Diana Jorge-tulk

Do the series have to be read in order? I received a copy of Boyhood Island but I don't have the others. Should I get the others before reading this one?

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Manny I would say volume 3 can be read on its own. There are some forward references in vol 1, but some people may actually prefer to skip it: the main effect is that you know several plot points in advance. This is presumably intentional, but if you aren't concerned about the author's complicated master plan then you probably won't worry too much...
Laura Order is not important. But reading him is.
Alida Hanson Definitely read them in order. There is an art to the narrative that shouldn't be interrupted by mixing it up. If you don't read them in order you'll still understand the content, but you'll be missing out on some awesome connections.
James The first absolutely cannot be skipped. Read them all, in order.
Flaneurette You should definitely read 3 before reading 4. I just finished 4 and felt that some of the references wouldn't have made sense if I hadn't known the background. I would say it is probably better to have read all first three volumes before reading 4.

I agree that 3 can be read on its own.
Greg Diana, I'd say read them in order because we can. Some foreign language series are not translated into English (or other languages) in the order in which they were originally written, but in this case we are getting them in English in the original order. That said, in a hundred years or so, there will be one of these six volumes we'll generally agree is the greatest. So if you love the coming-of-age genre, this is as good as it gets, I say go for it. Then read it again after volumes one and two. Because I guarantee you'll want to.
Susen I would read them in order. They are, each of them, astounding.
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