The best apocalyptic books of all time

The Books I Picked & Why

The Road

By Cormac McCarthy

Book cover of The Road

Why 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!

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By Marie Lu

Book cover of Legend

Why 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.

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By Ann Aguirre

Book cover of Enclave

Why 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.

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Oryx and Crake

By Margaret Atwood

Book cover of Oryx and Crake

Why 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.

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The Hunger Games

By Suzanne Collins

Book cover of The Hunger Games

Why 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.

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