Sure, the Coronavirus is a little bit terrifying and a little bit silly all at once (the panic and general-public reactions, not the fact that it’s really taking people out!) but in light of all the news and mass hysteria it really got me thinking about some of my favourite books which focus on the theme of the viral-apocalypse.
Check out my top picks for some thematic reading – sure to keep you entertained and, potentially, give you some skills to surviving in this new era (I’m kidding. I hope).
Wither (The Chemical Garden, Book 1) – Lauren DeStefano
What if you knew you exactly when you would die?
In our brave new future, DNA engineering has resulted in a terrible genetic flaw. Women die at the age of 20, men at 25. Young girls are being abducted and forced to breed in a desperate attempt to keep humanity ahead of the disease that threatens to eradicate it.
16-year-old Rhine Ellery is kidnapped and sold as a bride to Linden, a rich young man with a dying wife. Even though he is kind to her, Rhine is desperate to escape her gilded cage – and Linden’s cruel father. With the help of Gabriel, a servant she is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in what little time she has left.
Enclave (Razorland Trilogy) – Ann Aguire
New York City has been decimated by war and plague, and most of civilization has migrated to underground enclaves, where life expectancy is no more than the early 20’s. When Deuce turns 15, she takes on her role as a Huntress, and is paired with Fade, a teenage Hunter who lived Topside as a young boy. When she and Fade discover that the neighboring enclave has been decimated by the tunnel monsters–or Freaks–who seem to be growing more organized, the elders refuse to listen to warnings. And when Deuce and Fade are exiled from the enclave, the girl born in darkness must survive in daylight–guided by Fade’s long-ago memories–in the ruins of a city whose population has dwindled to a few dangerous gangs.
Outwalkers – Fiona Shaw
The border’s closed, Jake said. No one can get into Scotland, just like no one can cross the Channel . . .This is England and it’s no longer a free country. The Government can track anyone, anywhere, from a chip implanted at birth. But Jake has escaped from his Academy orphanage, and he’s got to get to Scotland with his dog, Jet. When the Outwalkers gang grabs him, they go off-grid while the Government hunts for them. The closer they get to Scotland, the more dangerous it is. Because now, it’s not only their own lives that are at stake . . .
The Maze Runner – James Dashner
When the doors of the lift crank open, the only thing Thomas remembers is his first name. But he’s not alone. He’s surrounded by boys who welcome him to the Glade – a walled encampment at the centre of a bizarre and terrible stone maze. Like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they came to be there – or what’s happened to the world outside. All they know is that every morning when the walls slide back, they will risk everything – even the Grievers, half-machine, half-animal horror that patrol its corridors, to try and find out.
Gone – Michael Grant
In the blink of an eye all the adults disappear in a small town in southern California and no one knows why. Cut off from the outside world, those that are left are trapped, and there’s no help on the way. Sam Temple and his friends must do all they can to survive. Chaos rules the streets. Gangs begin to form. Sides are chosen – strong or weak. Cruel or humane. And then there are those who begin to develop powers . . .
If you have any recommendations for books about pandemics etc please drop them in the comments! Hope everyone is staying safe – it goes without saying; wash your hands well, don’t touch your face, and eat healthily.