Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Series I Wish Had Just One More Books in Them

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

I have two answers to this week’s question. The first is from a classic series and the second is from a modern one.

The Chronicles of Narnia

A silhoutte of Aslan walking with the four Pevensie children, Mrs. And Mrs. Beaver, and the Mr. Tumnus the faun in lockstep behind him. All of these characters are from C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. When I was a kid, my uncle gave me his old, complete set of C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia books, and I reread those stories over and over again for many years. Can I assume that a spoiler tag isn’t necessary for a more than 70-year-old series?  Skip the next two paragraphs if you believe that this isn’t enough time yet to talk about how it ends.  😉

One thing I strongly disliked about the plot was the way Susan was treated. All of the other main characters end up in the Narnian version of heaven in the end, even folks who made terrible choices earlier on. But Susan is left behind in our world to deal with the overwhelming grief of simultaneously losing her parents, siblings, and a few dear friends because she was growing up and becoming interested in parties and makeup instead of reminiscing about her childhood adventures.

That ending made me so angry when I was a kid. Of course she moved on to other interests as she grew older. Literally everyone does that, and most of us tend to do it multiple times throughout life. It’s completely normal. If certain other characters could betray everyone in their group and still be forgiven, she should have been forgiven for what I see as a much milder offence that could easily be chalked up to her being a teenager who was trying to figure out what adulthood might look like for her and who would have almost certainly circled back to Narnia once she was a little older.

C.S. Lewis should have written one final book to redeem Susan’s character arc and give her the happy ending she deserved. If one of you invents a time machine, I will volunteer to go back to the 1950s and talk him into it.

Monk & Robot Series

I’ve discussed this solarpunk series by Becky Chambers here in at least one previous Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge post, but let’s dive into it again.

A Psalm for the Wild-Built and A Prayer for the Crown-Shy are still the only two instalments of it. They follow a monk named Sibling Dex who lives in a utopian future called Panga where humanity lives in harmony with nature (and mostly with each other as well). People occupy some of the land, but the rest is left to grow into lush forests, marshes, or whatever other sorts of environments the local climate can support without any interference from humans.

A photo of an incredibly dense and thick forest that looks like it’s never had a human walk through it. The trees are growing so closely together that their leaves block out much of the sun. Some light trickles down into the forest, but the forest floor is almost as black as night. Sibling Dex breaks the rules of their society by venturing out into one of those dark, healthy, thick forests one day to see what they might find there.

I won’t share any spoilers about what might be lurking out there since these novellas are only a few years old, but I will say that I adored the world-building and character development of them.  They’re gentle but deep and so rewarding once you pause to think about all of the new details that slowly emerge about how nice it is to live in Panga.

We desperately need another instalment of Sibling Dex’s adventures in my opinion. There are still so many facets of this world that need to be explored. Honestly, I’m hoping there will be at least two or three more books to come without any time machines or persuasion needed, but even one would suffice!


Filed under Blog Hops

18 Responses to Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Series I Wish Had Just One More Books in Them

  1. I agree with you about Susan’s character arc and her ending. However, I feel leaving it as the ending makes it more impactful. It would have been nice to finish up on her returning to Narnia.

  2. I never finished the Narnia series. Maybe I ought to do that eventually.

    My post

  3. Narnia could go on with a different set of main characters or side characters that have tales of their own. A treasure trove for fan fiction.

  4. Susan was the one chosen to illustrate the belief that some people who we thought ought to be Saved will be Lost. Edmund and Eustace are Saved to illustrate the belief that some people who we feared might be Lost will be Saved. But Susan might, as you mention, not be Lost. She might have a long and interesting life in fictional England, where nobody else had ever heard of Narnia either…only then her story wouldn’t be a Narnia story…

    • I was just reading about C.S. Lewis’ thoughts about her character arc.

    • You’re right on target with why he did it, but I still didn’t like it and how she did it – becoming distracted by stockings and make up and romance. I love Narnia and C.S. Lewis (his Screwtape Letters are a scream), but he did have issues re: women. I remember reading his four loves and in the section on friendship, he discusses that he is only talking about male friendship, which forms around shared interests and hobbies, because he’s not sure if women have friendships (or interests/hobbies??).

  5. I completely agree with you on both counts. As for Susan, at least there are plenty of modern authors who also seem to agree, and who have written their own versions of what might have been her story.

    And for the Monk & Robot series, my consolation there is that so far we haven’t gotten a ton of advance notice of these novellas, so hopefully Chambers is just being quiet about writing another book in that series.

  6. I don’t really remember much of the Narnia series because I was quite little when my parents read it to me. The one thing I do remember (SPOILER!!!!) is blubbing my eyes out and feeling so betrayed and inconsolable when Aslan died. I have a weird quirk with animals – I can read or watch horrible things happening to people, but kill an animal and I’m a mess for years. So that was where it lost me – I was never the same after that! (I think maybe he comes back to life later, but as I didn’t know that at the time, it didn’t undo my initial shock and horror, so I never forgave Lewis for that!) I should give them another chance though, especially now that I’ve got a kid who might enjoy them! I’m glad that it became such an important series for you. It’s amazing to find books or series like that when you’re a kid – that kind of reading experience I think shapes you in a way adult reading just doesn’t!

  7. Bernard Cornwall’s ‘Starbucks’ series, about the American Civil War, was already excellent, but would have been even better had it stretched into the postwar years!

  8. Sorry, meant Starbuck. Auto ‘correct’ changed my post!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *