5 Books That Beat Middle Book Syndrome

After my post yesterday, I decided to do talk more positively about the books that managed to beat middle book syndrome. Actually, these books didn’t just defeat middle book syndrome, cos I’m not gonna include books that were as good as their predecessors (we’d be here all day!). Instead I’m gonna talk about the books that brought something new to the series they belonged to, raised the stakes and just knocked it out of the park! So buckle up and enjoy the ride.

  1. Crown of Midnight

crown of midnightI could easily use this post just to rant and rave about how much I *loved* this series. And, surprisingly, that love did not begin with book 1. Unusually, I started loving this series only after book 2 and then was completely blown away by book 3. Every book since the first one Maas has upped the stakes, made me love the characters more and developed the world in incredible ways! So yeah it’s safe to say this beat middle book syndrome!


  1. The Novice

the noviceWith the Novice, Trudi Canavan didn’t just build on the first one, she made *everything* so much better. In all honestly, I hadn’t actually enjoyed two thirds of Magician’s Guild- but the last section of the book got me wanting to read more. And I’m so glad it did! Because the second book (and the third) took everything to a whole other level- the characters came to life, the world went from generic to intriguing and the plot was phenomenally gripping. After the slow world-building of the first one, I had not expected to like, let alone love the rest of the series- but somehow Canavan pulled it off, and this is now one of my favourite fantasy series of all time.

  1. Fractured

fracturedThis is a bit more of an unusual one for me to pick. Honestly, I did not think much of Slated– I wasn’t crazy about the idea, the characters and the pacing was all off- so I really don’t get how the sequel managed to impress me. But Fractured was a massive improvement on the series and because of this book I actually became invested in the story. The stakes were higher and the characters were more complex. And unusually for a YA dystopia- I actually liked how it turned out!!

  1. The Rose Society

rose societyThe Young Elites was definitely up there as one of my favourite books of last year- I just loved how dark and unexpected it was. So naturally, I picked up this book with high expectations- and not only did it not disappoint, but it actually built on the success of the first one and made me even more excited about the potential directions this series might take. I loved the twists and turns of the second book even more than the first one! You can read more in my review here.

  1. Cress

cressHaving read the whole series now, I can safely say this one was my favourite! I rated it higher than all the others- and for that reason it had to be on this list! I’m a sucker for cute romances- so I just loved Cress and Thorne’s relationship. Those characters were just gorgeous! Throw in the awesome direction the plot took and the general character development and I was all for it!


Bonus: Catching Fire

catching fireSome people believe this book is firmly in the Middle Syndrome category- but I disagree- which is one of the main reasons why it had to be in this post. Admittedly, it is really similar to the first one, yet as I said in my last post, it had wonderful character development and really advanced the plot to set up the finale- so it definitely deserves an honorary mention.


Hope you enjoyed that! Have you read these books? Anyone have any other books that beat middle book syndrome? Let me know in the comments below!

26 thoughts on “5 Books That Beat Middle Book Syndrome

  1. Catching Fire is my favourite book in the trilogy! I absolutely adored it and flew through it. ( I haven’t read any of the other books you mentioned, so I can’t say anything about that. XD )

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      1. Yes it was amazing! Finnik is most likely my favourite character in that series! 😀 (Still not over what happened to him in the third book.)

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  2. I’ve only read Catching Fire out of the ones you listed. I can’t say it’s my favorite of the series because I did that series in audiobook and heard the books without pausing between them so what I can say is that I liked the series as a whole. I have Crown of Midnight and Cress on TBR. The other series I didn’t know anything about them but they sound interesting.

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    1. Ahh that’s totally fair enoug. I really recommend the Black magician trilogy if you like fantasy- you just might have to grit your teeth through a lot of the first one- but it’s so worth it! Crown of Midnight is a massive improvement on Throne of Glass- hope you like it as much as I did 🙂

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  3. I felt the same about Crown of Midnight too. TOG was great but it didn’t blow me away. It was COM that really sold me on the series. And I’ve been hooked ever since. 😂

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  4. YES I AGREE SO MUCH Crown of Midnight was probably the best book in the series so far. The first book was pure entertainment and pretty shallow, the second book stepped it way up, developing the plot and creating a much more complex story. The third book took things way too far and included heaps of irrelevant things that I didn’t care about, which added to the book’s length by an excessive amount. I am yet to read the fourth book!

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    1. I know!! I love that book so much!! Exactly- I really wasn’t impressed by the first one and didn’t get the hype- till I read the second one and was like…. oh I get it now! Ahh I really liked the third one- I really liked reading her backstory (plus it made me cry- actually every one in the series since the first once has made me cry- so that was a big thumbs up) I really liked the 4th one too- there’s more action in it- so I hope you like it!


  5. Of these I’ve only read CoM and Cress, but I definitely agree! CoM made fall in love with the series too and is like a million times better than ToG 😀 The Lunar Chronicles just gets better with every book, though I’m not sure if I’d call Cress or Winter my favourite… I’m rereading the series right now though, so maybe I’ll know soon 🙂

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