The best supervillain books

Many authors have picked their favorite books about supervillains and why they recommend each book.

Soon, you will be able to filter by genre, age group, and more. Sign up here to follow our story as we build a better way to explore books.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission (learn more).

Steelheart

By Brandon Sanderson,

Book cover of Steelheart

What’s that you say, Steelheart isn’t urban fantasy? Even when it’s written by the emperor of fantasy himself, Mr. Brandon “I’ve written over fifty bestselling novels in twenty years” Sanderson. Well to that I say: Sparks! You’re like a rabbit doing maths equations instead of looking for foxes. And if you love ridiculous metaphors like that, then Steelheart is like a banana farm for guns. What’s not to love about this book? It’s a world filled with superpowered humans and every single one of them becomes an Epic villain. If that’s not dark enough humour for you, then David’s attempts at analogies will keep you entertained for days. I mean, who hasn’t looked at motorcycles racing towards you and thought “They looked dangerous, like alligators. Really fast alligators wearing black. Ninja alligators!” 

I absolutely love this book and all of the Reckoners books that follow.


Who am I?

I’m a writer by day and martial arts instructor by night, so when not spending time with my wife and kids, I love nothing more than to read, write, and fight. My favourite books are the ones filled with irreverent characters, who can smirk and joke at any grim situation, laughing the light of entertainment through the darkest of ordeals. These are the type of books I’m always drawn to, both in writing and in reading, where I can imagine taking any standout character and dropping them into a completely different book, then sitting back to watch the chaos they could make.


I wrote...

The Memory of Blades

By James Dwyer,

Book cover of The Memory of Blades

What is my book about?

“They say to hold a Memory Blade is to live forever, both as a life trapped within the blade and as a ruling Memory Lord carved into history. I say to hold a Memory Blade is to become an utter bastard, with three dozen pricks inside your head, all encouraging you to do depraved and despicable things. Immense fun, yes, but bloody dangerous when you have the four other Memory Lords coming to your city to celebrate your father’s funeral, doing their best to politely kill you and pilfer your family’s sword. So all I have to do is get through the next twenty-four hours without being spectacularly murdered and I should be fine. Right?“

– Lord Seff Thurat, beleaguered dilettante and all-around scoundrel

Almost Super

By Marion Jensen,

Book cover of Almost Super

Rafter, Benny, and Juanita protagonate (yep, that’s a word) in a bizarre amalgamated world that could have been dreamed up by Stan Lee, the Andy Griffith Show writers, and Beverly Cleary. Dreamed up as a joke. Abandoned with a good comeraderific laugh (also a word). Then picked up, dusted off, and polished by Marion Jensen. But that’s not what happened. Jensen created the whole adventurous, hilarious, uplifting, good-buddy superhero story with his own solitary brain. My kids and I have laughed at his story many times.


Who am I?

The human body. The solar system. The science and math discoveries of ancient cultures. The power of taking care of neighbors and making everyone our neighbor. All amazing, all inspiring, so I write stories about them. Stories are what entertain us. Stories are what teach us. Stories can be misused to mislead us. Most importantly, the good stories, the right stories, can prompt us to grow. Expand. Empathize. Heal. I could use some of that. You too. Let’s read.


I wrote...

Space Boots

By Derick William Dalton,

Book cover of Space Boots

What is my book about?

Leo Jones wants nothing more than to become a surgeon, but a misplaced terrorist bomb destroys his chance. His plan B finds him cleaning a Navy starship, saving for school, and running out of patience. Hophnia Zimmerman wields her willpower with even more skill than her violin bow. As a new Navy officer, she's disappointed her first battle is not against an invader, but Leo's traitorous captain. She vows to bring him down, but agonizes over the collateral lives.

In the confusion, Leo creates more problems for Hophnia than a misplaced bomb did for him. As they struggle to save the ship and limp back to Earth, they find the battle isn't over. There are vindictive traitors who are not biding their time.

Nimona

By ND Stevenson,

Book cover of Nimona

Graphic novels are a source of wonder to me, mainly because I long to be good enough at drawing to create my own. Indeed, my greatest ambition is for an artist to love one of my books enough to adapt it. So I can’t write a list of fierce-girl books without mentioning Nimona: a shapeshifter who thrives on mayhem and will literally set the board on fire if you beat her at fantasy-world Monopoly. Nimona proves how much emotion and humor it’s possible to pack into a relatively slight number of pages, and also that girls don’t have to be good to be lovable.


