There is something extremely intimate about reading an authors work from the very beginning, like following a band from their first album. You are able to follow their progression as writers, as their style changes and they ultimately are able to hone their craft. This makes having to narrow it down for a list incredibly hard. There are some truly amazing debuts out there at the minute, books that grip you from the first chapter, world-building to die for, and have amazing story-line’s/characters that manage keep you hooked until the very end. This post will focus on my top 6 debut books, and I can see this being a hard list to narrow down. Do you have a favourite debut novel? Let me know in the comments.
Six for Sunday is run by Steph over at A Little but A Lot and you should go show her some love!
- The Bear and the Nightingale – Katherine Arden
This book blew me away. After reading Uprooted I went in search of similar “folklore” based books and this was a recommendation. I read it in a night. I simply could not put this book down. The writing was beautifully lyrical and I adored meeting all the Domovoi. Katherine Arden built up a historical Russia like never seen before, I just wish that I was able to live in that world. This trilogy has become a favourite of mine and has to be one of the best debut’s I’ve ever read.
2. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
I feel like this one is unfair because, really? What is going to compare to this for a debut novel. I always wonder at how brave Lee was, writing a book with this sentiment at a time where people weren’t necessarily ready to hear it. I read this at a young age and only felt the true weight of this book when I re-read it in my early 20’s. This is a book that will forever stand the testament of time.
3. The Martian – Andy Wier
I actually bought this book for my dad, but he took far too long to read it so I thought I would give it a try. I cant tell you the amount of times I laughed and cried when reading this. You wouldn’t think a book about an astronaut being left on Mars would be funny, but Wier manages to mix the funny in with the sad to create one of the most intriguing debuts I’ve ever read.
4. Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone – J K Rowling
I mean this had to be included right? I read this like most people my age, in primary school, and instantly fell in love with the world of Hogwarts. Rowling managed to weave this world in with modern day England so well that I think I wont be the only one in saying, I was genuinely expecting to get a Hogwarts acceptance letter. Alas it was not to be, however I stuck with the books throughout High School becoming an unwavering fan. These books somehow managed to age with the readers, gradually getting darker as the books went on and the readers grew up. I will forever be great full to J K Rowling for creating this magical world.
5. Ready Player One – Ernest Cline
I was pretty late to the game on this one. But you know what they say, better late than never. This book took me to a dystopian future that didn’t seem to distant from out present. I thoroughly enjoyed finding all the little Easter eggs whilst reading this, and it compelled me to watch Lady hawk, a film I had never seen but has since become a favourite of mine. This is a truly nerdy book at heart but one that can be enjoyed by any sci-fi fan.
6. The Poppy War – R F Kuang
This is the newest of the debuts to be included on this list, but I couldn’t leave it off! I read this earlier on in the year and it is by far one of the best debut’s that I have read in a long time. I loved everything about this book from the characters, the world Kuang created, the magic system, the folklore and history used, and even the slightly gory/explicit scenes. They all made for a truly immersive reading experience. Though this is not a book for the feint hearted I have literally recommended this to every person I can find, and I cant wait to get my hands on the sequel out later this year.
That’s my top six but I still feel the need to add some honourable mentions: The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon – Crown of Feathers bu Nicki Pau Preto – Mirage by Somaiya Daud – The Girl King by Mimi Yu and Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas… I could go on forever but you get the picture. Make sure to pick some of these up if you haven’t already, I’m positive they wont disappoint.