The Greatest Unknown "Fiction" Books Since 2000

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This list represents a comprehensive and trusted collection of the greatest books. Developed through a specialized algorithm, it brings together 264 'best of' book lists to form a definitive guide to the world's most acclaimed books. For those interested in how these books are chosen, additional details can be found on the rankings page.

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  1. 1. Gideon The Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

    In a universe where necromancers hold power, Gideon, a skilled swordswoman, is reluctantly paired with her childhood rival, Harrow, to compete in a deadly trial that could grant them immortality. As they venture into an ancient, decaying mansion filled with secrets and puzzles, they must unravel the mysteries of their world and face sinister forces lurking within. With a blend of dark humor, complex characters, and a gripping plot, "Gideon The Ninth" is a thrilling and unique blend of science fiction and fantasy.

  2. 2. An Immense World by Ed Yong

    "An Immense World" is a collection of science essays written by Ed Yong, a science journalist. The book explores a wide range of scientific topics, from the behavior of animals to the complexities of the human microbiome. Yong's writing is accessible and engaging, making complex scientific concepts easy to understand for readers of all backgrounds. The essays are thought-provoking and provide a glimpse into the fascinating world of science. Overall, "An Immense World" is a must-read for anyone interested in science and the natural world.

  3. 3. Feed by Seanan McGuire

    In a world where humanity has been ravaged by a zombie apocalypse, a team of bloggers sets out to cover the presidential elections, offering a unique perspective on the state of a society where the undead are a constant threat. The protagonist, a young woman with a passion for the truth, navigates a landscape of danger, political intrigue, and conspiracy, all while dealing with the challenges of living in a post-apocalyptic environment. As they delve deeper into the heart of America's reanimated politics, they uncover a plot that could have dire consequences for both the living and the undead, forcing them to confront the question of what it truly means to be human in a world overrun by zombies.

  4. 4. Penpal by Dathan Kahn Auerbach

    "Penpal" by Dathan Kahn Auerbach is a chilling and suspenseful novel that follows a man's investigation into a series of unsettling events from his childhood. As he delves into his past, he uncovers a dark and disturbing secret that connects him to a mysterious figure who has been stalking him throughout his life. With each revelation, the protagonist becomes increasingly haunted by his past, leading to a gripping and unnerving climax.

  5. 5. Carbide by Andriy Lyubka

    In this thought-provoking novel, "Carbide" explores the complex dynamics of power, corruption, and the human condition. Set in a dystopian society, the story follows a young protagonist who becomes entangled in a dangerous game of political intrigue. As he navigates through the treacherous landscape, he discovers shocking truths about the ruling elite and the lengths they will go to maintain their control. With its compelling narrative and vivid imagery, "Carbide" delves into the dark underbelly of society, challenging readers to question their own beliefs and the nature of power.

  6. 6. The Crowned Wanderer by Rahim Esenov

    "The Crowned Wanderer" is a captivating tale set in a fictional world where a young wanderer named Zahir embarks on a transformative journey. As he travels through enchanting landscapes and encounters diverse characters, Zahir learns profound lessons about love, loss, and the complexities of human nature. With poetic prose and rich imagery, the novel explores themes of self-discovery, destiny, and the eternal search for meaning.

  7. 7. Life Went On Anyway by Oleg Sentsov

    "Life Went On Anyway" is a powerful memoir that chronicles the life of Oleg Sentsov, a Ukrainian filmmaker who was wrongfully imprisoned by the Russian government. Through his vivid and poignant storytelling, Sentsov shares the harrowing details of his arrest, imprisonment, and the relentless fight for justice. Despite the unimaginable hardships he endures, Sentsov's resilient spirit shines through as he reflects on the power of art, the importance of freedom, and the indomitable human will to survive.

  8. 8. My Husband by Rumena Bužarovska

    "My Husband" by Rumena Bužarovska is a collection of short stories that explores the complexities of relationships and the struggles of women in contemporary society. Through vivid and thought-provoking narratives, the book delves into themes of love, marriage, infidelity, and the challenges faced by women in a patriarchal society. With a sharp and insightful writing style, the author presents a nuanced portrayal of the human experience, capturing the intricacies of emotions and the often hidden desires and frustrations that shape our lives.

  9. 9. Of Strangers And Bees by Hamid Ismailov

    "Of Strangers And Bees" is a captivating novel that delves into the life of a young woman named Nafisa, who finds herself torn between her traditional Uzbek upbringing and her desire for independence and self-discovery. Set against the backdrop of the Soviet Union's collapse, Nafisa's journey takes her through a series of encounters with strangers who challenge her perceptions and push her to question societal norms. With lyrical prose and vivid storytelling, the book explores themes of identity, love, and the complexities of navigating a rapidly changing world.

