You’ve probably heard about second book syndrome. If you haven’t, here’s what it is: for writers that a second book is very hard to write and that it’s usually not as good as the first. I can’t say anything about writing second books since I never managed to write more than 20.000 words myself. But from a reading (very personal) perspective, I can definitely say that I often like second installments better than first books. I don’t know why, but I’m suspecting it’s because I’m more familiar with the world and the characters. Maybe? I’m not entirely sure. Thinking about it, I probably even like most second books more than their predecessors. And I want to present some of them to you today!
There’s Something about Sweetie by Sandhya Menon
Dimple and Rishi #2 | Simon Pulse | 378 pages | goodreads
What made me like it more than the first?
The thing is, I loved Dimple and Rishi already! But Sweetie? This book was just… perfect? I fell into this book’s loving arms and haven’t emerged since. Sweetie is a wonderful, warm character and I immediately liked her. Ashish is a bit of a rebel compared to his brother, Rishi, but he is actually so soft and kind. I loved the two of them together, I loved their friendship and romance and how they learn about each other and how to stand up for themselves and others.
The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon
The Bone Season #2 | Bloomsbury | 510 pages | goodreads
Who knows? Not me? So I’m speculating about my own feelings yet again. Was it because there was more strategic planning? More Scion? More humans? The story getting a new direction? I’m not really sure. All of these things, maybe. After reading the Bone Season, I wasn’t sure if I should continue the series but I am so glad I did, because The Mime Order made me fall in love and this has become one of my favourite series!
The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty
Daevabad Trilogy #2 | Harper Voyager | 619 pages | goodreads
Please don’t hate me for saying this, but I really did not like Ali in City of Brass. Nor anyone else of his family. That made it a bit hard for me to read because a big part of the book is told from Ali’s PoV. But! But! I loved him so much in Kingdom of Copper! Now I finally loved all the protagonists and I loved all the intrigue and action, the details and the setting! I actually wrote a review which you can read here.
Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Throne of Glass #2 | Bloomsbury | 418 pages | goodreads
Okay, I finally know the reason and it’s a character: Chaol Westfall. Yeah, I’m a Cha-hoe-l (I’m sorry) and I he got more page time! The thing is, he isn’t a perfect character, far from it actually. But he’s so human, with many flaws and making mistakes but doing his best and I love him so much. Also, I love me some dark secrets in creepy castles.
Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2 | Little, Brown Books | 517 pages | goodreads
I have to admit, I can’t remember much. Buch what I do remember is that I thought Daughter of Smoke and Bone was thoroughly interesting but also a bit boring and confusing. And this one was just… less confusing. More plot! Less explaining! More action! More hot angels! And I liked it a lot better.
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
Six of Crows #2 | Henry Holt and Company | 546 pages | goodreads
Ok, honestly? I’m so mad with myself. My memory is basically a sieve. Everything leaves except the big, general stuff. So yet again I’m at a loss. Why exactly do I like this book better than book one? I know that I do. But why??? That is why you write reviews, folks. I’m sorry I’m basically giving you no reason at all for why this book is better than Six of Crows, but I still wanted to include it. Honestly, my memory is the worst and I’m s o r r y.
Legendary by Stephanie Garber
Caraval #2 | Flat Iron Books | 416 pages | goodreads
Can you believe I know the reason here? It’s because I liked the protagonist better! I mean, I liked Scarlett in book one but I somehow started to dislike her in this one. And then I didn’t like Tella in Caraval but LOVED her in Legendary. I’m sorry Scarlett, but your sister just makes for the better protagonists. Also, I liked the setting of the city more and where the plot was going.
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
The Lunar Chronicles #2 | Feiwel and Friends | 445 pages | goodreads
Completely different setting from book one. Rural France. With a badass protagonist who doesn’t take shit and voices her opinion. A brutal, yet kind, twisted love interest. All the while we also have Cinder bickering around with Thorne. This book is my favourite in the whole series, mostly because Scarlet and Wolf make a fantastic pair and there was some great action as well!
The Wicked King by Holly Black
The Folk of the Air #2 | Hot Key Books | 326 pages | goodreads
Intrigue! Murder! Mind Games! The twists and the turns! Characters I hated in book one… gone! What a rhyme I did there. Anyways, this book blew me away, it was fantastic and I loved all the corruption and corrupted characters. Can you believe I wrote a review? Here it is.
These are some of my favourite second installments.
What about you? Do you usually like second books? Which are your favourites?
Until next time,