50 books like To Sleep in a Sea of Stars

By Christopher Paolini,

Here are 50 books that To Sleep in a Sea of Stars fans have personally recommended if you like To Sleep in a Sea of Stars. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Who Fears Death

Cassandra Lynn King Author Of Peak of the Panthers

From my list on helping you escape reality.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have loved reading since I was very young, and would bring home an armful of books from the library. I first discovered the dystopian genre while in junior high, and it quickly became my favorite genre. My favorite aspect of dystopias is the new world created within each book. When I began writing my own stories, I spent several hours building the world within my book. Even today, nearly 20 years after I first began writing, I spend hours drawing and designing everything within each book, whether or not it’s dystopian. My hope is that my readers find my worlds as fascinating as I found the worlds of the stories on my list!

Cassandra's book list on helping you escape reality

Cassandra Lynn King Why did Cassandra love this book?

Who Fears Death was a book assigned to me in a college course, and it was the most enjoyable piece of course work I ever had to read. Centered in post-apocalyptic Africa, Who Fears Death follows a biracial girl living in a segregated society that rejects “mixed blood.” I was endlessly cheering for the main character—Onyesonwu—and her stubborn pursuit of her own magical path. I pushed off reading most of my other coursework in order to finish this story and discover where Onye’s path would take her. Okorafor’s society-building was not only convincing, but also heartbreaking, and contained mirrors to present-day society. This book had me excited to do my homework, and is one I would recommend to anyone—in school or not.

By Nnedi Okorafor,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Who Fears Death as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An award-winning literary author enters the world of magical realism with her World Fantasy Award-winning novel of a remarkable woman in post-apocalyptic Africa.

Now optioned as a TV series for HBO, with executive producer George R.R. Martin!

In a post-apocalyptic Africa, the world has changed in many ways; yet in one region genocide between tribes still bloodies the land. A woman who has survived the annihilation of her village and a terrible rape by an enemy general wanders into the desert, hoping to die. Instead, she gives birth to an angry baby girl with hair and skin the colour of…


Book cover of The Stand

Christopher Calvin Author Of Pendant of God

From my list on that were adapted into worse movies.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up a child of the movies, open to watching anything at least once and countlessly rewatching the movies I loved. When not in front of a television, I was instead in front of a book, playing the words of the page out in my imagination. Now I write thrillers of multiple varieties (action, techno, paranormal, etc.), still visualizing words as movies playing out in my mind. Over the years, I’ve seen the quality of novel adaptations grow (e.g., Harry Potter, The Martian, etc.), and yet these staples of my youth have always stuck with me as lost opportunities to deliver a superior work to the general movie-watching audience.

Christopher's book list on that were adapted into worse movies

Christopher Calvin Why did Christopher love this book?

At a whopping 1,152 pages, Stephen King’s The Stand was just too much to capture in a single movie.

That’s why, in 1994, CBS adapted it across four, ninety-minute episodes of a limited run “mini-series” (a fancy way of saying “a really long movie”). In all fairness, it had a great cast and was better than it had any right to be, and was far more enjoyable than CBS’s 2020 attempt at a do-over.

But even with a total six-hour runtime, it couldn’t capture all the story, heart, and nuance that made the book so incredible. It’s a feat to read, one I did to pass the time when bored in school, and one I will surely do again in the future.

By Stephen King,

Why should I read it?

19 authors picked The Stand as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Stephen King's apocalyptic vision of a world blasted by virus and tangled in an elemental struggle between good and evil remains as riveting and eerily plausible as when it was first published.

Soon to be a television series.

'THE STAND is a masterpiece' (Guardian). Set in a virus-decimated US, King's thrilling American fantasy epic, is a Classic.

First come the days of the virus. Then come the dreams.

Dark dreams that warn of the coming of the dark man. The apostate of death, his worn-down boot heels tramping the night roads. The warlord of the charnel house and Prince of…


Book cover of The Passage

Stephen M. Sanders Author Of Passe-Partout

From my list on dystopian and sci-fantasy novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a sci-fi/fantasy fan ever since my dad introduced me to the original Star Trek (in reruns) and The Lord of the Rings in my youth. I’ve always loved thinking about possibilities—large and small—so my work tends to think big when I write. I also write poetry, which allows me to talk about more than just the everyday or at least to find the excitement within the mundane in life. These works talk about those same “possibilities”—for better or worse, and in reading, I walk in awareness of what could be.

