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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

TTT: Under-the-Radar Post-Apocalyptic Fiction Gets Its (Tues)Day

Top Ten Tuesday is back after a short hiatus (Congratulations on the new baby, Jamie!) and today's topic is a fun one: Top Ten Hidden Gems in X Genre.  I'm always excited to find a great book that has somehow slid under the radar.  I easily thought of 10+ fitting post-apocalyptic novels which I'll be sharing with you in just a sec. 

First, though, you need to click on over to The Broke and the Bookish so you can join in the fun, too.  Just read over the TTT guidelines, make your own list, use the linky to add your post to the master list, and have fun visiting other TTT posts.  It's a great way to get to know others in the book blogging community while learning about awesome reads you're going to want to add to your TBR pile.  Be there or be square.  For reals.  TTT is always a good time—I promise!

Here we go with my list of Top Ten Hidden Gems in Post-Apocalyptic Fiction:

1.  The Tomorrow series (Tomorrow, When the War Began; The Dead of Night; A Killing Frost; Darkness, Be My Friend; Burning for Revenge; The Night is for Hunting; The Other Side of Dawn) by John Marsden—I'm in the middle of this YA series written in the 90s by an Australian author and I'm still enjoying it.  The story revolves around a group of teens who are camping in the bush when an unknown enemy takes over their town.  They return to discover that their families and friends have been rounded up at gunpoint.  Not knowing how widespread the invasion is or what they can do to stop it, the group has to figure out how to survive in a world that has literally changed overnight.

2.  The Wool trilogy (Wool; Shift; Dust) by Hugh Howey—This trilogy of very chunky books looks intimidating, but in fact, tells a very absorbing story set in a unique dystopian world.  Okay, I've only read Wool, the first installment, but I imagine its sequels are just as good.

 3.  Orleans by Sherri L. Smith—Set in a Gulf Coast that is half-drowned after repeatedly being hit by devastating hurricanes, this novel seems especially apropos right now.  It's a chilling, atmospheric tale about a teenager with highly-prized blood who's trying to keep herself and a newborn baby alive in a ruined, ruthless world.  I've been waiting and waiting and waiting for a sequel to Orleans, but so far I haven't seen one.  Pity.

4.  The Hallowed Ones and The Outside by Laura Bickle—When the world is overrun by a dangerous menace, Katie's isolated Amish village is the last to know about it.  To protect their people, the elders close off the community—no one is allowed out or in.  It's only when a handsome, injured Canadian comes begging for help that Katie dares defy her religious leaders.  Will her rash decision to shelter him prove fatal for everyone she loves?

 5.  The Horse trilogy (White Horse; Red Horse; Pale Horse) by Alex Adams—I've only read the first installment of this gritty, gory series about a woman trying to find the man she loves in a Europe ravaged and ruined by a vicious plague.  It's grim and graphic, but addictive.  Adams writes in raw, beautiful prose that makes the book impossible to put down.

 6.  The Ashes trilogy (Ashes; Shadows; Monsters) by Ilsa J. Bick—I'm not sure why I haven't finished this absorbing YA series yet because it's tense, twisty, and thrilling.

 7.  Wayward Pines trilogy (Pines; Wayward; The Last Town) by Blake Crouch—I loved this enthralling trilogy about a secret service agent who wakes up in a strange, secret-filled town after a car accident.  The less you know going into it, the better, but be aware of this: you won't be able to stop reading until you know every one of Wayward Pines' tantalizing secrets.

 8.  The Gone series (Gone; Hunger; Lies; Plague; Fear; Light; Monster) by Michael Grant—This series has a lot of different elements (sci fi, romance, dystopian, survival, supernatural, etc.) that combine to make for always-compelling reading.  I'm stoked that, four years after the series ended, Grant is publishing a new installment.

9.  The Forgetting and The Knowing by Sharon Cameron—Cameron introduces us to an interesting society where memories are wiped out every 12 years.  Unbeknownst to anyone else, Nadia is immune to whatever causes the phenomenon.  Thus, she becomes privy to the shocking secrets of her walled community.  A haunting, hopeful series (I believe it will be a trilogy), these books are not to be missed.

10.  The Ship Breaker Trilogy (Ship Breaker; The Drowned Cities; Tool of War) by Paolo Bacigalupi—I read—and loved—Ship Breaker back in 2010.  It's a watery dystopian about Nailer Lopez, a salvager looking for treasures to sell, who comes across a half-dead woman draped in enough gold to feed him for the rest of his life.  As Nailer sets about rescuing snooty Nadia, the pair find themselves in a frenzied race for survival.  Bacigalupi is a skilled writer, who offers up a story rich in character, setting, and plot.  I need to re-read Ship Breaker and continue with its sequels.


