What are the best post-apocalyptic fiction books?

asked by Anonymous
368 contributors
29 solutions
  1. 37

    #1The Hunger Games

    The Hunger Games

    The Hunger Games is the first novel of The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins which centers on Katniss Everdeen who volunteers as tribute to replace her younger sister in a game televised and ruled by a dictatorial government.


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    Martha Herrera
    Written on April 22, 2018
    "This is the first novel of the trilogy of the hunger games. Each year there is a fight to the death on live TV. Katniss Everdeen, who lives with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence, when her sister is drawn she takes her place, she is forced to represent her district in the Games. "
  2. 35

    #2The Stand

    The Stand

    The Stand is Stephen King’s apocalyptic vision of a world blasted by plague and tangled in an elemental struggle between good and evil. The survivors will have to choose between two very different leaders and ultimately decide the fate of all humanity.


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    Howard Green
    Written on February 2, 2018
    "A great creation and you can't ignore it value for money"
  3. 32



    Divergent is the first dystopian novel in the Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth which is set in a post-apocalyptic society divided into five factions where Beatrice Prior has to choose only one to devote her life to.


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    Randy Lucas
    Written on January 29, 2018
    "I love post apocalyptic fiction. Divergent is my spirit animal. It's got me lookin' like a snack! I can't handle the complexity and length of books for adults, so this is perfect for me. I'm pretty simpleminded and dull, so these theme suit me like a pair of Crocs. I'm 35 years old by the way."


Post-apocalyptic fiction is a sub-genre of science fiction. This focuses on the aftermath of an apocalypse event from war, to plague, to natural or man-made disasters. It shows the people trying to survive and start anew, as most of mankind is dead and all infrastructures were wrecked. 


Did you know the breakout success of Cormac McCarthy's 2006 novel "The Road" sparked a literary trend? It caused a rise in the popularity of post-apocalyptic fiction books. This sub-genre appeals to a wide range of readers, who like action and adventure. They also appeal to readers who want to wonder the "what ifs?" Moreover, post-apocalyptic fiction appeals to teens too. Why? Because of how many of the stories are set after the end of the world, making them imagine it can happen in their own time. Teens who might feel a lack of control in their lives are into this too, because the characters in these novels face far bigger issues. This makes them feel that their problems are more manageable and they can let go of their problems while reading.

Indeed, post-apocalyptic fiction books are on the rise for a reason. The reason might be most stories focus on the destructive effects of warfare, having a virus of plague as the cause of the end of the world. These stories might be cautionary for the world. But they also reaffirm why people struggle to keep the world together.

  1. 30

    #4The Giver

    The Giver

    The Giver is a book by Lois Lowry that tells the story of Jonas, a boy who lives in a very structured society where everyone has a role. He will soon discover what his role is meant to be, and it will change his life.


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    Roger Powell
    Written on January 28, 2018
    "A very unique take on this type of genre, and one that started many movies which stole the concept from. If you enjoy this type of thing, you need to read this book."
  2. 28

    #5The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower)

    The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower)
    Stephen King's The Gunslinger tells the story of the Roland Deschain of Gilead, the last gunslinger, as he traverses the desert in pursuit of the evil Man in Black. This is the first book of The Dark Tower series.

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    Howard Peters
    Written on April 12, 2018
    "This is an epic series. If you have not read these then I envy you. They are a real find, you will not be disappointed. A brilliant book by one of the best authors. I read these long ago and I still have vivid memories of the books. "
  3. 27

    #6World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

    World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War
    World War Z is a fictional collection of narratives of eyewitnesses and survivors of the worldwide zombie plague. It was written by American author Max Brooks and was published in 2007 by Three Rivers Press.

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    Rajesh Patel
    Written on January 27, 2018
    "This is an awesome book that in my opinion is better then the movie (usually books are). I love the premise of the book and that it takes a (fictional) real approach on how to defeat a potential zombie attack. Rather then like the movies glossing over certain key details that might stop the zombies this book takes into account all environmental factors as well as the ability of those who are not zombies to stand up to the hordes of the undead. A must read if you like the movie."
  4. 25

    #7Swan Song

    Swan Song
    Swan Song is a post-apocalyptic horror novel by Robert McCammon. The evil Man with the Scarlet Eye wants to destroy a girl named Swan, but the last survivors of the nuclear war are determined to protect her.

