The 5 Best Space Opera Books to Read in 2017

The 5 best space opera books in 2017 | Which Book Should I Read?

Image by Leon Tukker.
Article published on January 18, 2017

If you’re interested in Space Opera, you've most likely already read the classics (e.g. Dune, Foundation, Hyperion etc.). If not, start there. For those who are up to speed, this list aims to present some new material (that is no less enthralling) to keep up with your insatiable appetite for all things space.

Terms of Enlistment (Frontlines Book 1)

Author: Marko Kloos

Terms of Enlistment (Frontlines Book 1) | Which Book Should I Read? Terms of Enlistment is book one of the Frontlines series. This one may lean a bit more towards military science fiction, but it still checks all the boxes of a gripping interstellar page-turner. We follow Andrew Grayson as he begins his military career serving the North American Commonwealth, and his journey is exciting, thrilling and adventurous, all while maintaining a sense of realism. We're listing it first because of one astounding fact - this novel was self-published. It's rare to find such a quality piece of writing without an editor attached to it. Here's how we break it down:

Category Score (out of 5)
Character Development 4.1
Imagery 4.3
Plot 4.1
Technical Accuracy 4.2
Pacing 4.0

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers)

Author: Becky Chambers

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers) | Which Book Should I Read? This is a fun read that is reminiscent of Firefly (with hints of Hitchhikers). We follow the crew of the Wayfarer whose job is to create hyperspace tunnels between worlds. It's a character-driven piece filled with original personalities and relationships. The writing brings you right into the conversations, fights and challenges the crew must work through together. A fun and intelligent read for those who are more interested in people than setting.

Category Score (out of 5)
Character Development 4.7
Imagery 4.1
Plot 4.1
Technical Accuracy 3.9
Pacing 3.5

Dark Run (Keiko Book 1)

Author: Mike Brooks

Dark Run (Keiko Book 1) | Which Book Should I Read? Smugglers, thieves and con artists: in space?! This entertaining and thriling ride is a fun read for those seeking adventure. It's a plot-driven piece, but Brooks does a wonderful job creating archetypical characters that fit right in—and work perfectly to push the story along. We follow the crew of the Keiko who find themselves pulled into a mysterious mission for an unknown employer on behalf of the ship’s skipper, Captain Drift. Tensions rise, relationships are tested and trouble ensues. Well worth a read for those looking for a satisfying space romp—and a page-turner).

Category Score (out of 5)
Character Development 3.5
Imagery 4.6
Plot 4.8
Technical Accuracy 4.1
Pacing 4.2

Children of Time

Author: Mike Brooks

Children of Time | Which Book Should I Read? A highly original and enthralling read by Mike Brooks. Word of warning: It may take a few pages to get into this one, as it spans thousands of years and covers two intertwined stories. But it sure is worth it. In one story, we follow the Gilgamesh crew during the intermittent times they come out of hypre-sleep in search of a habitable planet. Why? Only because humanity has destroyed itself and is in need of a new home. The second story follows the subjects of a scientific undertaking meant to boost the intelligence of apes. Tchaikovsky uses accurate and believable science to take us on a journey to find a new home, and the birth of a new species. An original and captivating read for any science fiction fan.

Category Score (out of 5)
Character Development 4.0
Imagery 4.6
Plot 4.3
Technical Accuracy 4.7
Pacing 4.2

Pandora's Star (The Commonwealth Saga)

Author: Peter F. Hamilton

Pandora's Star (The Commonwealth Saga) | Which Book Should I Read? An epic that some have compared to Dune, this book is a solid choice for any avid space opera fan. But it goes beyond action, with a certain depth that’s both pleasant and surprising. Hamilton presents disparate viewpoints and ideologies to the reader, all with equal weight, so that a large portion of the adventure ends up being undertaken in our minds. Hamilton clearly did not set out to create a thin page-turner with adrenaline-packed battles; he has created something with deep vivid portrayals of a far flung culture. Though, settle in, because this is a long read.

Category Score (out of 5)
Character Development 4.4
Imagery 4.3
Plot 4.7
Technical Accuracy 4.4
Pacing 3.9

If you've already read these, or if you’re all about exploration, check out our recommendation tool. Bon voyage!