Stand-Alone

The Golem and The Jinni by Helene Wecker

From the mind of Helene Wecker comes her debut novel, The Golem and the Jinni. Set in 1899 New York City, the story follows the lives of Chava, a female golem, and Ahmad, a male Jinni, as they try to co-exist with the local immigrant communities. The story is one of self-discovery and soul-searching as these two non-humans strive to ... Read More »

The Children of Men by P.D. James

The Children of Men, a 1992 dystopian novel by P.D. James, takes place in a near future where, for unknown reasons, humanity has become completely infertile and now faces its inevitable extinction. Before I begin this review in earnest, I would like to add one caveat: the 2006 film adaptation of this novel, Children of Men, is one of my ... Read More »

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

Published in 2004, David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas is one of the more ambitious works of genre fiction in the last decade, and it gained a new surge in popularity when the film adaptation was released in 2012. Cloud Atlas follows six loosely-connected stories, each of which are able to both work separately and intertwine into a grand whole. Unorthodox and ... Read More »

Fated by S.G. Browne

Written very much in the style of S.G. Browne’s debut novel Breathers, Fated is a light, comedic novel that follows Fate (yes, the literal incarnation of the abstract force). Growing bored of assigning fates to the majority of humans for thousands of years, he soon finds himself falling for a mortal girl—which, of course, is absolutely forbidden for an immortal ... Read More »

Breathers: A Zombie’s Lament by S.G. Browne

Breathers: A Zombie’s Lament is the debut novel from author S.G. Browne, and it follows the first person narrative of Andy—whose major defining characteristic is that he’s, well… a zombie. Killed in a car accident and reanimated shortly after, Andy now lives in his parents’ basement and attends a zombie support group hoping to find some way to integrate back into ... Read More »

The Children of Húrin by J.R.R. Tolkien

Constructed from the unfinished writings of J.R.R. Tolkien, The Children of Húrin is a stand-alone story from the First Age of Middle-Earth taking place long before The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. While approximately 75 percent of the book previously appeared in various sections of Tolkien’s other writings, his son, Christopher Tolkien, edited the entire tale together into ... Read More »

Six-Gun Snow White by Catherynne M. Valente

Catherynne M. Valente is currently best known for her young adult Fairyland Series, but she’s also won awards for her adult novels The Orphan’s Tales: In the Night Garden and Palimpset. Her writing is utterly unique from concept to style and always a treat. So we here at The Ranting Dragon were really excited to hear about her latest release, ... Read More »

The Postmortal by Drew Magary

What if you could simply stop aging? This is the question that lies at the heart of Drew Magary’s debut novel, The Postmortal. Told through what is essentially a series of electronic diary entries written by a man named John Farrell, The Postmortal chronicles the near-future where a cure for aging has been discovered and humanity has taken its first ... Read More »

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks

World War Z could perhaps be considered the definitive zombie novel of the last decade; you’d be hard-pressed to find another stand-alone zombie story that comes more readily to the minds of modern readers. After finally reading it myself, I was happy to discover that is has, for a number of reasons, more than earned this revered status. An unorthodox ... Read More »

The Hollow City by Dan Wells

A stand-alone adult novel from author Dan Wells, The Hollow City is a thriller that thematically and tonally follows closely in the footsteps of Wells’ own I Am Not a Serial Killer trilogy, but branches off into new territory for the author in terms of content. The Hollow City follows Michael Shipman, a man who wakes up in the hospital having ... Read More »