Stephen's book list on dystopian and sci-fantasy novels

Stephen M. Sanders Why did Stephen love this book?

This book scratches my genre itch and is also “literary” at the same time. Cronin’s superb world-building is so subtle that you don’t realize that the book’s world and ours are separate until you are half-way through the book and see that there were clues all along the way.

By Justin Cronin,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked The Passage as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Amy Harper Bellafonte is six years old and her mother thinks she's the most important person in the whole world. She is. Anthony Carter doesn't think he could ever be in a worse place than Death Row. He's wrong. FBI agent Brad Wolgast thinks something beyond imagination is coming. It is. THE PASSAGE. Deep in the jungles of eastern Colombia, Professor Jonas Lear has finally found what he's been searching for - and wishes to God he hadn't. In Memphis, Tennessee, a six-year-old girl called Amy is left at the convent of the Sisters of Mercy and wonders why her…


Book cover of Delirium

Cassandra Lynn King Author Of Peak of the Panthers

From my list on helping you escape reality.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have loved reading since I was very young, and would bring home an armful of books from the library. I first discovered the dystopian genre while in junior high, and it quickly became my favorite genre. My favorite aspect of dystopias is the new world created within each book. When I began writing my own stories, I spent several hours building the world within my book. Even today, nearly 20 years after I first began writing, I spend hours drawing and designing everything within each book, whether or not it’s dystopian. My hope is that my readers find my worlds as fascinating as I found the worlds of the stories on my list!

Cassandra's book list on helping you escape reality

Cassandra Lynn King Why did Cassandra love this book?

In a world where love is forbidden, witness the blossoming of an epic love story. As someone who rarely enjoys romance novels, Lauren Oliver’s Delirium hooked me in and had me finish in less than two days. Oliver has a way with words that left me feeling every emotion the main character felt, and had me diving into the second book the moment I finished the first. It’s a beautiful dystopian, and was the first book I read that got me hooked on the genre. If you are a fan of The Hunger Games, then you’ll love Delirium!

By Lauren Oliver,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Delirium as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

'A dystopian Romeo and Juliet story that deserves to be as massive as Twilight' Stylist

They say that the cure for love will make me happy and safe forever. And I've always believed them. Until now.

There was a time when love was the most important thing in the world. People would go to the end of the earth to find it. They would tell lies for it. Even kill for it.

But now love has been declared a dangerous disease.

Everyone who turns eighteen must be immunised with a procedure called the Cure. Lena Haloway is looking forward to…


Book cover of Victories Greater Than Death

Dan Rice Author Of Dragons Walk Among Us

From my list on YA fantasy and sci-fi with diverse perspectives.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an author of young adult fantasy and science fiction, I’ve read many books that fall within that rubric. This list captures the most exciting young adult novels I’ve read over the past few years. All have aspects of storytelling and themes I strive to capture in my writing. One thing I love about the young adult genre is the characters go on an adventure full of excitement and danger. The adventure is a metaphor for growing up. So if reads chock-full of death-defying odds, mystery, wonder, and a sprinkling of romance are your jam, the books in this list are for you.

Dan's book list on YA fantasy and sci-fi with diverse perspectives

Dan Rice Why did Dan love this book?

I was blown away by how good Victories Greater Than Death is. It reminds me of the original Star Trek with its optimism and inclusiveness. Charlie Jane Anders puts inclusiveness front and center with the sheer diversity of her characters in ethnic origin, neurodiversity, and LGBTQA+ identification. This is done brilliantly in a manner that is in your face, lighthearted, touching, and nuanced. All this is accomplished without sacrificing the yarn's sci-fi suave.

The protagonist is Tina, a teenage girl destined to transform into an alien superhero. Her story thrums with fantastical adventure while exploring questions of identity and purpose with gravitas. I explore similar themes in my writing and hope I handle them with the aplomb Charlie Jane Anders does.

By Charlie Jane Anders,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Victories Greater Than Death as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 13, 14, 15, and 16.

What is this book about?

Outsmart Your Enemies. Outrun the Galaxy.

“Just please, remember what I told you. Run. Don’t stop running for anything.”

