We just saw Star Wars, The Force Awakens, and it was great. Sure, there were plot holes and although I LOVE the new character Rey… she is a bit of a Mary Sue (simply put, a character who is perfect, and doesn’t know it). But I don’t really care. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing a female character who kicks butt and doesn’t need a man to take care of her. I also revel in see a strong female character carry an epic series.
Anyway, it got me thinking about Young Adult books that have similarities to Star Wars. So I did some searches on YA space operas and here is what I came up with. I haven’t read them all, but they might be worth a look if you love Star Wars style stories. (all the below are affiliate links)
- A Confusion of Princes- Superhuman. Immortal. Prince in a Galactic Empire. There has to be a catch….Khemri learns the minute he becomes a Prince that princes need to be hard to kill—for they are always in danger. Their greatest threat? Other Princes. Every Prince wants to become Emperor and the surest way to do so is to kill, dishonor, or sideline any potential competitor. There are rules, but as Khemri discovers, rules can be bent and even broken.There are also mysteries. Khemri is drawn into the hidden workings of the Empire and is dispatched on a secret mission. In the ruins of space battle, he meets a young woman, called Raine, who challenges his view of the Empire, of Princes, and of himself. But Khemri is a Prince, and even if he wanted to leave the Empire behind, there are forces there that have very definite plans for his future.
- Academy 7 With a past too terrible to speak of, and a bleak, lonely future ahead of her, Aerin Renning is shocked to find she has earned a place at the most exclusive school in the universe. Aerin excels at Academy 7 in all but debate, where Dane Madousin?son of one of the most powerful men in the Alliance consistently outtalks her. Fortunately Aerin consistently outwits him at sparring. They are at the top of their class until Dane jeopardizes everything and Aerin is unintentionally dragged down with him. When the pair is given a joint punishment, an unexpected friendship and romance begins to form. But Dane and Aerin both harbor dangerous secrets, and the two are linked in ways neither of them could ever have imagined.
- Cadets (2 Book Series)- On a remote training planet, hotshot Earth Defense Fleet Cadet Ryan Thompson and his peace loving ex-girlfriend Amanda Williamson can’t agree on anything. But when news comes of an alien invasion of Earth–the first in human history–they are thrown together on a deadly, unauthorized mission to face an unknown enemy. What they find is beyond their wildest expectations. A discovery that changes everything they thought they knew…about their hostile adversaries–and mankind. With a trail of riddles and mysteries, epic space battles and journeys to the far corners of Earth, this “Star Trek meets Indiana Jones.”
- Epic Welcome to a society governed through computer games!On New Earth, society is governed and conflicts are resolved in the arena of a fantasy computer game, Epic. If you win, you have the chance to fulfill your dreams; if you lose, your life both in and out of the game is worth nothing. When teenage Erik dares to subvert the rules of Epic, he and his friends must face the Committee. If Erik and his friends win, they may have the key to destroying the Committee’s tyranny. But if they lose…
- Earthseed Ship hurtles through space. Deep within its core, it carries the seed of humankind. Launched by the people of a dying Earth over a century ago, its mission is to find a habitable world for the children—fifteen-year-old Zoheret and her shipmates—whom it has created from its genetic banks.To Zoheret and her shipmates, Ship has been mother, father, and loving teacher, preparing them for their biggest challenge: to survive on their own, on an uninhabited planet, without Ship’s protection. Now that day is almost upon them…but are they ready to leave Ship? Ship devises a test. And suddenly, instincts that have been latent for over a hundred years take over. Zoheret watches as friends become strangers—and enemies. Can Zoheret and her companions overcome the biggest obstacle to the survival of the human race—themselves?
- Zero The year is 2229 and Jack Peterson has terminal cancer. He’s a dead man walking until his doctor gives him a way out. If he’s willing to give up his entire life, he can travel for eight hundred years in stasis to planet Epigog 31 to receive treatment. With no other options available, he agrees.Once there, he discovers that aliens exist and they are allies with humanity. But there’s a catch to receiving treatment: while his body heals, he must act as muscle for the aliens.His conscious mind is uploaded into a mechanical battle unit and he is sent to train for warfare.
