Book Recs: 10 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Books with No Romance (2)


My first post about sci-fi/fantasy books with no romance seems to be popular, so I figured everyone might appreciate some more recommendations!

Romance is great and all, but sometimes it’s nice to read a story that’s about family, or growing up, or plain ol’ taking down bad guys. I can’t promise you books that have absolutely nothing related to romance whatsoever, but I did manage to find some more books that are definitely not about romance. Hopefully you all will enjoy these non-romance books as much as I did!

*Just a little note for previous visitors, I originally did a part 2 and 3 with five book recommendations in each. I’ve decided to combine them into one post with ten books, which is this one! Part 3, when it’s posted, will have all new books. If this is your first visiting, don’t worry about any of that, just enjoy the posts!*

*If you’re considering buying any of these books from Amazon US, I’d appreciate it if you use my links! It will help support this blog at no additional cost to you!*

This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi LeeThis Dark Endeavor by Kenneth OppelMongrels by Stephen Graham JonesStraight Outta Fangton by C.T. PhippsDjinn City by Saad Z. Hossain

This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee

This YA steampunk Frankenstein-retelling foregoes romance and instead focuses on the relationship between brothers, grief, and what it means to be human.
Amazon // Goodreads // My Review

This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel (The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein Series)

What can I say? I like Frankenstein retellings, and interestingly enough, this ominous historical fantasy duology is also about brothers—twins this time. The main character does have feelings for someone that drive some of his actions, but don’t worry, this isn’t a romance story.
Amazon // Goodreads // My Review

Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones

This unique, gritty werewolf book is all about growing up and family, and it’s one of my favorites. The main character’s family members have relationships here and there, and there is a small section in which the MC himself has a girlfriend, but it’s really not the focus of the story. It’s the writing, the three main characters, and their familial bonds that really make this book shine. *This book has content that may be triggering or offensive. Please see my review for more info.*
Amazon // Goodreads // My Review

Straight Outta Fangton by C.T. Phipps (Straight Outta Fangton Series)

This comical urban fantasy is about a young Black vampire working with his friend, his creator, and a newly turned vampire in order to try and stop a bigger, badder vampire. The main character is vaguely attracted to someone in the first book, and I think in a relationship in the second, but that really plays no part, and these have so far been strictly urban fantasy action and fun.
Amazon // Goodreads // My Review

Djinn City by Saad Z. Hossain

If you like djinns, dragons, non-US settings, complex plots, and not always likeable but realistic characters, then you might enjoy this one. It’s a gritty, somewhat dark book set in Bangladesh about djinn politics and a group of people trying to stop a djinn from wiping out the country. *This book has content that may be triggering or offensive. Please see my review for more info.*
Amazon // Goodreads // My Review

Underneath by M.N. ArzuDead Boys by Gabriel SquailiaThe Municipalists by Seth FriedWhat Fate Portends by Clara CoulsonTin Crickets by Joseph Wise

Underneath by M.N. Arzu (Under Series)

I adore this series about a family of merfolk living on land. It has such great family dynamics but also really explores the consequences of merfolk being discovered by humans. One of the teenage characters gets a girlfriend later in the series, but it’s such a minuscule part of the otherwise (so far) romance-free series.
Amazon // Goodreads // My Review

Dead Boys by Gabriel Squailia

I’ll admit this book wasn’t really for me, but it was a cool idea about a man traveling through the Afterlife. There are all sorts of weird happenings and strange characters, a Black protagonist, no romance that I can remember, and other people might really enjoy it.
Amazon // Goodreads

The Municipalists by Seth Fried

This is another that didn’t perfectly click with me, but it was quirky with a wild plot and a fun artificial intelligence character. Again, no romance that I can remember, but there was some friendship, and I always enjoy that.
Amazon // Goodreads // My Review

What Fate Portends by Clara Coulson (The Frost Arcana Series)

