Books shelved under “Post-Apocalyptic”

63 reviews found

  1. Book cover for The Stone Sky

    The Stone Sky

    by N.K. Jemisin

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Look at me, finishing a series within a year! Who even am I?

    The Stone Sky is the last book of The Broken Earth trilogy by N.K. Jemisin. She give us answers to some of the questions from the first two books, as well as closure—of sorts—for most of the main characters. I’m not sure I would call the ending satisfying, but it is certainly thoughtful. This is how I’ve come to regard…

  2. Book cover for Storm of Locusts

    Storm of Locusts

    by Rebecca Roanhorse

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Rebecca Roanhorse bottled lightning once, and now she is back to do it again

    Storm of Locusts picks up not too long after Trail of Lightning. Maggie agrees to help the Thirsty Boys apprehend the White Locust, a strange cult leader buying up explosives. The mission goes sideways in a big way, and Maggie picks up the pieces and finds herself responsible for a young woman, Ben, with some clan powers, a chip on…

  3. Book cover for The Marrow Thieves

    The Marrow Thieves

    by Cherie Dimaline

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    My enjoyment of post-apocalyptic, dystopian fiction is waning heavily these days. In particular, I’ve never been a fan of The Road–style stories of survival of small groups. So The Marrow Thieves was fighting an uphill battle, yet Cherie Dimaline manages to make me appreciate the intensity of the experience.

    Frenchie is a 15-year-old Indigenous (Anishnaabe, I think?) boy who, after losing his immediate family, falls in with another group of Indigenous survivors on the…

  4. Book cover for The Obelisk Gate

    The Obelisk Gate

    by N.K. Jemisin

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    In a very rare move for me, I picked up The Obelisk Gate on my visit to the library after reading The Fifth Season. N.K. Jemisin’s sequel picks up where it leaves off, with a little backtracking to fill in Nassun’s story. Short review? If you liked the first book, you’ll like this one. The mysteries of this world deepen, the characters grow and both gain and lose. Longer review? Well, keep reading.

    Spoilers…

  5. Book cover for Killer of Enemies

    Killer of Enemies

    by Joseph Bruchac

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I was excited to read a YA novel with an Indigenous protagonist, because there aren’t enough of those. Killer of Enemies is an action-packed dystopian thriller from Joseph Bruchac. Yet what it gains from tense action sequences it loses in sloppy writing elsewhere.

    Lozen is the eponymous Killer of Enemies, a post-apocalyptic job position that involves being sent on hazardous missions away from the haven of Haven to kill dangerous beasties that might otherwise threaten…

  6. Book cover for Ilium

    Ilium

    by Dan Simmons

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Longtime readers of my reviews will recall I have a tumultuous relationship with Dan Simmons’ books. I didn’t like The Terror or Drood, but I warmed up to Simmons through his epic Hyperion Cantos. In my review for the final book of that cycle, The Rise of Endymion, I commented, “Even if you don’t like the series, it is hard to dispute the scope and style of it.” Simmons lives up to…

  7. Book cover for The Fifth Season

    The Fifth Season

    by N.K. Jemisin

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I did not enjoy The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, but N.K. Jemisin’s brilliant short story collection gave me hope that The Fifth Season might be her novel for me. Indeed it was! I can conclude that it wasn’t Jemisin’s style that bothered me about the previous series, just the world and the premise and the plot, etc.—it just wasn’t a story I was into. In contrast, The Fifth Season tells a very focused story about…

  8. Book cover for Moon of the Crusted Snow

    Moon of the Crusted Snow

    by Waubgeshig Rice

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    For a while now I’ve been morbidly fascinated by Doomsday Preppers. I’ll stick an episode on in the background (it’s on Netflix, at least here in Canada) while eating dinner or doing something else. While it’s good to be prepared for emergencies, the preppers and survivalists featured in the show take this idea to extremes that are equal parts fascinating and horrifying (especially when this obsession ultimately affects a loved one or children). And,…

  9. Book cover for Trail of Lightning

    Trail of Lightning

    by Rebecca Roanhorse

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Sometimes Twitter really, really comes through. I’m thinking, “I would love to read more works by Indigenous writers” and also “I would love to read some more science fiction and fantasy this summer” and the people I follow must have picked up on that because everyone was all, “You have got to read this.” Well, Rebecca Roanhorse’s Trail of Lightning lives up to the hype. It’s an intense, richly presented urban fantasy adventure that leaves…

  10. Book cover for Terminal Alliance

    Terminal Alliance

    by Jim C. Hines

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Jim C. Hines has been on my radar for a long time, but I haven’t actually read any of his books until now! When I saw this on NetGalley, I was intrigued. I know Hines mostly as a fantasy writer, so I was curious to see how his science fiction would be. Turns out Hines’ Terminal Alliance reminds me a lot of John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War universe.

