Monday, 1 February 2016

5 great dystopian and post-apocalyptic books that deserve to be read

5 great dystopian and post-apocalyptic books that deserve to be read

Finding a great book can be a bit of a chore. Sometimes you find yourself picking up a few terrible books before you find the one you have been looking for.
I have found that a large number of brilliant dystopian books are actually either independently published or published by small publishing houses, rather than published by huge publishing companies. These great books often find themselves being obscured in the stores and book lists due to the fact they have less marketing support as a consequence of being independently published.

Read on, as here, I recommend five fantastic dystopian books by indie, or rather obscure authors, who deserve more recognition for their work.
If you enjoy a book that I have recommended in this post (even just a little bit), please don't forget to leave the author a review on Amazon, Goodreads or wherever your preferred reviewing platform may be.

 1) Reign of Blood
       By Alexia Purdy

Reign of Blood is full of gripping suspense and non-stop action. It is a post-apocalyptic adventure that will keep you on the edge of your seat from chapter to chapter. This well-written and engrossing book should definitely be on your must-read list.
Reign of Blood is part of a series.

Never tease anything that wants to eat you.

"My name is April Tate and my blood is the new gold. Vampires and hybrids have overrun my world, once vibrant with life, but now a graveyard of death shrouded in shadows. I fight to survive; I fight for my mother and brother. The journey is full of turns that I am quite unprepared for. And I'm just hoping to make it to the next Vegas sunrise..."

In a post-apocalyptic world, a viral epidemic has wiped out most of the earth’s population, leaving behind few humans but untold numbers of mutated vampires. April is a seventeen-year-old girl who lives in the remains of Las Vegas one year after the outbreak. She has become a ferocious vampire killer and after her family is abducted, she goes searching for them. What she finds is a new breed of vampire, unlike any she has seen before. Unsure of whom she can trust, she discovers that her view of the world is not as black and white as she once thought, and she's willing to bend the rules to rescue her family. But in trying to save them, she may only succeed in bringing her fragile world crashing down around her

2) Underground
      By Chris Ward

Underground is the first book of The Tube Riders trilogy by Chris Ward.
Underground is a thrilling and captivating dystopian book set in futuristic London. Chris' way with words will have you gripped from the first page and all the way to the end. The scary part is that the story is actually believable.

Beneath the dark streets of London they played a dangerous game with trains. Now it is their only chance for survival.

Britain in 2075 is a dangerous place. A man known only as the Governor rules the country with an iron hand, but within the towering perimeter walls of London Greater Urban Area anarchy spreads unchecked through the streets. In the abandoned London Underground station of St. Cannerwells, a group of misfits calling themselves the Tube Riders seek to forget the chaos by playing a dangerous game with trains.
Marta is their leader, a girl haunted by her brother's disappearance. Of the others, Paul lives only to protect his little brother Owen, while Simon is trying to hold on to his relationship with Jess, daughter of a government official. Guarding them all is Switch, a man with a flickering eye and a faster knife, who cares only about preserving the legacy of the Tube Riders. Together, they are family. Everything changes the day they are attacked by a rival gang. While escaping, they witness an event that could bring war down on Mega Britain. Suddenly they are fleeing for their lives, pursued not only by their rivals, but by the brutal Department of Civil Affairs, government killing machines known as Huntsmen, and finally by the inhuman Governor himself.

3) Contagious      By Jacqueline Druga

Granted, tales of a viral apocalypse are not new and do tend to be a bit common. However Jacqueline Druga's Contagious has unexpected surprises which sets this story apart from the other viral apocalypse books you've read. An intriguing doom and gloom story which may or may not tickle your fancy (due to the over-use of a viral apocalypse in today's book market), but it definitely will tickle your imagination.

What starts as an emergence of a new virus quickly turns into Mother Nature’s ultimate population control.

While attending a seminar at the Ambassador Hotel, Ava Mason is unknowingly exposed to a carrier of a highly contagious virus. The next morning, she wakes to a steady pounding on her door. Within minutes, her home is stormed and she and her three children are apprehended, placed in a van and taken away. Quarantined.
They are told nothing. No one is. Ava, her children, and others are brought to the Ambassador and sealed in. It is one of many locations quarantined in an attempt to contain the virus . The outbreak rapidly spirals out of control and the world is thrown into chaos and economic collapse.

What was once their prison becomes their safe haven from a world besieged with violence, illness and a world that desperately stops at nothing to end the virus.

4) Emergence
      By Carley Jane Steel is the first book in Carley Jane Steel's 'Solstice' series. Though the book ties in more with the paranormal fantasy genre, it does have dystopian elements as well. I personally find that there are not enough paranormal fantasy books set in dystopian worlds, so Emergence is almost unique in today's book market. This is a smoothly-written tale which will keep you hooked from the front cover the the back cover.

What if you could cheat death?
What if everyone could?

In a future run by an oppressive government, the winter and summer Solstices are no longer just the longest and shortest days of the year. On these two days, the barrier between the living and the dead becomes thin enough that, if the circumstances are right, it is possible to meet somewhere in between with the deceased. However, the Government strictly monitors all interactions to ensure that the rules of the Solstice are complied with.

Bonnie Hawk is just an ordinary seventeen year old, with a tendency to attract trouble. Her father died before she was born, and her mother was killed a few years after. And on the night of the Winter Solstice, Bonnie's adopted father is brutally attacked, forcing Bonnie to flee her beloved hometown with a strange boy, seeking out answers to questions she had never thought to ask. Thrown into the midst of an underground rebellion, Bonnie begins to see that the Government isn't exactly what she thought, and she learns secrets about her heritage and the history of Solstice that force her to see the world with a new perspective.

Learning to let go of the living is hard. But learning to let go of the dead is impossible when you live in a world where the dead are never truly gone.

5) After The Event
      By T. A. Williams

This book has a love/hate relationship with readers. It does have a promising and intriguing concept. However the author's command of the written English language needs working on. There are several small typos and a handful of unnecessary, repetitive adverbs dotted throughout. If you can handle the occasional slip-up in the writing, then you'll enjoy this book, especially if you're a fan of a TV series called 'Revolution'. If you have OCD or demand perfect writing in your books, then this is sadly not for you.

An interesting concept overall, which is why it makes this list, though the author needs to invest in a professional editor before publishing his work. Maybe the reader should wait for a future edition which has been polished by an editor?

In a single moment hundreds of thousands of people died. Every plane fell from the sky. The world was plunged into complete darkness.
This became known as 'The Event'.

Grant had spent his entire life fighting a losing battle against his inner demons. He had become a disappointment to his parents and had become a stranger to the only good things he had ever done in his life, his children. Yet when his long-estranged wife loses her battle with cancer he has to return to a family he long abandoned. Now Grant has to achieve victory in a war he has never won, in order to bring his family together and protect them from a world that has fallen into chaos.
(The Jolly Wordsmith's Note:I made some minor edits to the original synopsis to make it smoother to read in this post).

There we have it. Five dystopian and post-apocalyptic books that you should think about picking up. Do enjoy them and please do leave the respective authors a review in return.

Keep an eye open for more recommendations in the future!



  1. Great list! Will definitely check out a couple of these.
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Great list. I’m always looking for dystopias that aren’t formulaic. A lot of dystopias feel like clones of the same book.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!


Share your thoughts and have your say. Then have yourself a jolly day!