This challenge is all about debut novels, to acknowledge the bravery and effort it took for these authors to put their first work out there, and realize their dream to become a published author. How amazing would it be to publish your very first novel?
As always, if you want to know more about the reading challenge, check it out here. You can also find the previous challenges with book suggestions on that page. For instance, check out the May challenge.
How to participate
I will keep this short. Check out the page I linked above to see the other challenges and read the explanation. I will give you a shortlist with book suggestions for each challenge before I start the challenge myself. Then, when I finish the challenge, you can read my review on the book I chose.
How involved to be is totally up to you. It would be great if you leave a comment beneath this blog post when you’ve read a book, or if you picked a different book than what was on the list. I’d love to add other books to the list if you have any recommendations yourself, and naturally, I will then credit you. But you can also follow along silently if that’s more your style.
It’s a challenge about beginnings. It can be fun to see where an author started their journey, especially when you’ve read some of their later work. Not to mention that putting a novel can be scary, and I can’t even imagine how nerve-wracking the publishing of a first book can be.
Without further ado, here come my suggestions for debut novels!
Theonite: Planet Adyn – M. L. Wang
This book is my pick for this challenge. If you follow the SPFBO, you’ve heard the name of this author before. She won the 2019 edition with her novel ‘The Sword of Kaigen.’ However, her debut novel is Planet Adyn, the first of the Theonite series. It does take place in the same world as ‘The Sword of Kaigen.’ I’m very excited to start this book and get acquainted with the world the author created.
The story is about Joan, who loves using her powers. However, while she loves stirring the air, creating fire, and levitating metal objects, the people from her small town are not so open-minded. And so she hides her powers and isolates herself from others – even from her parents. This changes when she meets Daniel Thundyil, a transfer to her school, and she suspects he has powers as well. What she discovers goes beyond her wildest imagination: Daniel is an inter-dimensional traveler from a world of super-powered beings. And so, will Joan retreat to the safety of hiding, or brave it all for a chance at truth and friendship?
Sapient Salvation: The Selection – Jayne Faith
This author has published many, many books over the last few years. This book is the first one in the line, a dystopian YA novel, featuring Maya. Maya is one of the young women thrown into a competition with other women for a place in the harem of Lord Toric. Without any preparation, Maya needs to fight for her life: there can only be one winner. Losing means she will be sacrificed.
A Pandoran Novel: Gaia’s Secret – Barbara Kloss
Another YA debut novel about Daria Jones, who feels trapped inside her house. Her father is simply too overprotective, with video and thermal surveillance installed. Then one night, her father disappears. Daria has to follow the clues and gathers that a dark force hunts her. Next to that, her father’s fled to another world on some sort of mission, where there are diabolical creatures and ancient magic— the only person she can still trust: her ex-best friend, Alexander Anderson. Daria needs to find her father before the dark force finds her instead. However, the truth of her identity could be an even greater enemy.
SSS: Year One – Avery Song
Who doesn’t love a good academy story? Especially if it involves the supernatural! This very first novel from Avery Song takes place in the most prestigious, top spy academy. You need skills, strength, and survival to get in. Silver Spell Solange can kick ass, solve problems, and do magic. However, she’s not part of a supernatural race. So Silver has to team up with a werewolf, a dragon, a fallen angel, and a hellhound. All she needs to get her spot into the Supernatural Spy Academy. She accepts their terms to help her get the required score, but this leads her to date all four members of her team.
The Kingdoms of the Core: The Five Awaken – Shawn A. Dressler
An epic fantasy story, and the debut novel of Shawn A. Dressler. The Five Realms of Taeurn have been at war for centuries. However, there is a great power stirring within its shadows. Not to mention that The Five Awaken sends some heroes on a journey, who have to face perilous dangers. Will they survive their enemy, or succumb to darkness themselves?
Challenge discussion questions
It would be great if you could let me know which of these debut novels you chose for this challenge, and what you thought of it.
Here some example questions you could use to share your experience:
What book did you read for this challenge?
How did you choose your book?
What are your thoughts on the book you read?
Would you read more books by the author?
Would you recommend the book?
If you have any feedback on this post, the challenge or the newsletter updates, please let me know! I’d like to make this all as fun as possible for all of you.