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    Alice Jacobs
    Written on January 29, 2018
    "I loved this novel, it's very well written. If anyone asks me for a good read in a genre that they haven't tried yet, this one would be my top recommendation. I'm excited to explore other books written by this author."
  5. 23

    #8Station Eleven

    Station Eleven
    In Station Eleven, a swine flu pandemic wreaked havoc and wiped out the world's population. It follows the lives of a Hollywood actor, a paparazzi, and a traveling group of actors performing for surviving communities.

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    Juan Greene
    Written on February 3, 2018
    "ive never heard of this book before today. reading the reviews, it does look like something that i would read and i am very interesting to check it out"
  6. 20

    #9Alas, Babylon

    Alas, Babylon

    In Alas, Babylon, a small town in Florida is spared from the nuclear war that decimates the world. Led by Randolph Bragg, the inhabitants of the town work together in order to survive and recover from the tragedy.


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    Jason West
    Written on February 8, 2018
    "Alas, Babylon takes place after a nuclear holocaust has destroyed the world. The setting, characters, and plot are definitely some of the more enjoyable that I've seen out of this type of genre of literature."
  7. 19

    #10Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam Trilogy)

    Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam Trilogy)

    Oryx and Crake is a speculative fiction novel by Margaret Atwood, the award-winning author of The Handmaid's Tale. Oryx and Crake follows the life of Snowman, his friend Crake, and Oryx, the woman they both love.


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    John Schneider
    Written on February 5, 2018
    "Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam Trilogy) is an unnerving and exiting tale of a young man trying to survive the plague. Atwood excells at painting a picture of a dystopia future that is eerily reminiscent of our own modern day problems."
  8. 16

    #11Lucifer's Hammer

    Lucifer's Hammer

    Lucifer's Hammer is set in a post-apocalyptic world, after pieces of the Hammer-Brown comet struck Earth. The story follows the survivors of the impact, dubbed "Hammerfall," as they try to rebuild civilization.


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    Ayaan Kapur
    Written on January 29, 2018
    "Lucifer's Hammer is a very interesting read about an asteroid that collides with Earth and essentially plunges the world into chaos. Looting, religious zealots, nukes, tidal waves, etc. It's very action packed and full of detail. It does have quite a bit of technical science, but it should be easy enough to pick up on. Overall it really is a good read and definitely worth reading at least once."
  9. 14

    #12The Road

    The Road
    The Road is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Cormac McCarthy. It tells the story of a father and son walking through post-apocalyptic America to reach the coast. This is an ultimate story of survival in a desolate world.

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    Paul Howard
    Written on March 10, 2018
    "Read this with hesitance after seeing the not so impressive movie. I am glad I did. This gets a lot of what i would be like if the world ended. Correctly. Deep plot and explains a lot of what was missed in the movie. Dark plot, not for the faint of heart, but one that I would recommend reading."
  10. 14

    #13On the Beach

    On the Beach
    After the war that took most human life from Earth is over, a radioactive cloud has made the southern countries the only inhabitable place on Eart. One of these survivors is an American submarine captain, that after picking up a Morse code signal, will go back to the United States looking for more survivors. 


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    Elizabeth Roberts
    Written on April 7, 2018
    "On the Beach is a great book. Unfortunately this version is not the full version. This is a poor attempt at a condensed version. If you can find the original version it would be a great read. This is a dumbed down version."
  11. 10

    #14The Twelve (The Passage)

    The Twelve (The Passage)
    The Twelve is a bestselling suspense thriller novel by Justin Cronin. It tells the story of a group of twelve people as they travel through an infected wasteland in an attempt to save mankind from extinction.