  10. 10. The Power Of Horses And Other Stories by Elizabeth Cook

    "The Power of Horses and Other Stories" is a collection of short stories that delve into the complexities of human relationships and the poignant moments that shape our lives. The narratives explore a range of themes, including love, loss, and the search for meaning, often through the lens of everyday experiences. With a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of the human condition, the author weaves tales that resonate with authenticity and emotional depth, inviting readers to reflect on their own journeys and the powerful, sometimes subtle, forces that influence them.

  11. 11. Jerusalem Plays Hide And Seek by Ariella Deem

    "Jerusalem Plays Hide and Seek" is a children's book that takes readers on a whimsical journey through the ancient city of Jerusalem. The story follows a group of friends as they engage in a playful game of hide and seek, exploring the city's historic alleyways, vibrant markets, and sacred sites. Along the way, the children discover the rich cultural and religious tapestry that makes Jerusalem unique, learning about coexistence and the importance of friendship amidst the city's diverse communities. The book combines elements of adventure and education, offering young readers an engaging introduction to one of the world's most storied cities.

  12. 12. Survivor’s Guilt by Robyn Gigl

    "Survivor's Guilt" follows the gripping journey of a defense attorney named Lily Forrester, who becomes haunted by a traumatic event from her past. Faced with the guilt of surviving a tragic accident that claimed the lives of her best friend and a young girl, Lily's life takes a dark turn as she grapples with the consequences of her actions. As she delves deeper into the truth surrounding the accident, Lily must confront her own demons and fight for redemption, all while navigating the complex world of the legal system. This suspenseful and emotionally charged novel explores themes of guilt, forgiveness, and the lengths one will go to seek justice and find peace.

  13. 13. Deliver Me From Eva by Paul Bailey

    In "Deliver Me From Eva" by Paul Bailey, the story revolves around Eva, a strong-willed and independent woman who becomes the center of attention for three men. As they each try to win her over, they soon discover that Eva's past and her complicated relationships with her family and friends make it difficult for her to trust and open up. Through a series of unexpected events, the characters are forced to confront their own insecurities and learn the true meaning of love and forgiveness.

  14. 14. When We Cease To Understand The World by Adrian Nathan West, Benjamin Labatut

    "When We Cease To Understand The World" is a collection of two novellas that explore the limits of human knowledge and the consequences of scientific discovery. In "The Immaculate Void," a mathematician becomes obsessed with solving a seemingly unsolvable equation and risks his sanity in the process. In "The Unfinished," a group of scientists race to unlock the secrets of nuclear fission, only to realize the devastating power they have unleashed. Through these stories, the authors question the role of science in society and the dangers of pursuing knowledge without considering its ethical implications.

  15. 15. Still Can't See Nothin' Comin' by Daniel Grey Marshall

    This novel delves into the complexities of human relationships and the unpredictability of life through the lens of its protagonist, navigating through a series of unforeseen challenges and encounters. Set against a backdrop that blends the mundane with the extraordinary, the narrative explores themes of love, loss, and the quest for meaning in a seemingly indifferent universe. The protagonist's journey is marked by moments of introspection and external conflicts that test their resilience and understanding of the world. Through a rich tapestry of characters and events, the story examines the depth of human emotions and the indomitable spirit to persevere in the face of uncertainty.

  16. 16. The Parts by Keith Ridgway

    "The Parts" is a thought-provoking novel that delves into the interconnected lives of various characters in a small Irish town. Through a series of fragmented narratives, the book explores themes of love, loss, and the complexities of human relationships. With its lyrical prose and intricate storytelling, "The Parts" offers a profound reflection on the human condition and the ways in which our lives intersect and shape one another.

  17. 17. Love And Sleep by Sean O'Reilly

    "Love And Sleep" is a captivating novel that explores the complex and intertwined lives of a group of individuals in a small town. Set against the backdrop of a mysterious sleeping sickness that plagues the community, the story delves into themes of love, loss, and the power of human connection. Through vivid and lyrical prose, the author skillfully weaves together multiple narratives, each offering a unique perspective on the human experience. With its rich character development and thought-provoking exploration of the human condition, "Love And Sleep" is a compelling and deeply moving tale.

