Your favorite anti-heroes are back. If you loved the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, and the Marvel Comics it’s based on, then we’re sure you’ve already nabbed your tickets to see the sequel when it comes out today, May 5th.
The unconventional Guardians team is led by Peter Quill, also know as Star-Lord—a half-human, half-alien who was abducted from Earth at a young age. His companions include Gamora—an assassin who chooses good over evil; Drax—a warrior looking to avenge his family’s death; Rocket—a smart-talking, raccoon bounty hunter; and, last but not least, Groot—a tree-like humanoid who will be featured in Guardians of the Galaxy 2 as “baby Groot,” the cutest superhero ever.
If you’re looking for more space operas featuring action, adventure, and a compelling cast of characters, these eight books like Guardians of the Galaxy are sure to hook you.
Nature of the Beast
Humanity is in danger. An alien race called the Zawa is on a bloodthirsty crusade to destroy life on other planets for their galactic god…and Earth is next. To determine Earth’s fate, the Zawa will face off in hand-to-hand combat with Earth's chosen champion. Media titan Milan Marlowe organizes a fight to the death to find the victor. No one would have suspected that Bruno Bolo, an alligator wrestler, just might be humanity’s only chance at survival; but then, no one expected much from Peter Quill either…
Like Guardians, Pock’s World features a band of five unlikely people chosen for a mission. In this story, the rag-tag crew is tasked with traveling to a quarantined land to determine if it should be sterilized of all life. Years ago, Pock’s World was settled by humans; but now, it may be infected by aliens who want to use humans as incubators for their parasitic alien spawn. These five chosen travelers each have their own agenda…and what they find on this complicated planet is unexpected.
The Duke of Uranium
Jak Jinnaka has spent his teenage life in the 36th century partying with his beautiful girlfriend Sesh, spending his uncle Sib’s fortune, and not carrying one bit about school. But that all changes when Sesh is kidnapped, and it’s revealed she’s actually Princess Shyf of Greenworld. Little does Jak know, his Uncle Sib is actually a spymaster, and that Jak’s maiden mission into the family business will be to rescue the princess from the Duke of Uranium.
There Is No Darkness
When Carl Bok is offered a one-year scholarship to Starschool, a space-traveling institution, he’s overjoyed to finally escape the perils of his home planet Earth. But while still on Earth, an unforeseen need for funds forces him to become a professional fighter—and temporarily set aside his education. As Carl fights for the entertainment of others, he uncovers unexpected alien agendas at work in this epic science fiction adventure.
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The Makeshift Rocket
If you loved the humor of Guardians of the Galaxy, then The Makeshift Rocket is a must-read. When the crew of the Mercury Girl is taken prisoner by a band of Irish revolutionaries, the ship’s engineer, Knud Axel Syrup, thinks it could be much worse—at least there’s plenty of beer, right? But Syrup has a plan, and with the help of a few people, he plans to pull off a daring escape in a ridiculous spaceship made of anything he can find.
Echoes of Earth
Peter Alander has been in space for a long time. Aboard the Frank Tipler, just one of a thousand survey vessels tasked with seeking habitable worlds and signs of advanced life, Peter is stuck with forty flawed electronic copies of human beings…and no one from Earth has responded to signals for a century.
But when Peter makes a discovery of epic proportions, he’ll have to determine what it means for humanity. The first in the Orphans Trilogy, there are still many more to read in this series.
Star Wars: Scoundrels
You can’t talk about space operas without mentioning Star Wars. Set after A New Hope, this novel by the acclaimed author of Heir to the Empire follows a down-on-his-luck Han Solo, who has gambled away all of his reward and still owes Jabba the Hutt. When a mysterious stranger offers a ransom in exchange for Han’s help with a caper, Han enlists Chewbacca and Lando’s help to infiltrate the galaxy’s least crack-able safe.
We Are Legion (We Are Bob)
The first book in the Bobiverse series follows Bob Johansson–a man who is looking forward to retirement, but is killed in an accident during one of his first days of freedom. He wakes up a century later to find that “corpsicles” are the property of the state, without human rights, and that he has been uploaded into computer hardware in order to be the first controlling AI searching for habitable planets. If Bob rejects this opportunity, he’ll be switched off. He thinks the safest place for him is far, far away form the oppressive Earth, but little does he know that space is full of beings that hate trespassers.
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Featured still from "Guardians of the Galaxy 2" via Marvel Studios