Looking for a gift for a book-loving Tomb Raider fan? Or simply looking for a new book to add to your collection?
Whatever the reason, you’ll find a range of recommended reads listed below, ranging from spin-off novels to comics, from art books to other non-fiction titles.
Note: I cannot vouch for the quality of every item on this list as I have only read a handful of these. Comments or links to my reviews have been added where possible.
20 Years of Tomb Raider: Digging Up the Past, Defining the Future by Meagan Marie
This commemorative tome by Senior Community Manager Meagan Marie should be at the top of any Tomb Raider fan’s list.
The 360-page hardback compendium is packed with information about the series’ lore, iconic characters, cultural influence, and spin-off media and includes exclusive interviews with the games’ voice actors, developers, official models, and composers.
In short, a must-have for any fan’s collection!
Rise of the Tomb Raider: The Official Art Book by Andy McVittie
This 192-page art book is jam-packed with concept art, 3D renders, sketches, character designs, and developer commentary on the characters, locations, and ancient ruins seen in the hit game, Rise of the Tomb Raider.
If you’d like to learn more about this book before buying it, check out my review!
Grand Thieves and Tomb Raiders: How British Videogames Conquered the World by Magnus Anderson and Rebecca Levene
Anderson and Levene dig deep into the secret history of the British video game industry, exploring how a generation of bedroom programmers and entrepreneurs growing up in Thatcherite Britain went on to create some of the industry’s most successful franchises.
With entire chapters devoted to Tomb Raider, Grand Theft Auto, and 8-bit gaming, the book offers readers an insightful trip down memory lane and is the ideal gift for gaming history buffs.
Lara Croft and the Blade of Gwynnever by Dan Abnett & Nik Vincent
Miss the “old school”, dual pistol-wielding Lara? This standalone adventure by Dan Abnett and Nik Vincent sees our intrepid adventurer travel the globe to retrieve a precious artefact whose very existence could rewrite the history of the British Isles, possibly even the world.
More along the lines of the blockbuster films and earlier games than the current game series, Blade of Gwynnever ticks all the right boxes when it comes to ancient mysteries, wit, and nostalgia.
An excerpt from the novel can be found over on the official Tomb Raider blog.
Tomb Raider: The Ten Thousand Immortals by Dan Abnett & Nik Vincent
If you’re looking for a novel set within the rebooted timeline, Abnett and Vincent’s earlier novel, The Ten Thousand Immortals, might be right up your alley.
The novel picks up where the 2013 game left off and introduces some of the elements we’d later see in Rise of the Tomb Raider and other spin-off media: Lara’s growing interest in immortality myths, Sam’s worsening mental condition, and Trinity.
The Ten Thousand Immortals has received mixed reviews from the fanbase but if you’re looking for something light to entertain yourself during your daily commute, you could do worse. Just keep your expectations low…
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (Novelization) by Dave Stern
For those who enjoyed the hit 2001 film but wished it had a little more depth, Dave Stern’s novelization is generally regarded as a faithful adaptation that not only recaptures the action and adventure seen on screen but also offers some extra backstory for each of the film’s major characters.
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – The Cradle of Life (Novelization) by Dave Stern
Dave Stern’s novelization of the second Lara Croft: Tomb Raider film fleshes out some of the characters and scenes from the film and delves deeper into the characters’ motives for tracking down the legendary Pandora’s Box.
Even if the film left you feeling disappointed, the novelization is a pleasant enough read and makes a fine addition to any Tomb Raider fan’s collection.
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – The Amulet of Power by Mike Resnick
This 2003 novel serves as a sort of bridge between Lara’s apparent death in The Last Revelation and her reappearance in Paris in The Angel of Darkness. No sooner does Lara free herself from the ruins of an Egyptian tomb than she finds herself fending off swarms of assassins who believe she has located the covered Amulet of Mareish, an ancient talisman that would grant the wearer untold power.
Truth be told, the novel wasn’t too my taste (as you can see in my review) but other fans found it a fairly enjoyable read. Different strokes for different folks…
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – The Lost Cult by E.E. Knight
Published in August 2004, E.E. Knight’s novel sees Lara Croft searching for clues that would shed light on the mysterious death of a colleague, who had been researching the cult of Méne before his untimely demise. Lara’s quest for answers takes her halfway around the world as she discovers a group in the cloud forests of Peru is attempting to revive the ancient cult and its mind-controlling ways.
Please note that this novel can be quite hard to find in the UK (at least for a decent price), so you may need to order it from the US or elsewhere.
