A giant pet peeve of mine is reading books out of order. When I stumble upon an author who is new to me, whose work I enjoy, I like to go to the beginning and start with their first book and read them in order from there. Many books stand alone and can be read in any order and still be entertaining, but reading all the books by an author, especially those with a recurring character, builds layers of comprehension and enjoyment that is missed if you go in random order.
A few years ago, I picked up "A Minister's Ghost" by Phillip DePoy at the city library and loved it. Fever Devilin, the main character is compelling and intelligent and the story was fascinating. Set in the deep rural Appalachians country of Georgia, the landscape, community and the unique quirks of the various characters are intriguing to those of us from a whole different world. The only problem? It's the third Fever Devilin book.
No, they are not, technically, a series. Yes, you can read them out of order and still enjoy them. But I felt (and still do) that many important elements remain hidden to me, because I haven't read the first two books. I submitted a request-for-purchase, but the library declined to buy them. My only recourse is to buy them for myself.
So I added all of them to my Amazon Wish List and moved on with my life.
My dad bought me one for my birthday last October-- "A Widow's Curse", which is the fourth. I still haven't read it. I seem to have hit a roadblock, partly because I really, really want to read all of them. In order. But I can't justify spending money on them.
A couple of weeks ago, while perusing the library shelves, I discovered that they had bought the most recent installment, which is book seven. So I checked out "December's Thorn" and read it.
I keep hearing this little internal voice whispering that I'm breaking my own rule here, and there are things I don't know that I probably should know before reading this book, but I read it anyway.
It's a great story, and I still find myself fascinated by Fever and his propensity for attracting supernatural phenomena and strange, dangerous people. He's brilliant, witty, brave and the story is compelling. So, yes, I do recommend it.
But you might find yourself wishing you had read all the previous Devilin titles.
And if you don't live in my County, you can probably find them all at your library. (Can you tell that another pet peeve of mine is when the library has books in a sort-of-series, but not all of them and seemingly random?!)
For my friends who want to know: There is little-to-no profanity or naughtiness in these books. I love a good, clean fun read. They are violent and somewhat gory, but otherwise clean.