Must Read Apocalypse Books To Get You Throught This Apocalyptic World

Apocalyptic Books have grown in popularity as readers absorb character's who are thrown into "what if" situations that make our reality feel surreal. Dystopian worlds full of zombies, aliens and natural disasters can keep a reader turning the pages late at night. No matter what the disaster, one element causes each of these five books to be a great read: the want for our favorite characters to survive in a harsh world that seems not too far away from our own.

World War Z by Max Brooks :

This classic zombie book has set standards high for the apocalyptic genre. Written like a news article, the book follows humanity throughout the world, telling each person's personal story of survival as the zombie's spread from China to the rest of the world. Because of the writing style and the realistic cultural and historical facts that cause each nation to respond differently in surviving a world wide epidemic, this book can cause a reader to truly wonder how they would survive. Would you believe the rumors of zombies from abroad, or would you think it's fantasy until the infection is at your door? Unlike the movie of World War Z, the zombies in the books must follow the laws of nature, causing them to be much more terrifying. They are a slow moving threat, only being killed by the destruction of their brain. Fire power, such as tanks and mines won't kill them, only the cold will slow them down, but up north starvation and humanity is your true threat. There is no cure, there is no immunity. World War Z is a gorilla warfare that has never been matched by any war before it. Would you survive?

5th Wave by Rick Yancey:

What would truly happen if aliens wanted to kill the human race? How would they go around it if they didn't want to have any casualties, and wanted to keep the planet intact? All these questions are answered in the YA novel 5th Wave. Following Cassie Sullivan as she tries to find her brother who was taken by a military force, you travel through the silent world alone. Or so you think. When the aliens parked their ship in the sky, the end of civilization soon followed. Panic ensued, but everyone soon became acclimated to the ship. Then the First Wave came; all electronics were eliminated, separating contact between humans. Then the Second Wave; flooding. Earthquakes and Tsunamis wiped out the coast and those near the great lakes. The Third Wave destroyed the weak; a disease was spread through birds and only the strong and immune survived. These three waves left humanity dispersed and weakened, allowing the Fourth Wave to swoop in: Silencers. Silencers are the aliens, but how do you fight a force who looks, breathes and talks like you? Silencers are faster, stronger and heal quicker than humans. They could be anyone, so you trust no one. How would you save humanity, if everyone could kill you? How would you survive the 5th Wave?

Ender's Game by Orson Scott:

Unlike in the 5th Wave, Ender knows exactly who he is fighting. Buggers are the enemy in this futuristic Sci-Fi novel; they have been for years. Earth has already fought one war with the bug like aliens, and they are ready to defeat them again before another war even starts. Recruited as a child, Ender is a young genius put into battle school with kids a couple of years older than him, all around elementary to middle school age. He quickly moves through the ranks, completing simulations that look a lot like  video games. Each simulation becomes harder until the kids are put through the final test. This book raises many questions on ethics and war tactics. It puts your mind through loops and asks you, would you fight a war to end all wars?

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman:

This humorous novel about an angel, Aziraphale, and a devil, Crowley, who join forces to stop the antichrist from destroying the world, brings these two legend fantasy writers together to create this amazing read. After Aziraphale and Crowley's scheme to deter the devil spawn from becoming the antichrist goes wrong, the two partners must follow The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch to find the antichrist and stop the apocalypse. This comedic take on the apocalyptic genre can help any college student see that even losing the antichrist can be a humorous adventure in life.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy:

The sun has burned the earth and now snow is freezing the world. Following a nameless father and son throughout the U.S. highways from the north down to the south shores, this book will make the world around you feel surreal as the imagery and beauty of each paragraph pulls you into a harsh world of pure survival against nature and the cannibals that haunt the road. The Road brings up the question , is it worth surviving when there is nothing left but survival? The son believes it is, as he tries to keep the fire going. Will you keep the fire going? Will you keep it going in your own heart, your ambitions, even on the road?

All of these books affirm that survival is an instinct, that no matter where you're from, no matter how hard it gets, humanity and the good of people will always survive. No matter how hard this semester gets, these books will make this crazy world we live in seem bearable.


Photos taken by Madelaine Formica