I believe I am four books into this fast-paced post-apocalyptic urban fantasy series about a fae cop trying to save his city, and so far there’s no romance, other than mere mention of a date. And judging from other similar Clara Coulson books I’ve read, even if something eventually develops, it’s likely to remain firmly in the background.
Amazon // Goodreads // My Review

Tin Crickets by Joseph Wise

This book was kind of a dystopian horror about teens finding out dark secrets about the underwater bunker where they live and getting into some life-threatening danger involving monstrous creatures. I think some feelings were mentioned, but they don’t go anywhere; the characters are all too busy running for their lives to worry much about romance.
Amazon // Goodreads // My Review

More SFF Books without Romance

Book Recs: 10 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Books with No Romance
Book Recs: 10 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Books with No Romance (2)
All Books I’ve Reviewed with No Romance


Talk to me!

Do you like books without romance?
Do you have any more recs for sci-fi/fantasy books that aren't about romance?


Your Thoughts


64 thoughts on “Book Recs: 10 Sci-Fi/Fantasy Books with No Romance (2)

I'd love if you'd share your thoughts, too!


Reading your comments makes me a very happy blogger!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Greg

    Yeah I’m always kinda surprised when I read a book WITHOUT romance, or with very little, because it seems like it’s kinda rare these days! Always nice to see examples of books that look at other relationships than just romantic ones. Of these, I think Mongrels (cause werewolves, after all) and Djinn City sound super interesting!

    1. Kristen Burns

      It does seem rare, at least in the types of books I read. I enjoyed all of these, but Mongrels was one of my favorites of the year, so I super recommend that one 😛

  2. Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy

    I have got to find a copy of Mongrels! I’m also happy to see it on your “no romance” list. I don’t mind romance if a) the book is advertised as romance and I know going into it or b) the romance doesn’t take over the story.

  3. Sam@wlabb

    This is a pretty serendipitous post for me, because I was just talking about how many books, though not romance, seem to contain romance. I know there are people, who want romance-free stories, and I could hardly think of any. Great job finding the five above. I have This Monstrous Thing, and have heard fantastic things about it.

  4. Lola

    While I love romance in my books, sometimes it can be nice to have a book that’s focused on something else first or maybe doesn’t have any romance at all. Although I rarely read books with no romance at all, unless you count non-fiction books, lol. Most books I read have a side plot line romance or a hint of romance at least.

    I remember most of these books from when you reviewed them on your blog or showed them in your recap posts. I haven’t read as many books that focus on brothers or sisters, but those can be great.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I mean, same LOL. I can’t do these posts very often because most of what I read does have romance at least on the side. But in the past year or two, I realized that, although I love when books have romance, I do enjoy books without romance too, especially when they focus on other types of relationships, like friendship or family.

  5. ShootingStarsMag

    I do like books without romance, because sometimes it feels like authors are just adding a romance because they think that’s what people want…or their publisher suggests it or something. It’s not always needed! I haven’t read any of these yet, but I do want to read This Monstrous Thing at some point as I love Mackenzi Lee.


    1. Kristen Burns

      It does seem like romance is just pushed into books for no reason sometimes, and I agree it’s not always needed! I hope you like This Monstrous Thing!

  6. Stephanie Jane (Literary Flits)

    Having just finished two books after each other where the romance elements really did nothing for the story, this post is perfectly time. I’ve already got Djinn City on my must-get-to list and the Mongrels cover is scarily eyecatching!

  7. Barb (boxermommyreads)

    Hey, I’ve actually read the first two! And I really enjoyed them both. I don’t mind some romance thrown in but it’s also nice to find some books without it. Have you ever read “Gods of Prey?” I think you’d enjoy it.

