Ready for some sci-fi space adventure books?
For this list, I’ve picked books that take place in space ships (or take place in them for the most part), where the protagonist travels the universe.
Other than that, the genres are quite diverse.
Think action sci-fi, thriller sci-fi, and romance sci-fi. But all in a space ship, on an adventure.
Scroll down to see my best picks for the sci-fi space adventure books to travel the universe with.
Sci-Fi Books with Space Adventures
Light Chaser by Peter F. Hamilton and Gareth L. Powell
Genre: Adult Sci-Fi Space Opera
Pubdate: 24th of August
Amahle is a Light Chaster, an explorer who travels the universe alone (except for her onboard AI), trading trinkets for life stories. When she listens to the stories, she hears the same voice talking directly to her from different times and on different worlds. She realizes something terrible is happening, and she is the only one who can do anything about it. And it will cost everything to put it right.
This is a nice novella, that’s fast and easy to read.
I have to admit, the first chapter was really confusing. I’m not sure why they chose to do it that way. If they’d started with the second chapter, I think it would’ve read better.
That said, it’s quite an imaginative story, with a very deep message about life and growth. The few different worlds we visit are all unique in their own way and we can see how others live through Amahle.
I do feel it’s actually a large story to have condensed into a novella, and I can’t help but wonder if it might’ve worked better as a novel. That way, the authors could’ve built more tension and slowly increased the sense of danger.
But if you want to read something easy, fast, and entertaining and visit a few different worlds, then this is a great book.
Stowaway by John David Anderson
Genre: Middle-Grade Adventure Sci-Fi
Publisher: Walden Pond Press
Scientists discover a rare and mysterious mineral buried in the Earth’s crust. It’s not long before aliens show up offering a promise of protection, some fabulous new technology, and entry into their intergalactic coalition—all in exchange for this precious resource. It’s so precious, the other alien forces are willing to start a war over it, which soon makes its way to earth.
Leo knows this all too well: his mother was killed in one such attack, and his father, a Coalition scientist, decides it’s best for them to leave Earth behind. On this expedition their ship is attacked, Leo’s father is kidnapped, and Leo and his brother remain stranded in the middle of space. Their only chance is for Leo to stow away on a strange ship of mercenary space pirates and beg the captain to help him find his father. But the road is dangerous, and pirates only look out for themselves. Who can Leo trust?
Ashfall Legacy by Pittacus Lore
Genre: YA Adventure Sci-Fi
Pubdate: 17th of August
Syd Chambers knows there’s life on other planets—he’s descended from it. His father was from a world called Denza and has been missing—presumed dead—for years. Then Syd discovers a device his father left behind, showing not only that he’s alive, but where he is. And so, Syd sets out on a mission. Along the way, however, he discovers a deadly secret that could destroy Denza, Earth, and the universe.
The Orpheus Plot by Christopher Swiedler
Genre: Middle-Grade Sci-Fi Adventure
Lucas Adebayo grew up on a small ship in the asteroid belt with the dream of joining the Navy. Though they never accepted a Belter before, his skill secures him a place on the training ship: the Orpheus. Lucas struggles to find his place on the ship. As a Belter, he’s an outsider among his peers, and he doesn’t fit in at home anymore, either. Things get worse when he’s caught between his past and his future when a Belter rebellion puts everyone’s lives at risk.
The Darkness Outside Us by Eliot Schrefer
Genre: YA Sci-Fi Romance, LGBTQ
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
When the distress signal of the first settler on Titan is tripped, none of the countries on Earth can afford a rescue mission on their own. And so, two sworn enemies are put in the same spaceship: Ambrose and Kodiak. However, when Ambrose wakes up on the ship, he’s got no memory of the launch, and there’s evidence that strangers have been on board. In the meantime, Kodiak has barricaded himself away. Nothing will stop Ambrose from making the mission succeed, though; not when he’s rescuing his own sister. Ambrose and Kodiak need to work together and learn to trust each other to survive the ship’s secrets.
