Hello again dear reader or listener, it’s been a minute huh? You know how it is, gestures vaguely, life. But! I wanted to bring a fun little post for you today in the form of one of those ‘If you liked this movie or show, you’ll enjoy this book’ lists!
The comparisons could be from the two things having similar plot points to just vague and overall close enough vibes that hit in very specific ways, or even character energies that are alike. I hope you’ll find this list useful if you haven’t had a chance to see or read any of the suggestions here, or that you’ll get to point at any of the entries and be like ‘omg she’s so got a point’! Or you may disagree entirely and have a good laugh at my expense. Any reaction is a good one really.
I’ve tried to vary up the genres so there’s something for everyone – let’s begin
If you love The Mummy (1999) - and let’s be honest who doesn’t? - Then you’ll have a grand time reading:
The Stardust Thief
By Chelsea Abdullah
For the delectable mix of chaotic characters who occasionally share one braincell, sprinkle of monster horror, desert setting, and awesome fast paced action. There may not be a similar romantic subplot but rest assured there’s plenty of love to go around in this book and it is precious.
What's It About?
Neither here nor there, but long ago…
Loulie al-Nazari is the Midnight Merchant: a criminal who, with the help of her jinn bodyguard, hunts and sells illegal magic. When she saves the life of a cowardly prince, she draws the attention of his powerful father, the sultan, who blackmails her into finding an ancient lamp that has the power to revive the barren land—at the cost of sacrificing all jinn.
With no choice but to obey or be executed, Loulie journeys with the sultan’s oldest son to find the artifact. Aided by her bodyguard, who has secrets of his own, they must survive ghoul attacks, outwit a vengeful jinn queen, and confront a malicious killer from Loulie’s past. And, in a world where story is reality and illusion is truth, Loulie will discover that everything—her enemy, her magic, even her own past—is not what it seems, and she must decide who she will become in this new reality.
Inspired by stories from One Thousand and One Nights, The Stardust Thief weaves the gripping tale of a legendary smuggler, a cowardly prince, and a dangerous quest across the desert to find a legendary, magical lamp.
If you were a fan of The Librarians, Warehouse 13, or even the more history centered Doctor Who episodes:
The Chronicles of St. Mary
By Jodie Taylor
Then you need The Chronicles of St. Mary by Jodie Taylor in your life – between a mottled mix of mildly unhinged and overly caffeinated characters creating a chef’s kiss found family, the occasional sucker punch to your feels, and time traveling shenanigans, you have the perfect thing to scratch that nostalgic itch you’re carrying around after watching any of those shows.
What's It About?
The Chronicles of St Mary’s Boxset Vol 1 includes bestsellers Just One Damned Thing After Another, A Symphony of Echoes and A Second Chance.
“History is just one damned thing after another” – Arnold Toynbee
Just One Damned Thing After Another – Book One in The Chronicles of St Mary’s
A madcap new slant on history that seems to be everyone’s cup of tea…
Behind the seemingly innocuous façade of St Mary’s, a different kind of historical research is taking place. They don’t do ‘time-travel’ – they ‘investigate major historical events in contemporary time’. Maintaining the appearance of harmless eccentrics is not always within their power – especially given their propensity for causing loud explosions when things get too quiet.
Meet the disaster-magnets of St Mary’s Institute of Historical Research as they ricochet around History. Their aim is to observe and document – to try and find the answers to many of History’s unanswered questions…and not to die in the process.
But one wrong move and History will fight back – to the death. And, as they soon discover – it’s not just History they’re fighting.
Follow the catastrophe curve from eleventh-century London to World War I, and from the Cretaceous Period to the destruction of the Great Library at Alexandria.
For wherever Historians go, chaos is sure to follow in their wake …
A Symphony of Echoes – Book Two in The Chronicles of St Mary’s
Max and the team visit Victorian London in search of Jack the Ripper, witness the murder of Archbishop Thomas a Becket in Canterbury Cathedral, and discover that dodos make a grockling noise when eating cucumber sandwiches.
But they must also confront an enemy intent on destroying St Mary’s – an enemy willing, if necessary, to destroy History itself to do it.
A Second Chance – Book Three in The Chronicles of St Mary’s
St Mary’s is back and nothing is going right for Max.
The action jumps from an encounter with a mirror-stealing Isaac Newton to the bloody battlefield at Agincourt. Discover how a simple fact-finding assignment to witness the ancient and murderous cheese- rolling ceremony in Gloucester can result in CBC – concussion by cheese. The long awaited jump to Bronze Age Troy ends in personal catastrophe for Max and just when it seems things couldn’t get any worse – it’s back to the Cretaceous Period again to confront an old enemy who has nothing to lose.
So, make the tea, grab the chocolate biscuits, settle back and discover exactly why the entire history department has painted itself blue…
If Peaky Blinders was your sin of choice on TV but you wished for that extra dash of fantasy in it:
The War of the Rose Throne
By Peter Mclean
What's It About?
