Guardians of the Galaxy might be my favorite film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The first one falls among a handful of movies I never tire of–and I have to love how Vol. 2 doubles down on the found-family dynamics. I’ll never forget the surprised delight of watching Chris Pratt click on that Walkman and start busting a move in the middle of a deserted alien planet. I’m laughing now just thinking about it.

Anyway, I guess it’s fitting that I’ve got a pretty solid list of book recommendations for people who love Guardians of the Galaxy as much as I do.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Vintage playlist, anyone? This novel may take place on Earth, but its virtual-reality space is more expansive (which is kind of the whole point) and it’s loaded with fast-paced hijinks would definitely appeal to Guardians fans. [Amazon Link]

Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine & Ann Aguirre

An unlikely hero(ine) who’s snatched from a life of thieving to travel with funky aliens and learn about the universe? Sounds pretty Guardians of the Galaxy-like to me! I’m actually in the middle of this book right now, but it pulled me in immediately. I’m honestly having trouble putting it down, so I just had to include it on this list. (If it ends badly, I’ll definitely add an addendum here since I only feature books I like–but with Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre at the keyboard, I’m feeling pretty confident.) [Amazon Link]

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

Intergalactic escapades, cities full of diverse alien races, and a focus on found-family bonds. It’s an obvious pick for Guardians devotees. And Becky Chambers’ Wayfarers series is one of the highlights in current sci fi. If you haven’t checked it out, I couldn’t recommend it more highly. [Amazon Link]

Guardians of the Galaxy Fan Book List

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

The form is brilliant, the banter is on point, and it’s one of the most exciting and innovative novels I’ve encountered recently, across genres. Space battles! Out of control AIs! Swoon-worthy fighter pilots! It’s just awesome. [Amazon Link]

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Whether guarding the galaxy or hitchhiking through it, those with a penchant for Guardians-style wacky humor will likely be fans of this Douglas Adams classic. [Amazon Link]

Negative Return by Jessie Kwak

A band of criminals who are none too sure about one another, heisting it up in space…and facing higher stakes than anyone bargained for. There’s a lot of heart packed into this bite-sized novella…and a lot of fun, too. [Amazon Link]

Guardians of the Galaxy fan book list

Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray

This books gallops between nifty planets at breakneck speed. It’s got a strong romantic subplot, sure, but it’s more about the fighty-fighty robots and intergalactic cultural clashes that Guardians fans know and love. [Amazon Link]

Unearthed by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Unearthed is described as Indiana Jones meets Lara Croft in space, and the novel certainly delivers on that score. Ancient temples, impossible puzzles, and an out-of-control boulder or two for good measure. Partner a scavenging criminal with a stuffy scholar, add lots of baddies chasing them for what they know, and you end up with a heck of a fun story. [Amazon Link]

~~GENRE BUST: Fantasy ~~

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Apparently I’m obsessed with misfit criminal gangs, since about half of the above titles could conceivably take up that description. Six of Crows is one of my very favorite books. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a fast-paced fantasy heist, full of witty banter and high-stakes gambles. With a strong cast of main characters and an unforgettable anti-hero at the center, it’s well worth checking out. [Amazon Link]

If you enjoy superheroes and general bookish shenanigans, 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.

About Kate Sheeran Swed

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