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We’ve recently added a new genre—Post-Apocalyptic and Dystopian—to our free and discounted content-rated book deals. To celebrate, we’ve decided to take a look at some of the best post-apocalyptic and dystopian books that have come out recently in these genres. That’s right—we’re staying within the last fifteen years for this book list, since so many great post-apocalyptic and dystopian novels have been written!
After some deliberation, we’ve decided to list the books according to year published.
Wool (published 2013) takes places in a toxic wasteland—all that is left of the earth after humans have ruined it. The land is uninhabitable, but beneath this poisoned landscape is a community that lives in a giant silo underground.
Sheriff Holston was always upheld the silo’s rules. Until he asks to go outside. Those who ask such a thing are dangerous—they infect others with their hope. The punishment is simple: they are sent outside, just as they desired.
Holston is replaced by Juliette, a mechanic with no training in law, an Juliette soon learns how broken her world really is. What can she possibly do to fix her silo?
Genre: Post-apocalyptic and dystopian
In The Testing (published 2013), earth has become a wasteland through the Seven Stages War. A select group of individuals must lead and rebuild the land, after first qualifying by passing The Testing.More than anything, Malencia Vale wants to be chosen for The Testing. But when she is chosen, her father tells her about his own nightmarish memories of The Testing and warns her to “trust no one.”
But did her father’s warning also include Thomas, her handsome childhood friend? Thomas seems to care about Cia, and when he offers her an alliance. Cia must choose between trusting in love and surviving without trust.
Genre: Post-apocalyptic and dystopian
CyberStorm (published 2013) is told through the eyes of Mike Mitchell, a New Yorker who is struggling to keep his family together. When a progression of cyber attacks hits the United States, Mike finds himself fighting just to keep himself and his family alive.
As the cyberworld comes crashing down, a giant snowstorm surrounds New York in a wintry tomb.
Nothing is what is seems . . .
In The Selection (published 2012), society is divided into castes. Ones are the wealthiest, and Eights are the poorest. America Singer is a Five, which isn’t an easy life by a long shot. So she should be happy when she is Selected—given the chance to marry the the prince and become a One. The Selection is a chance of a lifetime. But for America, being Selected is a nightmare. It means leaving her first love, Aspen. Then America meets Prince Maxon, and, while she hates him at first, they gradually become friends. America starts to question the plans she’s made for her life. Is a future with Maxon what she really wants? Can she deal with the dangers and responsibilities that come with being a One?
Legend (published 2011) takes place in what was once the western United States but is now the Republic, a nation that is always at war. Born into an elite family, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for a spot in the Republic’s highest military circles.
Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the nation’s most wanted criminal.
The two have no reason to meet—until June’s brother is murdered, and Day is the prime suspect. Both believe they know the truth, but when they discover what really brought them together, they realize the Republic will do anything to keep its secrets.
In Matched (published 2010), a group called the Society rules. Everyone is happy—how could they not be, since the Society tells them what to read, what to watch, what to believe? Cassia has always trusted the Society. So when Xander’s face appears on the screen at her Matching ceremony, she is certain that he is her ideal mate. After all, the Society is never wrong.
Then Cassia sees Ky Markham’s face flash on the screen before the image disappears. She’s told it’s a glitch, but she can’t stop thinking of Ky. When she starts to fall in love with him, her faith in the Society breaks apart, and she’s forced to choose between Xander and Ky, between her wonderful life with the Society and a life of hardship . . . and freedom.
Maze Runner (published 2009) focuses on a young boy named Thomas. Thomas wakes up to strangers—all boys—and no memory of anything but his name. He finds himself in a place called the Glade, and outside the walls of the Glade is a maze wherein run terrifying monsters. The maze is the only way out, but no one has ever made it through alive. When a girl arrives, a girl that Thomas recognizes but can’t remember, things in the Glade start changing in a terrifying way. It’s up to Thomas to figure out how to escape and how they arrived there in the first place.