He will travel the galaxy, meet numerous aliens, and make friends along the way. But everything is not as it seems, and Jack’s mech is far more unique than he realizes.
- The Dark City #1 (Relic Master) Welcome to Anara, a world mysteriously crumbling to devastation, where nothing is what it seems: Ancient relics emit technologically advanced powers, members of the old Order are hunted by the governing Watch yet revered by the people, and the great energy that connects all seems to also be destroying all. The only hope for the world lies in Galen, a man of the old Order and a Keeper of relics, and his sixteen-year-old apprentice, Raffi. They know of a secret relic with great power that has been hidden for centuries. As they search for it, they will be tested beyond their limits. For there are monsters-some human, some not-that also want the relic’s power and will stop at nothing to get it.
- ConQuest Fifteen-year old Q’s weekend started with him escaping detention, and ended with him plunging through a portal onto another planet. Just as he began to think things couldn’t get any worse, destiny handed him his greatest challenge yet.
When a freak space phenomenon threatens to tear open the ancient seals of the Universe, space cadet Q and his new crew are told to head out and gather vital data on the situation.
What they weren’t told is they wouldn’t be coming back.
Thrilling, adventurous and action-packed, ConQuest promises to be a page-turning read that will always keep you guessing.
- Across the Universe WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO SURVIVE ABOARD A SPACESHIP FUELED BY LIES? Amy is a cryogenically frozen passenger aboard the spaceship Godspeed. She has left her boyfriend, friends–and planet–behind to join her parents as a member of Project Ark Ship. Amy and her parents believe they will wake on a new planet, Centauri-Earth, three hundred years in the future. But fifty years before Godspeed’s scheduled landing, cryo chamber 42 is mysteriously unplugged, and Amy is violently woken from her frozen slumber. Someone tried to murder her.
- Earth Girl 2788. Only the handicapped live on Earth. Eighteen-year-old Jarra is among the one in a thousand people born with an immune system that cannot survive on other planets. Sent to Earth at birth to save her life, she has been abandoned by her parents. She can’t travel to other worlds, but she can watch their vids, and she knows all the jokes they make. She’s an “ape,” a “throwback,” but this is one ape girl who won’t give in.
- Watcher’s Web She’s not your ordinary country girl, even though she might look like one. She casts webs of power, reading the feelings of living beings and telling them what to do. Nobody knows what causes it, least of all her. Her name is Jessica, but most people call her ‘freak’.
One fateful day, her ‘web’ connects with a stranger, and stray power causes the plane in which she’s traveling to crash in an alien world. An accident? The more she discovers about the world in which she has landed, the more she doubts it. She is a survivor from an ancient race that once traveled the stars. Her ancestors were powerful and dangerous, and it seems at least two people want her: the man who invades her mind, and the man who’s desperate to help her get back home. But Jessica grew up an Earth girl, and isn’t having any of this. She’ll pander to no one, thank you very much, even if her stubbornness enrages the tyrant race who hold the world in their grip.
- The Hive Queen Saga
On a world where high school test scores determine your future, six students rebel. They’ll outrun society as fast as their questionably obtained spaceship will take them.
- Chimera The fate of Earth’s first colony rests on the shoulders of a pair of misfits: Theo Puck, a rogue hacker with a gift for speaking to machines, and Selena Samuelson, a brash but talented pilot with a dark secret in her past.
- Hollow Moon Join intrepid young heroine Ravana O’Brien in a fast-paced and witty science-fiction mystery of interstellar intrigue. Having fled civil war sixteen light years away, Ravana and her father now live in the sleepy commune of the hollow moon, a forgotten colony ship drifting around Barnard’s Star. Yet the evil priest Taranis, the dark architect of destiny, has returned from the dead. What began as a minor escapade to rescue her erratic electric pet soon leads Ravana and friends on an incredible planet-hopping voyage into the shady dystopian world of politics, terrible music and rebellion! Hollow Moon is an adventure for all who relish a dose of humour and practical astrophysics with their fantasy, for young adults and adults young at heart.
