I love to read and to talk about books. I review many of the books I read. I do not accept any author/publisher submissions for reviews. I do not read or review ARCs. I do not enter any giveaways or contests. I obtain the books I review by purchasing them at the same price they are offered to the general public at the time of purchase. My reviews are intended for the use of my fellow readers. They are not advertising or promotion. They are not beta reads or constructive criticism or editing or advice to the author. My only obligation to the author is to pay the price charged for the book at the time of purchase. My reviews are sometimes critical and I will not stop posting critical reviews just to spare delicate authors' feelings. I am happy to make new friends, but friend requests from authors or promoters who have few or no books (and/or friends) in common with me and write or promote categories I do not read (especially new adult) will be ignored. I used to read more self-published books. After recent meltdowns by self-published authors, I now only read self-published authors I've previously read or who have been recommended to me by fellow readers I trust. I also used to read young adult/new adult books but rarely do so now.
The "other than Harry Potter" bit is my own rule for this challenge.
There are so many series I could choose: LOTR, Noel Streatfeild's Shoe Books, Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple mysteries, Ian Fleming's James Bond series, Shelly Laurenston or the Psy-Changling series by Nalini Singh. They all have elements I love and on any given day I can claim any of them as a favorite.
It was easy to pick one as my non-Harry Potter favorite series. I didn't expect it to be, but it was.
Fullmetal Alchemist, Vol. 1 - Hiromu Arakawa has everything! Adventure, drama, mystery, monsters, (subtle) romance, trains!, fight scenes, a just and righteous cause and a group of rebels fighting for it that I came to love. The old "made me laugh, made me cry" cliche is so true with FMA. The ending fell just a tiny smidgeon short of perfect for me, but as a whole it was as close as any series I've read has come. It also has some outstanding artwork.
The original anime was my gateway drug to this series. I watched it as a favor for a friend who wanted me to roleplay Alphone Elric in an RPG*. It diverges substantially from the plot of the manga and after several friends coerced me, I gave the manga a try when it was at volume 16ish (though I did start from the beginning). I was instantly hooked. The manga story (which is also the story used in the second anime version - Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood) is far superior to the story in the first anime. This was one of those gobsmacking wow stories for me. So to the friend who first introduced me to the FMA universe and the several friends who encouraged me to read the manga, thank you.
*I subsequently got hooked on Princess Tutu, Scrapped Princess and the movies of Hayao Myazaki as a result. Watching FMA opened up a new world for me.