search-icon

Rise like the Dark Phoenix with These Superpowered Reads

by  | June 28
dark phoenix woman power supernatural

Whether X-Men: Dark Phoenix is your first encounter with this story arc or if you’ve been a fan of the comics for ages, Jean Grey’s transformation from sweet psychic to all-powerful force of nature is an all- engrossing one. And while Dark Phoenix is not exactly a critical darling, it builds on the great trope of women with supernatural powers working against the forces of evil, as well as the oppressive systems of sexism, racism, homophobia, and more. So, if you’re looking for more stories of where powerful women use spectacular abilities to make a difference in the world, then do I have a list for you.

Firestarter

Firestarter

by Stephen King

This girl is on fire! But like, literally. Stephen King’s classic Firestarter follows Charlie, a young girl on the run from the government with her father. Her parents were part of a government experimentation that gave them both psychic powers, powers that they passed down to their daughter, who is also pyrokinetic. Charlie’s powers to control fire prove to be as deadly as they are useful, and she uses them to help uncover what the government has been doing and the lengths to which they have been going in order to keep what they are doing quiet. One of King’s older works, it still holds up today with its themes of government conspiracy, persecution, and family bonds in an increasingly dangerous world. And if you’re still in the movie mood, check out the film, starring an adorably young Drew Barrymore.

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoSimon & Shuster logo
The Rules of Magic

The Rules of Magic

by Alice Hoffman

Powerful women don’t always take to violence in order to show off their prowess. If you’re a fan of the cult classic Practical Magic, then you know that the crafty aunts Franny and Jet, as well as the other Owens women, are plenty capable of bending the world to their will. Thankfully, they only use their powers for good. For those of you who have always wondered how these witches came to be so fabulous and fabulously powerful, read Practical Magic’s prequel The Rules of Magic. Enjoy the ride as these sisters, in the swinging 1960s, learn of their ancestors, their true calling, and the weight of falling in love. This gorgeous book will sweep you back in time and across the country in a whirlwind of magic, fun, and loss, and inspire you to take hold of your destiny as only an Owens woman can.

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoSimon & Shuster logo
Slayer

Slayer

by Kiersten White

It’s hard being The Chosen One, responsible for protecting the world from all the creatures that go bump in this night. Just ask Buffy, you know, the Vampire Slayer. Or better yet, ask Nina, who is not only The Slayer, but the last one who will ever exist. No pressure or anything. After all, she has grown up alongside her sister, Artemis, and her father, a Watcher who died protecting the famous Buffy. However, as the reality of Nina’s situation sets in, she comes to realize that it’s not the role that makes the Slayer, it’s the person holding the stake. A fantastic journey of a warrior coming into her own against the odds and with a little help from some important friends, this book is a must read for fans of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV show, who will likely be inspired by the story to go back and watch the whole series over again.

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoSimon & Shuster logo
Children of Blood and Bone

Children of Blood and Bone

by Tomi Adeyemi

In one of the most popular books of 2018, you’ll find the hype is real if you’re looking for a story where one mighty girl stands up to an oppressive regime to claim back the legacy of her people. And you know you are totally looking for just that. Zélie Adebola remembers a time when there was magic in Orïsha, but that was before King Saran moved to kill maji, or magic users, and oppressed any who survived the raids. Just trying to survive, Zélie finds herself embroiled in a race to reinstate magic and bring the world back into order. This thrilling adventure sees burgeoning romances, uncertain alliances, and above all, the hope that one person can really make a difference. Adeyemi’s writing is engaging and endearing, making you truly care for Zélie and her friends as they fight to get back what is rightfully theirs. A must read, especially if you’ve been curious about the film adaptation that’s currently in the works.

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logo
The Girl With All the Gifts

The Girl With All the Gifts

by M. R. Carey

Lots of post-apocalyptic stories see the revolution of humanity led by strapping, burly men, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But there’s something about watching a young girl bring a world on the brink into a new, and sometimes uncertain, future. If that’s what you hoped to get out of Dark Phoenix, look no further than The Girl with All the Gifts. Melanie has been infected with a fungus that causes people to become mindless flesh-eaters, but since she is a child, she is able to retain her humanity, which is why she is studied. However, when she and her group are attacked, it is her infection that can keep them safe, as well as help her lead the world into a new state of coexistence. Melanie is brave, thoughtful, and often smarter than the people looking after her. That’s why, in the twist at the end of this novel that will surely take your breath away, you’ll be amazed at what her mind—and a little fire—can do to change the course of human history.

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logo
The Power

The Power

by Naomi Alderman

All the above reads have been about singular women who have confronted the system, but what if the power at the center of the story belongs to several thousand people? That’s what happens in The Power, wherein, suddenly, all teenage girls have massive physical ability that lets them hurt and even kill people. A what-if about what might happen if one of the most vulnerable populations suddenly has the power to zap anyone they choose, empowering them to fight back against aggressors. The world starts to change in good ways and bad as the dynamics between the sexes shift and a new generation of women and girls fight back against the systems that held them down. This book tackles tough subjects such as abuse, rape, the struggle for power, and what it’s like to live with constant fear—in a way that makes you really think about the world we live in and what horrors we allow to happen to women.

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logo
Love to get lit... erary? Sign up to get the latest delivered to your inbox!
A reporter by trade, Sara Roncero-Menendez is a lover of horror, sci-fi, and all things pop culture. From indies to classics to even the strangest genre pieces, all movies, TV shows, and books are fair game for a binge-fest. Follow her on Twitter @sararomenen or at her website, www.sara-roncero-menendez.com