10 Books Like ‘Subnautica’ | TheReviewGeek Recommends


In Subnautica, a survival game developed by Unknown Worlds Entertainment, players can explore a huge open world at their own pace on a strange planet that’s mostly underwater. Using only their wits and limited resources, players survive in the ocean’s hostile ecosystem.

Subnautica’s story is simple. You are stranded on a vibrant water world after your ship, the Aurora, crash lands on the planet. Your goal is to survive in this hostile alien environment and investigate why you ended up on this water world.

If you’re a fan of the game and are looking for books with similar oceanic, survival and sci-fi themes. Whether that’s plots around discovering something alien at the bottom of the sea, exploration or dealing with aquatic horrors. We’ve got you covered. So, let’s dive deep into ten books like Subnautica:

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne

We have to begin with this classic novel which takes readers on a thrilling underwater adventure. If you’re searching for a book about underwater exploration and danger, the Jules Verne classic won’t disappoint. In this book, Captain Nemo takes the characters on a journey below the ocean’s surface aboard his advanced submarine, the Nautilus.

Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant

In Subnautica, you can explore the deepest depths of the ocean and the mysteries it holds. In the Drowning Deep, a crew of scientists and thrill-seekers embark on a dangerous journey to uncover the fate of a previous expedition that vanished in the deep sea, while looking for mermaids. 

Dead Silence by S. A. Barnes

If you enjoyed the sense of dread found in Subnautica and the horrors that await you in the inner depth of the unknown, then sci-fi horror Dead Silence is what you are looking for.

The story follows a Verux repair ship and their team leader, Claire, as they venture to the outer regions of explored space to service communication beacons. One of the crew picks up a strange distress signal, which leads them to a decades-lost luxury cruiser called the Aurora (no relation). There, they discover the wreckage of a nightmare that has not yet ended.

The Swarm by Frank Schätzing

Just like exploring the relationship between humans and the mysterious depths of our own Oceans? Or maybe you like the fear of the ocean that Subnautica gives you? Check out the Swarm. The book explores a world in which the oceans revolt against human exploitation and ignorance.

A series of events initially thought to be anomalies leads to the realization that the Earth’s oceans are fighting back against the damage caused by human activities.

Sphere by Michael Crichton

If you’ve played Subnautica you know all too well the intense fear you feel as you explore the depths of this frankly freaky alien ocean, especially when you run into alien structures and the giant bones of some long-dead creature that is too big to even comprehend. The only way for you to continue on with the game and find out its mysteries is to push through your own fear and anxiety.

Well, if you like reading about characters having the same experience, then you have to read Michael Crichton’s The Sphere. In this gripping novel, a team of scientists encounters a mysterious sphere on the ocean floor. As they explore the object, they encounter strange phenomena and must confront their own fears and anxieties for them to survive.

The Deep by Nick Cutter

We don’t want to give away the in-depth story of Subnautica. Specifically, the answers over why you’ve crashed and what you find out while you explore the scary deeps of the planet’s ocean. If you know, you know, but if you are looking for something similar to that story, you should read The Deep by Nick Cutter.

A team of researchers ventures to the bottom of the ocean to investigate a radio signal from a research station. As they explore the depths, they face unimaginable horrors lurking in the Abyss. If you know, you know.

Starfish by Peter Watts

The main objective in Subnautica is survival. The ability to adapt and survive this alien ecosystem is ultimately what you’re striving to do. For this experience, read Starfish, the first book in the Rifters Trilogy. It is set in an underwater facility called the ‘Deep Sea Habitat Living Area 4’ located on the Juan de Fuca Ridge in the Pacific Ocean.

The story follows a bio-engineered crew of individuals who have been modified to withstand the extreme pressure and live in the deep sea environment. They are tasked with exploiting geothermal power for a global corporation, but they soon find themselves facing the challenges of isolation, darkness, and a hostile underwater ecosystem.

Typhon’s Children by Toni Anzetti

Want survival on an actual water world? Want that fight for survival and deadly creatures? Here is Typhon’s Children.

The story is set on the planet Typhon, which is dominated by an ocean and is initially seen as a paradise by new colonists. However, the tranquillity is shattered when the land erupts in violent and incomprehensible ways, leading to the destruction of the colony. The survivors face the challenges of a hostile world and an additional deadly menace.

The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling

The Luminous Dead takes place outside the ocean but still has a similar theme of survival and facing the unknown.If you have claustrophobia or hate the idea of being trapped underground with no way out, sorry.

The Luminous Dead follows a caver named Gyre as she explores the subterranean depths of a foreign planet. As she tries to navigate the treacherous caves, it’s not just her own fears she needs to confront, there may be a few things lurking in those dark places. Her only companion is her handler Em, but don’t let that stop you from dealing with the existential dread of being trapped in a small hole in the belly of an unknown planet. Enjoy!

They Came From The Ocean by Boris Bacic

One of the most memorable and terrifying encounters in Subnautica is when you venture close to the crash site of the Aurora. As you get closer and try to find your way in you can hear a sound in the distance. It’s soft at first, but then you hear it again. It’s a little louder, and it sounds like a roar. Quickly you realise that you are being hunted, and you hear it before you even see it – the Reaper Leviathan.

The final book offers characters who definitely feel the way you do when you have this horrifying encounter. They Came from The Ocean is a book about a rescue mission to find a missing crewman in an undersea mining facility near New Zealand.

The crewman has been missing for about a day, but with only eight hours, it may be a body retrieval mission instead of a rescue mission. That’s until they get a distress signal from him – 11,000 feet down.

If you are looking for more underwater adventures, or just want the feel of the game Subnautica, check out these books. Did you enjoy the game Subnautica? Have you read any of these books? Do you have your own books to suggest? Comment below and let us know.

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