Hello bookworms!! Welcome to Top 5 Tuesday!! This week’s Top 5 Tuesday is top 5 debut novels.
Wow… I’m so glad that I decided to be nice to us all, and have such a normal topic for today!! I mean, who doesn’t love talking about their favourite debut novels – the hardest part is limiting it to a top 5. It’s almost calming writing this… Except for the part where I decided to leave writing it to the last minute and it’s already 14 hours past when I would normally post. But no one is perfect. 😂 😂
Top 5 debut novels
The Rook – Daniel O’Malley
I KNOW. If it’s not Maggie Stiefvater that I’m screaming at you about, it’s this wonderful, anxiety-inducing, urban fantasy, sci-fi, murder mystery. But seriously, until everyone reads this, I will very likely continue to yell about it. So much.
The Rook is Daniel O’Malley’s debut novel, and the first book in The Checquy Files. It was published in 2012, and Starz adapted it into a miniseries. (No comment on that – I was so annoyed that they removed my fave character that I never made it past episode 2).
It’s also one of my fave sci-fi(ish) series in existence. There’s mutants with super powers and super creepy villains. But, they all work for the government. And yes, Myfanwy’s job is very much what working for a government organisation is actually like. Trust me, I can speak from experience!!
Basically, this debut novel is one of my all time faves, and I cannot recommend it enough.
Solitaire – Alice Oseman
Look. I love the Heartstopper comics just as much as anyone else. But when I first read Solitaire by Alice Oseman, it kind of blew my mind.
I know that Solitaire came out in July 2014, and I read it not long after that (but definitely before 2015 as that’s when I started tracking my read books with Goodreads). Despite being on my ‘books I want to reread’ pile since then, I haven’t gotten around to it yet. But Tori’s story has never left me.
When I think about books that made me relate to being a teenager again, there are like 5 books that really bring those feelings to mind, and this is one of them. I didn’t have a mystery with post-it notes like Tori did. But Alice Oseman honestly captured my entire teenage thought process, and then published it in a book. Reading this made me feel less like I had been a weirdo loner in high school. It made me feel less like no one understood what I had gone through. This story made me feel more.
And if this was Alice’s debut novel (which it is), then what a smashing debut it is.
An Ember in the Ashes – Sabaa Tahir
*cue internal screaming* An Ember in the Ashes is one of the best fantasy debut novels I have read. Bar none. The world building, the characters, the set up for the next three books. All of it is just total *chefs kiss*.
I have seen a lot of reviews for this, and they are mixed. Some fantasy is not for everyone. Captive Prince, for example, is not for everyone. But An Ember in the Ashes is a staple of the fantasy genre. This is one book that I just cannot understand why people don’t love.
The character are three-dimensional, the motivations that set their beliefs and there actions, are tangible. Even outside of a fantasy setting in a totally different world, they are believable motivations. That can be so hard to set up – trust me, I’ve seen it done very poorly. But Tahir absolutely nails it. Plus, nothing is over complicated.
This books is a very easy fantasy read, with no giant plot holes, and just a really great story of hope and love during war.
The Flatshare – Beth O’Leary
Ok, yes, I did love The Switch more than The Flatshare, but I still gave them both five stars. And for a debut contemporary romance novel to get 5 stars, it really must be amazing.
Tiffy and Leon’s story was amazingly well written. In fact, the way that I know how much I love this story honestly, is because of this one example. The Flatshare is told from two points of view (POV). The main one is Tiffy, our main character. The second is from Leon, who is also a main character, but I would say less than Tiffy is.
When I started this book, I really did not like Leon’s POV. He came across as abrupt, stilted, maybe a little bit mean? By the end of the book, I loved Leon almost as much as I did Tiffy. For a character to have such an arc that you go from dislike to wanting them to succeed and be happy, is truly an amazing thing.
Magician – Raymond E. Feist
The history of Magician has been a bit tumultuous to say the least. Feist published his debut novel, Magician, in 1982, although his editors at the time cut out a decent percentage of the story. In 1992 the book was republished with the entire story as “the author’s preferred version”. Because this increased the page numbers from 545 to 841, his US publishers split the book in two parts: Magician Apprentice, and Magician Master. So technically, I’ve never read his original debut novel, as the tenth anniversary (or complete) edition is the only one I’ve read.
But I have read it exactly as the author intended, and that’s what should really matter.
Magician is one of my favourite classic fantasy stories. You can read it as a standalone novel (or the first two if you’re in the US), or you can continue with the rest of the Riftwar world. It really doesn’t matter – you can choose how deep you go. But, it is without a doubt, one of the most amazing debut novels I’ve ever read.
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What are your top 5 debut novels?