Series recaps – what do you use?

The look on Ronan's face says, "Durr. I don't remember what happened last book either, but I'm probably ANGRY ABOUT IT!" (Like The Hulk, he's always angry.)

The look on Ronan’s face says, “Durr. I don’t remember what happened last book either, but I’m probably ANGRY ABOUT IT!” (Like The Hulk, he’s always angry.)

Usually, I like to read series all in a row, all in a rush. ‘Binge-reading’ if you will. I like reading series this way because 1.) I am very impatient when it comes to books and finding out what happens in a story and 2.) I read a lot of books and I sometimes have a hard time remembering what happened previously. So I try to wait, but lately there have been some series that I just can’t wait for all the books to be out to start. Mostly this has been Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, Lev Grossman’s Magicians books, and Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Boys series. There are more but these are the ones that – especially they are fantasy which I happen to read a lot – I can’t seem to keep track of all the intricacies of plot and characters and denouement.

So what to do? I don’t have time to re-read all the books every time a new one comes out and book reviews and Wikipedia shy away from spoilers for the most part. But I really need the spoilers! Enter: recapping websites. I think I just discovered these last night as I was trying to formulate a good Google search that would find me one of these magical, unicorn-like website that will tell me everything that happened in a previous book. I just got Stiefvater’s The Dream Thieves from the library but could only really remember the basic plot of The Raven Boys, book one in the series. Imagine my joy and delight when finding The Recaptains. Not only do they recap current series (mostly YA, sorry non-YA peeps) but they are also going back and recapping series like Harry Potter! Brilliant. You can sign up to be a recapper, too, if you like. Plus, they have a side bar that tells you what series are available for recaps, which some other recap sites don’t always have.

Finally, the best two things about The Recaptains is that they love spoilers, which is perfect when you need to remember what happened, and specifically for The Raven Boys, the author herself wrote the recap. It is pretty hilarious. Here’s some of her recap:

  • Ronan, Gansey, and Adam arrive for the reading. Gansey and Blue recognize each other from the pizza joint. AWKWARD. Adam’s reading tells him he must make a choice. Ronan refuses a reading and demands a specific: one of the psychics tells him, “a secret killed your father, and you know what it was.”
  • She doesn’t say SPOILER, but the author was thinking it as she typed it.

And, speaking of spoilers this is pretty spoiler-y for The Raven Boys, so watch out:

  • They discover a skeleton of an Aglionby boy. It is Noah.
  • WHUT
  • Gansey blows back to Monmouth with Adam to confront Noah, who is indeed dead.
  • WHUT
  • Noah starts to get more ghostly; Adam thinks this is because the cops have removed his bones from the ley line, which was giving him energy.

Her “WHUT”s just cracked me up.

What do you do when you can’t remember what happened in a series book? Do you suck it up and read it again? Do you more spoiler-laden recapping websites for me?

(P.S. Vacation is awesome: lots of time to see family, read, eat cheese, relax. I love it.)

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