In honor of Valentine’s Day, I have decided to make a post for all the people out there who are NOT looking for love! Well, not in books, at least ;-)
Romance in books is great. I like it. I really do! But, on occasion, I’m just not in the mood for it. And a book doesn’t have to have romance to be amazing!
I can’t promise there’s not a single mention of romance or feelings in all of these, two of these have a mild sex scene or two, and some of these are series starters which means there could be romance in future books, but none of the books on this list have romance plots or subplots (that I remember, though I apologize ahead of time if I’m wrong).
So anyway, here are ten sci-fi/fantasy books without romance for you to check out!
1. Slowly We Rot by Bryan Smith
This dark post-apocalyptic zombie book is, surprisingly, not about zombies. It’s about a guy struggling with alcoholism, obsession, and mental illness trekking across the country to find a girl he used to date. Despite the premise, and despite a small romantic encounter, you’re just going to have to trust me that it’s not a romantic book. [Review]
2. A City Dreaming by Daniel Polansky
This urban fantasy is about a mage who gets himself into all sorts of strange trouble in New York. I’ll admit it wasn’t quite my cup of tea due to its episodic nature, but it’s got an absurd type of humor and could be a fun way to pass the time. [Review]
3. Gallow and Ragged Series by Lilith Saintcrow
This is the only full series I have on the list, and it’s about some half-fae getting tangled up in problems with the Queen of Summer and King of Unwinter. The writing is uniquely flowery and not for everyone, but I really liked it. [Review]
4. Toric’s Dagger by Jamie Edmundson
This is the first in an epic fantasy series, so I don’t know what might happen in the rest of the books, but this one was about a motley crew of characters going on a quest to get a dagger back. There was magic and intensity and even a bit of humor. [Review]
5. Graveyard Shift by Michael F. Haspil
This is another one that’s first in a series, and it was a gritty urban fantasy/police procedural about two cops in Miami—one of whom is a mummy, the other a vampire—taking down the bad guys when supernatural craziness started happening. [Review]
6. All Darling Children by Katrina Monroe
This gritty, dark Peter Pan “sequel” is about Wendy’s granddaughter, who, if you ask me, had a much more suitable response to a strange boy showing up and talking about flying away to Neverland. [Review]
7. Long Walk to Valhalla by Adam Smith & Matthew Fox
I’ll be honest, I didn’t quite “get” this graphic novel, but it’s kind of odd and sad with a bit of supernatural thrown in, plus the artwork was nice.
8. Hell Divers Series by Nicholas Sansbury Smith
So I kind of forgot when I put this on the list that the second book does have relationships, plus a bit of side character romance (if I recall correctly). BUT I’m leaving it because this post-apoc about people living in airships with hell divers who skydive to the deadly surface is so intense and gritty, with flawed but heroic characters, that you won’t be thinking about romance anyway. [Review]
9. Braineater Jones by Stephen Kozeniewski
This urban fantasy/mystery is about a zombie detective in the Prohibition Era. There are festering wounds and a talking head sidekick, and if that doesn’t scream “not romantic,” then I don’t know what does. [Review]
10. Smoke City by Keith Rosson
This literary/paranormal cross-over about an alcoholic and a reincarnated man who was Joan of Arc’s executioner is all about friendship, redemption, and character growth set on a road trip backdrop. [Review]