Ten Speculative Books Available through Kindle Unlimited
Kindle Unlimited, whether you love the service or you hate it, I think Amazon has pretty much decided that it’s here to stay. There are plenty of arguments for and against using the service including going more into the technical aspects of the service and how it relates to writers, but this is not one of those articles. If you’re not aware of the service, Kindle Unlimited is a service that allows you to pay a monthly fee to basically borrow books from Amazon. Sounds nifty, right? The only catch is everything isn’t available, and sometimes, it can be a pain to slog through the dreck. If you want some insight on this service I suggest this article by Piotr Kowalczyk titled Kindle Unlimited ebook subscription – 8 things readers need to know, which talks a little about other services out there, too. For a behind the scenes look at Kindle Unlimited from an author’s perspective, Chuck Wendig has written an article called Here’s How Amazon Could Fix Kindle Unlimited.
I won’t be focusing on either of those things, though. Instead, I wanted to highlight ten speculative books currently available for reading, and sometimes listening since it includes audio for many books, that I’ve seen pop up frequently on my reading feeds that are available through the service. Kindle Unlimited has, for me, largely been a success. I don’t always read the newest books, and I’m prone to just randomly picking things up to read on whim because they seem interesting for whatever reason, which the service has been good for. It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, though.
Thanks to the service I have been able to read and/or listen to and enjoy books such as The Palace Job and Disenchanted. It’s allowed me to test out the waters of authors I’ve never read such as Hugh Howey and Will Swardstrom through their short stories. Also, I’ve learned that even if the audio isn’t included with the book to listen to, if you have the book downloaded, you’re still eligible for the Audible discount which rarely goes higher than $4.49, but many of these books are around the $1.99 range if you decide to purchase the audio.
I’ve opted to leave books like Lord of the Rings and The Hunger Games out of this list, but they are available for reading through Kindle Unlimited, as well.
Note: Since I’m in the United States, I can only be sure that these books are currently available through the US version of Kindle Unlimited. I don’t know if this service is available in many other countries. If these books are not available in your country’s version of Kindle Unlimited or if Kindle Unlimited isn’t available at at all, I am very sorry, but hopefully, you still find new books to check out at least.
The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg
Ceony Twill arrives at the cottage of Magician Emery Thane with a broken heart. Having graduated at the top of her class from the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined, Ceony is assigned an apprenticeship in paper magic despite her dreams of bespelling metal. And once she’s bonded to paper, that will be her only magic… forever.
Yet the spells Ceony learns under the strange yet kind Thane turn out to be more marvelous than she could have ever imagined — animating paper creatures, bringing stories to life via ghostly images, even reading fortunes. But as she discovers these wonders, Ceony also learns of the extraordinary dangers of forbidden magic.
An Excisioner — a practitioner of dark, flesh magic — invades the cottage and rips Thane’s heart from his chest. To save her teacher’s life, Ceony must face the evil magician and embark on an unbelievable adventure that will take her into the chambers of Thane’s still-beating heart—and reveal the very soul of the man.
The Immortal Circus by A.R. Kahler
Murdered contortionists aren’t exactly what Vivienne signed up for when she ran away to join the circus. But like most things under the big top, nothing is what it seems. With a past she can’t quite remember, Vivienne finds that running away forever might not be as appealing as it once sounded—especially not when she realizes the devilishly attractive ringleader, Mab, is the Faerie Queen of legend—and that she and the rest of the troupe are locked in an age-old rivalry between the otherworldly Courts.
Aided by her friends Kingston—a feisty stage magician whose magic is quickly stealing her heart—and his smart-ass assistant, Melody, Vivienne finds herself racing against the clock to discover the culprit behind a series of deaths that should be impossible. However, the answer she seeks might reveal more about her own bloody past—and future—than she bargained for.
