11 Fantasy & Superhero Books Like 'Black Panther' For Fans Who Just Can't Wait For The Movie

Ad failed to load

I don't go to the movies as often as I'd like to, but if there is one film that is enticing enough to get my butt into the theater, it's Marvel's Black Panther. The film, which is set to hit theaters on Feb. 16, has already set a record for the most early pre-sales of any Marvel film — just one of many ways it has already stood out from the pack. A main cast consisting entirely of black actors? Check. Multiple female characters in positions of power, with kick-butt moves and, you know, actual plot-lines that help move the story forward? Check, check and check. And not only is the film, directed by 31-year-old phenom Ryan Coogler, a total game-changer, it's visually stunning and full of edge-or-your-seat action, if the previews are any indication.

But before you descends upon you local theater, there are a few books you might want to add to your TBR pile first. If you love the idea of black-centered fantasy narratives, with characters that are fighting back against injustice and changing their worlds for the better, the 11 books below are definitely for you. While you can definitely binge read one or two before you hit the theater, this list will let you ride the wave of excitement for months to come, too.

Ad failed to load

'Black Panther: The World Of Wakanda' by Roxane Gay

Delve deep into Wakanda’s lore with a love story where tenderness is matched by brutality. You know them as the Midnight Angels, but for now they are just Ayo and Aneka — young women recruited to become Dora Milaje, an elite task force trained to protect the crown of Wakanda at all costs. But with their king shamed and their queen killed, Ayo and Aneka must take justice into their own hands. They’ve been officers. Rebels. Lovers. But can they be leaders?

Click here to buy.

'Miles Morales: Spider-Man' by Jason Reynolds

Miles Morales is an average teenager. He has dinner every Sunday with his parents, he plays old-school video games with his best friend, Ganke. Oh yeah, and he's Spider Man. But lately, Miles's spidey-sense has been on the fritz. He can't shake the vivid nightmares that haunt him. Nor can he avoid the buzz of his spidey-sense in history class, amidst his teacher's lectures on the historical "benefits" of slavery and the modern-day prison system. But after his scholarship is threatened, Miles uncovers a chilling plot — one that puts his friends, his neighborhood, and himself at risk.

Click here to buy.

'Parable of the Sower' by Octavia E. Butler

Lauren Olamina and her family live in one of the only safe neighborhoods left on the outskirts of Los Angeles. Behind the walls of their defended enclave, Lauren’s father and a handful of other citizens try to salvage what remains of a culture that has been destroyed by drugs, disease, war, and chronic water shortages. When fire destroys their compound, Lauren’s family is killed and she is forced, with a handful of other refugees, to make her way north to safety. Along the way, she conceives a revolutionary idea that may mean salvation for all mankind.

Click here to buy.

Ad failed to load

'The Belles' by Dhonielle Clayton

Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace. But once Camellia arrives at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she dreamed it would be. Behind the palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie.

Click here to buy.

'The Fifth Season' by N.K. Jemison

Essun comes home to find that her husband has brutally murdered their son and kidnapped their daughter. Mighty Sanze, the empire whose innovations have been civilization's bedrock for a thousand years, collapses as its greatest city is destroyed by a madman's vengeance. And worst of all, across the heartland of the world's sole continent, a great red rift has been been torn which spews enough ash to darken the sky for years. But Essun does not care if the world falls apart around her. She will break it herself, if she must, to save her daughter.

Click here to buy.

'Akata Witch' by Nnedi Okorafor

Born in New York, but living in Aba, Nigeria, 12-year old Sunny is understandably a little lost. She is albino and sensitive to the sun, and all she wants to do is get through another day of school without being bullied. But once she befriends Orlu and Chichi, Sunny is plunged in to the world of the Leopard People, where your worst defect becomes your greatest asset. Together, their mission is to track down Black Hat Otokoto, the man responsible for kidnapping and maiming children. Will Sunny be able to overcome the killer with powers stronger than her own?

Click here to buy.

Ad failed to load

'Super Black: American Pop Culture And Black Superheroes' by Adilifu Nama

Adilifu Nama examines seminal black comic book superheroes such as Black Panther, Black Lightning, Storm, Luke Cage, Blade, the Falcon, Nubia, and others, some of whom also appear on the small and large screens. Super Black explores how black superheroes are a powerful source of racial meaning, narrative, and imagination in American society that express a myriad of racial assumptions, political perspectives, and fantastic re-imaginings of black identity.

Click here to buy.

'Brown Girl In The Ring' by Nalo Hopkinson

The rich and privileged have fled the city, barricaded it behind roadblocks, and left it to crumble. The inner city has had to rediscover old ways of farming, barter, and herb lore. But now the monied need a harvest of bodies, and so they prey upon the helpless of the streets. With nowhere to turn, a young woman must open herself to ancient truths, eternal powers, and the tragic mystery surrounding her mother and grandmother.

Click here to buy.

'Abengoni: First Calling' by Charles R. Saunders

Matile Mala, once the most powerful empire in the black continent of Abengoni, is becoming more and more vulnerable to aggression from the nations it once dominated. In the capital, Khambawe, ancient rituals endure. As Tiyana, who is both priestess and princess, conducts one such ceremony, the rite is disrupted by the arrival of a half-wrecked ship from Fiadol, a far-distant land across the sea. As the Matile and Uloans clash, other foes of the fading empire wait on the sidelines, like vultures circling a battlefield. The newcomers from Fiadol hold the balance of destruction and Tiyana must anticipate which way the scale will tip.

Click here to buy.

Ad failed to load

'Children Of Blood And Bone' by Tomi Adeyemi (March 6)

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope. Now, Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for the enemy. This one comes out March 6, but you can read an excerpt now.

