Post-Apocalyptic Reading

Nicole Fiorica, Editor in Chief

With the supposed end of the world coming up this week, scheduled for December 21, many people are worried about what could happen. Thankfully, we’ve had years to plan for an impending apocalypse, and many authors have filled the shelves of every bookstore with some speculation as to what could possibly unfold—zombies are one of the more popular choices—and what to do about it. If you pick the right books, you may just survive. Here are some of the more interesting picks:

The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead by Max Brooks

Let’s face it: novels make for interesting reads, but if you’re serious about wanting to protect yourself from zombies, you’re going to need some help. The Zombie Survival Guide is packed with useful lessons such as “Blades don’t need reloading” and survival tips covering everything from combat techniques to the best methods of transportation to use when you (potentially) find yourself on the run.  As much as this book is a comprehensive guide, it’s also humorous and should be enjoyable to read.

This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers and Quarantine: The Loners by Lex Thomas

With the world scheduled to end on a school day, there is nothing more relevant than these two books where the apocalypse traps kids inside the halls of their school and leaves them to their own devices. In This is Not a Test, six students barricade themselves inside a school to protect themselves from the constant threat of the living dead. In Quarantine: The Loners, an entire high school is—as the title gives  away—quarantined after being contaminated by a disease that is infectious to adults. Both promise thrilling survival stories, and of course, other forms of drama, as the conflicts inside the school halls are just as dangerous as the dangers of the outside.

Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

What’s the point of the post-apocalyptic genre if you can’t get a least one solid novel about zombie hunters? Good thing we have Rot & Ruin, which is about Benny, a reluctant hunter-in-training, and his brother Tom, the famous hunter that has to train him. It’s a book that promises to give zombie lovers a good fill of action, with some depth thrown in as well.

 

Peeps by Scott Westerfeld

So, you’ve already read about apocalypse by means of a zombie invasion, but how about apocalypse by vampire infection? In what is the most original vampire novel you’ll ever read, vampirism is caused by a parasite that makes people superhuman. Vampire hunter Cal soon realizes that this parasite isn’t just an outbreak of a disease, but a sign of the end of the world. Forget about the world ending at the end of the week; according to Westerfeld, it’s already happening.

 

Ashfall by Mike Mullin

This isn’t the first work to bring attention to the super volcano underneath Yellowstone National Park, but that doesn’t make the reality of it erupting any less terrifying. Ashfall depicts this very event happening through the eyes of Alex, who finds himself having to survive despite the hunger, ash, and rampant crime that plagues his journey to find his family. Because this book tells of a natural disaster that could conceivably unfold in the United States, it is definitely worth looking into.

 

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

It’s impossible to talk about post-apocalyptic novels without taking a look at The Road, a relatively recent but already classic story of a man and his son traveling the landscape of a destroyed Earth. Though the event that destroyed civilization goes unnamed, the journey that these characters endure is dark and intense, and although simply told, the story is still powerful.

 

Dark Life by Kat Falls

For those who think global warming poses the biggest threat to our future, Dark Life may be for you. With the sea level rising high enough to completely flood many of the earth’s regions and forcing people to live in a state of overcrowding, we can trust mankind to come up with an interesting solution: an underwater colony. Yup, I didn’t see that one coming either, but watching humanity adjust to the dangers of this new form of living earns some bonus points for originality.

 

Breathe by Sarah Crossan

Another less-clichéd vision of the future is shown in Breathe, where humanity depends on a corporation that can create breathable air. When three teenagers have the opportunity to leave the Pod that keeps the rest of their civilization safe, their worlds are never the same. This book definitely has the appeal of an intriguing plot without zombies or the supernatural.