Feature Image Credit: @ponder_bubble
In celebration of Stephen King’s latest release, Later, and for fans of his Dark Tower series, we’ve rounded up 10 books that will give you all the same feels. From fantasies to Westerns and good versus evil, these picks will not disappoint.
Trust us when we say that you better clear your calendar because once you start reading—you won’t be able to stop!
The Fireman by Joe Hill
The deadly Dragonscale plague has taken over, causing those infected with its telltale gold flecks to spontaneously combust. Spreading at an exponential rate, Nurse Harper is committed to care for those who are suffering. When she also becomes a victim, Harper does everything in her power to fight until her unborn baby arrives. When it appears that all hope is lost, a mysterious man in a fireman’s coat seems to be beating all odds; he not only fights the fire within himself, but is determined to save those around him. Can this superhero save himself, as well as the rest of the world, from going up in flames? Bonus juicy bit: Did you know that Joe Hill is actually Stephen King’s son, writing under a pseudonym?
Swan Song by Robert McCammon
Nine-year old Swan has been living the life of a wanderer, moving from place to place with her nomadic mom. Along the way, she starts envisioning scenes of nuclear destruction wreaking havoc on America. She can’t believe what she is seeing; her mind must be playing terrible tricks on her. However, her visions become reality when she sees with her own eyes, a woman emerging from the sewer on the streets of Manhattan. This encounter leads Swan down a path of prophecy as her perceptions become reality, and she must fight these evil forces that threaten the world as she knows it.
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
This book is packed with action, fantasy and illusion. Narrated through the voice of the main character, Kvothe, this is the story of the most powerful wizard that existed on earth. Brought into this world as an orphan into a city full of crime, Kvothe had a lot to overcome and knew the way to do it was through magic. Just when it seemed that he turned his life around, he found himself running from the law due to chaos from the king being killed. As you turn the pages of this exciting adventure, you’ll be on the edge of your seat while experiencing what it’s like to live the life of a legendary wizard.
The Passage Trilogy by Justin Cronin
Orphaned at the age of six, it’s sink or swim for young Amy. Unfortunately, she becomes captured by government officials for a seedy experiment, and it seems as if her chance at life has been stolen. That all changes when Special Agent Brad Wolgast finally finds her, and she goes free. However, the operation is set to go on, with or without her, taking the world as we know it to be the next prisoner. As Amy navigates these new waters as a refugee, she quickly realizes that the power is within her to reverse the damage that has been done to restore peace to the current state of this chaotic society.
The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
There is no peace in the land of Roshar. Years of power struggles have collapsed civilization and ruined the environment. As animals and humans alike live only where they can seek shelter, a civil war continues to rage on. Even Kaladin, who swapped his career for a sword just to protect his brother, has now found himself captured into a life of slavery. When an archaic text named The Way of Kings emerges, a new revolution forms in an effort to finally end the senseless wars. As the tangled webs of families fight for their own agendas, friends and foes will be revealed as a whole new world emerges.
The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
When a barbaric group of half-beasts and half-men attack the village of The Two Rivers, turmoil of epic proportions ensues, causing fight or flight for the residents that inhabit the area. When five people escape, they find themselves facing even more danger, further putting their lives on the line. As their story plays out and fades into the past, history repeats itself when the shadows of evil show up again in the Third age, the Age of Prophecy. Can this sinister spell be broken once and for all? Or will the tribe of Trollocs continue with their reign of power over the land?
The Broken Earth Trilogy by N. K. Jemisin
The Earth has suffered abominable destruction and it seems that it can’t get any worse. Until it does. One final time, the world will end—but the season of endings is just beginning. As ash from a destructive rift blows, it ends up blocking out all light by covering up the blazing sun. Inevitably, death comes next—but not just from natural causes. When a son is murdered and a daughter missing, betrayal and unhealed wounds start to surface. As the place they call home continues to deconstruct, those who inhabit the land quickly learn that they must fend for themselves in hopes of finally breaking the curse.
Lynch: A Gothik Western by Nancy A. Collins
Everyone knows who Johnny the gunman is. With his pearl-handled pistols and his savage swagger, his reputation precedes him. Eventually his lifestyle catches up with him, and he hangs up his hat in favor of settling down and starting a family with Katie Small Dove. Unfortunately, when Captain Antioch Drake comes to town, the love story comes to an abrupt ending—along with the lives of Katie and their unborn baby. When all seems hopeless, a mysterious medicine man shows with a new gunslinger named Lynch who will turn this western world upside down.
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
Just below the streets in London lies a secret underbelly, housing an entire city of inhabitants that can only be described as “the ones left behind.” Comprised of angels and saints—as well as murderers and monsters—this underworld is unpredictable to say the least. When businessman Richard Mayhew extends a helping hand to a young lady that he sees helpless on the road, he quickly finds himself sucked into this scary, secret world. As he begins to realize that there is more out there than just his nine-to-five job, he starts to question everything about his life as he knows it.
Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
In war-torn Los Angeles, Lauren and her family are struggling in the outskirts, just trying to survive in the desperate state of their world. As Lauren’s father and select members of the community try to salvage their homes, they sadly succumb to the curse of the town and perish in a terrible fire that shows no mercy, leaving Lauren on her own. With no time to sit with her heartbreak, hyper empath Lauren must seek out safety with the other refugees and flee to the north. As she makes her way out, a new idea comes in, making her realize that she just might be holding the power to turn things around for good.