    Side note: This book was published in…

  11. Book cover for Who Fears Death

    Who Fears Death

    by Nnedi Okorafor

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Who Fears Death reminds me a lot of Dhalgren, another seminal work of post-apocalyptic speculative fiction. Nnedi Okorafor explores the intersections of tradition, sex, and sexuality; of history and intertextuality. The narrative, while slightly more straightforward than Dhalgren, still challenges and requests a certain level of involvement. Although I didn’t enjoy this as much as I wanted to (and probably won’t watch its adaptation), I think I understand why it has captured the…

  12. Book cover for Three

    Three

    by Jay Posey

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Sometimes I come across stories that are so well-written but also so safe and undemanding in their tropes and structures that I'm simultaneously enchanted and bored. Three is one such story. Immediately recognizable to anyone with even a passing knowledge of post-apocalyptic stories, it nonetheless has all the hallmarks of an exciting, well-paced, thoroughly plotted novel. Jay Posey has a talent for narrative, both in the sense of the twists and turns that keep you…

  13. Book cover for Station Eleven

    Station Eleven

    by Emily St. John Mandel

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    What’s that? Sorry, I got distracted by how I’m leaving horrific fingerprints every time I touch the cover of this book because of that slick finish some fancy paperbacks have.

    I’ve been listening to Of Monsters and Men’s latest album, Beneath the Skin, obsessively lately (even though it came out last year, I only just discovered it recently, because that’s how plugged into the music scene I am!). It is pretty much the perfect…

  14. Book cover for The Fall of the Towers

    The Fall of the Towers

    by Samuel R. Delany

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Sunday, the beginning of my week off at the end of the summer. What better way to start it off than with a golden oldie? As with many authors, I’ve been gradually collecting any Samuel R. Delany books that show up at the used bookstore in town, and I haven’t read any for a while. So I picked up The Fall of the Towers, an omnibus of a trilogy that Delany wrote in his…

  15. Book cover for Ship Breaker

    Ship Breaker

    by Paolo Bacigalupi

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Paolo Bacigalupi brings his unique style and science fiction sensibility to young adult fiction with Ship Breaker. If you were all, “I want my kid to read some socially conscious SF about the future of our society as global warming slowly takes hold” but were also all, “Holy shit The Water Knife has a lot of swearing and death in it!” then Ship Breaker is the book to recommend. It reminds me a lot…

  16. Book cover for A Canticle for Leibowitz

    A Canticle for Leibowitz

    by Walter M. Miller Jr.

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I didn’t know what to expect from A Canticle for Leibowitz, because despite being aware of its classic status, nothing that I read about it really prepared me for it. So I’m going to try to leave you with a clear (but spoiler-free) idea of what this book is about so you will be encouraged to dive into it. It is deservedly a classic, eminently accessible, and very interesting. If you’re one of those…

  17. Book cover for Only Ever Yours

    Only Ever Yours

    by Louise O'Neill

    5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Louise O’Neill is scary good at writing amazing but depressing books. I thought her second novel, Asking For It, was powerful, but her debut, Only Ever Yours, is arguably even darker. I’m happy I picked it up, but not happy having read it—this is about as far from a feel-good book as one gets.

    I want to put some trigger warnings on this book and review but am not sure where to draw…

  18. Book cover for Seveneves

    Seveneves

    by Neal Stephenson

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Look, this isn’t really a novel.

    Seriously. I know that it has that stupid “A Novel” subtitle that dangles off the end of a book’s cover like an appendix because some publishers worry that readers are too dumb or lazy to look at a book’s description to figure out if it’s fiction or non-fiction. But in this case, that label is a lie—or at the very least, a simplification. Seveneves is not a novel. It…

  19. Book cover for Black Feathers

    Black Feathers

    by Joseph D'Lacey

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    This is an odd book. I'm pretty sure it’s good, but I’m not sure I liked it. It took me far longer to read Black Feathers than I usually take to read any book. Part of that was because I spent more time focused on other things over the past few weeks. Most of it, I think was avoidance. Joseph D’Lacey’s writing is good; don’t get me wrong. But I was never in a hurry…

  20. Book cover for Perfect Ruin

    Perfect Ruin

    by Lauren DeStefano

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Meehhhhhhhhhh?

