10 of the Best Books like Stranger Things

Great science fiction can come from all places. And one bit of the genre that's taken the world by storm is the hit Netflix series Stranger Things.

I don't whether it's the lovable cast of characters, 80s throwbacks, or insanely rad story but one thing is certain. Stranger Things is amazing, and we need more like it. 

Fortunately, we've got you covered. We've scoured the realm of Science Fiction and have put together a list of the 10 best books like Stranger Things. 

Interested in one of these? If you want to check out any of these titles for free, you can with Audible's one month free trial!

1.

Suspicious Minds
Gwenda Bond


Sale
Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds: The First Official Stranger Things Novel
  • Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds: The first official Stranger Things novel Hardcover – February 5, 2019
  • Hardcover Book
  • Bond, Gwenda (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 320 Pages - 02/05/2019 (Publication Date) - Del Rey (Publisher)

Topping our list of the best books like Stranger Things is... THE FIRST OFFICIAL Stranger Things novel! 

Written by Glenda Bond, this novel serves as somewhat of a prequel to Season 1 of the show. Here, we really get to find out what happened to Eleven's mom Terry when volunteers for the MKULTRA Project, how the Hawkins National Laboratory came to be, and the conspiracy that surrounds it. 

Assisted by a girl with supernatural powers known only as 008, Terry unravels the mystery behind it all.

2.

Neverwhere

Neil Gaiman 


Sale
Neverwhere: Author's Preferred Text
  • William Morrow Co
  • Gaiman, Neil (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 464 Pages - 06/07/2016 (Publication Date) - William Morrow Paperbacks (Publisher)

One of the biggest plot points of Stranger Things is the Upside Down. It's a mirror dimension in which the Mind Flayer and Demogorgons hail from. Well, in Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, Gaiman explores his own version of the upside-down. 

It's called London-Below. And it's a mirror image of modern day London with the exceptions of murderous monsters and evils. After getting trapped in London Below, the lead Richard Mayhew must join forces with a powerful noblewoman and help save her world.

3.

The Ballad of Black Tom
Victor Lavalle


Sale
The Ballad of Black Tom
  • Tom Doherty Assoc Llc
  • LaValle, Victor (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 160 Pages - 02/16/2016 (Publication Date) - Tordotcom (Publisher)

There's no way we're going let this list through without a couple Cthulhu nods. I mean seriously, just take a look at the Mind Flayer and tell me otherwise. 

The Ballad of Black Tom is actually a retelling of The Horror at Red Hook by HP Lovecraft. The premise is that a man--Tom--heads to New York in search of magic. And so ye seek, so shall you find. After delivering a bizarre occult book to a sorceress in Queens, Tom finds himself accessing Old Magic that probably should have left alone.

4.

The Call of Cthulhu
HP Lovecraft


The Call of Cthulhu
  • Lovecraft, H. P. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 64 Pages - 03/16/2019 (Publication Date) - Independently published (Publisher)

And now one from the master of cosmic horror himself, HP Lovecraft. And there's no book more synonymous with Lovecraft than his 1926 masterpiece, The Call of Cthulhu.

The story revolves around the weaknesses to inevitably befall mankind when confronted by intelligence and power from beyond our world. Intelligence and power that comes in the form of gargantuan part-dragon, part-kraken, part-human, all-terrifying Cthulhu.

5.

Meddling Kids
Edgar Cantero


Sale
Meddling Kids: A Novel (Blyton Summer Detective Club Adventure)
  • Cantero, Edgar (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 336 Pages - 05/29/2018 (Publication Date) - Anchor (Publisher)

This book just speaks to us. It's an amazing amalgamation of Stranger Things, Scooby Doo, real horror, and a great mystery.

Back in the summer of 1977, the Blyton Summer Detective Club solved their last case. Just four kids and their dog, foiled the plan of a mysterious amphibian monster--which turned out to be just an old man in a mask. But now.... they reunited some 13 years later each haunted that they never really solved that last case. 

We love the camaraderie that happens between the characters. It definitely has that Stranger Things crew vibe going on.

6.

The Institute
Stephen King


Sale
The Institute: A Novel
  • Hardcover Book
  • King, Stephen (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 576 Pages - 09/10/2019 (Publication Date) - Scribner (Publisher)

There are so many different Stephen King novels that can be on this list. It, Carrie, The Body.... But we think that one of King's more recent novels fits the bill perfectly. The Institute.

Similar to Stranger Things, this story revolves around a mysterious institute that behind closed doors does unspeakable things to the children trapped inside. Children gifted with supernatural talents.

There's no denying that Stranger Things took direct inspiration from Stephen King. It seems to be that King returned the favor when writing The Institute.

7.

White is for Witching
Helen Oyeyemi


White is for Witching
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Oyeyemi, Helen (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 242 Pages - 02/04/2014 (Publication Date) - Riverhead Books (Publisher)

This awarding winning novel follows the unusual case of the Silver family. Fraternal twins Miranda and Eliot Silver live in their family's bed and breakfast. But this is no ordinary B&B. As a matter of fact, it's home to supernatural forces that have haunted Silver women for generations. And now, Miranda is starting to feel their effects. 

