X-Men is a defining Marvel work and spans multiverses, literally. The premise however, of a rag-tag group of genetically different individuals fighting crime while facing oppression from the outside world is a simple yet profound concept. With X-Men: Days of Future Past set to hit the big screen this summer, here are some recommended reads if you enjoy people with power.
The first recommendation is an author who writes for Marvel as well, Marjorie M. Liu’s Dirk and Steele series. The first book, Tiger Eye, is especially recommended for those enjoyed Gena Showalter’s The Pleasure Slave or Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Fantasy Lover. Sexy hero locked inside a puzzle box? Check. Psychic heroine? Check. The pair make a winning combination for the first entry into a great series about the Dirk and Steele agency.
Another writer who is inspired by and references Marvel in her One and Two books is Leigh Ann Kopans. The central power in the books is the ability to fly. In One, Merrin Grey is designated a One, which means she has one semi-power, hovering, that is barely developed. Her dream is to be the first One to enter and intern at the prestigious Biotech Hub where she can figure out why she cannot fly. Her plans are blown out of the water when she meets Elias VanDyne, another One and when the two get together, powers collide. Merrin's viewpoint is told in One, while Elias's is featured in Two. Both young adult and adult readers will find something to love about this duology that shows that true power is within yourself.
A New Adult read has the main character actually disappearing. Laura Thalassa’s The Vanishing Girl features Ember Pierce, a protagonist with Nightcrawler-like powers in that she can teleport anywhere, but with a ten minute time limit. After discovering she is the result of a government project, Ember is captured and shipped off to training by the U.S. military who want to harness her power for their own objectives. Featuring a conspiracy theory and not one, but two mysterious heroes for our heroine, The Vanishing Girl is a nice break from the usual angst-ridden New Adult contemporary stories.
Published through Harlequin Australia, Scarlett Dawn’s King Hall takes inspiration from Xavier’s School for Paranormal Creatures. The main protagonist Lily is a half-vampire, half-Shifter breed who ends up in an unexpected position of power. Featuring four factions of paranormal creatures: Shifters, Vampires, Mages and Elementals. King Hall is the start of a trilogy featuring the boarding house for the supernatural. Reminiscent of Tamora Pierce’s Circle of Magic quartet, King Hall kicks of a trilogy that actually features romance (something all of the Tris-Briar fangirls of Pierce’s quartet could want).
If you like chick-lit and superheroes, Marta Acosta’s The She-Hulk Diaries is a fun look into the life and time of Jennifer Walters, Bruce Banner’s cousin and the mild-mannered human form of She-Hulk. The book is action packed and laugh out loud funny featuring Jennifer’s dry wit intermixed with the crazy adventures of She-Hulk, almost a superhero version of the Bridget Jones series.
If you’ve never deigned to pick up a comic, try the fancier world of graphic novels. D.C. Comics has an adult imprint known as Vertigo. One of the best written and amazingly illustrated titles they carry is the Eisner-nominated (Oscar of comics) Demo and Demo Volume 2, a collaboration between Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan. Demo Volume 1 and Demo Volume 2 tell stories of unusual people, people with powers or people with weird predilections trying to make their way in the ordinary world. A few of the stories deal with love, but all of the stories deal with human connection, a central theme in the worlds of Demo and X-Men.
What x-tra special books have you tried?
Sahara Hoshi reviews for Wicked Lil Pixie and is a lifelong reader of romance. Favorite genres include new adult, paranormal romance, contemporary romance and erotica.