Mutant and Proud: 6 Books for X-Men Fans

Marcus Sakey's Brilliance

Here’s the story of a man named Charles, who was bringing up some very lovely mutants. And it’s the story of a guy named Magneto, who was busy with mutants of his own. Till one day when Charles met Magneto, and Wolverine had much more than a hunch, that this group must somehow solve a problem. And that’s why you bought your X-Men: Days of Future Past tickets in a bunch.

It’s here, it’s here, it’s here! The newest X-Men movie is here, not that it’s been all that long of a wait, as the carousel of Marvel movies makes frequent stops. Nevertheless, it’s a time of excitement. For those who can’t get enough of James McAvoy’s mind control, the line starts here it may be time to find some related reading. But what to do when you’ve exhausted the comic canon? Try some new mutants on for size. Below are five books to read, and one (coming to bookstores near you soon) to add to your to-be-read list. They’re not all your standard fare, because variety is the spice of outcast life:

Wild Cards, edited by George R.R. Martin

This shared-world series of short stories, edited by the Great Bearded Glacier himself, explores an alternative history where a virus swept the planet following World War II. That plague endowed some survivors with extraordinary abilities and characteristics—some less appealing than others. How will they use these powers? Read on, friends.

Brilliance, by Marcus Sakey

What makes Sakey’s take on mutations so gripping is how real it feels. Since 1980, 1 percent of the population has been born “brilliant,” with some special power or another. In a world similar to our own, down to the hypersensitivity when it comes to threats of terrorism, Brilliance explores the reality of hunting down the gifted when their talents alienate the normals (e.g., the ability to manipulate the stock market with outrageous ease).

Vicious, by V.E. Schwab

Ah, college. It’s a time of experimentation for many. For Victor and Eli, that experimentation leads to an obsession: proving that under the right conditions, people can become ExtraOrdinary. This quest for superabilities, unsurprisingly, piles up some bodies and heaps on the moral ambiguity with a bromance forged in hell.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs

If you couldn’t get into Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, there are worse places to be than under Miss Peregrine’s tutelage. Invisible boys, girls with super strength—this orphanage is a hopping place where you can always be your unusual self.

One, by LeighAnne Kopans

What happens when you’re not quite a Super, but definitely not a Normal? You’re a One, with somewhat limited powers. Add in some teen romance, flying, and sinister corporations and you’ve got yourself a zippy little narrative that gives mutants some YA love.

Illusive, by Emily Lloyd-Jones

You can’t get your paws on it until July, but salivate at the prospect of diving into a book that bills itself as X-Men meets Ocean’s Eleven. When a virus sweeps across the population, the vaccine created to stop it has the unexpected side effect of giving some superheroic powers. You can only imagine how such abilities might embolden, oh, say, thieves.

 Who’s your favorite mutant? 

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