Hello hello! I’ve decided to try something a little different this Sunday and highlight some of my favourite SFF standalone novels. I’m definitely a fan of series’, mainly because you tend to get a wider breadth of world and character building, but sometimes you read a standalone that has all of that and more. One that absolutely knock’s your socks off, that makes you wish it were the start of a series because you desperately want to return to the world/characters. I’ve read standalone’s that have packed an emotional punch, and others that end slightly open ended, always leaving you wonder if you might get to return. The books I’m going to highlight are some of my all time favourites & I can’t recommend them enough!
Gods of Jade and Shadow
Ever wanted to take a road trip through South America with the ridiculously attractive God of the Underworld? Well then look no further. Moreno-Garcia is quite possibly my favourite author ever and this, the first book I ever read by her, absolutely swept me away on a journey filled with magic, mayhem and plenty of romance.
The Once and Future Witches
This is one of the most beautifully written stories I’ve ever read. It’s the tale of suffrage and sisterhood but with the addition of magic. A character driven story like no other, I defy you not to fall a little in love with James Juniper, Agnes and Beatrice Eastwood as they fight for their rights as women and witches.
The House in the Cerulean Sea
This book had me heart and soul! I never thought a story about an orphanage filled with magical children and a man sent to spy on them could pack so much of an emotional punch! Is it overly optimistic? Yes. But if you ever wanted to read a book that made you feel as though you were getting wrapped in a big hug, well then look no further.
Ghost Wood Song
Ghost Wood Song is a beautifully written story about how overcoming grief is sometimes harder than living with it. The atmosphere the author brought to this book blew me away, from the rural, and sometimes eerie setting to the music being played and thanks to the authors lyrical writing every single scene comes to life.
The Deathless Girls
This story was not at all what I anticipated, but I loved it completely. The tale of Dracula’s wives before they became undead. It’s a story of love, of loss and of how family comes before all. The authors writing style is just *chefs kiss* and it completely adds to the atmosphere of the story, and manages to transport you to medieval Romania effortlessly.
Sorcery of Thorns
Fun and fast paced with a cast of characters that fly off the pages. Sorcery of Thorns is a must read for any book lover out there, and I defy you to not be a teeny little bit jealous of Elisabeth’s job. Demon cats and talking books fill the pages of this fantasy novel, and add in a sprinkle of romance and you’ve got a story sure to delight most fantasy readers.
The Priory of the Orange Tree
This book is simply put, epic! Samantha Shannon takes world building and bumps it up to a whole new level. Don’t be put off by it’s size, though chunky, I can almost guarantee you’ll struggle to put this one down, and the over 800 pages will fly by. It also boats a brilliant cast of character and Dragons! What more could you want?
Empire of Sand
Lush writings brings to life an even lusher fantasy world! Suri has a talent for writing incredibly strong female characters and tortured males that you ship with all your heart. The magic system is effortless brought to life and I lived for the scenes where it was shown. Definitely a slow burner, but one that you will absolutely not want to end.
The Ones We’re Meant to Find
Whew did this book pack an emotional punch! And that plot twist… I honestly did not know what to expect going into this one, but it’s a beautiful and harrowing story set in a futuristic world, that doesn’t seem too distant from our current lives. The characters absolutely make this story and my heart absolutely broke for them when the truth was revealed.
Project Hail Mary
Hilarious and heartwarming with a brilliant cast of characters and a plot twist I needed to scream at someone about. Slightly more fantastical than his previous adult sci-fi, but with the same amount of science and the similar style witty and resilient MC. Maybe the ending was a little ‘wholesome’ for some people, but I cried ok.. don’t judge me!
The Space Between Worlds
The concept of this book had me from the first page and manages to keep me grasped until the last page. I loved learning about the multiverse theory, and Cara’s POV & story was one that desperately needed to be told. It deals with social disparity and is filled with plot twists that keep you on your toes, lets just say nothing it quite what it seems.
Goldilocks asks a lot of hard hitting questions of the reader, and is a story that stayed with me long after I finished it. Lam builds a cast of brilliantly crafted female characters and asks the question, how far would you be willing to go to save humanity. Told in present tense as well as flashbacks, you wont see the twist coming until it’s too late.