Comment on Duplicate Content Penalty SEO by Nico.
The index page per se is not duplicated content. So focus on ranking that page.
As for the pages containing the copied texts put them on an internal folder like so: domain.com/novels/novel1.html
1. Block Google access to novel folder with robots.txt file.
2. Add a meta noindex+nofollow to novel1.html and all novel files.
3. Make all the links on the index nofollow.
That way you should get rid of the penalty and still keep the content for visitors, the novels itself will not appear on Google (you shouldn’t try to rank copied content) but it doesn’t matter cos your index will keep ranking good.