As a bonus, I discovered five other hidden post-apocalyptic gems that I just added to my TBR list on Goodreads:

1.  The Last One (2016) by Alexandra Oliva—Contestants on a reality show must survive in a real emergency.
2.  Zone One (2010) by Colson Whitehead—described as "literary zombie fiction"
3.  The Quiet Earth (1981) by Craig Harrison—A man wakes up and finds himself all alone in a world gone wrong.
4.  Icequake (1979) and Tsunami (1983) by Crawford Kilian—Devastating natural disasters create chaos and fear.
5.  Down to a Sunless Sea (1979) by David Graham—An airplane full of passengers escaping the apocalypse runs head-on into a nuclear holocaust.
6.  Emergence (1984) by David Palmer—A young girl with a unique genetic makeup sets off through a wasted world to find others like her.


Phew!  So, there you have it ... some hidden post-apocalyptic gems for you to try.  What do you think of the list?  What am I missing?  What's on YOUR list today?  I'd love to know.  Leave me a comment and I'll gladly return the favor.

Happy TTT!


  1. Wonderful list. There are at least 4 Laura Bickle books I want to read and these two are at the top. I just never get around to them. I have a friend who has Tomorrow When the War Began on her list today as well.

    1. These are the only two I've read by her, but I know she has a number of others. I just bought NINE OF STARS, the first in a new series that sounds super intriguing.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Pines is one I so want to get to. I own it too just need to make time!

    1. It's a fast read, which is good because you won't want to put it down once you start!

  3. I really, really, really want to read The Hallowed One duology, the Ashes trilogy, and The Pines trilogy! They've been on my TBR forever! I need to get to them sooner than later!

    1. They're all SO good! I still need to read the last book in the Ashes trilogy, but it's been so long since I read the first two that I'm afraid I've forgotten who's who and what's what :(

  4. I've only heard of three of these so I guess they are hidden gems. Or I'm just uninformed. They all look fun.

  5. Great list! I love post-apocalyptic books. I really need to read The Hallowed Ones. It's been in my TBR list for awhile.

    1. It's a great duology. Unique, but exciting, well-written, and engrossing.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  6. I loved The Forgetting!

    I just read Flood and Fire, sequel to Raiders' Ransom. It's another watery world, where old technology is viewed with either avarice or superstition, and youngsters from wildly different backgrounds must join forces to survive. I enjoyed the books.

    1. I've never heard of this series, but it sounds excellent. I'm definitely going to check it out. Thanks for the rec and for stopping by today!

  7. Awesome list! I loved The Hallowed Ones and Tomorrow, When the War Began. Such great reads. And I can't wait to read some of the other books on your list. Good dystopian fiction rocks! :)

    1. I agree! I feel like I should be really tired of dystopian fiction by now, but I'm not. Not at all.

  8. After 'The Hunger Games' became popular and the YA genre was flooded with dystopians, I've become wary of dystopian novels. But I haven't heard of most of these and they sound interesting, which gives me hope!

    I remember reading Gone by Michael Grant, but I never finished the rest of the series. It was compelling, though.

    1. The genre has become over-saturated for sure. There are so many copycat books out there that sometimes you feel like you're reading the same story over and over and over. That's why I like the books I listed today -- they bring a little something new to the genre.

      The Gone series is a great one. It's long, though, and that can be off-putting. I enjoyed it.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  9. Great list! I've read Gone and The Hallowed Ones and Ship Breaker... I'll have to check out some of these others! ♥️ Very comprehensive list Susan!

    1. Thanks. I still feel like I'm missing some, though! I guess that's why they're HIDDEN gems :)

      Thanks for stopping in!

  10. I'm not really one for post-apocalyptic fiction, in fact I think I've only ever read one! But some of these sound really good, I've heard of the Gone series and I have thought about giving that a try! Thanks for the recommendations:)

    1. It's probably a good series for a post-apocalyptic virgin :) The books are not as grim and gory as adult post-apocalyptic books usually are. Plus there are a lot of extra elements in the Gone series that keep it exciting!

  11. I am so happy to see White Horse on your list! I read that book a few years ago and it really stuck with me. The rawness that you mention added an extra element to that story that made it so good!

    Thank you for stopping by our TTT at Owl Always Be Reading!

    1. I had almost forgotten about it, really. I want to read the sequels, but the series is so grim and gory that I have to steel myself for it, you know? Plus, I'd probably have to re-read WHITE HORSE before continuing. The story really stuck with me, too, though.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  12. I really haven't read many post-apocalyptic books so this list is super helpful! I love the sound of Wayward Pines (and I've had Dark Matter on my TBR for awhile), Gone, and The Forgetting. I need to add all 3 to my TBR.

    1. I loved DARK MATTER! It's very different from the Wayward Pines series, but also very good. In fact, better. The nice thing about the Wayward Pines series (especially as opposed to DARK MATTER) is that the books are short, fast reads. And so engaging that they're really hard to put down!

  13. These are all new to me, but sound so good! I don't read a lot of these types of books, but when I do, I tend to enjoy them. I am especially interested in The Forgetting and The Knowing, but I am adding all of them to my wish list! Thank you for sharing, Susan!

    I hope you are enjoying your weekend!

    1. Yay! I'm glad you found some new books to read :)


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