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Five Best Post-Apocalyptic Novels to Read While in Quarantine

by Mason Kupiainen

Each day feels more like we’re living in a strange apocalyptic movie. Everything in life is canceled and grocery stores are completely out of paper products. In the midst of these strange times, many of us have endless downtime to catch up on movies and TV shows we’ve been wanting to watch. Another great opportunity to keep ourselves occupied while we’re all sitting at home keeping our distance from one another is the chance to catch up on some books we’ve been intending to read. 

Cell- Stephen King

Stephen King has written about many nightmarish things from vampires to an evil child-eating clown, and a haunted hotel. In his novel, “Cell,” King takes a twist on the zombie genre by having the creation of zombie-like beings coming from our phones. The novel follows Clay, a graphic artist, and a group of survivors who find themselves in this apocalypse 

King is known for being a master storyteller and this book is no exception. With a lead character you can get behind and a well-paced story, this book will leave you on the edge of your seat and not wanting to put the book down. Not one of his best works, but definitely one that is worth the read. 

Good Omens- Terry Pratchett & Neil Gainman

Neil Gainman has written many great novels including “American Gods” and “Coraline,” and “Good Omens” continues his track record. Co-written with Terry Pratchett, this novel takes a more comedic route to the apocalyptic plotline. The story follows an angel and demon as the end times quickly approach. 

For those new to Gainman's work, this novel definitely makes a great introduction to his style. With the help of Pratchett, the two were able to take a comedic approach to what is otherwise a usually serious topic. The novel is a nice, light-hearted, comedic story that will hopefully lift your spirits during these unsettling times.

The Andromeda Strain- Michael Crichton

Michael Crichton has written many great sci-fi thrillers, including “Jurassic Park.” In “The Andromeda Strain,” he tackles a more realistic approach to a deadly outbreak. Fantastically written, just like all of Crichton’s work, this novel will leave you speechless. Especially because of the similar situation we’re dealing with right now.

If you’ve never read any of Crichton’s work, this is definitely one that will give you a taste of his masterful storytelling. Even if you’re not a sci-fi reader, this is one of his works that will interest a wider audience due to the more realistic approach. There are still sci-fi elements in the story, but not too much to scare away non-sci-fi readers. 

Zoo- James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge

World-renowned author James Patterson tackles the zombie apocalypse with a twist. Instead of zombies, animals have decided to turn against humans without an explanation. The story follows Jackson Oz as he travels around trying to figure out the source of this pandemic and how to stop it. 

For fans of Patterson's quick storytelling, this is personally my favorite book of his and one you’ll definitely not be able to set down. The character of Oz is definitely a well written one. You will certainly buy into the zombie-apocalypse vibe of the story. Even better the twist, as to the reason why this all began, is one that certainly makes this one worth a read. 

Along with this, Patterson wrote a sequel to this novel, “Zoo 2,” as a part of his failed Bookshots line, which is a series of books Patterson released that were under 150 pages. He did this with the hopes of luring non-readers into finding joy in reading.  Despite the concept of “Bookshots” being a failure, “Zoo 2” was definitely a great follow up to this novel. 

The Stand- Stephen King

By now, you’ve probably heard about one of King’s longest works, “The Stand.” In this story, a mutated strain of the flu ends up killing 99% of the population, leaving the remaining 1% in chaos. This novel is one of King’s more popular and beloved works that has gained more popularity recently. Despite clocking in over 1,400 pages (depending on the edition you have), the in-depth look into this chaotic world makes it worth the read. 

Being one of King’s earliest works, it contains the classic horror sensibilities that he has sadly left behind in his recent works. The massive weight of this beast may scare off many readers, but don’t let the length scare you away. Especially during this time when you may have plenty of time to spend reading, this is one you will not want to miss. 

Sources: Michael Cavacini
Featured Image: Katy Szpak