Books like The Hunger Games

Lovers of dystopian fiction, fantasy and science fiction will eat up these books like The Hunger Games

Hunger Games fans, rejoice! Fifteen years on from our first meeting with Katniss Everdeen in the opening book of Suzanne Collins' trilogy, and following a eight year wait since the last Hunger Games film, the prequel movie is finally here. If, like us, you're looking for more life or death competition inspired stories to devour, here is our edit of must-read books like the Hunger Games. . . (*Rue’s whistle*)

The Serpent and the Wings of Night

by Carissa Broadbent

Book cover for The Serpent and the Wings of Night

If you’re a fan of Twilight, you’ll love this vampire-Hunger Games fantasy. There’s a Romeo and Juliet thread which runs throughout this dark, spicy, romance too; though our star-crossed vampire lovers must face the heart-rendering prospect of killing each other in deadly competition. Will their love survive? 

This Dark Descent

by Kalyn Josephson

Book cover for This Dark Descent

A kingdom of clandestine magic, forbidden romance and cut-throat competition awaits in this magical YA fantasy. Steeped in Jewish folklore, it tells the story of Mikira, so desperate for money to save her imprisoned father that she sees only one way out – to win the famous ‘’Illinir’ for prize money, a magical cross-country horse race known for its high death toll. But different rules apply to Mikira, and the stakes are high as she recruits dark magic to help her win the race, and her father back.

The Atlas Six trilogy

Six powerful Medians with magical gifts are invited to take on a year-long fellowship to join a secret society which, alongside guarding lost knowledge from ancient civilizations, also offers a lifetime of power and prestige. The catch? Only five of them will be accepted. A story of magical competition, filled with twists, turns and with a first-book final reveal that made it a TikTok sensation. The best bit? The highly anticipated third installment is on the way.

Book cover for The Atlas Six

The Atlas Six

Olivie Blake

Book cover for The Atlas Paradox

The Atlas Paradox

Olivie Blake

Book cover for The Atlas Complex

The Atlas Complex

Olivie Blake

Don't Miss

The Atlas Six & Olivie Blake's standalone books in order

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The Sunbearer Trials

by Aiden Thomas

Book cover for The Sunbearer Trials

This YA Mexican-inspired fantasy has it all: demigods, an enforced tournament of challenges and high stakes. Teo, the seventeen-year-old trans son of the goddess of birds is surprised to be chosen to compete in The Sunbearer Trials alongside Xio, the thirteen-year-old child of the god of bad luck, against eight other semidioses. The odds seem stacked against them. Can our underdog and his friends fight to escape becoming this year’s Trial sacrifices?

Sword Catcher

by Cassandra Clare

Book cover for Sword Catcher

Welcome to the vibrant city-state of Castellane, a world of power, intrigue and magic, where not everything is as it seems and conspiracies lurk under the surface. Kel is stolen as a young orphan to become a ‘Sword Catcher’ for the Prince, a body-double to protect him from danger, while putting his own life at risk. But amidst each near-death situation, Kel discovers a dark conspiracy, one which could cause a world of chaos and war between nations.

Children of Blood and Bone

by Tomi Adeyemi

Book cover for Children of Blood and Bone

Hunger Games fans will love this story of ruthless rulers in a dystopian world, which is also set to become a feature film from the producer of The Maze Runner and Twilight. Set in West Africa, this YA novel tells the story of Zélie, who grew up surrounded by magic. When it was taken away by a ruthless King, everything changed for the worse, and the land and people she loved lost all hope. Yet Zélie still has magic, and it’s more powerful than she knows.

The trilogy continues with Children of Virtue and Vengeance and, coming in 2024, Children of Anguish and Anarchy.

The Departure

by Neal Asher

Book cover for The Departure

If your reading tastes run more to science fiction, then this one’s for you. A corrupt government rules over the starving people of Earth with totalitarian force from a space station high above. With overpopulation and too few resources, the Committee decide that twelve billion people must die. Can one man bound for inevitable  death topple the regime before it’s too late?

Battle Royale

by Koushun Takami

Book cover for Battle Royale

This dystopian story of a group of high school classmates sent to a deserted island, given weapons and forced to fight each other to the death, is an obvious addition to our list! Written before The Hunger Games and more graphic in its violent depiction, it's a high-octane thriller, the author allowing the reader to spend one or two chapters in the minds of different characters before they meet their untimely ends. Brilliant, but not for the faint of heart!

The Maze Runner

by James Dashner

Book cover for The Maze Runner

Welcome to the Glade – a walled area at the centre of a dangerous and deadly stone maze. Thomas arrives to find no adults – just teenage boys who also don’t know why they are there, or what’s happened to the world they left behind. Each morning the walls of the Glade slide away and they get the chance to risk their lives to escape the Maze and reach the world they lost. If it’s still there, that is. . .

The Long Walk

by Stephen King writing as Richard Bachman

Book cover for The Long Walk

Imagine a competition where the prize is anything you want in the world. There are only one hundred other contestants. And the game? Put one foot in front of the other and walk. Welcome to The Long March, an annual competition held in dystopian America where there can only be one winner, and to win, is to survive. Ray, a sixteen year old enters alongside ninety-nineother teenagers. All they have to do is follow the rules: stick to a steady four miles per hour. Do not accept outside help. Do not stop or slow down. After three warnings, you are eliminated (with a bullet). And while the prize reward is huge, the stakes are higher, because there is no finish line – the winner is the last contestant standing. And if you stop, you die.