Top 5 Gateway Books Into Science Fiction

Cynthia Ayala ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Looking to get hooked into Science Fiction novels?  Well here are 5 books that are sure to ensnare any reader into the fantasy series.

5. I Am Number Four (Lorien Legacies, #1), By: Pittacus Lore


What makes I Am Number Four stand out through the throng of science fiction novels is the fact that it story revolves around an orphan who is deprived of living a normal life, constantly moving from city to city.  The reason being is because he and his guardian are part of a group of aliens, the last surviving beings of their race.  Constantly on the run, hunted, and separated from their comrades, Four, also known as John, tries to fit in at a new school in the middle of nowhere while he also tries to control his emerging powers, gifts from his home planet.
The main reason why this novel is so captivating is the characterization and humor.  For the young adult who likes to read and is searching for that book to pick up, this is a good first choice.  It’s an incredibly relatable novel that contains a lot of humor and while it has this overwhelming struggle it also tells a story about fitting in.  That concept coupled with the easy to understand plot make it a good start for any reader, young or old, to get sucked into this novel.

4. Feed (Newflesh Trilogy, #1), By: Mira Grant

feed book

It’s very rare to have a zombie book that is captivating.   Feed takes place in the year 2034, and the protagonist, a news blogger with her own team, who goes over the details on how the zombies arose.  It was a viral mutation, brought on the cure for cancer and the ultimate cure for the common cold.  Following foster siblings and bloggers, Georgia and Shaun Mason, as they are selected to cover the next political campaign for presidency.  But on the campaign trail, they uncover the dark conspiracy behind the new rise of zombies.  It’s a captivating novel with snarky characters that incorporates conspiracy theories, corrupt politicians and, most of all zombies.  It’s a mixture done right.
The zombie genre has been on the rise of late, but that doesn’t mean every zombie novel out there is worth a read because, after a time, they sort of meld together pulling together a rag tag team on a mission to stop the zombies.  And that’s exactly what this novel doesn’t do!  Stepping away from cliché, this novel is a character driven novel with a strong narrative.  Following a presidential campaign, readers get to see a world of tomorrow within a zombie apocalypse.  There are also blog pieces within the novel that delve into what drives, what makes them characters worth reading outside of their narratives.

3. The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1), By: Suzanne Collins  


Another worldwide phenomenon that has captivated fans everywhere.  The Hunger Games is a book for all ages.  Following a disastrous war, the world of Panem is separated into the Capitol and the twelve outer districts.  Every year one boy and one girl, are selected to fight in the Hunger Games, a lesson the Capital teaches that life is a gift.  There is only one survivor in the game, only one winner.  The rule is kill or be killed.
It’s a tragic story that show the strength and darkness within everyone, what fear of death holds over people.  But Katniss Everdeen is one of those remarkable characters who not only has the will to survive, but the will to hold on to the one thing this “game” threatens to destroy: her humanity.
Read the book before you see the movie.  Now, that’s not to say that the novel is bad, but the novel offers reader’s so much.  Suzanne Collins gives readers a look at a world that as suffered.  But it’s not some dystopia/futuristic version of Earth. Instead, the novel is it’s own realm, giving it charm as it steps away from every other piece of fiction that picks up to follow a war-torn Earth.  For anyone interested in Science Fiction, this is a great gateway novel because of that.  Additionally, it creates a very strong premise that maintains throughout the novel as the reader follows these kids as they face off in a kill or be killed battle for survival.

2. Betrayal (Star Wars: Legacy of the Force, #1), By: Aaron Allston


This is a book that will turn any reader into a Star Wars fan, provided they aren’t one already. (Note: which is blasphemy by the way).
This is the time where Luke Skywalker, now Grand Master Jedi, has unified the order into a cohesive group of Jedi Knights.  But as this era of relative peace begins, planetary interest threaten to destroy that, and visions of a Sith Lord begin to plague Luke Skywalker.
This novel brings fans of Star Wars, those characters that sucked us into the series to begin with.  Luke Skywalker has a son and married Mara Jade, former Hand of Emperor, Palpatine. His sister, Leia, and Han Solo, mother and father in their own right, are living their own lives as part of the Jedi Order.  Of course, that doesn’t seem to keep Han Solo in line much.  But as the darkness begins to loom, and the plot thickens, the Skywalker’s must once again battle the darkness that is much closer than they think.
Star Wars novels are admittedly hard to get into due to the expansive universe. So much has happened since the 70’s and the novels like to reference events in other novels that readers may not have read.  This novel doesn’t do that. The first novel in a 9 book series that really focuses on present events versus referencing past events readers may not know about.  When the novel does bring in past events, there’s context that won’t leave the reader blindsided and wondering that they are talking about. Betrayal is rich in detail and gives every star character a point of view that allows the plot to build instead of turning the whole thing into a wayward mess.  This novel will suck every reader into a galaxy far, far away. *cue music*

1. V, By: A. C. Crispin


They claimed to come in peace.  They lied.
V is the novel that is responsible for the critically acclaimed 1980’s miniseries V.  The aliens arrived, tens of thousands, in huge spaceships across the world.  They came from a dying planet and claimed that in exchange for their incredible knowledge, they just wanted to share Earth’s natural resources.  Then the disappearances started.  First, a scientist, here and there, then entire cities began to vanish from Earth.  Soon enough, those suspicious minds began to find each other and form a resistance as they discover the horrible truth: the Visitors wanted them.
This is a terrific novel.  It’s suspenseful and nothing is the same here.  Each of the characters finds themselves in their own struggles before they finally find one another.  The rebellion is unique and the function of the plot line flows.  The story moves at a slow and steady pace that will keep readers grounded, as an initial stand-alone novel that, it has a conclusion that gives readers some peace of mind while also keeping the door open for a sequel.
There are hundreds of novels out there about space invaders trying to take over the world, but the intrigue and the dynamic, creating aliens that want peace over control, and little sectors of rebellion that mirror wars in human history, like WWII.  The novel is woven together with such beauty, with exquisite scene specifics and character development, even with the shift in character perspective.  Even if fans have seen the Original Miniseries, they will be caught off guard by the events of the book.  It will hold readers and put them at the edge of their seat.

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