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    Kevin Hansen
    Written on March 27, 2018
    "Apocalyptic literature really isn't my cup of tea. After a crappy day at work, do I really want to settle down to this? But if you're in the "well it could be A LOT worse camp," then maybe you'll find it interesting."
  12. 6

    #15A Canticle for Leibowitz

    A Canticle for Leibowitz

    A Canticle for Leibowitz is a Hugo Award-winning speculative fiction novel by Walter M. Miller, Jr. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, it tells the story of a group of monks who are dedicated to enriching the relics of Saint Isaac Leibowitz.


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    Beverly Gibson
    Written on May 2, 2018
    "I found this to be one of the best post-apocalyptic fictions I have read in quit some time. I loved the flow of the book. Great read!"
  13. 2

    #16The Passage

    The Passage
    The Passage is the first book in The Passage Trilogy written by Justin Cronin. This horror science fiction novel has over 700 pages and published in 2010 by Ballantine Books.

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    Pari Pillai
    Written on April 21, 2018
    "Great read. You'll be so entranced, by time you finish you won't even notice you read over 700 pages."
  14. 1

    #17The Fireman: A Novel

    The Fireman: A Novel

    The Fireman is a post-apocalyptic horror novel written by Joe Hill. First published in 2016 by William Morrow under ISBN 0062200631, it won the Locus Award for Best Horror Novel.


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    David Caballero
    Written on May 5, 2018
    "Books about rampant epidemics which bring about the end of human civilization are a dime a dozen these days, with most of said epidemics being ones which turn people either into zombies or zombie-like mutants. Thankfully then, The Fireman shakes up the formula just a little bit then by being about an epidemic which causes people to spontaneously combust instead. I wouldn't say it's the best book of its kind ever written, but it does manage to capture the readers' attention and even become riveting at points. Plus hey, spontaneous combustion in itself is a pretty gnarly concept. I'd say it's good for when you're out of top-shelf books to read but still want something decent."
  15. 0

    #18Normal: A Novel

    Normal: A Novel

    Normal is a techno-thriller novel written by Warren Ellis. First published in 2016 by FSG Originals under ISBN 0374534977, it centers on the story of Adam Dearden, a foresight strategist focusing on geoengineering.


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    Christine Cole
    Written on April 27, 2018
    "This is a pretty good dark humor post-apocalyptic book. I like the idea of 'abyss gaze' (depression from predicting the future) as it just realistic enough to be depressingly funny."
  16. 0



    Degeneration is a horror zombie apocalypse fiction written by Mark D. Campbell. This book is the first book in the Degeneration series. With over 300 pages, this book is published in 2015 by Permuted Press.


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    Harry Hoffman
    Written on April 12, 2018
    "This book was pretty good. It is a good read is you like zombie stuff."
  17. 0

    #20Rot & Ruin

    Rot & Ruin
    Set in a post-apocalyptic America that is infested with zombies, Benny Imura is struggling with finding a job. Since everyone who is unemployed when they turn 15 sees their rations cut in half, he has no choice but to start working as a zombie hunter. 


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    Peter Murphy
    Written on April 2, 2018
    "It is book about fiction struggling"
  18. 0

    #21The Crystal World

    The Crystal World

    The Crystal World is a fictional post apocalyptic novel written by James Graham "J.G." Ballard. The Crystal World was published on May 1, 1988 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.


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    Lisa Bowman
    Written on May 6, 2018
    "The Crystal World is a perfect non fiction post apocalyptic novel for some someone interested in it. It a book about a physician who specialiazes in the treatment of leprosy and it is post apocalyptica. "
  19. 0

    #22The Drowned World

    The Drowned World

    The Drowned World is a fictional post apocalyptic novel written by James Graham "J.G." Ballard. The Drowned World was published on September 9, 1999 by Victor Gollancz.


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    Zachary Snyder
    Written on May 1, 2018
    "This is one of the most unique post-apocalyptic books I have ever read. It takes place quite some time after the world as we know it changes. I found it very refreshing to read a book in the genre that takes place in a more natural world with animals becoming dominant again."
  20. 0


    Warday is a post-apocalyptic suspense novel written by James Kunetka and Whitley Strieber. Set in 1988, five years after the first nuclear war, it tells the story of two survivors as they travel across America.