One Second After (published 2009) relates how America loses a war in only one second.When an EMP attack shuts down all electronics and sends America back to the dark ages, John Matherson struggles to save his family and his small town.
Most people are familiar with The Hunger Games (published 2008), so we’ll be brief. Panem is a nation ruled by the Capitol, which is surrounded by twelve districts. Long ago, the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. To remind the districts of their defeat, the Capitol initiated the Hunger Games, a glorified fight to the death.
When sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen’s sister is chosen to participate in the games, Katniss volunteers to go in her place. She doesn’t expect to survive, and she certainly doesn’t expect to care for any of the other contestants.
To win—and live—Katniss will have to make choices between her survival and love.
Genre: Post-apocalyptic and dystopian
In The Host (published 2008), humans are being wiped out by an alien species. The alien species aren’t “killing” the humans, they are invading their bodies and taking over their minds. Eventually, the soul of the human host fades away. But Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. Her body has been given to Wanderer, and the invading “soul” didn’t expect Melanie’s strong resistance. When Melanie fills Wanderer’s thoughts with visions of the man Melanie loves, Wanderer yearns for the man she’s never met and leaves her people to search for him. The complicated love triangle that then ensues will keep you breathless and waiting for more.
Note: We are using the original cover for this apocalyptic book rather than the new movie-based cover.
Genre: Apocalyptic and dystopian
In Unwind (published 2007), the Second Civil War ended when Pro-Choice and Pro-Life armies came to an agreement and created The Bill of Life. This bill states that children cannot be touched from the moment they are conceive until they reach age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, though, a parent can choose to get rid of a child retroactively through “unwinding. Unwinding a child isn’t considered “ending” a child’s life because all of the child’s organs are used in several recipients, and it has become a common practice.
Connor, Risa, and Lev have been scheduled to be unwound, but they refuse to go quietly.
Uglies (published 2005) tells of a society where the citizens are divided into Uglies and Pretties. A person is an Ugly until they turn sixteen, and an operation turns them into a stunning Pretty.Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait for her operation–or for the move across the river that comes with it; in New Pretty Town, all she’ll have to do is have a good time.
Tally’s new friend Shay isn’t interested in becoming a Pretty. Tally ignores Shay’s rebellious ideas, but when Shay runs away and leaves Tally direction to her destination, Tally sees a dark side to the pretty world. She is given an ultimatum: find Shay and turn her in, or never be a pretty.
Oryx and Crake (published 2003) is told from the perspective of Snowman, known as Jimmy in the old world—before a plague wiped out humans.Snowman struggles to survive, with only the primitive, human-like creatures he calls Crakers as his companions. Mourning his best friend, Crake, as well as Oryx, the woman they both loved, Snowman decides to go on a journey for supplies.
Through flashbacks, we learn of Snowman’s past and of what really destroyed humankind.
City of Ember (published 2003) is about a city where the sun never shines. Humans have been driven underground after a catastrophe, which everyone has now forgotten, made the outside atmosphere unsafe. In the city of Ember, light shines, and in the Unknown Region, there is only darkness.But the lights are going out.
Join Lina Mayfleet and Doon Harrow as they search for a way to save themselves and the people they care about, their only clue a two-hundred-year-old box containing a puzzling document that was left by the first inhabitants of Ember.
Feed (published 2002) portrays a future where the feednet, a computer network similar to the Internet, is directly connected to people’s brains. The environment has been devastated, but no one cares; they are happy with their feeds: instant access to information, quick transactions, endless personalized ads and updates, and no responsibility.The story is told by Titus, a typical—for this time-period—brain-dead teenager (after all, why learn anything if you can instantly look it up?). He and his friends take a trip to the moon to party it up and play in low-grav.
But their fun is soured when they meet Violet Durn, a beautiful, brainy teenager who questions everything and who has decided to fight the feed and its ability to categorize thoughts and desires.