Tina never worries about being 'ordinary'--she doesn't have to, since she's known practically forever that she's not just Tina Mains, average teenager and beloved daughter. She's also the keeper of an interplanetary rescue beacon, and one day soon, it's going to activate, and then her dreams of saving all the worlds and adventuring among the stars will finally be possible. Tina's legacy, after all, is intergalactic--she is the hidden clone of a famed alien hero, left on Earth disguised as a…


Book cover of Gust Front

B.K. Bass Author Of What Once Was Home

From my list on ordinary people surviving the extraordinary.

Why am I passionate about this?

I lived in small towns with “ordinary” people most of my life, so books where people from small towns contend with situations beyond the ordinary fascinate me. I also served in the US Army as a nuclear, biological, and chemical operations specialist and am a military history buff, so anything with a military spin is all that more engaging for me and I developed a morbid fascination for just how easy it would be for us to end civilization as we know it. Therefore, military science fiction and post-apocalyptic fiction are among my favorite genres. 

B.K.'s book list on ordinary people surviving the extraordinary

B.K. Bass Why did B.K. love this book?

Parts of Gust Front hit home. I read this while living in the Appalachians, so seeing Cally preparing for an invasion in a remote valley in Georgia, and the subsequent fighting that takes place in and around the Appalachians, struck a nerve with me. If the worst happened, up to and including the alien invasion depicted here, would the mountains be the best place to hold out and resist? The scope of the novel covers many settings, including other familiar ones like Washington D.C., all of which ground the speculative premise of an alien invasion in a story that feels very real; something that any of us could be forced to live through.

Book cover of Contact Harvest

Dagmar Rokita Author Of The Vanquisher of Kings I

From my list on sci-fi about war and weapons.

Why am I passionate about this?

I always felt torn between the future and the past. I've been fascinated with space, aliens, and technology since I could remember. When I was too young to write, I could spend long hours drawing alien worlds, plants, and creatures. These hobbies from my childhood shaped my current passion for futuristic subjects, but the events from ancient and modern history still remain an important inspiration for my books. My country, Poland, experienced many wars, and history is a necessary subject at school. Historical books and documentaries let me discover and analyse how our society evolved and what mistakes did it make, so I can use this knowledge in my military sci-fi novels. 

Dagmar's book list on sci-fi about war and weapons

Dagmar Rokita Why did Dagmar love this book?

I’m too clumsy to play games, so I explored the Halo universe through books and animated series. Fans’ opinions on this book are quite divided, but I found it really interesting.

The characters have a deeper development here, and that lets me get personally involved in this story. All sides of the conflict have something to say here. I would recommend this novel to everyone who wants to explore the Halo universe because it really helped me understand the essential aspects of it: alien races, the basic conflicts and technology.

By Joseph Staten,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Contact Harvest as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The New York Times bestseller—part of the expanded universe based on the award-winning video game series Halo!

2524. Harvest is a peaceful, prosperous farming colony on the very edge of human-controlled space. But humanity has unknowingly trespassed on holy ground—straying into the path of the aggressive, theocratic empire known as the Covenant. What begins as a chance encounter between an alien privateer and a human freighter soon catapults all of mankind into a struggle for its very existence.

But humanity is also currently locked in a bitter civil war of its own: the Insurrection. With resources strained to the breaking…


Book cover of Embassytown

Gillian Cross Author Of After Tomorrow

From my list on about communication.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been writing children’s books all my adult life. That means trying to find ways to communicate exactly what I’m imagining. I love words and stories. As a teenager, I wrote down my favourite words and carried them around with me. When I had children, I was fascinated by how fast they learned to make themselves understood, with and without words. The words we choose are important – but they’re only one way to communicate. What about pictures? Body language? Online media? Pheromones? The signals animals and plants give out? The more I learn about communication, the more fascinating it becomes.

Gillian's book list on about communication

Gillian Cross Why did Gillian love this book?

I like science fiction when it’s about big ideas and they don’t come much bigger than this. Imagine a world where the alien inhabitants are incapable of lying. They can’t even use figures of speech, like similes, unless someone has acted out what they want to use as a comparison. (Avice, the girl who ate what was given to her, is the human simile who narrates the story.) Sounds idyllic? Maybe – until you start thinking about how you’d make plans, or discuss ideas. This isn’t an easy read, but it’s fascinating and it made me think hard.

