The best apocalypse books 📚

Browse the best books on the apocalypse as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

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Book cover of One

One

By Conrad Williams

Why this book?

Richard Jane, a diver working on a rig in the North Sea, is on a dive when ‘an event’ takes place which devastates the surface of the planet. This is another wonderfully written apocalypse – the descriptions are such that you can’t stop reading, no matter how horrific. The terror of Jane’s frantic escape from the black, ice-cold, subterranean depths is harrowing enough, but the soul-sapping devastation he finds when he reaches the surface is something else altogether. The first part of the book is particularly powerful, as Jane walks south along virtually the length of what’s left of the…

From the list:

The best books that capture the inevitable bleakness of the apocalypse

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Book cover of Druid Twilight: The Loom of Destiny: Book One

Druid Twilight: The Loom of Destiny: Book One

By Gerry C Starnes

Why this book?

Another research source for my book, this series lent me a valuable insight into Celtic mysticism--on steroids, and it gave me an insight into what was possible with my male character, Sir Thomas Blackthorne (although I chose to take things in a radically different direction). I heartily recommend the audio version of this book, as narrated by the talented Rebecca McKernan.

From the list:

The best spy/detective books with strong female characters

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Book cover of Survival Instincts

Survival Instincts

By May Dawney

Why this book?

This is a post-apocalyptic book set well after a war decimated civilisation. We follow two main characters, and it was lovely to see their relationship unfold and grow. Survival and trust are two big themes in this book, as they are in my own, and it was nice to read a similar book. This is for those who are more romantic at heart, as romance is a major part of the book. I really liked the characters. Plus, there’s a dog!

From the list:

The best post-apocalyptic books featuring a variety of 'apocalypses'

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Book cover of Until the End of the World

Until the End of the World

By Sarah Lyons Fleming

Why this book?

Sarah Lyons Fleming has an almost supernatural ability to create human tension amongst powerfully real characters. In her four book series she creates a tremendous amount of terror and melancholy amongst her troupe of friends as they travel through unending hordes of the dead. Sarah’s series crosses seasons and years, bringing in the effects of weather, and the environment, and expands the terror of the monsters into a blood-soaked boomerang that Keeps. Coming. Back.

From the list:

The best zompoc books (zombie + apocalypse)

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Book cover of The Feral Children: Animals

The Feral Children: Animals

By David A. Simpson, Wesley R. Norris

Why this book?

Zompoc novels that involve kids are a tough pill to swallow, but David and Wesley have done something totally different with their story of a field trip gone awry in the early days of the apocalypse. One part Lord of the Flies, one part Night of the Living Dead, the three books in the Feral Children series sees school kids surviving the zombie apocalypse trapped in the city zoo, and it follows them as they befriend the animals there, and then step out with those animals at their backs. The Feral Children gives you the opportunity to read…

From the list:

The best zompoc books (zombie + apocalypse)

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Book cover of The Stand

The Stand

By Stephen King

Why this book?

The Stand is a big book. It is big in scope at over a thousand pages (and do read the full version; when the abridged version is 800+ pages, you may as well go all in). It is also big in its treatment of Captain Trips, the fictional disease that kills over 99% of the human population. 

King asks—and answers—pragmatic questions. How would people get the electricity back on? How would they manage the removal of diseased corpses? 

But he also asks—and invites readers to answer—philosophical questions. Are humans fundamentally good or evil? Are there things that go beyond the…

From the list:

The best books that make our pandemic look mild

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