Space opera is a subgenre of science fiction that emphasizes space warfare and melodramatic adventure, and often risk-taking, inter-planetary battles as well as chivalric romance. Dude – action and romance in outer space – what could be better than that! Here are 3 of my recent reads that even you non sci-fi loving peeps (like myself) will enjoy.
Illuminae, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Illuminae tells a story through a range of data files – interviews, chat logs, surveillance footage and the thoughts of AIDAN, an A.I. computer. Listening to the audiobook is the way to go because it helps you feel the words and really experience the space drama.
The year is 2575, and two rival mega-corporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.
Ascension, Jacqueline Koyanagi
There are so many issues thrown in Ascension that it could have been a hot mess, but it all worked together and flowed beautifully. Alana, the main character, is just about the most diversely written main character I’ve read about this year – she’s black, gay and has a chronic illness, and tends to fall in love with the ships she works on!
Alana Quick is the best damned sky surgeon in Heliodor City, but repairing starship engines barely pays the bills. When the desperate crew of a cargo vessel stops by her shipyard looking for her spiritually advanced sister Nova, Alana stows away. But the Tangled Axon proves to be more than star-watching and plasma coils. The chief engineer thinks he’s a wolf. The pilot fades in and out of existence. The captain is all blond hair, boots, and ego … and Alana can’t keep her eyes off her.
Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie
I’ll admit I didn’t LOVE Ancillary Justice like most people seemed to do. It’s included on this list because it won a ton of book awards, so there might be something I’m missing.
On a remote, icy planet, the soldier known as Breq is drawing closer to completing her quest. Once, she was the Justice of Toren – a colossal starship with an artificial intelligence linking thousands of soldiers in the service of the Radch, the empire that conquered the galaxy. Now, an act of treachery has ripped it all away, leaving her with one fragile human body, unanswered questions, and a burning desire for vengeance.
Do you have a favorite space opera book to recommend?
// Comments //
Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity
Okay, I’ve heard of Illuminae and it sounds reasonably cool (I even own it and I just haven’t read it for some reason) but Ascension that sounds like a crazy weird book that would be right up my street. And, really, if I’m going to read 2 of them any way I might as well check out the third and see how it goes right? Thanks for some interesting new book finds. Let’s see how they work out for me.
@Becky – they are all awesome – but Ascension is super weird, so if you like that go for it 🙂
Sue at Book By Book
Hmmm…interesting post. I’m not sure I’ve ever read a space opera, though based on your definition, we enjoy some TV shows and movies that fit the description. Will have to try one!
Book By Book
@Sue I’m sure you’ve read a few books that would be considered space operas.
Ooh, I would like to check out Ascension! Great list here. I don’t read a lot of space opera but it’s a genre I wish I was reading a lot of.
@Athira – it’s a pretty awesome genre to dabble in if you don’t do much science fiction.
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