- A Beautiful Friendship Stephanie Harrington absolutely hates being confined inside her family’s compound on the pioneer planet of Sphinx, a frontier wilderness world populated by dangerous native animals that could easily tear a human to bits and pieces. Yet Stephanie is a young woman determined to make discoveries—and the biggest discovery of all awaits her: an intelligent alien species.
- Katya’s World The distant and unloved colony world of Russalka has no land, only the raging sea. No clear skies, only the endless storm clouds. Beneath the waves, the people live in pressurised environments and take what they need from the boundless ocean. It is a hard life, but it is theirs and they fought a war against Earth to protect it. But wars leave wounds that never quite heal, and secrets that never quite lie silent. Katya Kuriakova doesn’t care much about ancient history like that, though. She is making her first submarine voyage as crew; the first nice, simple journey of what she expects to be a nice, simple career. There is nothing nice and simple about the deep black waters of Russalka, however; soon she will encounter pirates and war criminals, see death and tragedy at first hand, and realize that her world’s future lies on the narrowest of knife edges. For in the crushing depths lies a sleeping monster, an abomination of unknown origin, and when it wakes, it will seek out and kill every single person on the planet.
- Zoe’s Tale How do you tell your part in the biggest tale in history?I ask because it’s what I have to do. I’m Zoe Boutin Perry: A colonist stranded on a deadly pioneer world. Holy icon to a race of aliens. A player (and a pawn) in a interstellar chess match to save humanity, or to see it fall. Witness to history. Friend. Daughter. Human. Seventeen years old.Everyone on Earth knows the tale I am part of. But you don’t know my tale: How I did what I did — how I did what I had to do — not just to stay alive but to keep you alive, too. All of you. I’m going to tell it to you now, the only way I know how: not straight but true, the whole thing, to try make you feel what I felt: the joy and terror and uncertainty, panic and wonder, despair and hope. Everything that happened, bringing us to Earth, and Earth out of its captivity. All through my eyes.
It’s a story you know. But you don’t know it all.
- Salvage Ava, a teenage girl living aboard the male-dominated deep space merchant ship Parastrata, faces betrayal, banishment, and death. Taking her fate into her own hands, she flees to the Gyre, a floating continent of garbage and scrap in the Pacific Ocean, in this thrilling, surprising, and thought-provoking debut novel that will appeal to fans of Across the Universe, by Beth Revis, and The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood. Internationally bestselling author Stephanie Perkins called it “brilliant, feminist science fiction.”
- Tin Star On their way to start a new life, Tula and her family travel on the Prairie Rose, a colony ship headed to a planet in the outer reaches of the galaxy. All is going well until the ship makes a stop at a remote space station, the Yertina Feray, and the colonist’s leader, Brother Blue, beats Tula within an inch of her life. An alien, Heckleck, saves her and teaches her the ways of life on the space station.
When three humans crash land onto the station, Tula’s desire for escape becomes irresistible, and her desire for companionship becomes unavoidable. But just as Tula begins to concoct a plan to get off the space station and kill Brother Blue, everything goes awry, and suddenly romance is the farthest thing from her mind.
- Avalon-Jeth Seagrave and his crew have made their name stealing metatech: the devices that allow people to travel great distances faster than the speed of light. In a world where the agencies that patrol the outer edges of space are as corrupt as the crime bosses who control them, it’s as much of a living as anyone can ask for. For years Jeth’s managed to
fly under the radar of the government that executed his parents for treason—but when he finds himself in possession of information that both the government and the crime bosses are willing to kill for, he’s going to find there’s no escaping his past anymore.With pulse-pounding action, a captivating mystery, and even a bit of romance, Avalon is the perfect read for hard-core sci-fi fans and non-sci-fi fans alike.
- Ender’s Game– In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race’s next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn’t make the cut—young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.