My love for science-fiction and fantasy novels has come in my adulthood. Over the past decade, I’ve discovered some Christian sci-fi and fantasy novels that draw me in not only with their unique setting, but also with their new perspective on faith. If you also enjoy taking off to new worlds, scientific or fantastic, here’s a list of my favourite Christian sci-fi novels and Christian fantasy novels.
This post contains affiliate links; click the image to see the Amazon listing for the book. Click the title to read my full review.
Outriders by Kathryn Mackel
Outriders is book 1 in The Birthright Project, a speculative fiction series by Kathryn Mackel. In this book, Kathryn takes us far into the future, to a time when Endless Wars have destroyed the world as we know it. God’s faithful people have taken shelter in a second Ark, hidden deep within the polar ice. The Outriders are those called back into the world to search for and recover what is left of the original creation.
Outriders is a fast-paced, suspenseful tale of danger, comradeship, and faith. Though I haven’t read much sci-fi or fantasy, this book soon drew me in. Kathryn’s characters are real and unique. She weaves details in just as they are needed, never too much or too little. Like me, if you read this book, you’ll be running out to get Book 2, Trackers, as soon as you can.
The Firebird Trilogy by Kathy Tyers
Firebird reminded me of Ender’s Game or the new Star Wars movies. (And no wonder, since Kathy Tyers has also written two Star Wars novels!) I enjoyed seeing how Tyers wove faith into this novel, while keeping within the cultures and worlds she’s created. The characters and their world are real, interesting, and fascinating.
In an author’s note, Tyers says, “Most fiction, including most science fiction and fantasy, begins by asking, ‘What if…?’ In creating a spiritual struggle for Lady Firebird, I asked one of those questions: What if God had created a universe without Earth, and a chosen people with a vastly different history? If the culture prepared to receive the Messiah had been obliged to wait two or three thousand years longer, then before He was born they might have developed space travel…”
Kathy Tyers actually says Crown of Fire is her favourite of her own books!
Flight of Shadows by Sigmund Brouwer
Flight of Shadows was a suspenseful, interesting read (one that, at one point in my life, I would have read in one sitting because I didn’t have a toddler and a baby to demand that I put it down and give them attention). This novel is a sequel to Broken Angel, which I haven’t read yet, but Brouwer fills in the backstory.
Brouwer put a lot of thought into the society and situation that he created in the novel, as he outlines in an afterword: “My hope is that the novel’s fictional setting will remind you that the real America, with all its imperfections and infighting, is still a glorious democracy and a unique bastion of freedom, a legacy built by the women and men who have sacrificed for it over the last few centuries.” The novel is indeed thought-provoking and would be great for a book club discussion.
Philomena by Mark Guiney
Philomena: A Tale from the Cor Novan Sky Almanac started well and just kept getting better. I was hooked in the story in the very first pages. Each new twist and turn in the story make me hungry for more, until the page-turning ending left me scrambling for extra reading time. (Pearl might have gotten extra rocking while I finished this novel…)
Mark Guiney’s novel Philomena is the story of an impossible quest, an unlikely king, and a worn-out airship. The story is set in the fantastical realm of Cor Nova, where ships fly in the air and the Imperium rules with an iron hand.
Like J. R. R. Tolkien, Mark Guiney writes as a Catholic author. The faith elements in this Christian fantasy novel will provide deeper discussion points for a faith-based book club, but won’t put off non-Christian readers. Philomena made me think of Firebird.
Otherworld by Erin E. M. Hatton
Erin Hatton’s novel Otherworld grabbed me from the first pages and kept me reading until the end. Even when I realized that this story was an allegory, I was intrigued. More a novella than a novel, this story is a quick, easy read. Emma is a likeable character and Erin’s descriptions of Emma’s world—both the “real life” part and the fantasy part—were easy to picture. This was a beautiful, thought-provoking debut novel and I can’t wait to see what Erin writes next.
The Battle for Moriah by Peter van Kampen
I was hooked from the opening lines of The Battle for Moriah, as Tobias ventures into the castle on a crazy quest. Yet that is just the beginning of his adventures, for little does he know that the ancient enemies of the kingdom are stirring and preparing for war.
Tobias’ quest that day puts him in the middle of the battle, fighting for his life, his home, and the woman he loves. Like Otherworld, this Christian fantasy novel is also an allegory.
Dawnsinger by Janalyn Voigt
With beautiful, descriptive prose, Voigt brings the land of Faeraven alive for readers of Dawnsinger. Kai and Shae were likeable, interesting characters and the plot took several twists that I didn’t expect. The slightly formal dialogue given to her characters and the descriptions of food were small touches that made this world seem real to me.
Linda Windsor says, “DawnSinger is a delightful fantasy spun with bardic prose and threaded with danger and intrigue.” I enjoyed this dip into fantasy and look forward to seeing where the story goes next—now that Shae, the Dawn Singer, has completed her quest. Faeraven still lies in danger, waiting for the Dawn King whom Shae released.
The Vanishing Sculptor by Donita K. Paul
When I picked up The Vanishing Sculptor, I was expecting an action-packed Christian fantasy novel like Outriders. Instead, The Vanishing Sculptor started slowly, with Tipper selling her father’s statues while her guardian, a giant parrot named Beccaroon, looked on disapprovingly.
I kept waiting for the danger to hit and the action to start, but it didn’t happen. As I got further into the novel, though, I began to appreciate Donita K. Paul’s style. The novel is the story of a quest, almost like a Pilgrim’s Progress or a parable.
What Christian sci-fi novels or Christian fantasy novels would you add to this list?