“The first in an unmissable series, Priest of Bones is a fresh and compelling take on grimdark fantasy. Mashing together soldiers, gangsters, magic and war into a heady mix that is a hulking big brother to The Lies of Locke Lamora.”–Anna Stephens, author of Godblind
The war is over, and army priest Tomas Piety heads home with Sergeant Bloody Anne at his side. But things have changed while he was away: his crime empire has been stolen and the people of Ellinburg–his people–have run out of food and hope and places to hide. Tomas sets out to reclaim what was his with help from Anne, his brother, Jochan, and his new gang: the Pious Men. But when he finds himself dragged into a web of political intrigue once again, everything gets more complicated.
As the Pious Men fight shadowy foreign infiltrators in the back-street taverns, brothels, and gambling dens of Tomas’s old life, it becomes clear:
The war is only just beginning.
Speaking of preciousness and love in one story, if you fondly remember the whimsical Reese Witherspoon flick, Just Like Heaven (2005):
The Dead Romantics
By Ashley Poston
Ashley Poston’s The Dead Romantics is just the comfort read that’ll give you a slew of good laughs, a light hearted way to deal with heavier topics of loss, grief, and insecurity, and a soft romantic duo that will give you all the warm and fuzzy feels. If I had to add a spice rating it would be 0.5 out of 5 probably and that’s rounding up (We’ve all probably read more explicit stuff in YA novels lol).
What's It About?
A New York Times Notable Book of 2022!
The New York Times Bestseller and Good Morning America Book Club Pick!
A disillusioned millennial ghostwriter who, quite literally, has some ghosts of her own, has to find her way back home in this sparkling adult debut from national bestselling author Ashley Poston.
Florence Day is the ghostwriter for one of the most prolific romance authors in the industry, and she has a problem—after a terrible breakup, she no longer believes in love. It’s as good as dead.
When her new editor, a too-handsome mountain of a man, won’t give her an extension on her book deadline, Florence prepares to kiss her career goodbye. But then she gets a phone call she never wanted to receive, and she must return home for the first time in a decade to help her family bury her beloved father.
For ten years, she’s run from the town that never understood her, and even though she misses the sound of a warm Southern night and her eccentric, loving family and their funeral parlor, she can’t bring herself to stay. Even with her father gone, it feels like nothing in this town has changed. And she hates it.
Until she finds a ghost standing at the funeral parlor’s front door, just as broad and infuriatingly handsome as ever, and he’s just as confused about why he’s there as she is.
Romance is most certainly dead… but so is her new editor, and his unfinished business will have her second-guessing everything she’s ever known about love stories.
If you miss Stanley Tucci’s stylish and sassy fairy godmother vibes in A Devil Wears Prada, wished the friend group had been more supportive, and for the love interest to be less of a self centered and judgemental jackass and more of a complex, interesting, and more than a little aggravated (in a good way) character:
By a Thread
By Lucy Score
Lucy Score’s By a Thread will give you that and more. This (rated 18+ for 4/5 spice – a few cold glasses of water may be needed) office romcom will hit you with feels, some heavy topics handled properly and respectfully, and an ache in your cheek muscles from laughing or grinning so hard and often.
What's It About?
Dominic was staring at me like he couldn’t decide whether to chop me into pieces or pull my hair and French kiss me.
I got her fired. Okay, so I’d had a bad day and took it out on a bystander in a pizza shop. But there’s nothing innocent about Ally Morales. She proves that her first day of her new job… in my office… after being hired by my mother.
So maybe her colorful, annoying, inexplicably alluring personality brightens up the magazine’s offices that have felt like a prison for the past year. Maybe I like that she argues with me in front of the editorial staff. And maybe my after-hours fantasies are haunted by those brown eyes and that sharp tongue.
But that doesn’t mean that I’m going to be the next Russo man to take advantage of his position. I might be a second-generation asshole, but I am not my father.
She’s working herself to death at half a dozen dead-end jobs for some secret reason she doesn’t feel like sharing with me. And I’m going to fix it all. Don’t accuse me of caring. She’s nothing more than a puzzle to be solved. If I can get her to quit, I can finally peel away all those layers. Then I can go back to salvaging the family name and forget all about the dancing, beer-slinging brunette.
Ha. Hold my beer, Grumpy Grump Face.
Author’s Note: A steamy, swoony workplace romantic comedy with a grumpy boss hero determined to save the day and a plucky heroine who is starting to wonder if there might actually be a beating heart just beneath her boss’s sexy vests.
If you wished for a Guardians of the Galaxy and Alien offspring, inheriting all their best traits of action, comedy, and horror:
The Immortality Thief
By Taran Hunt
Then you’ll have a field day reading Taran Hunt’s The Immortality Thief. I can never rec this book enough because it’s got everything: complex morally grey protags, found family, highly intelligent characters that suddenly cancel each other out in moments of chaos, tension, high stakes, feels, and
endless hilarity despite it all.
What's It About?
