Recommend me a book or two – Thriller/sci fi or something else that is gripping

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  • Recommend me a book or two – Thriller/sci fi or something else that is gripping
  • kudos100

    I’m going on a long haul flight in a week and want to take a couple of books with me.

    I’m not a big reader (internet and tv attention span) but have enjoyed I am Pilgrim, Enders Game and the Hunger Games books over the last year.

    I’ve listened to a few Lee Child, John Grisham and David Baldacci books on audio, but found them a little formulaic.

    Something from Jo Nesbo and the book the Martian are on the list, but what else would you recommend that is really brilliant? Doesn’t have to be a thriller or sci fi, but needs to be something you can’t put down once you start reading…….

    Arc Light by Eric L Henry
    Reality Dysfunction by Peter F Hamilton


    depending on your age and love of videogame/80’s nostialgia Ready Player One and Armada by Earnest Cline are both good reads (in my opinion, friends have also hated them so you never know).

    Little Brother and Homeland by Corey Doctorow are also good (and available free).

    I also read the Persona Project (andy McDermott) while on hol last week and that was good (big boys own/thriller/bourney type affair)

    I really enjoyed the Emberverse trilogy by SM Stirling.

    Kind of a post apocalyptic collapse of society type vibe mixed with a goodly dash of Game of thrones . Strange but oddly satisfying.

    Dies the Fire on Amazon


    Just finished The Stone Man following a previous recommendation on here – really good and quite thought provoking.

    I quite liked Ready Player One as recommended by Chomp above but it contains lists, lots and lots and lots of lists. Enough to make me want to launch the book on several occasions despite just glancing over them.

    Premier Icon thetallpaul

    The Naked God trilogy (includes The Reality Disfunction above) by Peter F Hamilton.

    Enjoying working my way through the Dirk Pitt novels by Clive Cussler

    The other Enders books?

    Try The Breakers Series by Edward W Robertson

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    Booked marked for later, my stash of 20 sci fi books from the start of the year is dwindling and i need input.

    Premier Icon thetallpaul

    Dan Abnett is an excellent sci-fi writer if you like a lot of action. Check out any of his Black Library stuff (its Games workshop affiliated, but don’t let that put you off).

    If you can find it the Eisenhorn trilogy (out of print but can get ebook / 2nd hand) or Gaunt’s Ghosts series are great.

    I’m presently reading another of his (non Black Library) books, Triumff which I am enjoying.

    If you want to get into a long, complex storyline, try the Horus Heresy series of novels. There are various authors, some of the books are fantastic, some OK, but worth it if you are in it for the long haul.


    I found “The Girl With All the Gifts”, a great listen on the talking books.

    Also, a bit formulaic, but Peter James, “Roy Grace” series is a compelling listen, bought one in an audible deal, since bought all 11.


    Joe Abercrombie for sword & sorcery fantasy

    Justin Cronin – The Twelve (spotted the MP3 CD version in a local charity shop for £1.99 at lunch!) and The Passage – eagerly waiting for the thris book to come out hopefully soon, the film rights for the first book were snapped up for a lot of money

    Great North Road by Peter Hamilton – standalone thriller/sci-fi novel.


    I always liked the original Dune series by Frank Herbert, the original book is a sci-fi classic. The later books by his son aren’t so good though…

    Premier Icon steveoath

    For a bit of bladerunnery cyberpunk check out Altered Carbon by Richard K Morgan.

    Stallo –

    Swedish fantasy thriller – not what you would call fast paced but an intriguing plot line none the less.


    I’m currently enjoying the original Bourne trilogy. Don’t worry if you’ve seen the films as the books are nearly completely different.

    Premier Icon mrhoppy

    The Passage by Justin Cronin, it’s post apocalyptic vampires but not really about the vampires.

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    James Herbert? More in the super martial chiller camp though but most quite absorbing. Moon is good or if not of a sensitive disposition The Dark or The Others.

    Dune above is a good shout. Read it slowly or you will possibly struggle to follow all the names around.

