Inspired by my latest read – that of “Bird Box” the up and coming debut from Josh Malerman, (review to be found in the “Coming Soon” section and that of Harper Collins) I thought today I would talk about some of my favourite novels with a Post Apocalyptic setting. In return if there are any that you have enjoyed that I may have missed out on, do shout. Loudly. When this type of fiction is well written it can be an awful lot of fun to read…
Lets start with The Passage by Justin Cronin (Part one of a trilogy, the second novel being “The Twelve” and the third coming in 2014 – I just can’t wait!) Not since “The Stand” by Stephen King has a post apocalyptic novel had me reading so avidly. I pretty much retired from the world for a week. I love the background to this one – Mr Cronin, when pondering on his next novel, had a chat with his daughter. She wanted him to write a book about a little girl who saves the world…and so “The Passage” was born. Here is the blurb…
“It happened fast. Thirty-two minutes for one world to die, another to be born.”
First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment. Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos and carnage gives way to sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, forever altered. All that remains for the stunned survivors is the long fight ahead and a future ruled by fear—of darkness, of death, of a fate far worse.
As civilization swiftly crumbles into a primal landscape of predators and prey, two people flee in search of sanctuary. FBI agent Brad Wolgast is a good man haunted by what he’s done in the line of duty. Six-year-old orphan Amy Harper Bellafonte is a refugee from the doomed scientific project that has triggered apocalypse. He is determined to protect her from the horror set loose by her captors. But for Amy, escaping the bloody fallout is only the beginning of a much longer odyssey—spanning miles and decades—towards the time and place where she must finish what should never have begun.
I will be re-reading this and the sequel again nearer the time of release for Part 3. Full review will follow at that point. But I would recommend you give it a go if you have not already done so.
I can’t talk about Post Apocalyptic novels without a nod to “What Lots Wife Saw”. Winner of the Athens prize for literature this was one of my favourite reads this year. (Review can be found under “Highly Recommended”) As with Bird Box, but in a completely different way, Ioanna Bourazopoulou managed to add a new depth to the genre with a very different and new outlook on a new world. Enthralling and engaging this took the world of Post Apocalyptic fiction to a whole new level…
Here is the blurb for this one.
Phileas Book is about to face the biggest challenge of his life. As the greatest crossword compiler of his age, his skills are to be put to the test as never before. And in the far-off Colony, on the shores of the Dead Sea, life is about to change forever.
It’s been twenty years since the earth opened up to reveal the strange violet salt to which the world is now addicted, and the Colonists have toiled day and night to guarantee supply to a voracious market. As outcasts and fugitives, they’re grateful for refuge from a Europe that has been half swallowed by the Mediterranean Sea, but when the governor of the Colony dies suddenly in suspicious circumstances, they begin to blame each other, sparking a chain of events which threatens their very existence. But who has killed Governor Bera? And why?
This is the new Sodom and Gomorrah and only Phileas Book can uncover the Colony’s hidden secrets. And on a night quite different from any other, Phileas is called to solve the most important riddle ever conceived – a puzzle which could alter the course of human history.
And finally – well it had to be said. “The Stand” by Stephen King. Still my no 1 read of all time, this huge and enthralling tale of life after plague and the ensuing battle between good and evil for control of the planet is now and will ever be for me one of the best reading experiences I have ever had. I re-read this one often (and yes another read will be happening shortly so that I can update Mr King’s page on site) and each time I find something new within its pages. Characters I fell in love with (Mr King has said that he often gets asked “Whats going on with Stu and Frannie lately?” as if they were real people somewhere) and a terrific story, it may be the best novel in the King stable. Maybe I should say so far…
This is the way the world ends: with a nanosecond of computer error in a Defense Department laboratory and a million casual contacts that form the links in a chain letter of death.
And here is the bleak new world of the day after: a world stripped of its institutions and emptied of 99 percent of its people. A world in which a handful of panicky survivors choose sides — or are chosen. A world in which good rides on the frail shoulders of the 108-year-old Mother Abagail — and the worst nightmares of evil are embodied in a man with a lethal smile and unspeakable powers: Randall Flagg, the dark man.
Not read it yet? Oh my. Make sure you do…
So. Whats up next? Well the lovely ladies at Harper Collins, when they sent me Bird Box, also sent me a book called “The Waste Land Saga” another post apocalyptic novel. Whether it can live up to the sheer brilliance of Mr Malermans debut only time will tell. But I can’t wait to give it a go. I’ll let you know!
Happy Reading Folks!