Friday Favorites: Fiction Climaxes

By: Christopher Bartlett

Almost everyone has those favorite pieces of fiction where once the climax starts, no matter how late it is or how tired they are, they just can’t stop till it resolves. In some cases, resulting in hours of lost sleep as they turn page after page. Followed by a day of limping through only because caffeine keeps them propped up. And it is spread out across all genres.

We all have some that are our favorites or most satisfying. Though not always satisfying because it is a happy ending. Like with Allegiance by Veronica Roth, which caused a lot of uproar. I liked it when I originally read it as a fan since it was something different from all the other dystopian fictions surrounding it at the time, while making sense to me as both a reader and writer.

Not all are as tragic such as The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, even though the tragedy is properly more transparent. The protagonist growing as well as the world they are in is immensely impactful.

There are also the semi-happy endings such as in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series (I can hear my editor cheering now). The two that were best for me were in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Harry Potter and the Order of The Phoenix. Goblet of Fire was the end of a more innocent Harry Potter but also showed us how powerful and smart Harry could be. We see this even more in Order of the Phoenix. But what stands out there even more is just how powerful Dumbledore is.

J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings is another one that stands out since every book had an impactful climax that led into the following book, setting a new standard for fantasy that hadn’t existed up to that point. As well as setting standards for urban fantasy when it would arrive in the future.

While Star Trek and Babylon 5 shaped a lot of how I came to enjoy science fiction among other things, Old Man’s War by John Scalzi made me a fan of space opera in books. Each book being like an episode yet connected to a larger story with huge climaxes at the end of each.

Much like Kim Harrison’s The Hollows series did with the first thirteen books. Not sure about beyond that only because I’m behind on that series. Though, Jim Butcher probably did it best for me so far with his novel Changes in The Dresden Files series.

Mind you, this is just in the realm of books for me. Unfortunately, literature has been a bit dry to me always. Being more tear-jerking than having that climax where you cheer or feel satisfied while turning pages as fast as one possibly can. Though, even as it is nice to share our favorite climaxes, we must remember that the journey as a whole is worth more than any single part.

*Tips his hat and walks out.*

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