The show’s just beginning. Step right up…
Wayward Pines, Idaho, is quintessential small-town America – or so it seems. Secret Service agent Ethan Burke arrives in search of two missing federal agents, yet soon is facing much more than he bargained for. After a violent accident lands him in the hospital, Ethan comes to with no ID and no cell phone. The medical staff seems friendly enough, but something feels…off. As the days pass, Ethan’s investigation into his colleagues’ disappearance turns up more questions than answers. Why can’t he make contact with his family in the outside world? Why doesn’t anyone believe he is who he says he is? And what’s the purpose of the electrified fences encircling the town? Are they keeping the residents in? Or something else out? Each step toward the truth takes Ethan further from the world he knows, until he must face the horrifying possibility that he may never leave Wayward Pines alive… (Side note: Yes, this has a TV series.)
When Penny Farthing nearly dies, brilliant surgeon Calvin Warwick manages to implant a brass “Ticker” in her chest, transforming her into the first of the Augmented. But soon it’s discovered that Warwick killed dozens of people as he strove to perfect another improved Ticker for Penny, and he’s put on trial for mass murder.
On the last day of Warwick’s trial, the Farthings’ factory is bombed, Penny’s parents disappear, and Penny and her brother, Nic, receive a ransom note demanding all of their Augmentation research if they want to see their parents again. Is someone trying to destroy the Farthings…or is the motive more sinister?
Desperate to reunite their family and rescue their research, Penny and her brother recruit fiery baker Violet Nesselrode, gentleman-about-town Sebastian Stirling, and Marcus Kingsley, a young army general who has his own reasons for wanting to lift the veil between this world and the next. Wagers are placed, friends are lost, romance stages an ambush, and time is running out for the girl with the clockwork heart.
It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.
Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.
Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.
Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again. (Check out Mogsy’s review and check out Wendy’s review.)
Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
When unattended environmental and economic crises lead to social chaos, not even gated communities are safe. In a night of fire and death Lauren Olamina, a minister’s young daughter, loses her family and home and ventures out into the unprotected American landscape. But what begins as a flight for survival soon leads to something much more: a startling vision of human destiny… and the birth of a new faith.
Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachael Aaron
As the smallest dragon in the Heartstriker clan, Julius survives by a simple code: keep quiet, don’t cause trouble, and stay out of the way of bigger dragons. But this meek behavior doesn’t fly in a family of ambitious magical predators, and his mother, Bethesda the Heartstriker, has finally reached the end of her patience.
Now, sealed in human form and banished to the DFZ–a vertical metropolis built on the ruins of Old Detroit–Julius has one month to prove that he can be a ruthless dragon or kiss his true shape goodbye forever. But in a city of modern mages and vengeful spirits where dragons are considered monsters to be exterminated, he’s going to need some serious help to survive this test. (Check out Mogsy’s review.)
He only hopes humans are more trustworthy than dragons…
Under Different Stars by Amy A. Bartol
Kricket Hollowell is normally not one to wish upon stars; she believes they’re rarely in her favor. Well versed at dodging caseworkers from Chicago’s foster care system, the past few years on her own have made Kricket an expert at the art of survival and blending in. With her 18th birthday fast approaching, she dreams of the day when she can stop running and find what her heart needs most: a home.
Trey Allairis hates Earth and doubts that anyone from his world can thrive here. What he’s learning of Kricket and her existence away from her true home only confirms his theory. But, when he and Kricket lie together under the stars of Ethar, counting them all may be easier than letting her go.
Kyon Ensin’s secrets number the stars; he knows more about Kricket’s gifts than anyone and plans to possess her because of them. He also knows she’s more valuable than any fire in the night sky. He’ll move the heavens and align them all in order to make her his own.
When everything in their world can be broken, will Kricket rely upon love to save her under different stars?
In the near future the government announces that superhumans are real. But unlike the iconic heroes of comic book fiction, they never put on capes and venture out to save the world; most keep to themselves in an attempt to blend in with a society that fears their abilities, and considers their very existence a terrorist threat.
One day, billionaire Cameron Frost makes a shocking announcement: the latest in his series of increasingly-violent sporting events will be a no-holds-barred fighting tournament. It will take place in a secured urban combat zone – known as The Arena – where 13 volunteers battle for the largest cash prize ever awarded.
