The best apocalyptic books of all time

Who am I?

Apocalyptic fiction is my go-to genre and a theme that got me started in my own writing. I love the human stories of struggle in an aftermath that encompasses the world. There is truth in apocalyptic fiction – and a warning to us all. I've been writing since I was a child, creating stories and comics of my own, binding them and circulating them to family and friends. I went to school for visual arts, where I thought my passion was taking me, but returned to writing as my main creative outlet. As of 2022, I've 14 books published. Creativity keeps me sane, and without it I'm not me.


I wrote...

The Judas Syndrome

By Michael Poeltl,

Book cover of The Judas Syndrome

What is my book about?

It’s the end of the world. Will you know who your friends are? Comparisons between the fractured world outside and the world of the mind beg the question: which will collapse first in this coming-of-age story, told at the end of an age.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Road

Michael Poeltl Why did I love this book?

Poetic, halting prose tells the story of a father and son roaming the unforgiving landscape of a post-apocalyptic world. Very well done. Gripping and terrifying. Beautiful in its misery. This isn’t a comfortable read so if you have issues with difficult situations steer clear. That being said, if you want to experience an emotional rollercoaster, this is definitely worth the read!

By Cormac McCarthy,

Why should I read it?

28 authors picked The Road as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE • A searing, post-apocalyptic novel about a father and son's fight to survive, this "tale of survival and the miracle of goodness only adds to McCarthy's stature as a living master. It's gripping, frightening and, ultimately, beautiful" (San Francisco Chronicle).

A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don't know what, if…


Book cover of Legend

Michael Poeltl Why did I love this book?

There is so much crap out there concerning the end of the world, and this one really resonated with me. Initially, I feared I was going to be reading The Hunger Games again, which I enjoyed, but who wants to read the same book twice? Then, as I got a few chapters in, I realized it was very a different story, and well imagined. 

The relationship between the main characters was cleverly crafted, and the deeper story, the conspiracies, are what really made the book for me and I read the rest of the series.

By Marie Lu,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Legend as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

Legend is the much-anticipated dystopian thriller debut from US author, Marie Lu.

THE must-read dystopian thriller fiction for all teen fans of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Divergent by Veronica Roth. A brilliant re-imagining of Les Miserables, the series is set to be a global film sensation as CBS films have acquired rights to the trilogy. The Twilight Saga producers, Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey, will produce.

Los Angeles, California
Republic of America

He is Day.
The boy who walks in the light.

She is June.
The girl who seeks her brother's killer.

On the run and undercover,…


Book cover of Enclave

Michael Poeltl Why did I love this book?

This book has a unique take on the apocalyptic genre and the interest the story and characters offered.

In old New York, living in the tunnels of the ancient subway system, the book documents what might happen to those left to fend for themselves in a city whose social and political construct collapsed due to a violent strain of some virus. (Sound familiar?)

The way the female lead, Deuce, discovers this new world where the sun is a threat and the wide-open spaces, claustrophobic, is a testament to the way the author captured the character’s innocence. Aguirre expertly relates Deuce’s apprehension when discovering anything could be different from the darkness she’d grown up in.

By Ann Aguirre,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Enclave as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

Ann Aguirre's thrilling young adult novel Enclave is the story of two young people in an apocalyptic world--facing dangers, and feelings, unlike any they've ever known.

New York City has been decimated by war and plague, and most of civilization has migrated to underground enclaves, where life expectancy is no more than the early 20's. When Deuce turns 15, she takes on her role as a Huntress, and is paired with Fade, a teenage Hunter who lived Topside as a young boy. When she and Fade discover that the neighboring enclave has been decimated by the tunnel monsters--or Freaks--who seem…


Book cover of Oryx and Crake

Michael Poeltl Why did I love this book?

The world-building in this book is excellent, the future terrifying, and the writing spot on.

An interesting take on the near future. Dystopian for most, utopian for the lucky few. Apocalyptic for all ... eventually. Atwood is a master at back story and character development. Disturbing genetic experimentation is the star of this novel, and this is how I like my apocalypse: Human. Relatable stories. Real people facing real danger, real emotions, real scenarios in an all too possible end.

By Margaret Atwood,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Oryx and Crake as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

By the author of THE HANDMAID'S TALE and ALIAS GRACE

*

Pigs might not fly but they are strangely altered. So, for that matter, are wolves and racoons. A man, once named Jimmy, lives in a tree, wrapped in old bedsheets, now calls himself Snowman. The voice of Oryx, the woman he loved, teasingly haunts him. And the green-eyed Children of Crake are, for some reason, his responsibility.

*

Praise for Oryx and Crake:

'In Jimmy, Atwood has created a great character: a tragic-comic artist of the future, part buffoon, part Orpheus. An adman who's a sad man; a jealous…


Book cover of The Hunger Games

Michael Poeltl Why did I love this book?

The Hunger Games is now a classic in the apocalyptic genre, which is my go-to genre.

I very much enjoyed the story and the suspense layered throughout. Many emotions presented themselves during my reading journey, and for me that's the sign of a job well done. Solid character workups and believable scenarios that kept me reading happily. The Hunger Games was a great series and I’m glad I picked it up.

By Suzanne Collins,

Why should I read it?

41 authors picked The Hunger Games as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 12, 13, 14, and 15.

What is this book about?

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. But Katniss has been close to death before - and survival, for her, is second nature. The Hunger Games is a searing novel set in a future with unsettling parallels to our present. Welcome to the deadliest reality TV show ever...


You might also like...

Songbird

By Laci Barry Post,

Book cover of Songbird

Laci Barry Post Author Of Songbird

New book alert!

Who am I?

Author Group fitness instructor Mom of two Travel consultant Hiker

Laci's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

It's 1943, and World War II has gripped the nation, including the Stilwell family in Jacksonville, Alabama. Rationing, bomb drills, patriotism, and a changing South barrage their way of life. Neighboring Fort McClellan has brought the world to their doorstep in the form of young soldiers from all over the country and German POWs from halfway around the globe.

Songbird is an inspirational, historical fiction novel, dealing with family, faith, strong women, and the American home front. It explores many historical elements of the World War II era, such as women's aid groups, the writings of Ernie Pyle, D-day, radio and music of the 1940s, and the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Songbird

By Laci Barry Post,

What is this book about?

When the perils and social changes of World War II confront a small southern town, faith, family, and love sustain the lives of one young woman and her family. Can those left behind endure?

"I'm waiting for my life to begin. Waiting for the train to come in," Ava Stilwell, a young woman eager for life, sings a popular song with the big band that reflects her heart. In the midst of a world at war, Ava finds love, a passion for her music, and new opportunities, but the war still looms over her, threatening to take it all away.…


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Interested in survival, dystopian, and love triangle?

9,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about survival, dystopian, and love triangle.

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