… maybe the MC was really different, maybe it was the way it was written, a very unique spin on a genre or topic, etc.
The difficulty in creating this list has been deciding if a book is unique to me, or unique in general — and if that distinction matters. I mostly went with books that I felt were unique in general.
Shadowplay and Pantomime by Laura Lam feature an intersex main character as well as those of varying sexualities. They’re certainly the only books I’ve read with an intersex character, and I gather that it’s pretty rare.
Quicksilver, by RJ Anderson, has the only contemporary asexual character I know of.
The Steerswoman (and its sequels) by Rosemary Kirstein blend science fiction and fantasy in a unique way. The main character is a woman of scientific training and thought, which is also rare in fantasy. (Truly – things like the scientific method and mathematical proof.)
Unique magic systems:
The magic system in the Magic ex Libris series by Jim C. Hines is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Magicians have the ability to pull objects out of books.
In the Vineart trilogy by Laura Anne Gilman, magic is worked through wine.
The world of Shadow Bridge by Gregory Frost is made up of cities on bridges over an endless ocean.
The Frontier Magic trilogy, by Patricia Wrede, is set in an alternate (magical) United States, on the western frontier. I’m not sure if it’s unique or just unique to me, but I’ve never read or heard of another alternate western frontier setting. (Though when I thought about it, I’ve read a book or two in an alternate US…)
Wide Awake by David Leviathan is the only book set in the future I’ve read that isn’t dystopian, and that is optimistic rather than pessimistic.
A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan blends genres — only it doesn’t, really — in a unique way, and the voice is different than anything else I’ve read.
The Giant Slayers by Iain Lawrence blends storytelling and reality in a fascinating way.
Learn all about Top Ten Tuesday at The Broke and the Bookish.