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – The Man of Bronze by James Alan Gardner
Gardner’s novel follows on from The Lost Cult and offers a unique spin on the myths surrounding the ancient Egyptian gods, Osiris and Seth. Ancient androids, secret societies, and deadly rivalry lie at the heart of this adventure and, naturally, Lara Croft finds herself caught up in this web of intrigue.
Tomb Raider Archives Vol. 1
Fans of the old Top Cow Tomb Raider comics will be delighted to know that Dark Horse will be re-publishing the series in a deluxe four-volume hardcover set, starting with Volume 1 in December 2016.
Volume 1 collects issues 1 through 15 and includes an introduction by Andy Park, one of the artists who worked on the original series. Volumes 2, 3, and 4 will be released in 2017 (exact dates to be confirmed).
Tomb Raider: The Beginning (Kindle Edition) by Rhianna Pratchett
This 52-page comic served as a prelude to the hit 2013 game and was written by the game’s lead writer, Rhianna Pratchett. Although the artwork is a little lacking, the comic does a decent job of introducing the Endurance crew and setting up the events that lead the ill-fated crew to Yamatai.
A hard-copy version does exist but can be quite pricey. So unless you really need a physical copy for your collection, you might as well purchase the Kindle edition instead.
Tomb Raider: Volume 1: Season of the Witch by Gail Simone
Picking up where the 2013 game and Ten Thousand Immortals left off, Gail Simone’s Tomb Raider debut explores the psychological impact the ordeal on Yamatai has had on Lara and the other surviving crew members. When a new dark force threatens to engulf them, Lara and the crew find themselves heading back to the one place they never wanted to see again in order to put an end to their living nightmare.
Fans of the Top Cow comics may be disappointed with the relatively bland art and colouring work but Season of the Witch is a decent enough sequel to the game.
Tomb Raider: Volume 2: Secrets and Lies by Gail Simone and Rhianna Pratchett
This collaboration between comic writer Gail Simone and the 2013 game’s lead writer Rhianna Pratchett helped pave the way for Pratchett’s own solo comic arc and the 2015 game Rise of the Tomb Raider.
When a dearly departed friend reaches out to Lara to rescue a family member from the clutches of her former employer, Trinity, Lara sets off to Pripyat, Ukraine, to try and track down this rogue agent and bring her to safety. Trinity, naturally, has other plans for the crafty Croft.
Tomb Raider: Volume 3: Queen of Serpents by Rhianna Pratchett
Lara Croft’s peaceful life is interrupted yet again when she receives a video tape that leads her to believe her former Endurance crewmate Grim is still alive. Determined to rescue him from the clutches of a mysterious group known as Las Serpientes Que Caminan, Lara, Sam, Kaz, and Jonah make their way to the jungles of Mexico…but they soon find out that things aren’t quite what they seem.
Intended as a prequel of sorts to the 2015 game, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Pratchett’s solo arc explains why Sam didn’t join Lara and Jonah on their quest for Kitezh and why Croft Manor is in such a state of disrepair.
Tomb Raider: Volume 1 (2016): Spore by Mariko Tamaki
Following on from Rise of the Tomb Raider, Mariko Tamaki’s debut Tomb Raider arc has our heroine heading to southern China in search of a rare mushroom rumoured to grant immortality. And, as per tradition, there’s a new group in town who will stop at nothing to make sure she doesn’t get her hands on it.
Featuring art work by Phillip Sevy and colours by Michael Atiyeh, the arc features some fun action scenes and sees Lara using her wit and instinct to get herself out of some sticky situations.
Tomb Raider: Volume 2 (2017): Choice and Sacrifice by Mariko Tamaki
Due out in May 2017, this trade paperback collects all the issues of Tamaki’s second (and possibly last) story arc for the Dark Horse comic series.
When Lara gets wind that Sam Nishimura has escaped from a mental hospital in Sweden and that the Sun Queen Himiko has taken full control of her friend’s body thanks to Trinity’s intervention, she’s forced to look for answers in the most unlikely places. With time running out to save her friend from a fate worse than death, Lara will do whatever it takes to put an end to Himiko’s tyranny.
Lara Croft and the Frozen Omen by Corinna Bechko
This 5-issue comic series by Corinna Bechko is set within the alternate “Lara Croft” universe and sees our plucky heroine and fellow archaeologist Carter Bell race against time to recover a number of ancient ivory artefacts and stop a doomsday cult from using them for their wicked ends.
Last updated on November 25th, 2016.
- Review: Rise of the Tomb Raider: The Official Art Book
- 6 Siberia Travelogues for the Armchair Adventurer
- 10 Biographies of Early Female Archaeologists & Explorers
The Archaeology of Tomb Raider is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and Amazon EU Associates Programme, affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon and Amazon UK.