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    Linda Wallace
    Written on April 8, 2018
    "Get ready to have your mind blown if you are a true doomsday fan. this novel is a perfect example of how life imitates art. It takes you to the darkest places of humanity and paints a perfect picture of what life could be like during those darkest hours."
  21. 0

    #24Notes from the Internet Apocalypse

    Notes from the Internet Apocalypse

    Notes from the Internet Apocalypse is the first book in Wayne Gladstone's apocalyptic series for young adults, the Internet Apocalypse trilogy. It was published in 2014 and is about the events that will occur after the downfall of the internet.


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    James Austin
    Written on May 18, 2018
    "Notes from the Internet Apocalypse is a book about the end of the internet. It is a well written satire by Wayne Gladstone that is the first book of a series. Gladstone brings a humoresque style that appeals to many. Notes from the Internet Apocalypse is well paced and engaging. "
  22. 0

    #25The Infection

    The Infection

    The Infection is the first book in The Infection series written by Craig DiLouie. This novel is a horror apocalyptic science fiction. With over 200 pages, this book is published in 2011 by Permuted Press.


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    Tyler Harper
    Written on April 20, 2018
    "An interesting take on the horror-sci fi genre that includes zombies. But it presents it in an interesting way and is a good read if you aren't entirely jaded to the idea."
  23. 0

    #26Domain of the Dead

    Domain of the Dead
    The world is dead, devoured by a plague of reanimated corpses. In a crumbling city Sarah, Nathan, and a band of survivors barricade themselves inside a warehouse surrounded by a sea of shambling putrefaction. Days in seclusion blur by, and their food is nearly gone. The group is faced with two possible deaths: creeping starvation, or the undead outside the warehouse. As Sarah stands on the edge of the warehouse roof preparing to step out into oblivion she spots a glimmer of hope. In the distance a helicopter approaches the city ... but is it the salvation the survivors have been waiting for? And do they dare attempt to fight their way through the mass of infected dead to reach it?

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    Patricia Wallace
    Written on April 18, 2018
    "This book is just another cookie cutter zombie book. If you've read one, you've read them all really."
  24. 0

    #27The Judas Syndrome

    The Judas Syndrome
    The Judas Syndrome is a post-apocalyptic novel by Michael Poeltl. It is the first book in the series of the same name, and it tells the story of Joel and his friends as they try to rely on each other for survival.

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    Alice Larson
    Written on April 8, 2018
    "This is a book that would be great for teens. I think it would be more interesting and exciting for that age. I think the plot of the book is nothing special, it is something that has been done before. There are countless books about the apocolypse and this one doesn't really seem to have anything that sets it apart. "
  25. 0

    #28The V Girl

    The V Girl
    Set in a post-apocalyptic America, this book narrates the story of Lila Velez, a young girl desperate to lose her virginity to whoever she wishes. She is afraid the enemy troops will visit her village and take her with no consequences, as sexual slavery is not forbidden. Despite not quite trusting him, she falls for Aleksey Fürst, a foreign man who turns to be very possessive and jealous.


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    Andrea Pena
    Written on March 11, 2018
    "I just finished reading The V Girl, a book set in post-apocalyptic America. I enjoyed the concept, but the characters were weak and the plot was rather thin. Not the best book in the post apocalyptic genera. "
  26. 0



    Fiskadoro is classic science fiction novel written by Denis Johnson which is about the post-nuclear story set in Key West about people trying to live in their new world.


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    Liu Yang
    Written on May 7, 2018
    "This is a well written book. I must say though, the early parts of the book were better than the latter parts. I was really enjoying the book at the start but it slowed down a bit."


Best What are the best post-apocalyptic fiction books
1The Hunger GamesBooks 37 Paid
2The StandBooks 35 Paid
3DivergentBooks 32 Paid
4The GiverBooks 30 Paid
5The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower)Books 28 Paid
6World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie WarBooks 27 Paid
7Swan SongBooks 25 Paid
8Station ElevenBooks 23 Paid
9Alas, BabylonBooks 20 Paid
10Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam Trilogy)Books 19 Paid

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