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers #1) by Becky Chambers
Genre: Adult Sci-Fi Adventure, LGBTQ
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Rosemary Harper doesn’t have high expectations when she joins the crew of Wayfarer. The patched-up ship has definitely seen better days, but it offers a bed, a chance to explore the galaxy, and some distance from her past. Life aboard the Wayfarer is chaotic and crazy—exactly what Rosemary wants. But when they get offered the job of a lifetime, things are about to get extremely dangerous. While tunneling wormholes through space to a distant planet is certainly lucrative, risking her life wasn’t part of the plan. Rosemary has to learn how to love and trust, and realize that having a family isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the universe
Ascension (Tangled Axon #1) by Jacqueline Koyanagi
Genre: Sci-Fi Adventure Romance, LGBTQ
Publisher: Masque Books
Alana Quick is an amazing sky surgeon, but repairing starship engines barely pays the bills. So, when a crew stops by her shipyard looking for her spiritually advanced sister Nova, Alana stows away, hoping to get a long-term gig on the crew. But it proves to be more challenging than she thought. Let alone that she can’t keep her eyes off the beautiful captain. There’s little time for romance, however. Nova is in danger.
A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe (The Salvagers #1) by Alex White
Genre: Adult Sci-Fi Adventure Thriller
In another life, Boots Elsworth was a famous treasure hunter. However, now she’s washed up, making a meager living faking salvage legends and selling them to the highest bidder. Until she stumbles on something that might be the real story of the Harrow, a famous warship, capable of untold destruction.
Nilah Brio is the top driver in the Pan Galactic Racing Federation and the darling of the racing worlds until she’s framed for the murder of a fellow racer. On the hunt to clear her name, Nilah has only one lead: the killer is also hunting a woman named boots.
Both women board a smuggler’s ship that will take them on a quest for fame, riches, and justice.
The Epsilon Queen (Travellers Book 1) by Paul Kidd, Doc Rat Jenner (Illustrator)
Genre: Adult Sci-Fi Adventure Romance, LGBTQ
According to some reviews I read, pretty much every character in this book is queer. So, if you’re fed up with reading stories that features only (or mostly) straight characters, you might want to give this book a whirl.
Five hundred years ago, The Epsilon Queen lifted into the Warp—the greatest space liner ever built. Carrying one hundred thousand refugees, she departed on her greatest voyage, and simply disappeared.
Today, the mystery still endures. Patricia Bretonard—pilot, fencer, and mistress of a great many freckles—has the mystery flung into her lap. A historical researcher by the name of Jemima McLeoud is hot on the trail of the Epsilon Queen. With a ship, they set out on an adventure to uncover the great, romantic mysteries of space.
Leviathan Wakes (The Expanse #1) by James S.A. Corey
Genre: Adult Sci-Fi Adventure Mystery
Jim Holden is XO of an ice miner making runs from the rings of Saturn to the mining stations of the Belt. When he and his crew stumble upon the Scopuli, a derelict ship, they find themselves in possession of a secret they never wanted. Someone is willing to kill for that secret, on a scale unfathomable to Jim and his crew.
Detective Miller is looking for one girl in a system of billions, a seemingly impossible task. But her parents have money, and money talks. The trail leads him to the Scopuli and Holden, and he realizes the girl may be the key to everything.
Holden and Miller must threat the needle between the Earth government, the Outer Planet revolutionaries, and secretive corporations—and the odds are stacked against them.
Sentient by Jeff Lemire, Gabriel Hernández Walta (Illustrator), Steve Wands (Letterer)
Genre: YA Sci-Fi Adventure Graphic Novel
Publisher: TKO Studios
When an attack kills all the adults on a colony ship, VALERIE, the onboard AI, has to help the ship’s children survive the perils of space. Can Valerie rise up to this task?
Those were the sci-fi space adventure books
I hope you found some nice additions to your reading list among these sci-fi space adventure books.
Have you read any of these? What did you think?
Also, if you want to add to the space adventure books in this list, feel free to put it in the comments & I’ll be sure to add the book (with credit to you, of course).