Who am I?

When I was growing up, I cared far too much about what other people thought of me. I was afraid to reveal my unabashedly dorky self – the one who loved reading fantasy and dreamed of being an author herself someday – for fear of being laughed at. As a result, my favorite protagonists were always the obstinate girls. The passionate girls. The girls who kept trying, no matter how hard things got; who fought to protect themselves and the people they loved. I wanted to be more like them. I still do. But if that isn’t possible, at least I can write them.


I wrote...

Dawn Rising

By A.F.E. Smith,

Book cover of Dawn Rising

What is my book about?

Ever since she can remember, Alyssia has experienced unsettling visions: flashes of four other people’s dark and difficult lives in a world that’s not her own. She’s always believed them to be her brain’s way of filling the void left by the accident that killed her parents and took her memories. That’s why she tries very hard not to think of these imaginary people as friends.

Yet when she wakes up inside one of her own visions, it becomes clear that she was seeing the truth all along. Now, she’s no longer just an observer. Now, she has the chance to change things.

Agent G

By C.T. Phipps,

Book cover of Agent G: Infiltrator

Agent G is like James Bond with cyborgs. It’s an action-driven spy thriller with cyberpunk elements that become stronger in the later books of the series. I love James Bond, the older movies in particular, and I love cyberpunk, so this book grabbed me from the first page. Although it’s more of a technothriller than a classic cyberpunk story I still recommend this book because I think it’s such an interesting and fun read. Definitely worth checking out if you like stories about high-tech spies saving the world!


Who am I?

I fell in love with cyberpunk when I saw Ghost in the Shell for the first time. It quickly became my favorite genre, to read, watch and write. Meanwhile, I’m one of the most renowned cyberpunk indie authors. My series Behind Blue Eyes has quickly become a favorite among readers and bloggers and I’m planning to publish many more books in the series and the genre. Besides, I’m also one of the editors of the Neo Cyberpunk anthology series, a collection of short stories contributed by contemporary cyberpunk indie authors. I hope you enjoy my list and if you want more, check out the Cyberpunk Books group on Facebook!


I wrote...

Behind Blue Eyes: A Cyberpunk Noir Thriller

By Anna Mocikat,

Book cover of Behind Blue Eyes: A Cyberpunk Noir Thriller

What is my book about?

In a future world ruled by warring mega-corporations, cyborg Nephilim believed she was fighting a righteous cause. As a powerful, genetically and cybernetically enhanced elite soldier her life is not truly her own – until one day, a simple glitch separates her from the grid. For the first time in her life, she is free…and she has doubts. Doubts that bury deeper into her psyche when she meets Jake, a mysterious, 100% bio-human.

He opens her neon-blue eyes to the lies she had been exposed to all her life. Questioning everything she has ever known Nephilim resolves to take a stand. To hold on to this freedom she has miraculously discovered. But can one person, no matter how strong, beat an all-powerful system? Soon, Nephilim finds herself hunted by her own people in a deadly game of survival.

Battle Bunny

By Jon Scieszka, Mac Barnett, Matt Myers (illustrator)

Book cover of Battle Bunny

I love this concept of a boy turning a saccharine, boring picture book called Birthday Bunny into Battle Bunny. A pencil his weapon of choice, he attacks the book, driven by his creativity, and turns it into a book he actually wants to read. A daring idea from the author, this hilarious and engaging book is something any young boy can relate to.


Who am I?

Since I was a child I’ve loved comedy. Whether it’s Daffy Duck, the Pink Panther movies, or a Carl Hiaasen novel, I like to laugh and make people laugh. I grew up drawing cartoons, and as a Disney animator I learned the importance of creating characters that audiences could believe and empathize with. Humor has no geographic, religious, or racial boundaries – the human condition is universal, and humor speaks to us all, regardless of language. I strive to write and draw characters that connect with readers and then put them in silly, odd but believable situations to extract the maximum entertainment.


I wrote...

Fuddles

By Frans Vischer,

Book cover of Fuddles

What is my book about?

