49 books like Wave Rider

By Michelle Diener,

Here are 49 books that Wave Rider fans have personally recommended if you like Wave Rider. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Hope's Folly

Greta van der Rol Author Of Conspiracy

From my list on sci-fi romance with action and adventure in stars.

Why am I passionate about this?

For me, writing space opera was obvious because it's what I like to read. There's so much scope for human and non-human societies out there, complete with the history of how they were created, and the inevitable cut-and-thrust of politics. If the book also has a love story– where do I pay my money? I do like the science in my science fiction to be convincing, though. My background as a computer programmer helps with that and I'm often grateful for my history degree when coming up with convincing empires and events. 

Greta's book list on sci-fi romance with action and adventure in stars

Greta van der Rol Why did Greta love this book?

After a slow start, Hope's Folly is packed with action and intrigue. Everybody seems to be trying to stop the ship from reaching its destination – including someone on board. In Linnea Sinclair's universe the spaceships are not run by all-powerful artificial intelligence. The engine room, weapons systems, and the all-important environment systems all run using computers but with people running the show. Guys get to cut code, hack, and mess about in the systems. The characters are real. They have faults, make mistakes. They're ordinary people forced to cope with extraordinary circumstances in a disintegrating Empire reminiscent of Stalin taking over in the USSR. I loved the romance. There's a big age difference, but Rya is in her thirties and knows what she's doing.

By Linnea Sinclair,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Enter a world where Polite, Professional, and Prepared to Kill is more than a motto…

Admiral Philip Guthrie is alive and kicking—despite an Imperial kill-order with his name on it. Now he’s leading a rebel alliance against the oppressive Imperial forces. Or he would, if he could get his command ship—the derelict cruiser, Hope’s Folly—functioning. If lack of crew and supplies isn’t trouble enough, his assigned bodyguard turns out to be former Imperial assassin Rya Bennton—the daughter of his best friend and first commanding officer. A man whose death is on Philip’s conscience.

Rya Bennton has been in love with…


Book cover of Star King

Greta van der Rol Author Of Conspiracy

From my list on sci-fi romance with action and adventure in stars.

Why am I passionate about this?

For me, writing space opera was obvious because it's what I like to read. There's so much scope for human and non-human societies out there, complete with the history of how they were created, and the inevitable cut-and-thrust of politics. If the book also has a love story– where do I pay my money? I do like the science in my science fiction to be convincing, though. My background as a computer programmer helps with that and I'm often grateful for my history degree when coming up with convincing empires and events. 

Greta's book list on sci-fi romance with action and adventure in stars

Greta van der Rol Why did Greta love this book?

The Star King is one of the first science fiction romances I read. It has everything I want in a space opera – politics, fast-paced action, danger, drama, angst, all mixed up with a great love story. I fell in love with the characters, especially the dishy alien alpha male. And I particularly like that the romance is between two mature people with life experience. 

By Susan Grant,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An alien king, an Earth woman. Fated mates—Or is fate stacked against them?


Rom B’Kah is fighting for the survival of his people when a beautiful and mysterious warrior from Earth saves his life. When she vanishes without a trace, he vows to find her again.

Years after battlefield trauma sends her life into a tailspin, Jas Hamilton has given up on love. When a galactic empire makes first contact with Earth, she sets out to reclaim her lost sense of adventure—and finds it in the arms of the golden-eyed alien warrior she’s spent a lifetime trying to forget.

When…


Book cover of Overload Flux

Greta van der Rol Author Of Conspiracy

From my list on sci-fi romance with action and adventure in stars.

Why am I passionate about this?

For me, writing space opera was obvious because it's what I like to read. There's so much scope for human and non-human societies out there, complete with the history of how they were created, and the inevitable cut-and-thrust of politics. If the book also has a love story– where do I pay my money? I do like the science in my science fiction to be convincing, though. My background as a computer programmer helps with that and I'm often grateful for my history degree when coming up with convincing empires and events. 

Greta's book list on sci-fi romance with action and adventure in stars

Greta van der Rol Why did Greta love this book?

