more book thoughts: bio thriller series & space opera sagas

What a decade we’ve experienced since last Wednesday! I’m slowly processing everything. When the world is turned upside down again and everything is changing rapidly, I like to find something that provides consistency. I’ll go on a read everything an author wrote binge, find the biggest books, or multi book series that I can (and often all of the above).

This week I’m writing about two types of book series I enjoyed reading last year, bio thrillers and space operas. I’m only including series here that have more than one book published to-date. Future posts will cover new-series and stand alone titles.


I was not surprised to turn to this type of reading last March and April. It’s how I’m wired. McGuire is brilliant and these two series were exactly what I needed last year. Several friends responded with shock when they discovered what I was reading — and loving — and having very similar situations happening simultaneously in my reality. (For the comparison, I read The Hot Zone in high school while I sick with what I think was the flu.)

Newsflesh Trilogy by Mira Grant (aka Seanan McGuire). OMFG Yes! This series was exactly what I read last March while my city was becoming famous not for Mighty Mouse but the first COVID-19 case in New York State. Apparently, I needed to see what might happen twenty years after a fictional infection (caused by wanting to stop the common cold) spread uncontrollably.

I appreciated that McGuire includes books she used to guide the story, so it’s how I read The American Plague: The Untold Story of Yellow Fever, the Epidemic That Shaped Our History by Molly Caldwell Crosby and together they helped me prepare not to be very surprised by human and politician behavior over the past year.

You can pick up the entire trilogy in one book, The Rising which is 1200 pages.

Parasitology Trilogy by Mira Grant (aka Seanan McGuire). This is a different story and how the best of intentions can have an unexpected result, or do they? I inhaled this series last April. While I was disappointed by the ending, I want to reread it. Why? There’s multiple layers to this biothriller. On my first read I focused on how characters reacted to their environment. Now that I’ve spent the past year remembering lots of biology that I’d forgotten I want to see what I missed with that focus in mind.

Space Opera

I can’t fully explain my love of space opera, but I suspect it was formed by growing up watching TNG. It’s a type of comfort food book for me.

Wayfarers Series by Becky Chambers. This is really a duology with the third book a collection of interconnected short stories. It was a good quick read I’m still thinking about the characters and their challenges, both personal and societal. (April)

Jaran by Kate Elliott. This four books series is full of rich world and character building. I think it’s one that will go on the reread list, I wonder what I’ll discover about Tess and Rhui next time. The omnibus e-book edition clocks in at some 2232 pages, so there’s a good chunk of reading here. (June)

Next week I plan to write about the urban fantasy series I enjoyed. I’ll write about stand-alone titles, anthologies, and new series soon!