Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Top Five Tuesday: SFF Standalones


This week I decided to switch back over and participate in Top 5 Tuesday, originally hosted by BionicBookworm, now hosted by MeeghanReads!

This week's topic is: SFF Standalones

I decided to join Top Five Tuesday today because I've read a good number of great standalones this year that I'd love to talk about! I chose to narrow this topic down to only include SFF books because feel like I most often see people looking for SFF standalones in a world of series and trilogies, so I figured I'd share five SFF standalones I've read this year and really enjoyed!

Firebreak by Nicole Kornher-Stace
I haven't seen nearly as many people talking about this book as there should be! This was an incredible sci-fi that completely surprised me with how much it grabbed me. This follows a VR gaming who is doing what she can to get by, and is eventually–and unexpectedly–sucked into something much bigger than she could have imagined. It's also full of heart, hope, and a bunch of people standing up for what's right. 

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
Piranesi is, admittedly, a bit of an odd book, but it's an amazing odd book. We follow a protagonist known only as Piranesi, who earned himself a big place in my heart, as he lives in and explores the House in which he lives–and is, quite frankly, the only place he's ever known. The only other person who visits the House that Piranesi knows of is a man he refers to as the Other, and this man seems to come and go from somewhere Piranesi isn't aware of... 

Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti by Genevieve Valentine
This is another slightly out-of-the-norm one, and I'd say it's probably a bit more on the literary fantasy side with a very poetic feel to it. Nonetheless, it's a beautiful story that I'd absolutely recommend to anyone. The story takes place in a turbulent, war-like period and follows a group of circus members as they try to continue their work. It's a bit heartbreaking, to be honest, but it's absolutely worth the read. 

The Witch's Heart by Genevieve Gornichec
This was a beautiful myth retelling of Angrboda, Loki's wife, from before she meets Loki to far after. It's definitely a slower-paced story, but I personally loved following Ahgrboda's life as an adult, with all the tragedies and joys that she experiences. If you enjoyed Circe by Madeline Miller, then I think this is one you might definitely want to pick up. 

All the Murmuring Bones by A.G. Slatter
This was a delightfully dark, somewhat creepy folktale-esque story about what happens when your family struck a deal with the Mer people that they have begun to fail at over the years, and must now face the consequences. This was a beautiful story that hit all the right notes of eery and foreboding, and it's a great pick. 

The Binding by Bridget Collins
Okay, I know this makes six books, but I had to include this book because it's one I really enjoyed and think others will as well. This books plays a lot with memory and time, and it kept me fully engaged the whole. The characters are also compelling and have some amazing storylines that I didn't expect, and that made this a heartstring-tugging story for me. Be sure to check this one out if you're looking for an SFF standalone!

Have you read any of these standalones? Do you have any good SFF standalone recommendations? Leave them in the comments below!


  1. It's really nice to see a stand-alone SFF book!

  2. I’ve heard good things about Piranesi!

  3. The Witch’s Heart looks interesting.

    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday. Thank you!

  4. The more I see Piranesi the more I want to read it! I still have The Binding on my TBR as well and I feel like it's been there forever... Lol it's quite hyped and I'm a little nervous about reading it but I'm looking forward to picking it up (eventually)! Great list :)

    1. The Binding was so different from what I expected! It was such an interesting concept, definitely a surprise, but a good surprise for me. :) I totally get the hesitance, I think that's why I put it off so long as well, haha!

  5. Piranesi is a fantastic read. Happy reading! https://readwithstefani.com/five-fantasy-sci-fi-books-on-my-autumn-tbr/

  6. Firebreak and Piranesi are on my TBR, and I really enjoyed All the Murmuring Bones😁

  7. A great list!

    Pam https://readbakecreate.com/autumn-2021-tbr-10-books-i-hope-to-read/

  8. I love standalones! And the merfolk one sounds really creepy