I know it’s 2017, but it’s barely 2017 and seeing as how I’d (hopefully) be late for my own funeral, I figured it wasn’t too late to talk about my favorite end-of-the-world stories from 2016.
I don’t keep track of how many books I read in a year… I should probably start doing that. I’ve also never made a favorites list for those that were… well, my favorites. I should probably start doing that too. I should probably say something to the effect that although some/all of these may not have been published in 2016, I read them in 2016. They are not in any kind of order – they’re all my fav’s.
The covers are linked to the book’s Amazon page and you can click on the author’s name to go to their website/amazon page.
So, here we go…
All the Elders Orphans by Melissa Dykes…
Ms. Dykes did an amazing job at making me despise or revere the characters in this book.
There were unbelievably sweet moments and absolutely horrendous ones… something one might expect in a broken world like this.
The female lead was superbly done and I appreciate how Ms. Dykes wrote her. This is a very brutal world and as much as I like to think I’d be some badass survivor, I’m not sure I could be as strong as she is.
I don’t recall there being a single spelling or grammatical error that took me out of the story – a real feat in this day and age.
I wholeheartedly recommend this book to those who enjoy post-apocalypse stories.
Arch City Apocalypse: The Low Lying Lands Saga Volume 2 by Bob Williams…
A fantastic second book in the Low Lying Lands Saga, and I daresay that I enjoyed it better than the first. Another non-stop romp through the wasteland that was once America.
Prescott is “every man”… totally relate-able. I’d venture to guess we’ve all known a Prescott, or perhaps even been a Prescott. He’s just a great character.
The SciFi pop-culture references are one of my favorite things about these two books and Williams is a master of it here. One minute I’m terrified at what I just read, the next I’m laughing… good stuff!!!
If you’re looking for a fast-paced, action-packed story about a few folks trying to take down a seriously bad dude – I highly recommend this one.
Uroboros Saga Book 6 by Arthur Walker…
Once again, Arthur Walker hits it outta the park. Seriously, how does this guy do it?! I would go so far as to say that this may very well be my favorite one so far.
From the opening chapter, I knew that this was gonna be a helluva ride and I was right. There are long-wondered questions answered, but (in pure Arthur Walker fashion) more rise up. That’s a good thing because it means there’ll be more books!
One thing that really struck me in this latest book is the author’s ability to present incredibly fantastic tech as totally tangible, real, and believable. Not only tech, but things that surpass the technological and into the, well – almost magical. He has an amazing way to allow the reader take all of these wonderful concepts for granted – we don’t know how they work, we just know they do and that’s good enough.
This series ventures headlong into hard scifi and I would have no issue placing this author’s books right alongside those of Niven, Robinson, Clarke, and Pohl. If you’d like to read some insight to the series, you can do so here in an interview back in 2015… Identity Extensive Technology and “Going Delta” – An Interview With Arthur H. Walker.
Making Monsters by Joe Turk…
Joe Turk describes Making Monsters as “dystopian humor with an apocalyptic chaser.” I’d say that hits the gnat right in the ass. The humor can be fairly dark, but this is story about the end of things, so that goes without saying. We get to travel along with the characters as the world is being broken right before our eyes. It’s like Doctor Strangelove meets the Cthulhu Mythos. I never once got bored reading Making Monsters and if it wasn’t for this ridiculous thing called being an adult and having to work, I would have read it in one setting.
I absolutely enjoyed the hell out of this book. There’s a cautionary tale going on here and I’m not quite sure if I should pass it off as fantasy or be scared to death that something like this might happen. Ya never know…
I enjoyed this story so much, I asked Joe if he’d write a guest post for my blog. You can read it here if you’d like… A Corporately Sponsored Apocalypse.
Oh, and did you know that Mr. Turk is currently working on an animated web-series based on Making Monsters? No? Well, you do now! Check it out, it’s really great!
