Here are 12 books for everyone who wants some dystopian/ apocalyptic/ virus books to read during this pandemic! And 3 to pre-order!
The Hot Zone by Richard Preston is one of the scariest books I've read. It's a nonfiction thriller about viruses-- mostly the Ebola virus. Perfect for those people who want to understand exactly what's going on with the current virus and spread their scary knowledge to others.
Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler is a book I've been meaning to read forever. It takes place in the 2020s where life is bleak and the world has been destroyed by climate change, corporate greed and wealth inequality. Science-Fiction that's eerily similar to where our current world is heading.
A Savage Generation by David Tallerman is a horror/thriller about infection with no cure that drives the infected to become savage. The story follows a dude, his girlfriend, and their son as they escape quarantine to try to make it to a survivalist colony.
Severance by Ling Ma is a slow-going coming-of-age and immigrant story told while there's been a virus that's shut down the country. Literary fiction more than zombie apocalypse story, good for those who don’t anything scary.
Feed (book 1 of the Newsflesh series) by Mira Grant. It's been twenty years since the zombie apocalypse has struck and Bloggers are the ones on the frontlines of the news. Feed follows a blogger group hot on the tale of a political conspiracy that will change how they feel about the zombies AKA the infected. Lots of science-y parts and politics, but there's good zombie killing action too!
Rabid Heart by Jeremy Wagner is for those who want a fun zombie book full of action, adventure and love. The world has been taken over by Necro Rabies and hordes of zombies (or "Cujos" as they call them after a nod to some guy who writes from Maine) roam the streets! People who aren't zombies are eating other people to survive food scarcity! It's madness! Our heroine, Rhonda finds her fiancé turned into a Cujo, but can't bring herself to kill him. Scared that her military father will kill Cujo Brad she sticks a ball gag in Brad's mouth and embarks on a road trip into the unknown to save the love of her life--while putting her own life at risk.
The Line Between (book 1) & A Single Light (book 2) by Tosca Lee are lighter thrillers with a hint of romance that follow Wynter, a cult escapee as she tries to find her family and make sense of an outbreak that's ravaging the country. Cults, the apocalypse, and a strong female protagonist!
Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton is about a virus that's turned the humans into zombies and is told from the perspective of a sassy Crow. For when you want a little humor in your apocalypse. Especially entertaining for those in the Seattle area because that's where the story takes place.
The Companions by Katie Flynn. California is under quarantine for a virus and only dead people who inhabit objects (or bodies, if you're rich) can go about visiting. Poor folks can die and then find their bodies taken over and leased out as "companions" for wealthier families. The "companions" aren't supposed to have free will, but when one of them discovers she can disobey she leaves the quarantine and sets out to find who killed her and if she has any living family. A softer virus book.
The Last by Hanna Jameson. In this book, it isn't a virus that ends the world, but nuclear warfare. The Last was enlightening at times because you never know who'll be or how you'll act until disaster strikes. An interesting group of people becomes closer than they ever expected when nuclear war breaks out and destroys much of the world while they are safe at this pretty hotel in rural Switzerland. The Last will make you appreciate whomever you're stuck at home quarantining with because at least they aren't murdering folks.
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel is about a flu-like pandemic that kills most of the population and a musical theatre troupe that travels the country. A literary fiction masterpiece mixed with light dystopian themes. The story is beautifully told between a past performance of King Lear by the actors where they first realized something was wrong and the present day twenty years later as they travel the Great Lake's region looking for other survivors.
A calmer apocalypse book than the others on this list.
The Fireman by Joe Hill is a huge post-apocalyptic book where a tiny spore causes a worldwide pandemic where people with the disease develop gold and black spots known as Dragonscale and eventually spontaneously combust. The story follows a pregnant nurse who becomes infected and leaves her home to try and find a safe place to live long enough to carry her baby to full-term and give birth. Meanwhile, one man known as the Fireman has found a way to control his Dragonscale and not burst into flames and he's decided to try and teach others his secrets.
Not quite a fantasy novel and not quite a horror novel this book was supremely entertaining.
Can’t get enough? Pre-order these now:
Survivor Song by Paul Tremblay is an emotional slaughterhouse of a novel. A rabies-like virus is rapidly spreading through Massachusetts and the state is put under quarantine to try and contain the spread. If you’re bitten you only have a few hours before you’re rabid. The story follows a pregnant woman, Natalie, who’s been bitten fighting off an attack that killed her husband, and her doctor friend who is on a quest to get to the hospital to get a vaccine that may not save Natalie’s life, but will hopefully save her baby. Like Tremblay’s other books it will break your heart and build it back up. Survivor Song is out July 7th 2020
The Living Dead by Daniel Kraus and George A. Romero. The zombie novel to end all zombie novels! George A. Romero started this sprawling book set in today’s world and died before he could finish it. Daniel Kraus took over and finished this epic telling of the zombie plague with the approval of Romero’s agent and family. This one comes out in August 4th from TorNightfire and is sure to be one of the most talked-about books of the year.
The Loop by Jeremy Robert Johnson isn’t zombie fiction but still involves some weird behavior. The Loop takes place in a small town in Oregon where an outbreak causes the teenaged children of several executives from the local biotech firm to become sick and aggressively murderous. The story follows several teenagers as they do whatever they can to survive the night. The Loop is out on September 29th 2020.