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Recommendation for Stand-Alone Novels

Discussion in 'Novels & Stories' started by The Writer's Realms, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. The Writer's Realms

    The Writer's Realms Minstrel

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    I'm looking for some good stand-alone novels and by that I mean a book that is in no series of any sort. I have a long list of series I need to get through and I want to read some books on the side, without having to be tied into another marathon of books. I definitely need fulfillment, so a book that could stand-alone in a series would still drive me crazy as I am a hardcore completionist. I'm into anything from high fantasy to steampunk. I tend to lean toward realism and the darker/grittier the better. Thanks guys!
     
  2. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    • War for the Oaks - Emma Bull (urban fantasy)
    • Best Served Cold - Joe Abercrombie (set in same world and shares some characters with other books, but it is a stand-along story)
    • War of the Flowers - Tad Williams
    • Tigana - Guy Gavriel Kay (anything by Kay is great; this is no exception)
    • The Last Unicorn - Peter S. Beagle
    • Mythago Wood - Robert Holdstock
    • The Magicians - Lev Grossman (he has since written a follow-up, but it stands alone)
    • House of Leaves - Mark Z. Danielewski (a bizarre, mind-twisting, but excellent book)
    • Drawing of the Dark - Tim Powers (anything by him is good; quirky stuff)
    • The Elfin Ship - James P. Blaylock (also quirky, and funny; he wrote another with the same characters, but this works alone as well)
    • Threshold - Caitlin R. Kiernan (Lovecraft-like modern urban fantasy)
    • Lord of Light - Roger Zelazny
     
    Sparkie likes this.
  3. Xaysai

    Xaysai Inkling

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    I just looked through my Goodreads and apparently almost everything I read is in a series.

    Neverwhere and American Gods are two standalone books by Neil Gaiman. Neverwhere is a fast, fun read which I enjoyed. American Gods is a bit thicker and more intelligent (deals with themes of mythology/religion, but not in a preachy way). Both are classified as Fantasy.

    Also, Choke, Lullaby or Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk. These are classified (by B&N) as Fiction but they are dark.

    Sadly, that's all I have for standalones.

    However, I second Best Served Cold.

    Joe Abercrombie is easily one of the most underrated authors out there at the moment.

    His First Law Trilogy + The Heroes is amazing, too.
     
  4. Sparkie

    Sparkie Auror

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    While it's only good as opposed to great, I'd recommend Elantris by Brandon Sanderson. It's not for everyone, but I liked it.

    Also, while it's technically two books, you may want to check out Shadowbridge and Lord Tophet by Gregory Frost. Together, the length of these two books is about that of an average epic fantasy novel. Be warned, Frost is more of a shorter story guy, as is evidenced by the writing in these titles.
     
  5. Penpilot

    Penpilot Staff Article Team

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    Read anything from paolo bacigalupi. Windup girl in particular. But all his books take place in a common world but are all stand alones. They take place in a post oil world. Very gritty and the writing is awesome.

    Neil gaiman. His books are pretty stand alone too.
     
    Sparkie likes this.
  6. JCFarnham

    JCFarnham Auror

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    Gaiman, Gaiman, Gaiman.

    That'll be all :p
     
    Geo likes this.
  7. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Elizabeth Ann Scarborough's The Lady in the Loch is excellent, if you can get past the thick phonetic accents of practically every character.
     
  8. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I loved Scarborough's stuff back in the 1980s. I will look for that one.
     
  9. The Writer's Realms

    The Writer's Realms Minstrel

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    Awesome! Thanks for the input guys!
     
  10. David Ivanov

    David Ivanov Minstrel

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    Recent personal faves include "The Lies of Locke Lamora" (Scott Lynch) and "The Way of Shadows" (Brent Weeks). Both are excellent first novels in their respective series but stand alone just fine without any need at all to continue in either one
     
  11. Telcontar

    Telcontar Staff Moderator

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    The Phoenix Guards (Stephen Brust), while technically the first of a series, is a brilliant, brilliant novel. It works perfectly without the sequels, as well, so you need never worry about them.

    I'm also going to be a punk and suggest my own novel, Twixt Heaven and Hell which is a stand-alone. ;)

    Apologies for the self-promotion.
     
    Steerpike likes this.
  12. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    The Phoenix Guards - Seconded. Brilliant.

    Also by Steven Brust, with help from Emma Bull, Freedom and Necessity. Great stand-along novel.
     
  13. Being Darbo

    Being Darbo Acolyte

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    Not sure if it'd be your sort of thing, but I really enjoyed Flowers for Algernon (social sci-fi) by Daniel Keyes and Blood Music (hard sci-fi) by Greg Bear. Both stand-alone and both short enough to read in a few sittings, if you so wish.
     
  14. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I thought Blood Music was very good. I haven't read Flowers for Algernon, but it is on my list.
     
  15. David Ivanov

    David Ivanov Minstrel

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    I've read most of the Vlad Taltos novels, but never The Phoenix Guards. Thanks for the recommendation -- it is now on my "must read" list.
     
  16. Geo

    Geo Troubadour

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    Stardust by Neil Gaiman
    Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
    The Beginning Place by Ursula LeGuin
    The Book of Lost things by John Connolly
    Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

    Are five of my all time favorites
     
    Heliotrope likes this.
  17. Peat

    Peat Sage

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    I would second the Gaiman recommendations and also that of Tigana.

    I would also add Small Gods by Pratchett to the list. Most of his stand alone well, but that one is completely stand alone and one of his best to my mind.

    I'd also add Feist's Magician in the theme of series starters than work very well as a stand alone.
     
  18. Geo

    Geo Troubadour

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    I totally forgot the Never ending story from Michael Ende (and Momo for the younger readers), and
    Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (which is also the base of one of my favorite anime movies)
     
    Mythopoet likes this.
  19. Heliotrope

    Heliotrope Staff Article Team

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    Great recommendations Geo :) I love to find another Gaiman fan.
     
  20. Mason

    Mason Scribe

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    China Mountain Zhang. By: Maureen F. McHugh
    Picked this up on a whim. Was not disappointed. Realistic, grim and gritty sci-fi. Incredible worldbuilding and compelling characters.
     
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