The best binge-worthy apocalyptic reads

A.L. Masters Author Of The Turning
By A.L. Masters

Who am I?

The moment I read the first page of The Stand, I was hooked on apocalypse stories. The good ones make you question your lifestyle and the bad ones give you hours of tragic entertainment. You’ll be stockpiling rice and toilet paper, and leaving on the hall light against the dark. You’ll be scanning obscure headlines for news of rapidly-spreading diseases and shoveling your own fallout shelter at the first sign of nuclear saber-rattling. Apocalyptic novels can make you into a more prepared person—or a crazy one—and sometimes they’ll even become your career. My recommendation list helped shape me into the writer I am today… sorry about that.


I wrote...

The Turning

By A.L. Masters,

Book cover of The Turning

What is my book about?

When humanity is threatened by an explosion at a Russian research laboratory, co-workers and friends in a small southern town must band together for survival. They realize too late that this is no ordinary plague...and that the enemy they have to fight may not be the only thing they need to worry about.

The books I picked & why

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The Stand

By Stephen King,

Book cover of The Stand

Why this book?

The Stand will always be one of my favorite apocalyptic novels. The story not only tells of the struggle of the individual survivors of a great plague, but it shows the devastation and havoc that corruption—governmental and individual—can wreak on even the strongest of world powers. All it takes is one bad decision and the whole empire can come tumbling down. This was the first novel of its kind that I ever read—at the age of eleven, no less—and the genre remains my favorite to this day. The mood of the novel begins somewhat innocuously, but with a layer of insidiousness that many King novels have. It’s this prodding unease that is so characteristic of his writing style and that keeps you turning the pages.

The in-depth character studies are fascinating and they draw the reader in. You really care about what happens to them. King doesn’t focus only on the good and the evil characters, but he creates a complex web of every character in between which I find important. No person is entirely good or evil, and the epic struggle of this duality in the book makes it all-encompassing. Ultimately, the fight against good and evil, and our characters, condense around one really old woman in Colorado and one really bad guy in Vegas…and it totally works. The novel has something for everyone and you won’t want to put it down.

The Stand

By Stephen King,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Stephen King's apocalyptic vision of a world blasted by virus and tangled in an elemental struggle between good and evil remains as riveting and eerily plausible as when it was first published.

Soon to be a television series.

'THE STAND is a masterpiece' (Guardian). Set in a virus-decimated US, King's thrilling American fantasy epic, is a Classic.

First come the days of the virus. Then come the dreams.

Dark dreams that warn of the coming of the dark man. The apostate of death, his worn-down boot heels tramping the night roads. The warlord of the charnel house and Prince of…


Zombie Fallout

By Mark Tufo,

Book cover of Zombie Fallout

Why this book?

This is a gem of a novel and one that should not ever be skipped over. The author’s humor bleeds through every page. This novel, and the entire series, literally had me in tears of laughter at many points. Even though the comedic aspect does tend to be the overarching theme, it does not detract from the horror of the situations the main characters find themselves in. The main character is obviously based on the author himself, as well as his family and his dog. This is fascinating because many authors may take certain aspects of themselves or loved ones and create characters with a trait or two, but Tufo goes all out and just makes himself a (hopefully!) exaggerated character in his own novel. The series starts small and centralized and builds itself into an entire world (or ten) of horrific and hilarious zombie craziness. You love many of the characters and love to hate the rest, but you won’t regret reading this book. There are hundreds and thousands of horror novels, apocalypse novels, and comedies, but with the Zombie Fallout series, Tufo has managed to brilliantly combine them all into one giant, binge-worthy read.

Zombie Fallout

By Mark Tufo,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Zombie Fallout as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Zombie Fallout It was a flu season like no other. With fears of contracting the H1N1 virus running rampant throughout the country, people lined up in droves to try an attain one of the coveted vaccines. What was not known, was the effect this largely untested, rushed to market, inoculation was to have on the unsuspecting throngs. Within days, feverish folk throughout the country, convulsed, collapsed and died, only to be re-born. With a taste for brains, blood and bodies, these modern day zombies scoured the lands for their next meal. Overnight the country became a killing ground for the…


Omega Days

By John L. Campbell,

Book cover of Omega Days

Why this book?