The Immortality Thief is a ridiculously fun, fast paced, seat-of-your-pants read full of treasure hunts, traps, deadly enemies, betrayal, secrets, mysterious aliens, adventure and action as the story races to the find the secret to immortality.
Far off the edge of human existence, beside a dying star lies a nameless ship abandoned and hidden, lost for a millennium. But there are secrets there, terrible secrets that would change the fate of humanity, and eventually someone will come looking.
Refugee, criminal and linguist Sean Wren is made an offer he knows he can’t refuse: life in prison, “voluntary” military service – or salvaging data in a long-dead language from an abandoned ship filled with traps and monsters, just days before it’s destroyed in a supernova. Data connected to the Philosopher’s Stone experiments, into unlocking the secrets of immortality.
And he’s not the only one looking for the derelict ship. The Ministers, mysterious undying aliens that have ruled over humanity for centuries, want the data – as does The Republic, humanity’s last free government. And time is running out.
In the bowels of the derelict ship, surrounded by horrors and dead men, Sean slowly uncovers the truth of what happened on the ship, in its final days… and the terrible secret it’s hiding.
If the 1997 Anastasia movie lives rent free in your mind:
By Sophie Lark
then you’ll enjoy Sophie Lark’s own retelling through an alternate history and with an extra helping of magic, Anastasia. The easter eggs for the movie are spread throughout this amazing epic, the slow burn enemies to lovers is done excellently and the magic system is just Bad. Ass. The illustrations inside are also really beautiful!
What's It About?
Anastasia is the princess no one needs: the fourth daughter born to an emperor without a son, and the only royal lacking a magical gift.
Until she collides with a young Cossack rebel, changing both their lives forever.
Damien is taken from everything he knows and raised as a ward of the Romanovs.
Anastasia develops a strange kind of magic shared only by the Black Monk Rasputin.
While her power grows in secret, boosted by forbidden contact with Damien, Anastasia makes a mistake with terrible consequences.
Fate grants her a single chance to set it right… but saving what she lost may cost everything she loves.
The Lark Notes:
I think what captivates us about Anastasia is our dream of what could have been. Anastasia’s death was so tragic, I wanted to give her another life.
This book is not a retelling of any other Anastasia story. It’s set in 1919 in a world similar to ours, but with magic. My next series will be a vampire family saga set in the modern version of that same world.
This is my fantasy of the happy ending Anastasia deserved. Not because she was a Romanov, but because she was a human. I want all of you to have the happy ending you deserve – it’s why I love writing romance. –Sophie
“Anastasia” is an epic enemies-to-lovers fantasy romance. It is intended for mature readers and contains spicy scenes not suitable for all.
And finally, this rec is a bit of a tough one and it won’t be for everyone but if you wish for more Jax and co. from Sons of Anarchy:
The Hades Hangman
By Tillie Cole
look no further than Tillie Cole’s The Hades Hangmen. Now bear in mind this is a dark romance series with a list of trigger warnings a mile long which you please need to take seriously because, while some of the entries in this series are on the less explicit or dark side for a few of the topics, it is overall a very difficult one. However, Cole writes incredibly (seriously, her character work and plot is just oof) and not with lack of tact when it comes to certain themes, as this series deals with religious cults and human trafficking among other things. The overall brotherhood is to die for and all the leading ladies have strengths that make them some of the most admirable characters I’ve read. It is also a great series for those who love psychology
books and are happy torturing their feels. Happy endings are guaranteed though.
What's It About?
Sinning never felt so good… A fortuitous encounter. A meeting that should never have happened.
Many years ago, two children from completely different worlds forged a connection, a fateful connection, an unbreakable bond that would change their lives forever…
Salome knows only one way to live—under Prophet David’s rule. In the commune she calls home, Salome knows nothing of life beyond her strict faith, nor of life beyond the Fence—the fence that cages her, keeps her trapped in an endless cycle of misery. A life she believes she is destined to always lead, until a horrific event sets her free.
Fleeing the absolute safety of all she has ever known, Salome is thrust into the world outside, a frightening world full of uncertainty and sin; into the protective arms of a person she believed she would never see again.
River ‘Styx’ Nash knows one thing for certain in life—he was born and bred to wear a cut. Raised in a turbulent world of sex, Harleys, and drugs, Styx, unexpectedly has the heavy burden of the Hades Hangmen gavel thrust upon him, and all at the ripe old age of twenty-six—much to his rivals’ delight.
Haunted by a crushing speech impediment, Styx quickly learns to deal with his haters. Powerful fists, an iron jaw and the skillful use of his treasured German blade has earned him a fearsome reputation as a man not to be messed with in the shadowy world of outlaw MC’s. A reputation that successfully keeps most people far, far away.
Styx has one rule in life—never let anyone get too close. It’s a plan that he has stuck to for years, that is, until a young woman is found injured on his lot… a woman who looks uncannily familiar, a woman who clearly does not belong in his world, yet a woman he feels reluctant to let go…