For me, there has been one notable instance where I picked up a book and then was instantly mesmerized by it from the first page onwards. That is [color=#ffff66]The Gunslinger[/color] by Stephen King. The very first words were "The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.", and I remember thinking... epic! I later learned it was part of [color=#ffff66]The Dark Tower[/color] book series, and I just could not stop until I read all the books in the series. The way the books seamlessly go from a western to fantasy creatures to magic to romance and heartbreak to mad modern tech and back again, it was just a fantastic experience. These are the only books of King I have read, but I am a fan for life. I am not a fan of comics in general, but the tie-in comics to this series, I have read them all. (To be honest, the last 2 books seemed hurriedly written and that kinda spoiled the experience a bit, but those first 5 books...hot damn!)
The other notable one for me is the [color=#ffff66]Harry Potter[/color] books. I saw the first 2 Potter movies and thought, lemme find out what happens in the 3rd one in advance. So I started reading them, and while the world building is all fine, the thing that impressed me about this allegedly children's book series is how dark it got in the later books. The movies made a mockery out the later books, in that they reduced it to teenage drama, whereas the books did not shy away from dark themes of betrayal and death and fascism.
Added 2016-06-26 02:14:52
P.S: I dont get the Tolkien love. Honestly, I have tried. But I found them overly detailed and bloated to the extent that it affected the narrative of the story negatively.