The best books about an apocalyptic event that causes a dystopian future

Julie L. Casey Author Of Time Lost: Teenage Survivalist II
By Julie L. Casey

Who am I?

I got interested in the theme of a post-apocalyptic, dystopian world after hearing years of doomsday predictions, most of which never came true or were far from catastrophic. I wondered what some real threats to our way of life are and in 2015, started writing a novel, Defenders of Holt, about what a dystopian future might look like. After that book, I wanted to write about the events that led up to that dystopian world and settled on a coronal mass ejection (CME) as the apocalyptic event in the Teenage Survivalist series. I did many hours of research to back up my stories to make them as realistic as possible. 

I wrote...

Time Lost: Teenage Survivalist II

By Julie L. Casey,

Book cover of Time Lost: Teenage Survivalist II

What is my book about?

On PF (Power Failure) Day, a massive coronal mass ejection (CME) strikes the world with electromagnetic fury, which destroys the power grid. No one had ever thought about how much they depended on electricity, but now they are plunged into survival mode. Ben discovers that living in a big city makes survival nearly impossible. Starvation, dehydration, disease, freezing temperatures, and out-of-control fires imperil the desperate population. After facing unimaginable losses, Ben finds hope for the future when he meets Sara, who has endured her own share of agonizing loss. But when a murderous gang threatens to take away everything Ben has left, he and Sara flee to a wilderness area of a large city park where they learn to live off the land for survival. 

The books I picked & why

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I Am Currency

By Whitney L. Grady,

Book cover of I Am Currency

Why this book?

In this 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards Finalist book, a different scenario of an apocalyptic event—a meteor that slams into earth, causing a shift in the planet’s magnetic core—ushers in the end of the age of technology and the beginning of a dystopian future where knowledge is not only power, it is currency. I loved this book because it’s a clever and exciting take on a dystopian tale. Being set in Australia provides lots of interesting scenes and plot twists and the idea of using knowledge as currency brings new meaning to the phrase "knowledge is power." This is a thoroughly enjoyable story that is hard to put down. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes a good adventure with just a touch of romance!


By Rebecca Belliston,

Book cover of Life

Why this book?

In this dystopian novel, the apocalyptic event is the financial collapse of the United States. In the neighborhood of Logan Pond, the neighbors must work together to survive while hiding from the tyrannical government which has usurped authority after the collapse. I loved this book because the characters were so genuine, I almost believed they were real. If it weren't for the horrifying situation these characters found themselves in, I think I would actually enjoy the challenge of living off-grid in a community like this. The ending of the story was satisfying, not exactly a happy ending, mind you, but a hopeful one all the same. This is a must-read for anyone who likes the post-apocalyptic/dystopian genre or is worried about the financial stability of our country. Highly recommended! 

One Second After

By William R. Forstchen,

Book cover of One Second After

Why this book?

In this New York Times bestseller, an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack on the United States destroys the power grid and every electronic device. John Matherson, a widowed history professor in a small college town in North Carolina, his family, and his community must learn to survive as people did in the 19th century, but without having the necessary things in place to do so. I love this book because the scenarios that play out are so similar to my own series of books, as an EMP has virtually the same effect as the coronal mass ejection (CME) described in my books. Besides being a great read, there is plenty of real-life, useful information to help people who might someday find themselves in a similar situation for whatever reason.

Emp: Equipping Modern Patriots: A Story of Survival

By Jonathan Hollerman,

Book cover of Emp: Equipping Modern Patriots: A Story of Survival

Why this book?

This book describes life after an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack on the United States and the collapse of our civilization and even our humanity, as the necessity of a ‘survival of the fittest’ mentality takes over. The story follows Sean and Maria as they use their wits, skills, faith, and personal values to navigate the post-apocalyptic world. There are quite a few brand-name references to specific survival gear, and I felt the book could be considered a manual for various components of preparedness, such as stockpiling, getting home, bugging out, tactical preparations, joining with others for safety, etc. I highly recommend this book for those who enjoy a good survival story as well as those who are interested in preparing for any future apocalypse or even a smaller, shorter-lived catastrophe. 

Lights Out: A Cyberattack: A Nation Unprepared: Surviving the Aftermath

By Ted Koppel,

Book cover of Lights Out: A Cyberattack: A Nation Unprepared: Surviving the Aftermath

Why this book?

In this journalistic account of a cyber-attack on the United States’ three power grids, Koppel describes the devastating effects as well as the government’s lack of preparedness for such an apocalyptic event. I love this book because it not only outlines many of the very real scenarios that are described in my series and exposes the weakness of the government to effectively manage such a situation, but also introduces the reader to so-called “preppers” who take this and any other threat to civilization seriously. What might be considered kooky by some people can be seen as prudent and even a life-saving necessity to people who are aware of the many ways an apocalyptic event can destroy life as we know it. This is an important read for everyone.

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