Umbrella Academy is the best thing I’ve seen on television in a long time. From the dark humor to the electric visuals and rockout action scenes, it was solidly awesome from episode one on. Mostly, I found myself invested in the characters. I particularly love Klaus. Vanya is a standout, too. Five was a total scene-stealer. Allison made me cry. I warmed up to Diego–though not so much to Luther. And Hazel and Cha-Cha? Did not see their story going the way it did.
As such, I ended up putting a lot of my favorite books on this list. It makes sense, really; Umbrella Academy is solidly my cup of tea, and I found the themes and feelings resonating through many of my favorites.
Their powers are super, and their morals are gray. Welcome to the world of Victor Vale and his associates, who power-up by dying (temporarily) and disagree on one or two (or a hundred) crucial details about the fate of the world. Umbrella Academy fans will definitely dig the antihero vibes in one of Schwab’s superb titles. [Amazon Link]
Umbrella Academy‘s Luther isn’t the only one who gets to hang out on the moon. In Artemis, the author of the Martian builds a believable portrait of an inhabited moon–complete with murder and mayhem. The narrator, Jazz, tells the story with a certain macabre humor that runs through the veins of Umbrella Academy, too. [Amazon Link]
I’ll take Dysfunctional Superpowered Family Dynamics for 500, Alex. I read Jade City in January, and I absolutely loved it. Think Sopranos plus Game of Thrones (but better) with superpowers and an East-Asian inspired setting. I absolutely cannot wait for the sequel to come out in July 2019. [Amazon Link]
So the world ends, right, except not quite. There are still people kicking around, and their world is…challenging. But there’s art, too, and with it, legacy. Without spoiling Umbrella Academy, I’ll just say that if you’re interested in post-apocalyptic (but not dystopian) type stuff, Station Eleven might be just the thing. Beautifully written and addictively compelling, it’s one of my favorite books of all time. [Amazon Link]
I’ve got your disillusioned post-modern superheroes right here. Comic-book pages mix with literary storytelling to tell the tale of lost powers and general super-angst. [Amazon Link]
With stories by the likes of Marjorie M. Liu and Gail Simone, Masked is one of my favorite short story anthologies. Umbrella Academy fans will particularly appreciate the Hazel-and-Cha-Cha vibes in Gail Simone’s “Thug,” which presents the diary of a henchman. [Amazon Link]
~~DOUBLE Genre Bust~~
Their powers seem beautiful, until they twist. With family dynamics based on their shared power, there’s a lot of sisterly conflict–and plenty of love, too. One of my favorite reads from last year, I’m looking forward to picking up the sequel. [Amazon Link]
I can’t tell you why, because that would be a spoiler for the Umbrella Academy. And even more of a spoiler for the Raven Boys. Let’s just say there are certain characters who hold certain attributes in common. You’ll just have to trust me on this one. [Amazon Link]
If you love Umbrella Academy, too, there’s a good chance my stories will be right up your alley. You can click here to sign up for my newsletter–which comes along with a free short story collection Spells and Spaceships: Stories. My obsession with superheroes has made its way into the collection, as it does with so much of my life. There are also space racers, magic school rejects, and a day in the life of the last human on Earth. It’s pretty fun stuff, if I may say so myself.