Mix a couple of strong, mysterious characters with a dangerous quest and you've got me. It's a plot where I had to pay attention as the danger ratchets up with betrayals and twists and turns that kept me guessing. There's enough detail in settings and tech to convince without any info dumps and the romance is an integral part of the story. Loved it.

By Carol Van Natta,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

When the cure for a deadly disease is stolen, two misfits are all that stands between greed and intergalactic tragedy.

Luka Foxe can’t let anyone know about his secret mental abilities. Debilitated by their influence when faced with violence, the brilliant forensic investigator now only takes assignments involving theft. But when he has to hunt down a hijacked vaccine for a galaxy-wide pandemic, the tragic first clue is his best friend’s brutal murder.

Nightshift guard Mairwen Morganthur knows she must keep a low profile. The product of illegal genetic alteration, she’s a lethal weapon with no social graces. But when…


Book cover of Escape From Zulaire

Greta van der Rol Author Of Conspiracy

From my list on sci-fi romance with action and adventure in stars.

Why am I passionate about this?

For me, writing space opera was obvious because it's what I like to read. There's so much scope for human and non-human societies out there, complete with the history of how they were created, and the inevitable cut-and-thrust of politics. If the book also has a love story– where do I pay my money? I do like the science in my science fiction to be convincing, though. My background as a computer programmer helps with that and I'm often grateful for my history degree when coming up with convincing empires and events. 

Greta's book list on sci-fi romance with action and adventure in stars

Greta van der Rol Why did Greta love this book?

This is another action-packed adventure where a soldier has to rescue a civilian from a planet about to erupt into civil war. What's nice about this one is that the hero needs rescuing as much as the heroine – but in a very different way. The romance is an integral part of the story and evolves in a natural way. I loved the way the stakes ratcheted up until impossible choices were on the table. 

By Veronica Scott,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Andi Markriss hasn’t exactly enjoyed being the house guest of the planetary high-lord, but her company sent her to represent them at a political wedding. When hotshot space marine Captain Tom Deverane barges in on the night of the biggest social event of the summer, Andi isn’t about to offend her high-ranking host on Deverane’s say-so—no matter how sexy he is, or how much he believes they need to leave now.

Deverane was thinking about how to spend his retirement bonus when HQ assigned him one last mission: rescue a civilian woman stranded on a planet on the verge of…


Book cover of Dead Astronauts

Nick Kolakowski Author Of Hell of a Mess

From my list on read during a fierce, possibly city-destroying storm.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a crime and horror author based in New York City. I’ve lived through a couple of direct hits from mega-storms and other natural disasters, including Hurricane Sandy, which plowed through my neighborhood in 2012. Those kinds of experiences leave a psychological mark I’ve tried to process through both fiction and non-fiction. This writing has also allowed me to explore how people and cities could potentially survive the calamities that await us, especially in coastal regions vulnerable to climate change.  

Nick's book list on read during a fierce, possibly city-destroying storm

Nick Kolakowski Why did Nick love this book?

And now for something completely different: this novel takes place in a world already ravaged by disaster. Not all of this book’s protagonists are human—there’s a blue fox lurking around with a mysterious purpose, and even the people have been… enhanced, let’s say. The narration is surreal and mythic and almost abstract at moments.

Dead Astronauts won’t be everyone’s proverbial cup of tea. But if you’re riding out a storm (either internal or external), this one can perhaps serve as an excellent tone poem to see you through, one filled with some truly mind-bending ideas and characters. This is one of the books that helped center me during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic when we were all locked inside.

By Jeff VanderMeer,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Under the watchful eye of The Company, three characters - Grayson, Morse and Chen - shapeshifters, amorphous, part human, part extensions of the landscape, make their way through forces that would consume them. A blue fox, a giant fish and language stretched to the limit.

A messianic blue fox who slips through warrens of time and space on a mysterious mission. A homeless woman haunted by a demon who finds the key to all things in a strange journal. A giant leviathan of a fish, centuries old, who hides a secret, remembering a past that may not be its own.…


Book cover of A Natural Passion

Mark Love Author Of Devious

From my list on contemporary cozy mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a contemporary mystery junkie. Realistic tales always grab my attention. A touch of romance never hurts. In college, one professor suggested the old ‘write what you know’ approach. I don’t know everything, but I know what I like. Mysteries! I thrive on distinctive characters, those who are willing to put every effort into getting to the bottom of the situation. Sharp, tight dialogue and descriptions are essential. Give me that, and I’ll be back for more. This is my passion. Come along if you want a thrill and a surprise or two. 