Click here to buy.

'Dread Nation' by Justina Ireland (April 3)

Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville—derailing the War Between the States and changing America forever. In this new nation, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. Almost finished with her education Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home. But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life. This one won't hit bookstores until April, but Bustle has a sneak peek.

Click here to buy.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

Here's Your Horoscope For Memorial Day Weekend

We’re constantly fascinated by what our zodiac sign says about our lives, whether it's which signs are most compatible or how each sign handles conflict in relationships. That's why Bustle has enlisted Mecca Woods, a New York City-based astrologer of…
By Mecca Woods

These Are The Absolute Best Memorial Day Sales This Year

Get your credit cards ready, because this year's fashion and beauty Memorial Day sales might just be the best ones yet. There's not only major savings for the holiday, but some of the savings start days before. You know, so you can spend the entire w…
By Kali Borovic

Everything Leaving & Coming To Netflix In June To Help Get Your Summer Started

Summer is right around the corner, and so is another batch of streaming options to get excited about. On Wednesday, everything leaving and coming to Netflix in June 2018 was announced by the streaming platform. And don't worry, there's something for …
By Jamie Primeau

These Are The Beauty Products That Came Out In May That You DEFINITELY Need On Your Radar

For beauty lovers, months aren't just months: They're 28 to 31 day periods, wherein any and all product and brand launches can happen — and when they do, it feels like your birthday, no matter what time of the year you were actually born. The May 201…
By Amanda Richards

The 5 Rom-Coms You Need To Read This Summer, According To Someone Who Writes Them

'Tis the season for rom-coms. The weather is warm, the sun is shining, and everyone is rocking the flirtiest items in their wardrobe. I don't know about you, but summer always takes me back to my teenage years — and that automatically makes me want t…
By Cristina Arreola

11 Tiny Sunglasses That Will Make You Look Even Cooler Than Kylie Jenner

You know what they say — the tinier the sunglasses, the more stylish the outfit. OK, that's not really a saying, but it seems to be the case these days. Basically every celebrity, model, and It person has been spotted sporting tiny sunglasses as part…
By Sara Tan

I've Paid $18,000 To A $24,000 Student Loan, & I Still Owe $24,000

It all became real the summer before my senior year of college. It was 2010, and my home phone still had a cord, which I wrapped around my fingers as I waited not-so-patiently for the apathetic representative on the other end to tell me the bad news …
By Kaitlyn Cawley

12 Personality Quizzes That Will Help You Determine Your Exact Strengths

Learning more about yourself can be tough. It's so easy to observe others to learn what makes them tick, what areas they really excel in, and the things they could be better at. Doing that to yourself, however, is a whole different story. That's exac…
By Jessica Booth

5 Brand New Short Story Collections You Can Finish In One Sitting This Weekend

Since 2013, May has been known by book-lovers by another name: Short Story Month. If you're ready to kick off this year's celebration the right way, make sure to pick up a short story collection to read over the weekend. Modern life moves more than …
By Sadie Trombetta

I Got Styled By 'Queer Eye's Tan France & Realized I Still Have A Lot Of Fashion "Rules" To Unlearn

When I walked into a New York City Express store on May 2 to get styled by Queer Eye's Tan France, I was ready for anything. And I mean truly anything. I am such a massive fan of the show and Tan that if he had instructed me to wrap myself in tin foi…
By Olivia Muenter

It Isn’t Bad To Have A “Princess Fantasy” — Mine Made Me The Woman I Am Today

What do you want to be when you grow up? If you were anything like me as a kid, at some point, the answer to that question was "a princess." Thanks to good old-fashioned gender stereotypes, most little girls born in the '90s (and even now) grew up in…
By Nicole Pomarico

Here’s How To Get A FREE 30-Minute Facial At Sephora That Sucks Your Pores Clean

Sephora has long been a mecca for both serious and amateur beauty lovers alike, where they not only have makeup artists that help answer questions about products, but free samples to let you play with new collections. But now they have upped the ante…
By Marlen Komar

Kris Jenner Is FINALLY Launching A Makeup Line With Kylie

Maybe you don't have a favorite sister of the Kar-Jenner clan, and that's perfectly fine. The one thing you can't deny, though, is that when it comes power, no one in that family has more than the world famous momager. Now, Kris Jenner x Kylie Cosmet…
By Shea Simmons

This Kendall Jenner “Diva” Moment Is Really Being Taken Out Of Context

The fashion always takes center stage at the Met Gala, but there's usually a little drama, too. And this time, a member of the Kardashian-Jenner family is involved. People are buzzing about how Kendall Jenner shoved someone at the Met Gala, but after…
By Nicole Pomarico

Feel Like You've Seen Everything On Netflix? Add These Movies To Your Watch List

The weekend may feel too far away, but if you're lacking formal plans, a Netflix marathon session is always a good idea. If you're an avid viewer, however, you probably feel like you've seen everything the streaming platform has to offer already. In …
By Ashley Rey

Hillary Clinton Says She's Ready To Fight Like A Republican — EXCLUSIVE

Hillary Clinton Is Not Going Away Quietly. Can Hillary Clinton Please Go Quietly Into The Night? Unlike Losers Before Her, Clinton Is Not Going Gently Into the Night. These headlines, which appeared in various news outlets over the course of the last…
By Catherine Thompson and Jenny Hollander

Here's The Very Best Time To Book Your Summer Vacation If You're Trying To Save Money

Summer is a great time to travel, for obvious reasons. The weather is better. Many offices are more lax about time off. If you have kids, they’re out of school. But there’s one very important element that makes summer not a great time to travel: Cost…
By Emma McGowan
)}