May 16 2014 1:00pm

X-Tra Special: What to Read if You Love the X-Men

X-Men: Days of Future Past movie posterX-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.

King Hall by Scarlett DawnPublished 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.

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Heather Waters
1. HeatherWaters
Such a cool post--after The Avengers came out, I looked for books like it, so I'll keep this post in mind for after I see the new X-Men!
2. Lauren84
Great suggestions! I can't wait for X-Men:DoFP to come out.
I used to loved Tamora Pierce's work when I was younger.
Nicole Leapheart
3. BoxyFrown
Ooh! Thanks for the suggestions. I just beefed up my tbr pile!
Stacey Wahrman
4. staceyw
Tore through a YA series called "The Girl in the Box," by Robert Crane. Romance is mild, since it's YA, but the series is great. A Rogue-like young woman comes in to her powers and finds herself used as a pawn between competing not-so-good and definitely-evil factions.

Love Ben Aaronovich's Rivers of London novels, which are more Harry Potter meets police procedurals.

And if you're sad that Agents of Shield is done for the summer, pick up Shadow Unit, which is a shared universe by a variety of writers, including Elizabeth Bear, Will Shetterly, Emma Bull, and other favorites. Romance mostly ends badly, as it does on Shield, but the stories are awesome--it's set up like a TV show, which sounds weird, but it totally works.
Lege Artis
5. LegeArtis
Lola Dodge has romantic series about people with superpowers. It's called Manhattan Ten.
I loved Steelheart by Ben Sanderson and Vicious by V.E. Scwab. Not romance, but easy to read and fun.
Steeleheart is part of Reckoners series about Epics, people with superpowers and tendency to go bad- behave more like supervillains. Names are completely awesome. For example, Steelheart is Epic who beside great strength and flying ,has power to turn non-living matter to steel (hence his name).
Steelheart came to Chicago shortly the appearance of the . Little is known of his prior activities. He annexed the city and much of the surrounding territory, declaring himself emperor and all those within his domain his subjects. He offered other Epics the choice of serving him or dying. One of his initial acts was The Great Transfersion, in which he transformed most of Newcago, including buildings, part of Lake Michigan, and several miles underground to solid steel.
Devil's Cape by Rob Rogers is also often my reread...

Clearly, i'm fan of genre.
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