Mark's book list on contemporary cozy mysteries

Mark Love Why did Mark love this book?

This book has all the ingredients for an engaging story. I loved the way Mannersly sets the stage, with Dylan, the slightly older supervisor, who’s obviously smitten with the lovely Kyra and the boss’s spoiled son, Max, who seems to have caught her eye as well. 

Using the marine science center in Australia as the setting works perfectly. Identifying and stopping poachers from stealing turtle eggs from their nests puts a nice twist on the usual crime-related stories. Mannersly does a wonderful job of creating realistic and believable characters. Great dialogue and descriptive passages tie this story together.

By Tammy Mannersly,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Dylan O’Day has been an exemplary marine biologist for years, constantly devoted to the protection and preservation of the natural world. Yet lately, he has a new passion, one that’s distracting his once focused thoughts. Though a decade older than her and her trusted mentor, Dylan hasn’t been able to stop thinking about the new intern. He’s never met a person quite like Kyra before, someone so genuine and caring, and who understands his love of environmental conservation. It’s just too bad his age and situation put him in an ethical dilemma. Should he risk it all for a chance…


Book cover of Hotel Megalodon: A Deep Sea Thriller

Chris McInally Author Of Relict

From my list on creature feature books that aren't Jaws.

Why am I passionate about this?

For as long as I can remember, I have shared an affinity with monsters. Or at least, what we humans define as monsters. I suppose you could say I have a bit of a Frankenstein complex (if there is such a thing). I see myself in them sometimes. A little sad perhaps, but true, nonetheless. So, who better to compile a "top-5" creature feature list for you to enjoy?

Chris' book list on creature feature books that aren't Jaws

Chris McInally Why did Chris love this book?

Man makes monster; monster kills people; man destroys monster, that’s how these stories usually go, right? Well, not for Chesler in my experience. At least with Hotel Megalodon, that is. I say this because of the story’s unique resolution. As always, I won’t ruin it for you.

What I will say, is that this book manages to steer clear of the archetypal motif. Instead, it gave me something new and refreshing to enjoy. This is why I think it’s a standout in the creature feature subgenre. Enjoy!

By Rick Chesler,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An underwater luxury hotel on a gorgeous tropical island is set for an extravagant opening weekend with the world watching. The only thing standing in the way of a first-rate experience for the jet-setting VIPs is an unscrupulous businessman and sixty feet of prehistoric shark. As the underwater complex is besieged by a marauding behemoth, newly minted marine biologist Coco Keahi must face off against the ancient predator as it rises from the deep with a vengeance. Meanwhile, a human monster has decided he would be better off if Coco were one of the creature’s victims.


Book cover of Last Song of the Whales

Judith Simon Prager Author Of What the Dolphin Said: On the Future of Humankind

From my list on consciousness, dolphins, and wise humans.

Why am I passionate about this?

Years of teaching Verbal First Aid™, hypnotic language for healing, only whet my curiosity for Non-Verbal First Aid. I love mysticism and magic, and I love science and evidence. When the two work together to illuminate profound understandings, I am such a fan. Just imagine this if you can: Dolphins’ visual and aural nerves connect so that when they send out sound beams of echolocation, it comes back as an ultra-sound-looking picture, which they can send to other dolphins! Magic and science are used by them for healing, as well. How could one NOT investigate further and be passionate about this subject?

Judith's book list on consciousness, dolphins, and wise humans

Judith Simon Prager Why did Judith love this book?

It is a fiction based on facts about whales and about what Four Arrows believes they are trying to tell us regarding the pollution of the Oceans that threatens us all. A whale captures a marine biologist and his encounter, feeling almost biblical but very current, reveals their important message to humanity. In this very dramatic story, you’ll also find an ecological treatise, and a call to action so needed at this time.