    I’m not sure what prompted me to grab a book so obviously in the dystopian YA camp. I guess it’s that bad habit of reading widely—I mean, it’s great in the sense that I discover books I love I might not have read otherwise. But it means I tend to read a lot of books that I find mediocre even when I know others are going to love them. It’s one thing to rip…

  21. Book cover for Feed

    Feed

    by M.T. Anderson

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Feed is not a comfortable novel, nor is it comforting. I seem to be on a string of these sorts of YA novels lately—not mention my Animorphs re-read. I feel strongly that these types of books are valuable for young people. There is something to be said for escapism and the reassuring, but somewhat inaccurate, message that some of the most popular dystopian YA is giving that “youth can fight the power.” But I am…

  22. Book cover for Always Coming Home

    Always Coming Home

    by Ursula K. Le Guin

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Why is it Ursula K. Le Guin always makes my life as a reader and reviewer difficult? Her books can’t be nice, straightforward stories—no, she has to create lyric, moving pieces of experimental literature that transcend our ordinary definitions of form and genre. I have a problem with Always Coming Home, but that problem is entirely independent of the book itself. It is, rather, a result of me and my particular biases…

  23. Book cover for Robogenesis

    Robogenesis

    by Daniel H. Wilson

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I was a little harsh on Robopocalypse. I said its subtext was spread thinly; it’s a thriller in a science fiction setting that seems to be bagging for a Michael Bay adaptation. I stand by those words. And Robogenesis isn’t much better. But it is better. Daniel H. Wilson throws in a few twists and expands on some of the characters, and the result is a more entertaining, slightly deeper, slightly more thought-provoking novel…

  24. Book cover for The Year of the Flood

    The Year of the Flood

    by Margaret Atwood

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    You don’t need to read Oryx and Crake prior to reading The Year of the Flood. The two novels take place concurrently (though this one does extend slightly beyond the other’s narrative, wrapping up the cliffhanger of Snowman discovering that other humans have survived). However, I would recommend you read them close together. I only read Oryx and Crake back in March, but even a short span of two months has obliterated a…

  25. Book cover for Oryx and Crake

    Oryx and Crake

    by Margaret Atwood

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    So, back when The Year of the Flood, Oryx and Crake’s contemporaneous sequel, came out, the great Ursula K. Le Guin wrote in The Guardian that she must honour Margaret Atwood’s wish not to have her novels labelled science fiction. She claims this restricts her ability to praise the book in the way she wants:

    I could talk about her new book more freely, more truly, if I could talk about it as

  26. Book cover for The Phoenix Cycle

    The Phoenix Cycle: Would You?

    by Bob Collopy

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    So, it’s the future, and on your 18th “cycle” you can apply to ascend into the upper echelons of society, where you will no longer labour in an ash-filled purgatory of dreary hopelessness.

    Why? This is a good question. The Phoenix Cycle doesn’t specify, so for all we know, the mysterious General does it for the lulz.

    Last month I received a message from Robert Edward asking me to read his story. As far as…

  27. Book cover for Eon

    Eon

    by Greg Bear

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Big Dumb Objects always provide an interesting starting point. The Stone, as the Americans christen the hollowed-out asteroid that appears above 21st-century Earth in Eon, is full of mysteries. It has the exact same profile as Juno, but much less mass, because someone has hollowed it out into seven enormous chambers. Could it be from humanity’s future? Or a possible future? And if so, does it hold the answers to avert a Russian-American nuclear…

  28. Book cover for After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall

    After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall

    by Nancy Kress

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Nancy Kress has fast become one of my favourite science fiction authors. Like most authors I’m a fan of, her works don’t always make it on my favourites list, but they always make me think. Kress often explores how technology affects humanity’s relationship with nature and our own biology. She continues to play with these themes in After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall while adding in an ineffable alien menace and the…

  29. Book cover for Darkness Falling

    Darkness Falling

    by Peter Crowther

    1 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Darkness Falling chronicles the struggle of several survivors as they realize they probably should have paid attention to that last zombie movie. It’s the end of the world as we know it, and genre savviness is nowhere to be found.

    I checked out about halfway through the first act. I love reading on my tablet, but it’s so easy to get into the rhythm of tapping to turn the page, skimming through each page as…

  30. Book cover for Cloud Atlas

    Cloud Atlas

    by David Mitchell

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Cloud Atlas is not as difficult to read as some of its reviews led me to expect. I suspect they did this because it is difficult to review (and I’m even going to be employing spoilers, though few and far between, those who have only a minor aversion to them will be happy to know). I’m going to ramble for a bit about my reactions to the book versus the movie and ruminate on the…

  31. Book cover for Saturn's Children

    Saturn's Children

    by Charles Stross

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    “Humans were dead, to begin with. There is no doubt whatsoever about that.”