The Wizard Killer – Season 1: A Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy Serial by Adam Dreece…
I very much favor “Man with No Name” stories and that is one of the reasons I’m so attracted to The Wizard Killer.
Who is this guy? Where did he come from? Where is he going, and what keeps him putting one foot in front of the other?
One of the things that really sucked me into this story was that the main character wakes up with no clear recollection of who or where he is. He’s apparently a man who harbors some kind of magical power… but he just can’t really figure out what the hell is going on.
I felt very empathetic towards the main character. He seems to react the same way I would in his situations… essentially standing there, looking around, and muttering “I’m hungry, I’m lost, I’m pissed off, and everyone keeps trying to kill me… What the hell?!?!”
It is a compelling story. I want (who am I kidding… I “have”) to know what is going on. Who is this guy and what killed the world?
I felt like I was trudging along the blasted landscape with this him, often muttering “What the yig?!” under my breath.
This is like Mad Max meets Lord of the Rings… I mean, we’ve got magic in a post-apocalyptic wasteland…. how does it get better than that!
I highly recommend this post-apocalyptic fantasy tale from Adam Dreece!
The Eternal Season (The Swallowed World Book 1) by Tyler Bumpus…
I’ve been wracking my brain for the past 12 hours trying to figure out just how to express how much I liked this book.
There is world building going on here the likes of which I have not seen for a long, long time. A future North American continent that has been laid waste by not only geological catastrophes and apocalyptic weather, but also by war, famine, and disease. All of these things lead to a perfect storm that literally breaks the world. The book was reminiscent of Aftermath by LeVar Burton and The Road.
Amongst all of this ruin, there is incredible technology still being used. It’s an amazing blend of a technological society living in a new dark age. There is also a hint of the evolution of human beings and a hope that something better may rise out of this broken world, although I have a sneaking suspicion that things are gonna get worse before they get better.
The characters of this story…. wow. You’re going to run the range of emotions with them. I very much liked the fact that the main character count was kept low. I often have a hard time following who’s doing what when I’m having to follow a bunch of different characters. Kudos to Mr. Bumpus for keeping it simple and letting me get to really know a select few instead of hardly getting to know a bunch.
This story is for mature readers. There is not a lot of terrible violence spread throughout, but there is one particular part that… well, when you get there, you’ll know it.
The author graciously included a glossary, which to be honest, is worth the price of the book alone. It’s a story in and of itself. Not to mention maps and chapter art. You can tell that Mr. Bumpus put a tremendous amount of work into this story and to say I’m excited to read new books as they come out is an understatement.
Tyler wrote a guest blog for me last year. You can read it here… Birth Pangs: Interpreting Our Post-Apocalyptic Nightmare.
Hood: A Post-Apocalyptic Novel (American Rebirth Series Book 1) by Evan Pickering…
This is a damned good book.
I’ve read a lot of post-apocalyptic fiction… a LOT, and I have to say that this is a solid five-star story.
What did I like about it? The characters. Mr. Pickering is able to bring these characters to life. They are people that you know… hell, they might even be you! Make no mistake, I like to have some ass-kicking in my wastelands, but it is often rare that I actually end up actually caring about the characters. Mr. Pickering does a fantastic job of making the reader despise a character, yet love them at the same time (and sometimes, just the opposite). They make decisions that, when you really think about it, we might very well make in the same situation.
It is often a rare thing when I feel a book is character-driven, but the author has simply done a wonderful job at doing just that.
I highly recommend this one.
After Armageddon (Book of Luka Series Book 1) by Brian Dorsey…
This is a brutal and interesting dark romp through the apocalypse.
A speculative take on the theological aspect of Armageddon, the story follows a rather eclectic cast of characters trying to survive the End Times and push back the demons that have laid waste to the planet.
The theological theme may sway some readers, but being someone of an open mind and a love for stories in this genre, I very much liked it. There is some harsh language and violence, but let’s face it, Armageddon ain’t gonna be all daisies and kittens.
And there you have it! Thanks for reading and please, check out these authors and their work.