By Four Arrows,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Last Song of the Whales as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A humpback whale mysteriously takes a mixed-blood American Indian professor to sea. While struggling to survive, the man begins to reclaim his indigenous roots, and in the process discovers thousands of whales on a suicide mission in the North Pacific. When he theorizes the dire effects the whale's action could have for all of life on earth, he and a sympathetic woman marine biologist, influenced by a Hawaiian shaman's dream, against all odds, try to warn the world in time.


Book cover of Below the Edge of Darkness: A Memoir of Exploring Light and Life in the Deep Sea

Anne Louise Burdett Author Of Dirt Gems: Plant Oracle Deck and Guidebook

From my list on nerdy science books that break your heart and put it back together again.

Why am I passionate about this?

Working with the natural world has long been my life’s compass. I have been dedicated to conservation, education, and management of terrestrial and marine ecosystems for my entire career. I strongly believe we must approach the crisis that we now live in with humor, joy, and devotion, and we must be able to fall in love with this world over and over again, even if it breaks our hearts. This is why I write, and this is how I live. I love reading science books that allow this connection, that lead me into the complexities of why we must never stop feeling wonder at this magnificent world.

Anne's book list on nerdy science books that break your heart and put it back together again

Anne Louise Burdett Why did Anne love this book?

I loved this book because it inspired me to keep an adventurous and exploratory attitude. It really made me want to be Edith Widder.

I am completely fascinated by bioluminescence, a large topic in this book, and while I learned a ton, it only drove me to want to learn more and pursue my interests in this field further.

Learning about wondrous creatures and what we are trying to understand about them in the context of conservation allows us the lens to prioritize our work and resources and keep moving forward. I found myself underlining every other line of this book; there is so much to be amazed by.

By Edith Widder,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Below the Edge of Darkness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A pioneering marine biologist takes us down into the deep ocean in this 'thrilling blend of hard science and high adventure' (New York Times)

LONGLISTED FOR THE SNHN NATURAL HISTORY BOOK PRIZE

Edith Widder grew up determined to become a marine biologist. But after complications from a surgery during college caused her to go temporarily blind, she became fascinated by light as well as the power of optimism.

Below the Edge of Darkness explores the depths of the planet's oceans as Widder seeks to understand bioluminescence, one of the most important and widely used forms of communication in nature. In…


Book cover of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Patrick G. Cox Author Of Captain James Heron First Into the Fray: Prequel to Harry Heron Into the Unknown of the Harry Heron Series

From my list on combining fantasy and social commentary.

Why am I passionate about this?

My great interests have been ships and space travel, and if one takes time to consider the similarities the parallels stand out. Ships, especially submarines, travel in a medium and through an environment that is hostile to human life. In space travel, the ‘ship’ becomes the only habitat in which we can survive for any extended period, leaving it without a space suit is a fatal move. I cannot claim to be an expert in closed environments, but it's a subject that has fascinated me throughout my life. Every ‘biosphere’ is unique and incredibly complex and depends on the symbiosis of an enormous number of living creatures right down to bacteria and even viruses. 

Patrick's book list on combining fantasy and social commentary

Patrick G. Cox Why did Patrick love this book?

This is the story that first got me interested in science fiction. Of course, we now recognise some of the flaws in the science, but consider that at the time of its writing steam propulsion was still in its infancy, most ships were still built of timber, and Verne envisaged a ship capable of indefinite travel beneath the ocean surface – something not even possible until the advent of nuclear power almost a century later. Even today Verne’s vision and the story he wove around it can inspire.

By Jules Verne,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 11, 12, 13, and 14.

What is this book about?

First serialized in a French magazine from 1869-1870, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea is an incredible adventure story that popularized science fiction throughout the world.

Professor Aronnax, a marine biologist, joins harpoonist Ned Land in search of a mysterious sea creature in the open ocean, only to discover that the beast is actually a submarine piloted by the enigmatic Captain Nemo. They are taken captive, thus beginning a strange undersea voyage from Antarctic ice shelves to the subterranean city of Atlantis, hunting sharks along the way.

With its sprawling, exotic plot and vivid descriptions, Jules Verne's epic underwater adventure…


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