This novel takes a more serious tone from the outset, though there are humorous situations in the later books. This is one that will keep you up at night, reading and biting your fingernails as the characters struggle to survive. It begins somewhat slowly, but quickly gains steam and keeps you wanting more. The action is fast-paced and realistic and the military aspects are spot on. There is a character for everyone in this series, and it was the idea of Sky that loosely inspired a character in my own series.

The way that Campbell wrote this heroine and followed her progress from a young and naïve college girl to powerful and able to face down every threat thrown her way was so engaging and powerful that I bought the entire series as soon as it was released. The male characters were so diverse and far-ranging that none of them felt one-dimensional or flat. Each had characteristics that were unique. Each had a story to tell and a personal struggle to overcome. Some may not have been “good men” at the outset, but they have honor and the will to survive and change. They became good men through their actions and I feel that makes the story so much more appealing. This is one that I can reread over and over and always enjoy. Campbell has hit a definite home run with this one.

Omega Days

By John L. Campbell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Omega Days as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Readers who enjoyed The Strain Trilogy, by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan, will find plenty to satisfy them here."-San Francisco Book Review
When the end came, it came quickly. No one knew where or exactly when the Omega Virus started, but soon it was everywhere. And when the ones spreading it can't die, no one stands a chance of surviving.

San Francisco, California. Father Xavier Church has spent his life ministering to unfortunate souls, but he has never witnessed horror like this. After he forsakes his vows in the most heartrending of ways, he watches helplessly as a zombie…


The Purge of Babylon: A Novel of Survival

By Sam Sisavath,

Book cover of The Purge of Babylon: A Novel of Survival

Why this book?

This book starts off with action and never lets up. The main characters are immediately thrust into a horrifying situation and are expected to survive without any warning whatsoever. They aren’t prepared and they have to stumble along and figure out what to do that will get them out of the mess they find themselves in…and it doesn’t always work out the way they plan. The sheer reach of this book and the entire series is what makes it special and different and the terrifying enemy is one that hasn’t been done often or well. This series is reminiscent of Justin Cronin’s The Passage without the large leaps in time. In fact, it happens in one single, terrifying night. The addicting suspense and tension will keep you reading so long into the night that you might even resemble a ghoul yourself the next day. 

The Purge of Babylon: A Novel of Survival

By Sam Sisavath,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Purge of Babylon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Book #1 in the Purge of Babylon post-apocalyptic series. It all starts here.
________________________________________
ONE NIGHT. THAT WAS ALL IT TOOK.

Creatures that once lived in the shadows, hidden from humankind, have risen, spreading like a plague across the globe over the course of a single night. Their numbers growing exponentially through infection, these seemingly unkillable creatures have swallowed up whole cities and collapsed unprepared governments.

Survivors call it The Purge.

Against all odds, a disparate group of survivors has emerged from that blood-soaked night that devastated the planet and reduced humanity to an endangered species. Among the survivors are…


Infection: A Post-Apocalyptic Survival Novel

By M. P. McDonald,

Book cover of Infection: A Post-Apocalyptic Survival Novel

Why this book?

Infection, the first of the Sympatico Syndrome series, starts with a simple but chilling phone conversation between two old friends. Sounds a bit boring, right? Wrong. The main character and his friend on the phone are epidemiologists and they understand with terrifying clarity just how dangerous the newly spreading illness is. Then, it becomes a race against time for the main character as he rushes to stockpile supplies and convince his family that they need to come quarantine with him right away. You can feel his dread and his anxiety in every paragraph and it only gets worse as the story moves on. What makes this novel unique is the illness itself. The disease produces peculiar symptoms that I’ve never seen in any other apocalyptic book.

Infection begins to become seriously creepy right about the time that you learn the infection causes euphoria and feelings of well-being, making the partying victims into horrifying and uninhibited disease-spreaders. There is absolutely no containing it. Barricades and quarantines won’t work. Reason is tossed by the side of the road and left for dead, and the only thing that matters is laughing and dancing and having fun. They feel wonderful and they want you to feel wonderful too…

Infection: A Post-Apocalyptic Survival Novel

By M. P. McDonald,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Infection as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For fans of Stephen King's The Stand or William Forstchen's One Second After.
 
They weren't ready for the apocalypse but ready or not, it was coming...

Faced with the very real possibility of extinction of the human race, Cole Evans has only one chance to save his family and survive — a safe haven on an isolated island.

No one realizes there's a deadly illness spreading like wildfire until it's too late. With few symptoms, victims literally drop dead after a brief surge of energy. Within days, the virus tears through the population of the United States and the world.…


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