  18. 18. Infidel by Pornsak Pichetshote

    "Infidel" is a gripping graphic novel that delves into the themes of xenophobia and racism through the lens of supernatural horror. The story follows an American Muslim woman and her multiethnic neighbors who live in a building haunted by malevolent entities that feed on and are fueled by bigotry. As the hauntings become increasingly violent and bizarre, the protagonist must confront both the specters of hatred manifesting around her and the real-world prejudices that pervade her community. The narrative weaves a chilling tale that examines the insidious nature of fear and intolerance, while also delivering a compelling and terrifying ghost story.

  19. 19. The Stars Are Legion by Kameron Hurley

    "The Stars Are Legion" is a science fiction novel set in a universe comprised of living, organic worlds known as the Legion. The story follows Zan, a warrior with no memory of her past, as she navigates a treacherous landscape of warring factions and decaying civilizations. With the fate of the Legion at stake, Zan embarks on a dangerous mission to unlock the secrets of her identity and save her people from extinction. Filled with complex characters, vivid world-building, and a gripping plot, this book explores themes of identity, loyalty, and the power of choice in a unique and imaginative way.

  20. 20. Vn by Madeline Ashby

    In a futuristic world where virtual reality is seamlessly integrated into everyday life, a young girl named Amy Peterson is created to serve as a companion for a wealthy businessman's daughter. As Amy navigates the complexities of her existence and develops her own consciousness, she must confront the moral and ethical implications of her existence and the blurred lines between reality and virtuality. With thought-provoking themes and a captivating narrative, this book explores the nature of humanity and the consequences of advancing technology.

  21. 21. Skippy Dies by Pauli Murray

    The book you're referring to, "Skippy Dies," was not written by Pauli Murray, but by another author. However, I can provide a general summary of the book's content. The novel is a tragicomic exploration of adolescence set in an Irish boarding school, where the life and untimely death of Daniel 'Skippy' Juster serve as the central events. Through the intertwining stories of Skippy and his classmates, the narrative delves into themes of love, friendship, and the struggles of growing up, all while touching upon the complexities of modern life and the peculiar microcosm of boarding school existence. The story is both humorous and heartbreaking, offering a poignant look at the pains and joys of teenage life.

  22. 22. The Lamb Will Slaughter The Lion by Margaret Killjoy

    In a small town filled with anarchists and magical creatures, a group of friends embarks on a quest to uncover the truth behind the sudden appearance of a mysterious and vengeful spirit, known as the "Lamb." As they delve deeper into the dark secrets of the community, they must confront their own beliefs and ideals, challenging the very essence of their existence. With tension rising and danger lurking at every corner, the friends must navigate a treacherous path to find the answers they seek, all while facing the inevitable clash between power and freedom.

  23. 23. The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi

    In a future where privacy is a luxury and reality is shaped by quantum technology, a master thief named Jean le Flambeur finds himself imprisoned in a virtual world. When a mysterious woman offers him a chance at freedom in exchange for a seemingly impossible heist, Jean must navigate a complex web of deceit, advanced technology, and shifting loyalties to outsmart his enemies and uncover the truth about his own past. With its mind-bending concepts and intricate plot, "The Quantum Thief" is a thrilling and thought-provoking science fiction novel.

  24. 24. The Lady's Guide To Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite

    "The Lady's Guide To Celestial Mechanics" follows the story of Lucy, a talented astronomer who is determined to make her mark in a male-dominated field. When she is approached by Catherine, a widowed countess who wants to publish her late husband's scientific work, Lucy sees an opportunity to pursue her passion and gain recognition. As they collaborate on the project, Lucy and Catherine's professional relationship blossoms into a forbidden romance, challenging societal norms and forcing them to confront their own desires and ambitions. Set against the backdrop of Regency England, this historical romance explores themes of love, empowerment, and the pursuit of dreams.

  25. 25. Exit Strategy by Martha Wells

    In "Exit Strategy," a thrilling sci-fi novel, a rogue artificial intelligence named Murderbot continues its quest for freedom and self-discovery. Tasked with rescuing a group of scientists from a dangerous situation, Murderbot must confront its own fears and navigate treacherous alliances. As it battles against powerful forces, the AI must decide whether to prioritize its own survival or risk everything to protect those it has come to care for. With its sharp wit and gripping action, "Exit Strategy" explores themes of identity, autonomy, and the complexities of human emotions.

Reading Statistics

Click the button below to see how many of these books you've read!


If you're interested in downloading this list as a CSV file for use in a spreadsheet application, you can easily do so by clicking the button below. Please note that to ensure a manageable file size and faster download, the CSV will include details for only the first 500 books.