This is definitely a darker story than that of Stranger Things. You'll be able to relate this to Stranger Things through the main character. Like Eleven, Miranda is coming to age while simultaneously discovering her powers.

8.

The Girl With All the Gifts
M. R. Carey


Sale
The Girl With All the Gifts
  • Orbit
  • Carey, M. R. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 448 Pages - 04/28/2015 (Publication Date) - Orbit (Publisher)

Remember Eleven's father? Or man she called Papa anyway? What a twisted relationship.He was her captor and torturer hidden behind a thinly veiled smile.

The Girl With All the Gifts presents a similar situation. It tells the story of a girl named Melanie. Dr. Caldwell's little genius. But Melanie is no ordinary girl. And every morning, the orderlies strap her down for transport. That's because Melanie has all the gifts--if only she knew just dangerous she could be.

This book is the first book in the Hungry Plague series.

9.

The Door to December
Dean Koontz


The Door to December
  • Koontz, Dean (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 528 Pages - 06/01/2002 (Publication Date) - Berkley (Publisher)

If there's any author out there who really gets the whole supernatural thriller genre, it's Dean Koontz. And in The Door to December, he doesn't disappoint.

When police arrive on at a ghastly crime scene of mangled men, they find something even more haunting. A grey room with a sensory deprivation chamber and electric shock therapy chair--alongside a ruffled pair of clothing. After finding a naked 9 year old girl wandering the streets at night, they call in psychiatrist Laura McCaffrey who daughter had been kidnapped six years earlier.

10.

Sawkill Girls
Claire Legrand


Sale
Sawkill Girls
  • Legrand, Claire (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 464 Pages - 05/07/2019 (Publication Date) - Katherine Tegen Books (Publisher)

As Stranger Things is a coming-of-age story chock full of monsters, so is Sawkill Girls. 

Sawkill Girls focuses on female empowerment as three young women come together to fight back against the monsters that inhabit the island of Sawkill.

This book was named one of Yalsa's 2019 Best Fiction for Young Adults and nominated for a Bram Stoker and Lambda Literary Award.

Stranger Things: A Quick Summary (No Spoilers)

I'm assuming you've seen Stranger Things to be reading this article. But if you haven't... Oh boy. If you love sci-fi horror, this is must-​see TV

The entire show is based out of Hawkins, Indiana in the 1980s. It's a little town where everybody knows everybody and life is all good. That is until this mysterious girl with a shaved head appears out of nowhere. You can tell something's just off about her, and soon after she's being pursued my the "men in black". 

Meanwhile, a group of four misfit friends continue riding their bikes and having day-long Dungeons and Dragons game in one of their basements. That is until Will Byers (the most awkward of the four) goes missing. During their search, one of the boys--Mike--stumbles across the young girl and provides her shelter. 

During this time, Mike finds out that this girl--Eleven, or El--has some special powers. Special powers that they're going to need to rescue their friend and elude capture themselves. 

Stranger Things: The Main Cast and Crew

One of the biggest charms about the show isn't just the gripping sci fi action. It the characters themselves. So much so, that they've all got their own dolls, memorabilia, even Funko Pops!

Let's look at some of the core group of kids:

Eleven- Eleven--or El--grew up within the confines of the Hawkins Laboratory. She possesses psychokinetic powers that she uses to defend and protect the other kids from the realm of the Upside Down or other Earthly bullies.

Mike- Mike often takes the leadership role when it comes to his group of friends. In their D&D group, he plays a Paladin and is often the Dungeon Master. Later, he develops a romantic interest for Eleven.

Will- Although Will is a key part of the group, he generally feels like the odd man out. He's much more awkward than the rest of the boys. He's the cleric of their D&D group although he does assume the role of DM on occasion. Will spends most of the first season as a prisoner trapped in the Upside Down

Dustin- The Bard of the group with the mouth to go with it. Dustin is the most intelligent and studious of the group--along as the most talkative. He adds the most comic relief to the show and has garnered the most cult following of the characters.

Lucas- As the ranger of the D&D group, Lucas reflects similar traits in his real life. He's often the most down-to-earth and cautious of the bunch. He prefers to develop a solid plan of attack before moving forward. And he's seldom found without his trusty slingshot--aka the wrist rocket.

The Monsters of Stranger Things

Stranger Things wouldn't be a great monster show without great monsters. There've been 8 distinct types of monsters shown so far on the show.

Factholic does an amazing job of breaking them down in this video: 

Get These Best Books Like Stranger Things for Free!

Are you looking to get any of these books like Stranger Things? Check out how with one of these two offers!

1. Signup with Audible's One Month Free Trial: By signing up for Audible's free month trial you can download any two books you choose for free. If you decide you like Audible then you can pay a small monthly fee of $14.95 and get one book a month. If you decide you do not like Audible you can cancel your trial and keep your two free books.

2. If you want to try something other than Audible you could also try Playster. Playster's One Month Free Trial works with either ebooks or audiobooks. You can pay for a membership at $14.95 per month and receive unlimited books. However Playster does not offer as many book options. If you would like to listen to all of Playsters books you will need to use the premium which is $29.95.

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