High 5 Book Series

Don't tell A2-D2, but I get to read (a ton) during the summer.  Even though we are both putting on kids programs for our respective jobs, my work doesn't get crazy until school starts.  So, I take the time to relish in getting some books crossed off of my "to read" list.  I will admit I'm a sucker for two things: series and science fiction.  For today's high 5, I've compiled a list of the top 5 book series I've read - be warned that most are science fiction based!  After we talk about the series, I'll spend some future high 5s talking about the individual books within the series.  So, here we go! Let's add some books to your "to read" list!

1) Jim Butcher: The Dresden Files - Book One; Storm Front. Harry Dresden is the best at what he does; okay, he's the only one that does what he does.  He's Chicago's own professional wizard.  Now, I'm not talking kids birthday parties; I'm talking about the real deal.  His special skills and knowledge make him the perfect consultant for Chicago P.D.'s special unit which focuses on - you guessed it - cases that transcend mortal creativity or capability.  What's great for readers is that when Harry is involved, it's certain to be anything but a cut and dry case.  There will be black magic, werewolves, and the boogyman. This actually became a series on Sci-Fi (before it was SyFy) that was available on Netflix for a brief time.  What's great about this series is that it combines the magic with the cop drama.  Harry is also this wonderful juxtaposition to the wizard image that J. K. Rowling has created for many of us in our youth.  Harry is hardened, burdened with the rules of the wizarding world, and is an outcast amongst his own people.

2) Heather Graham: Bone Island Trilogy - Book One; Ghost Shadow.  Katie O'Hara has a unique gift, the ability to talk to the dead.  Because of this gift, she's always been a little different, but she's managed to cope with the help of her spectral friend Bartholomew and her employment at her uncle's bar O'Hara's where she runs Katie-oke.  But the spirt world begins to awaken which means that there are interesting things brewing in Key West, and Katie may be the only person who can help solve the mysteries.  Forewarning, these are read them quick and move on books.  They do not have exceptionally phenomenal character development, but they do keep you interested in the plot!  They work great for the "I need a book before bed, but I don't want to feel like I'm having to think."

3) Stephen King: Dark Tower Series - Book One; The Gunslinger.  Set in a parallel world to our own, The Gunslinger must find the elusive Man in Black to save The Dark Tower from collapsing.  Why is the tower so important?  It's what keeps the universes separate; it's the reason we can't just jump from one parallel universe to the other.  It keeps order.  Roland, The Gunslinger, is the last of what can best be described as a cowboy warrior.  The Gunslingers were a group of people who trained in the art of gun warfare, but lived by a moral code only rivaled by the Jedi code.  Roland tries to uphold this life while living in a dying world. Unlike The Bone Island Trilogy, this series is heavy.  It is also what got me into reading Stephen King.  My obsession with Stephen King is worth of its own blog, but let's just say that I will debate anyone on why Stephen King is the best author to ever write. Period.  Once you commit to this series, you're committing to about 4,250 pages.  But it will be worth every word.

4) Steve Berry: Cotton Malone Series - Book One; The Templar Legacy. As we meet him, Cotton Malone runs an antique/rare/out of print bookstore - Shakespeare and Company.  Malone previously worked for a group called the Magellan Billet, while not the CIA, missions with this group are world wide, varied, and dangerous.  Let's just say Cotton Malone's skills are not limited by legality.  As we start the series, Malone has left that life behind (retired) for the life behind the bookshelf.  Regretfully for Malone's retirement plan, there are powerful forces and people who are trying to get their hands on historically important and valuable items and places.  Because of Malone's specialized knowledge, he gets unwillingly dragged into the search for these historically valuable items.  Luckily for the reader, the only way out of the situations is to work his way through the problem until the item(s) are found.  The Captain actually read this book series and cannot stop reading the books as they come out.  Considering that The Captain NEVER reads fiction books, I think that speaks for itself.  The Captain does say that the great thing about Steve Berry's books are the historical accuracy.  You may remember that the Captain is a bit of a history buff, and because of this, he often dislikes fiction because of their loose interpretation of history.  He says that is not an issue, at all, with these books.  So, if you're a history buff, these may be the best books for you!

5) Heather Graham: Krewe of Hunters - First Book; Phantom Evil.  We all have instances in our life that we can't explain.  Like that feeling that you're being watched when there is no one there, or that flash of something you see out of the corner of your eye.  Though for some of us these are simply small annoyances of daily life, for the Krewe of Hunters, they are signals for something greater.  The Krewe is a specialized FBI team who all possess some experience with the supernatural.  From members who can see and talk directly to ghosts to the expert in video who catches the supernatural on film, The Krewe specializes in solving the "unsolvable" crimes.  Much like the Dresden Files, this series combines the paranormal with the crime drama.  Just like The Bone Island Trilogy, this isn't a difficult read, but I do think the quality is better (to a point) when compared to the Bone Island Trilogy that Graham has also written.  

I'll look into each of these series a bit more as we move through the summer high 5s, but hopefully, I've given you some fun reading to add to your lists!  Until next week, please enjoy your holiday weekend and stay safe!

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