The catch? To participate, you have to be a superhuman.
Comic book enthusiast and lifelong underachiever Matthew Moxon is excited to watch real-life superheroes clash for the first time, but a series of unforeseen circumstances find him tossed into the tournament, forced to fight the most dangerous human beings on the planet. When the game begins his only chance of survival is to outwit the competitors, all while he tries to unlock the mysteries buried within The Arena itself. (Check out Wendy’s review.)
The Atlantis Gene by A.G. Riddle
70,000 years ago, the human race almost went extinct.
We survived, but no one knows how. Until now.
The countdown to the next stage of human evolution is about to begin, and humanity may not survive this time. The Atlantis Gene is a thought-provoking techno-thriller about global genetic experiments, ancient conspiracies, and the mysteries of human evolution.
Later on I’d like to do a top ten list of the best and worst books I’ve read through Kindle Unlimited once I’ve read more books through the service. I’d also like to do a few lists featuring only fantasy, science fiction, dystopia/utopia, urban fantasy/paranormal romance, and post-apocalyptic books available through the service. So keep a look out for more upcoming posts, and hopefully, this will help some people get started with finding books through the service if you’re using it.
I am watching Pines, intriguing stuff
LikeLiked by 1 person
My husband is watching it, too. He likes it. I haven’t gotten the opportunity to sit down and watch it yet. I might start this weekend.
Do! Both Bf and I liked it. I was all ? at first. Then all 0_0 and now I do not know what to think
Interesting concept, and I was tempted to try it out, but they only offer it if you have a physical Kindle. Doesn’t work with the PC or Android apps.
LikeLiked by 1 person
That’s odd. I’ll have to look into that more because I don’t want to steer anyone wrong because I do have two Kindles,but they’re my kids’ devices and I’ve been using this longer than they’ve had their Kindles. It does work on my Android and iOS devices. That’s what I mainly use it from. I can’t speak for PC since I prefer to read from my Android tablet/iPad/Android phone. However, I want to be absolutely sure because I don’t want to promote something that is limited in that sense.
I know you can’t use the Kindle lending library without owning a Kindle either, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they put the same restriction on Kindle Unlimited. For the KLL, I found that you have to have at least an actual Kindle device registered under your name. When I tried to do it through my account, it didn’t recognize me as having one since my Kindle is actually registered through my husband’s account.
I just checked the FAQs in case I needed to update my position. It says that you don’t have to have a Kindle. It’s accessible to just the apps if that’s all you have, which maybe is its counter to KLL that people don’t have to have to buy a Kindle for.
Yeah, that would be a wonderful counter to KLL (though, I wouldn’t be surprised if they removed the restriction for that too, now that so many Kindle-less people have expressed disappointment)
BTW, as promised, here’s the list I compiled of KU books I’ve read or want to read! https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/4379514-mogsy-mmogc?shelf=kindle-unlimited
Will be adding a couple others on your list soon!
I have a shelf going, too, that I need to add more books, too, including even the ones I didn’t mention like Hunger Games and LoTR.
This is what I found on the Kindle Unlimted FAQs:
Q: Do I need a Kindle device to enjoy Kindle Unlimited?
A: No. You can read Kindle Unlimited books on your Kindle device or your phone, tablet or computer with our free Kindle Reading apps.
Chuck Wendig has some great books through KU as well, Atlanta Burns and his Heartland trilogy (the third book of which I didn’t even request from NetGalley because I knew I wanted to check it out through KU!)
See, I didn’t even know that Chuck Wendig had books on there. I know he talked about it which I linked, too, but as I said, I want to write more about the program in the future. Edit: Here’s my small shelf. You’ve been much better with adding books: https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/2426502?shelf=kindle-unlimited
Pingback: Stacking the Shelves | The BiblioSanctum
Pingback: YA Audiobook Weekend: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater | The BiblioSanctum