Fat, flaccid, and totally spoiled by his family, feline Fuddles lives a life of eating, sleeping, and the occasional litter-box trip. When he finally opts for adventure, Fuddles discovers he’s not allowed outside. Obsessed with going out and fighting the foes he knows await, Fuddles initiates a “strict exercise regime.” Spying an open front door, he darts outside and loses no time leaping after birds and chasing squirrels. Weighed down by his tubbiness, scared and lonely, and missing his family, Fuddles learns the hard way there’s no place like home.

The colorful comical illustrations trace Fuddles’ journey. Indolent, irascible, and utterly irresistible, Fuddles is the undisputed focus of every scene in this hilarious reminder to stick with a good thing when you’ve got it.

Katie the Catsitter

By Colleen Af Venable, Stephanie Yue (illustrator),

Book cover of Katie the Catsitter

In this purr-fectly irresistible graphic novel, twelve-year-old Katie wants to earn money so she can go to summer camp with her best friend and starts a catsitting business for her mysterious upstairs neighbor. The problem? The woman has 217 cats! And that’s not all...the cats have superpowers! And the neighbor may be a notorious supervillian! Talk about a tough job! I laughed, cheered, and crossed my fingers for Katie!


Who am I?

I write both fiction and nonfiction for kids and with Eat Bugs, I got to combine both loves. The book was inspired by two real-life female entrepreneurs, who literally cooked up an edible bug business in their college dorm room. After I watched them land a deal on Shark Tank, we met and I reimagined their story as if they’d started their business in sixth grade. I’ve always been fascinated by entrepreneurs who have the courage and tenacity to follow their dreams–no matter how wacky the idea may seem.


I wrote...

Eat Bugs: Project StartUp #1

By Heather Alexander, Laura D'Asaro, Rose Wang

Book cover of Eat Bugs: Project StartUp #1

What is my book about?

When Hallie and Jaye are paired up as partners for a pitch competition held by their Business Education and Entrepreneurship class, it’s far from a perfect match. Jaye dreads working with Hallie, who everyone calls “Bug Girl” after she ate a fried cricket during a school trip to the zoo. Then she hears Hallie’s zany startup idea: finding creative ways to sell bugs as food. Eat bugs? No way! But maybe Hallie’s idea isn’t so wacky after all. It’s a great solution to food sustainability. And really healthy, too. In fact, eating bugs just may be their best shot at winning the school competition. And, more than anything, Jaye wants to win.

Enough to eat a bug. Or two.

Collateral Damage

By Taylor Simonds,

Book cover of Collateral Damage

This book feeds my Spider-Man obsession while asking the question, “How do normal folk fare during those cataclysmic superhero battles?” Answer: Not well, but Meg’s gut-busting adventures as a powerless human surrounded by heroes and villains had me laughing from page one. After finding a superhero murdered in a dark, creepy alley (as one does), Meg is dragged kicking and screaming (not literally, but this girl really doesn’t want to get involved) into a fight between good and evil. Luckily, she has an indestructible umbrella, a radioactive rat, and some snarky friends at her disposal. She’s going to need all the help she can get. Want a story that reads like your favorite Marvel movie? Then run out right now and buy a copy. Right. Now. 


Who am I?

I’m the author of the humorous YA novels The Supervillain and Me and The Good for Nothings. I’ve been telling stories since I could talk, including the night I recited an entire Mickey Mouse scratch and sniff book to my mother at bedtime (she’s so proud), and the numerous evenings I subjected my friends and family to another one of my home “movies” set in front of a poorly painted bedsheet backdrop in my basement. I owe my writing career to Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield’s version), who inspired my first book. I spent countless college classes thinking about him instead of paying attention, but it all worked out in the end.


I wrote...

The Good for Nothings

By Danielle Banas,

Book cover of The Good for Nothings

What is my book about?

Cora Saros is determined to join the family business—theft and intergalactic smuggling—but she's a total disaster. After landing in prison following a heist gone wrong, she strikes a bargain with the warden: He'll expunge her record if she brings back an ancient treasure rumored to grant immortality. 

Skeptical but out of options, Cora assembles a crew from her collection of misfit cellmates—a disgraced alien warrior; a cocky pirate without a ship; and a glitching culinary robot—and takes off after the fabled prize. But the ragtag group soon discovers that not only is the mysterious treasure very real, but they're also not the only crew on the hunt for it. And it's definitely a prize worth killing for.

Bookshelves related to supervillains