    That is perhaps how Dickens might have begun Saturn’s Children, if Dickens had somehow conceived of a near-future world in which humanity is extinct but its human-like robot servitors have kept on going. Charles Stross isn’t quite so economical in explaining this underlying fact, but he’s almost there. Through references to “pink goo” and “green goo” and the lack of prokaryotes…

  32. Book cover for Muse of Fire

    Muse of Fire

    by Dan Simmons

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Whereas delaying reading A Case of Exploding Mangoes for four years didn’t improve the experience, I am glad that I waited until now to read Muse of Fire. I recently read Much Ado About Nothing for the first time, in order to teach it to a Year 9 class, and being familiar with that play’s plot and characters definitely improved my comprehension of this Shakespeare-infused novella.

    Dan Simmons banks on the continued popularity of…

  33. Book cover for Nano Comes to Clifford Falls

    Nano Comes to Clifford Falls: And Other Stories

    by Nancy Kress

    5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Anthologies by a single author offer an opportunity to reflect upon that author’s particular areas of focus. Most authors tend to return time and again to the same motifs and themes. Nano Comes to Clifford Falls is a menagerie of Nancy Kress stories that involve nanotechnology, genetics, posthuman evolution, and very interesting meditations upon how aliens might visit Earth. Each story is unique, but put side by side, the similarities are clear, each story delivering…

  34. Book cover for Brave New World

    Brave New World

    by Aldous Huxley

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    One of science fiction’s most enduring traits is its ability to ruminate upon the ways in which science and technology allow us to manipulate and re-engineer society. In this sense, the distinction between soft and hard science fiction disappears—all science fiction is inherently social, for no matter how much detail goes into describing the technological advances that populate possible futures, the meat of the story is always the effect these technologies have on the people…

  35. Book cover for Pure

    Pure

    by Julianna Baggott

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    So what if someone set us up the bomb, or several bombs, and instead of nuclear winter and all the survivors dying of cancer, they got fused to each other and bits of glass and animals and broken doll heads? Pure is a horror story about atomic detonations gone wrong. Yeah—if that isn’t a terrifying thought, I don’t know what is. Julianna Baggott postulates a post-apocalyptic world that is the fevered vision of a…

  36. Book cover for When the Great Days Come

    When the Great Days Come

    by Gardner Dozois

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I’ve doubtless read many works of fiction that have passed through Gardner Dozois’ hands as an editor. Until now, however, I don’t recall reading any of his own fiction. I’ve remedied this by snatching When the Great Days Come from the New Books shelf at my library. I like anthologies, I really do, but as a novel lover first and foremost, I always find myself overcoming a certain prejudice towards shorter fiction. Fortunately, Dozois makes…

  37. Book cover for Diaspora

    Diaspora

    by Greg Egan

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I want to give this book five stars. I want to give this book one star. It’s amazing. It’s terrible.

    Keeping Earth habitable is a pressing concern today. Even if we manage to avoid eco-catastrophe (and I’m optimistic on this), that’s only a small hurdle in the grand scheme of the cosmos. We only have about a billion years left before the Sun swells so much that it cooks the atmosphere. A few billion years…

  38. Book cover for Containment

    Containment

    by Christian Cantrell

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Living in space is hard. Like, really hard. Like, super almost-impossibly-crazy-stupid hard. Leviathan Wakes has some great moments that illustrate the various hazards of living in space, and it underscores the importance of Earth’s continued existence to the otherwise estranged colonies and stations. Yet even it has a fairly optimistic outlook on our ability to harness the solar system for our needs. Containment, on the other hand, makes even starting up a colony on…

  39. Book cover for The Cornelius Chronicles

    The Cornelius Chronicles

    by Michael Moorcock

    Unrated

    Reviewed

    I’m not the right person to read this, at least not right now.

    I know it’s kind of my hang-up to turn everything into a generational thing, but I think that’s in operation here. I didn’t live through the 1960s or the 1970s. I don’t get what the political climate was like then, either in North America or in Europe, and I come to New Wave science fiction experiencing everything second hand. That doesn’t mean…

  40. Book cover for The Revisionists

    The Revisionists

    by Thomas Mullen

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Time travel is a very broad trope in science fiction. There are so many stories to tell using time travel and so many ways of doing it. I love time travel stories (particularly Doctor Who), the nitty-gritty, wibbly-wobbley, timey-wimey type of stories that can leave you utterly confused and gasping for breath by the end. For all their intricate potentialities, however, time travel is really only good for two things: observing history, and fucking…

  41. Book cover for Brains

    Brains: A Zombie Memoir

    by Robin Becker

    1 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Sometimes having a good idea just isn’t enough. This might hurt, but it’s the truth. For whatever reason, sometimes writers have amazing ideas that don’t pan out. And when those ideas stall mid-story, they take the entire book down with them.

