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Series Smackdown: Down to the Final Four!

A Look Back at the Competition

By Ashly Moore Sheldon • March 17, 2022

You Choose the Winner!

There are lots of things to be excited about during March: rising temperatures, the first of the spring flowers, and of course, ThriftBooks Novel Knockout™. It's like March Madness, only with books! This year's theme is Series Smackdown featuring 32 spectacular series (all nominated by book lovers from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!).

In previous years, we've started the voting with 64 individual novels, rather than the series. In last year's Generation Domination, Books were divided into four generational divides: Baby Boomers (born 1946–64, Gen X (1965–79), Millennials (1980–94), and Gen Z (1995–2012), with the Millennial favorite, Harry Potter, beating out the three other finalists, listed below.

  • The Gen Z representative was The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins's dystopian fantasy about an annual death match between 24 teens selected from the districts of Panem, a futuristic North America.
  • Gen X's contestant, Jurassic Park, Michael Crichton's beloved thriller about a futuristic theme park where people can go to visit cloned dinosaurs. It's perfectly safe! Until it isn't.
  • Baby Boomers were represented by The Lord of the Rings, J. R. R. Tolkien's epic adventure centering on Frodo, the young hobbit tasked with traveling to Mount Doom to destroy the One Ring.

This year, the Harry Potter Series did not end up being nominated, which means the current champion will have to give up the crown. Interestingly, all three of the runner ups were nominated, giving them another chance to come out on top. We can't wait to see what happens!

The Closest Battles So Far this Year

Voters on either side of these battles offer passionate support for their contender as they watch the numbers climb. As always, we love seeing how much you love your books! If one of your favorites has been cut, don't fret. We're giving extra points on each week's eliminated series, because all of these great books deserve to be celebrated. Here are some of the most contentious battles (so far) from this year's bouts.

The Final Four Series

It's up to you, our dear readers, to decide the ultimate winner. Here are the results of the most recent battles where our voters narrowed it down. Only four series left!

Hunger Games: The thrilling YA dystopian series from Suzanne Collins has captivated readers worldwide. The story centers on teen protagonist, Katniss Everdeen, fighting for her life in a televised battle royale death match.
VS.
The Giver: Each of the novels in Lois Lowry's middle grade series features a different protagonist set in the same futuristic era. Initially presented as a utopian society, the stories gradually reveal the dystopian qualities of this world.
Winner: The Hunger Games

The Lord of the Rings: We never tire of the thrilling tale of Frodo, Gandalf, Aragorn, and so many more. J. R. R. Tolkien's classic Middle Earth trilogy may have been one of the first of its kind, but it continues to top the lists of readers of all ages, worldwide.
VS.
A Song of Ice and Fire: Though incomplete, the elaborate world depicted in this series by George R. R. Martin has inspired a cult following and many adaptations, including a certain HBO series.
Winner: The Lord of the Rings


Jurassic Park: The sci-fi blockbuster trilogy by Michael Crichton centers on a disastrous attempt to create a theme park of genetically recreated dinosaurs. It's a fascinating illustration of the concept of chaos theory and its real-world implications.
VS.
A Court of Thorns and Roses: Beauty and the Beast serves as the foundation of this high fantasy series by Sarah J. Maas. The story follows the journey of a young huntress after she is taken captive by a terrifying beast after killing a wolf.
Winner: Jurassic Park


A Series of Unfortunate Events: The snarky dark series from Lemony Snicket (a pen name for Daniel Handler) traces the turbulent path of the colossally unlucky Baudelaire orphans, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny.
VS.
The Hardy Boys: Brothers Frank and Joe Hardy are teenage amateur sleuths. The books are credited to Franklin W. Dixon (a pseudonym for many writers). The popular series inspired countless adaptations and spinoff series, including female counterpart, Nancy Drew.
Winner: A Series of Unfortunate Events

Voting on the final rounds will take place next week on Twitter, Instagram Stories, and in our Facebook Group (or on the comments of the Novel Knockout™ page on our website).

Read more by Ashly Moore Sheldon

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