By China Miéville,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Embassytown as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel, China Mieville's astonishing Embassytown is an intelligent and immersive exploration of language in an alien world.

Embassytown: a city of contradictions on the outskirts of the universe.

Avice is an immerser, a traveller on the immer, the sea of space and time below the everyday, now returned to her birth planet. Here on Arieka, humans are not the only intelligent life, and Avice has a rare bond with the natives, the enigmatic Hosts - who cannot lie.

Only a tiny cadre of unique human Ambassadors can speak Language, and connect…


Book cover of Zoe's Tale

Dan Rice Author Of Dragons Walk Among Us

From my list on YA fantasy and sci-fi with diverse perspectives.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an author of young adult fantasy and science fiction, I’ve read many books that fall within that rubric. This list captures the most exciting young adult novels I’ve read over the past few years. All have aspects of storytelling and themes I strive to capture in my writing. One thing I love about the young adult genre is the characters go on an adventure full of excitement and danger. The adventure is a metaphor for growing up. So if reads chock-full of death-defying odds, mystery, wonder, and a sprinkling of romance are your jam, the books in this list are for you.

Dan's book list on YA fantasy and sci-fi with diverse perspectives

Dan Rice Why did Dan love this book?

Scalzi transports us to his ever-exciting Old Man's War universe for a retelling of the novel The Last Colony from a teen's perspective. Aliens, adventure, and young love abound in Zoe's Tale, a story sure to delight Scalzi fans and is an excellent entry point for young adult readers interested in his brand of witty sci-fi.

With Zoe's Tale, Scalzi demonstrates one key to a compelling story is a fantastic protagonist. Zoe is just that. She is engaging, stubborn, snarky, a true friend, an angsty teen, and brave. Readers who enjoy Scalzi's clever prose will find the fact Zoe's Tale is a retelling of The Last Colony immaterial. That's how captivating a character Zoe is.

By John Scalzi,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Zoe's Tale as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Hard-core, fast paced science fiction, John Scalzi's Zoe's Tale is the fourth in The Old Man's War series.

She won't go down without a fight.

It's not every day you up sticks and move to another world. But then, Zoe Boutin-Perry's life has never been ordinary. She's the adopted teenage daughter of two former super-soldiers. She's also a holy icon to a race of alien warriors who track her every move. So she's used to the quirks of being a human in space.

However, this time something's different. Betrayed by the authorities, Zoe - along with her parents and fellow…


Book cover of Old Man's War

Bennett R. Coles Author Of Virtues of War

From my list on military sci-fi books that actually understand what it feels like to be in the military.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was 4 years old when I first saw Star Wars, and it changed my entire world view. Basically, from that moment forward everything was cooler if it was in SPACE! Eventually, I grew up, and today, I’ve served more than 20 years in uniform, but I discovered along the way that most sci-fi doesn’t portray the military accurately. When I started writing, one of my goals was to present as realistic a depiction of the military as I can (in space!) and I’ve always enjoyed books like the ones on my list that do the same. 

Bennett's book list on military sci-fi books that actually understand what it feels like to be in the military

Bennett R. Coles Why did Bennett love this book?

The premise of Old Man’s War is basically every old man’s fantasy (no… not what you think). But if there really was a way to combine the wisdom of age with the virility of youth, I think we’d all be on board.

From a military point of view, it does a great job of bringing a civilian through the recruiting and basic training process without resorting to the trope of a wide-eyed, innocent youth who finds his strength.

In this case, our recruit already comes with a lifetime of experience and his observations of military training and philosophy are pithy, grounded and very entertaining. It’s a fresh look at basic training and it goes a long way to explain why recruits are trained the way they are.

By John Scalzi,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Old Man's War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Perfect for an entry-level sci-fi reader and the ideal addition to a veteran fan’s collection, John Scalzi's Old Man’s War will take audiences on a heart-stopping adventure into the far corners of the universe.

John Perry did two things on his 75th birthday. First he visited his wife's grave. Then he joined the army.

The good news is that humanity finally made it into interstellar space. The bad news is that planets fit to live on are scarce-and aliens willing to fight for them are common. The universe, it turns out, is a hostile place.

So: we fight. To defend…


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