    In Brains: A Zombie Memoir, Jack Barnes is an English professor who gets bitten during the zombie apocalypse. After transforming, he discovers that he can still think and still feels like himself—aside from…

  42. Book cover for Robopocalypse

    Robopocalypse

    by Daniel H. Wilson

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    N.B. All roads (save two) lead to TVTropes. Proceed down them at your own risk.

    So, Robopocalypse, we meet again for the first time!

    I try to award priority to books that have been sitting around in my overflow bin, gathering dust. But I got Robopocalypse as a Christmas gift from my dad, and I admit I was a little curious about all the attention this book had received. So I let it jump…

  43. Book cover for The Road

    The Road

    by Cormac McCarthy

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I knew Cormac McCarthy and I were going to have differences from the moment I opened The Road and discovered the dearth of quotation marks. Yes, I’m one of those readers, and this is going to be that type of review. Exits are located on both sides. For those of you who choose to remain on board, please fasten your seatbelts. In the event the review experiences a sudden loss in pressure, an oxygen mask…

  44. Book cover for Player One

    Player One: What is to Become of Us

    by Douglas Coupland

    5 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Recently I stole the soapbox in another person's review of Shampoo Planet to pontificate about my personal reader's theory of Douglas Coupland. JPod was the first Coupland novel I read, and it is also my favourite. We all react to Coupland differently—i.e., JPod is my favourite, but some of my friends hate JPod with a passion and love Girlfriend in a Coma or Eleanor Rigby. Despite the fact that Coupland always deals with the…

  45. Book cover for Blackout

    Blackout

    by Connie Willis

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Time travel is a sexy science-fiction trope. It's right up there with faster-than-light travel (the two are, in fact, inextricably related, and chances are you if you invent one then you'll have invented both) as something that, as far as our current understanding of the universe works, is impossible. There are some fascinating loopholes involving wormholes and general relativity, but in order to get it working you need metric shit-joules of energy and something called

  46. Book cover for Dhalgren

    Dhalgren

    by Samuel R. Delany

    3 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I tend to read books one at a time in quick succession. I have to, for the same reason I am so assiduous in writing reviews: I have a poor memory for these types of details. However, every so often I'll have a "project" book that takes me weeks or months to read, in parallel with my other books. I tend to do this with lengthy anthologies; I've been doing it with the Iliad.…

  47. Book cover for The Dying Earth

    The Dying Earth

    by Jack Vance

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    I had never heard of Jack Vance until Subterranean Press announced it would be publishing a tribute anthology containing stories from some of my favourite authors. Apparently Vance is a master fantasist, on par with Tolkien, and his Dying Earth series inspired all of those authors, and many more, in the latter half of the twentieth century. So I ordered the massive volume from Subterranean Press, and then I set about finding a copy of…

  48. Book cover for And Another Thing...

    And Another Thing...

    by Eoin Colfer

    1 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    There are some great moments in this book, moments worthy of quotation. There is tea; there are gods; there is Vogon bureaucracy and Vogon poetry. And Another Thing... sublimely embraces the h2g2 universe by grabbing hold of it by the scruff of its neck and shaking it vigorously until more characters and random plot events fall out.

    And I didn't like it.

    See, h2g2's humorous nexus of improbable events with zany characters is the icing…

  49. Book cover for Liberation

    Liberation

    by Brian Francis Slattery

    4 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    When confronted by the uncertain future, we look to our past. We look to it for answers, for enlightenment, for inspiration. Mostly we look to it because we have nowhere else to look. This is natural, but it's also dangerous, for we have a tendency to romanticize the past: everything was better before we had electricity, urbanization, automation; life was simpler, slower, satisfying. Sometimes we get caught up in that idyllic illusion of a pastoral…

  50. Book cover for The Possibility of an Island

    The Possibility of an Island

    by Michel Houellebecq

    2 out of 5 stars

    Reviewed

    Do you want to live forever? Most people would say yes. I have to confess immortality tempts me as well. But as with most wishes, this one needs conditionals and caveats to make it truly comfortable. After all, you wouldn't want to be immortal but keep ageing, right? And being immortal alone would really suck, watching everyone else grow old and die as you remain the same. There are basically two ways to solve the…