  8. Daniela Ark

    love to see the Dijin and the Mongrel books here 🙂 It’s funny that for someone that claims not to read romance I do like that element in my stories. I don;t miss it when it’s not there but I do like it a lot when it’s present as long as it’s not the focus of the story… UNLESS… I’m in a reading slump like I have been and I’m ready to call on all the shirtless heroes XD NOTHING like PNR to cure my slumps LOL I’m thinking I’ll finish that PNR series I started last year: Seven by Dannika Dark 🙂

    1. Kristen Burns

      LOL I’m kind of the same. I love romance when it’s there as long as it doesn’t take over the story, except sometimes I do like when romance is the focus, but I also don’t mind when there’s no Romance. Although I’m not a fan of a lot of paranormal romance tropes.

  9. Bookworm Brandee

    What?!? *gasps* No romance?!? LOL And yet, I actually want to read several of these. 😉 I’ve wanted to read This Dark Endeavor forever. And Mongrels is also appealing. Thanks for the recs, Kristen. I’ll pick up one of these when I’m in the mood for NO romance. 🙂

    1. Kristen Burns

      I didn’t think I liked books without romance either, but then I started reading some, and they grew on me 😛 I hope you like any of these that you try!

  10. Olivia Roach

    I absolutely love sci-fi. I also really love no romance books. So this list was MADE for me. This Monstrous Thing has been waiting for me on my kindle forever and I love her historical fic duology so I need to get reading that one as soon as possible. Also, Frankenstein is involved so I am so there. The cover for The Dark Endeavour is so gorgeous <3 I waaaant!

  11. Dani Eide

    Djinn City sounds fascinating as does the twin brothers… actually I love the idea of both brothers books… love other relationship types to be explored in books!

  12. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    Book recs with no romance really shouldn’t be my thing since I kind of live for a good romance but sometimes you want a break from the romance and I’ve read many a fantasy book where I’ve despaired at how prominent the romance is as it takes over a perfectly good storyline. Kenneth Oppel is an author name I’ve not seen in a while I remember way back when reading Airborn and loving it. Like the sound of a Frankenstein retelling as well.

  13. Pingback: Myths, Demons and Riotous Chick Lit: What I've Been Reading, What You've Been Posting on Week 49, 2018 | AvalinahsBooks

  14. Greg

    Ooh I remember you covering Underneath- I think I have that on my list of merfolk books to read. There can never be too many of those. 🙂

    The Crickets sounds awesome!

  15. Roberta R.

    “the characters are all too busy running for their lives to worry much about romance”.
    Haha! As it should be! I mean, in the name of a realistic plot.

    Thanks for those!

  16. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    I mean… no romance is not my usual go-to but I remember when I read more scifi/fantasy (no idea why I stopped tbh) one of my biggest complaints was romance which just didn’t fit with the book so these recs are brilliant. I can see in the one you mention the one may have romance at some point, but if it does it’ll very much be in the background and that is the way romance should be in fantasy/sci-fi reads because you don’t want it to detract from the main story.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I do like romance, but sometimes a really is just kind of forced into the story. So it’s great to find books that don’t do that or don’t let it overshadow the main story.

  17. Flora

    I do like a bit of romance, or at least, a hint at blossoming romance later on as it usually balances any tension in the plot. Saying that, I haven’t come across any romance in Kevin Hearne’s The Iron Chronicles or Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files but they do have humour to balance the conflict and tension.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I like a bit of romance too! I also like it sometimes when books don’t have it though. I should really read those recs! It is good to have something to balance the tension.

  18. Olivia Roach

    As much as I am a hopeless romantic when it comes to books, I am all for books with absolutely no romance in them. I liked this recs list! The Municipalists is one I want to try, and I have to admit that Dead Boys intrigues me as well :3

  19. Pingback: Weekend Wrap-up #298 - Busy is Me | (un)Conventional Bookworms

  20. Daniela Ark

    I would have totally read Dead Boys too by the way you describe it 🙂 I don’t know if I read a book where I know there is No romance though 🙂 I’m a romantic at heart 🙂 LOL

    1. Kristen Burns

      Maybe you’d like it 🙂 Lol you’re not alone in not wanting to read books without romance though! I like romance, but then I also find I enjoy it when books don’t have it 🙂