twice as long as any book he has ever written. If you search that blog entry very carefully you will find a clue and then a link to the first chapter of The Power of Five: Oblivion.

One of my favourite series of the last couple of years has been Barry Hutchison's Invisible Fiends. Sadly this too is scheduled to be brought to a conclusion in August 2012, with the final book titled The Darkest Corners. I have already read the fifth book in the series, The Beast (released this week) and it is yet another great addition to this already fantastic horror series.

One of the current masters of boy-friendly series books also has a mini-series coming to an end in 2012. Of course, I am talking about Darren Shan, whose Saga of Larten Crepsely will end in May with Brothers To The Death. However, fans of Shan series will just about have time to get their breath back before his new Zom-B series hits the stores in September.

2012 is all about ending though (unless you believe that Mayan prophecy of course) as there are still many of my favourite series continuing beyond the next twelve months. There are two (yes, TWO) Wereworld books coming from the pen of Curtis Jobling; Rick Riordan has two more books scheduled, one from each of his two continuing series (Kane Chronicles and Heroes of Olympus); Alex Scarrow's TimeRiders series has at least one new addition due in 2012 (Gates of Rome in February); in March Will Hill's The Rising, the sequel to Department 19 will be unleashed on the world (I have read it - it is brilliant!); Robin Jarvis is back with Freax and Rejex, the follow-up to his jaw-droppingly brilliant Dancing Jax; and with any luck Andrew Lane will be treating his legion of fans to a fifth Young Sherlock book. Perhaps Henry Chancellor might finally release the final instalment of his Tom Scatterhorn trilogy? I will keep my fingers crossed but I'm not going to hold my breath as the release date for this has been pushed from 2010 to 2011 and now into 2012.

All in all, series wise it is looking like 2012 could be a great year for boy-friendly books, and I haven't even begun to mention brand new series from some of my other favourite authors, including Sarwat Chadda, David Gatward and Alexander Gordon Smith, to name a few.

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