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8 Sci-Fi Books That Scratch ‘The Mandalorian’ Itch

From left to right: the book covers of 'Provenance', 'Artemis', and 'Planetfall'.
Orbit/Ballantine Books/Ace

Already dreading the wait for the next season of The Mandalorian? We’re here to help! These eight amazing books evoke some of the same feelings as your favorite Star Wars adventure.

Even better, several of these are just the first in a series, which means there’s plenty more to read! So, buckle up and journey to far-off galaxies with one of these books.

Dune

If there’s one book Star Wars fans must read, it’s Dune by Frank Herbert. This iconic sci-fi novel centers on a future in which humans have made enormous scientific strides, but banned computer technology. One harsh desert planet holds the key to a life-extending, superpower-granting substance, making it the center of intense conflict. There’s also a 1984 film adaptation by David Lynch and a new version arriving in 2021 featuring Star Wars alum, Oscar Isaac.

These Broken Stars

Looking for some Han and Leia vibes? Pick up These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman. It follows Lilac and Tarver: a rich man’s daughter and a young war hero from an impoverished background. When their spaceship plunges into the surface of a planet, they’re the only survivors. They then have to work together to get help and find out what caused the crash.

Bonds of Brass

Bonds of Brass by Emily Skrutskie features all the space opera, anti-empire adventures of Star Wars universe, along with some will-they-or-won’t-they tension. It’s basically gift-wrapped for those who wanted Finn and Poe to be a thing. Hotshot pilot Ettian impulsively goes on the run with his best friend, Gal, after it’s revealed Gal is the heir to the empire that conquered Ettian’s home planet. Ettian then finds himself torn between loyalty to his home and the person he loves most.

Diadem from the Stars

Anyone who loved Rey’s journey in Star Wars should pick up Diadem from the Stars by Jo Clayton. A young orphaned woman is forced to flee for her life. She then discovers a powerful object that bonds with her and grants her enormous powers. While trying to unravel the mystery of her parents’ disappearance, Aleytys gets pulled into a galactic battle over the mysterious diadem and warring empires.

Artemis

Andy Weir, who also wrote The Martian, has now given us Artemis, and it’s a perfect follow-up for fans of The Mandalorian. The protagonist, Jasmine, is a lot like a female Han Solo or Din Djarin. She’s a self-interested smuggler who takes on a big job and ends up in the middle of a huge conspiracy. Soon, she’s being pursued by both government officials and murderous baddies.

Behind the Throne

Star Wars fans can think of Behind the Throne by K.B. Wagers as a similarly epic space adventure featuring a protagonist who’s a combination of Rey and Leia. Hail is a princess who runs away to become a gunrunner. However, 20 years later, she’s forced to return home and assume the throne, which makes her gunrunning career look safe.

Provenance

If you prefer the rough-and-tumble tales of smugglers and bounties from The Mandalorian to the sleek galactic battles of the Star Wars films, you might enjoy Provenance by Ann Leckie. Out to prove herself as a worthy heir to her family, Ingrid embarks on an ambitious and dangerous plan to free a thief from a famously secure prison. She also wants to enlist her help to steal back an artifact, but her planet’s entry into an escalating war forces the new allies to rethink their plans.

Planetfall

Like Star Wars, Planetfall by Emma Newman blends space adventures and secret orders with a bit of Western-inspired style. However, these themes receive a more dystopian, high-tech bent here. The novel follows a colony formed by followers of a shadowy leader on an alien planet, but a dark secret is revealed with the arrival of a stranger.

Amanda Prahl Amanda Prahl
Amanda Prahl is a freelance contributor to LifeSavvy. She has an MFA in dramatic writing, a BA in literature, and is a former faculty associate focusing on writing craft and history. Her articles have appeared on HowlRound, Slate, Bustle, BroadwayWorld, and ThoughtCo, among others. Read Full Bio »

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