    Thriller/espionage you could try Debt of Honour by Tom Clancy. It is kind of ahead of its time in some aspects of the plot (look when it was written if you choose to try it)


    a friend was raving about someone Kessler….said it was better than Jo Nesbo stuff.


    I thought the Cronin books jumped the shark in the 2nd episode. The first was good and the second want too bad in parts but it ended up with way too many “oh ffs” moments.

    Premier Icon mrhoppy

    Ivan, indeed so I’ve not bothered with trying to get the 3rd. But the Passage conveys the tension really well and holds up on its own IMO.


    Yeah, the first was great which was why the second was a bit of a disappointment.

    If it’s post-apocalyptic you’re after then “Alas Babylon” and “One Second After” are both pretty good with the advantage of being massive so ideal audio books as they last ages.

    (My above post should say “wasn’t” not “want”, I’m not Vicky Pollard!)

    A couple of horror crackers, both unputdownable once i started them…
    The Descent – Jeff Long
    Outpost – Adam Baker

    The Genesis Code, and The First Horseman, both by John Case.

    Sci/sci fi/crime thrillers. Similar to Dan Brown except well written, not sh1t. Fun, fast paced easy reading, ideal long haul stuff.

    Anything by Michael Crichton (science/medical) or Robert Harris (historic) for great stories grounded in background research of the subject.


    Cheers, I’ll have a hunt on the evil that is Amazon and find a few.


    Rubbernecker by Belinda Bauer


    Culture books? Player of Games is my fav although fersum enjinn is pretty awesome too.

    Iain m banks.

    2nd the dan abnet stuff.

    Premier Icon maxtorque

    How about some “real life” Sci-Fi??

    ^^^ an absolutely griping, Warts ‘n All, narrative of what it was like to be a Space Shuttle Astronaut! Once i’d started it, I couldn’t put it down. Extremely funny, brutally honest, and occasionally rather tragic in equal measure.


    For a sf noir thriller see ‘Chasm City’ by Alastair Reynolds – it held my attention firmly.


    “The Scarlet Gospels” by Clive Barker


    Some great suggestion, one or two I’m taking away myself. I’ll suggest World War Z, the film isn’t even a shadow of how good a story/s it is, I was well & truly gripped by it


    Not SF, not even fiction – but close enough to both at times. Following someone’s recommendation on here (I forget who, but thanks!): Skunk Works – Ben R. Rich. The true story of the development of the U2, SR71 and F-117 airplanes.

    And a lot of the stuff mentioned above: Iain M. Banks, Peter Hamilton, Dune…

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    Totally agree with the Lee Child could get over the ridiculous coincidences that put Jack Reacher into each perilous situation. Second World War Z great book rather crap film

    Premier Icon honeybadgerx

    +1 to Iain M Banks culture novels. As for Peter F Hamilton I prefer the commonwealth saga books.

    The Forever War series by Joe Haldeman is worth a look, first book is more of a ‘realistic’ sci fi.

    Dune is always a classic, whilst some of the recent stuff is a bit naff, I quite enjoyed the three prelude to dune books.

    Premier Icon honeybadgerx

    Oh, and I am Legend.


    I enjoyed ‘The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August’ by Claire North

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    ^^^ Just reading “The first 15 lives….” I’m gripped, but then I like most of her books “A madness of angles” was brilliant IMO. (Same author, different pen name)

    Also, my current favourites amongst the ‘urban magic’ stuff is Ben Aaronovitch’s series of books.


    I quite like some of the Simon Kernick books to be honest.. “Severed”, “Relentless” and “The last 10 seconds” are my faves.

    Will also secon “skunk works” by Ben Rich… I have read this over and over.

    “Odd Thomas” by Dean Koontz is a proper hoot.
    And if you like the 1st book there are a few sequels to go at too 🙂

    +1 for the 1st 15 lives of Harry August.
    Unusual title, unusual premise but epic and hugely enjoyable

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