Is it morbid fascination that causes me to like train wreck type novels – namely apocalyptic & dystopian stories? I do love a happy ending though – but sadly, not all books of this type tend to have one. Here are 5 of my favorites.
Breathe, Sarah Crossan
The world has no air. Ever since the Switch, when the oxygen levels plummeted and most of humanity died, the survivors have been protected in glass domes full of manufactured air. Protected or trapped? Or controlled? If you want to survive, you pay to breathe. But what if you can’t?
Big corporations seem synonymous with greed and corruption, and it’s no different in this book. As the revelations are made and the truth comes out … I was shocked!
Parable of the Sower, Octavia Butler
The time is 2025. The place is California, where small walled communities must protect themselves from hordes of desperate scavengers and roaming bands of “paints,” people addicted to a drug that activates a desire to burn, rape and murder.
Butler does not pull any punches in the dark, violent dystopian society that she created. She let’s us know in no uncertain terms that any feeling of safety is fleeting, and any hope of a bright future is just a pipe dream.
The Maze Runner, James Dashner
When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade, a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls. Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy is delivered in the lift.
Can you imagine living in the middle of a maze that you can’t get out of? That’s unsolvable? I would be one of the ones that went crazy.
Pure, Julianna Baggott
Pressia barely remembers the Detonations or much about life during the Before. In her sleeping cabinet behind the rubble of an old barbershop where she lives with her grandfather, she thinks about what is lost-how the world went from amusement parks … to ash, dust and fused, damaged bodies. But, there are those who escaped the apocalypse unmarked. Pures. They are tucked safely inside the Dome that protects their healthy, superior bodies.
Forget about dystopian novels where the World seems dark but then there’s hope … this novel is bleak, depressing and full of tragic beauty.
The Passage, Justin Cronin
First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment. Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos and carnage gives way to sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, forever altered. All that remains for the stunned survivors is the long fight ahead and a future ruled by fear–of darkness, of death, of a fate far worse.
The title of this book should be – You’re Never Safe! Seriously, when the Virals (aka vampires) let loose, it marked the end of anything resembling hope for humanity. It was just one epic defeat after another. This is quite a bummer of a book – but one I enjoyed nonetheless.
What are some of your favorite dystopian or apocalyptic reads?