Today’s topic: Six heartwrenching endings to a book series
I’ll keep this list as spoiler-free as possible! This is going to be a difficult one to compile – I don’t think I’ve read many series with painful/bittersweet/sad endings – definitely more standalones. Perhaps when a reader has spent years getting to know and love these characters, they’re far less amenable to them not getting a nice ending. (I certainly fall into this camp!)
‘Monsters of Men’ (‘The Knife of Never Letting Go’, #3) by Patrick Ness
Genre: YA dystopian
My memory of reading the last parts of this conclusion to the ‘Chaos Walking’ trilogy is just a feverish blur of hiccuping sobs and cheeks smeared with tears. I still have to figuratively (well, sometimes literally) clutch my chest in emotional agony when I remember it.
‘Wayward Son’ (‘Simon Snow’, #2) by Rainbow Rowell
Genre: YA fantasy
I’m cheating slightly because there’s going to be a third book, but this is the last one as of now and with the way it ended (to be honest, the whole damn book) – ‘Wayward Son’ absolutely deserves a spot on this list.
‘The Amber Spyglass’ (‘His Dark Materials’, #3) by Philip Pullman
Genre: Fantasy (parallel universes)
It’s been, what, seven or eight years since I finished this trilogy? And I’m still not recovered from that ending. I even asked Pullman about it at a talk he gave, and needless to say I remain unsatisfied and rage futilely against the Thread of Fate (aka Mr Pullman).
‘Champion’ (‘Legend’, #3) by Marie Lu
Genre: YA dystopian
Technically this counts as a series ‘ending’ because it wraps up the story arc of the original protagonists (plus it was published six years ago). And my response: one word, Marie Lu. WHYYYYYYY. (I need to read ‘Rebel’ – book 4 – ASAP!)
‘Allegiant’ (‘Divergent’, #3) by Veronica Roth
Genre: YA dystopian (um, is this a trend?)
I was SHOCKED by how this ended. So stupefied, that it wiped my reader brain and I don’t actually remember much else from the series, other than the pivotal scene to which I am cryptically referring. And the one where Tris goes loopy in Book 2(?) after taking some kind of happy pill.
‘Raging Star’ (‘The Dustlands Trilogy’, #3) by Moira Young
Genre: YA dystopian (note to self: avoid dystopian fiction if you want to evade painful endings)
My general state when I remember how this series ended: