Whether it’s because of zombies, vampires, biological weapons or even an unknown disease, nothing is more terrifying in a story than a scenario that sets not only the life of the protagonist at risk, but also the coadjuvants, villains, extras and the future of the whole the humanity. Books, comics, movies, series and games of Apocalyptic Terror have been standing out for a long time because of the size of the pubic they attract, in addition to their amount of titles and different approaches to their dystopias.
For those looking for an option to know this genre, or even who is already familiar and is undecided about the next title, we list below some suggestions of books and comics, pointing out its main aspects and differences.
This book is perhaps the darkest and bleakest portrait of the end times. In a barren world, where the sky is always covered with ashes, dead vegetation and rivers with no life at all, father and son roam the roads for no purpose other than survival, fleeing from the coming winter’s cold, seeking supplies and hiding from thieves and murderers who are always on the prowl.
In a small Spanish town, a lawyer registers his day to day on a blog when events of global scale begin to unfold. This book shows the zombie apocalypse in the form of personal records of this character, from his first impressions of what is happening to his strategies to escape hordes of undead and survive.
Blending terror, science fiction and fantasy, this book shows the struggle of good versus evil in a world where 95% of the population has been decimated by a biological weapon. With captivating characters, Stephen King separated his story into three parts, first reporting the accident with the biological weapon and the extermination of much of the population, then showing society by organizing and surviving in two large communities, and finally the great battle between good and evil.
One Second After by William R Forstchen
The premise of New York Times bestselling author William R. Forstchen’s cautionary tale One Second After is this: an electromagnetic pulse emitted from three nuclear weapons renders all electronic devices completely useless, consequently causing the breakdown of society as we know it.
The most terrifying part of this novel is that the scenario is by far the most realistic of all the post-apocalyptic concepts; it was based, in fact, on a threat Forstchen perceived as being very real. Admittedly, the writing style can be a bit grating at times, but the premise of the story is highly interesting if you’re not especially sensitive to the repetitive dialogue and the sometimes preachy nature of the book. It’s essential reading for those looking for the best post apocalyptic books
The Walking Dead (HQ), Robert Kirkman
One of the most successful television series was originated in this comic, much more violent that the AMC station was arranged to televise.
Just like on TV, the comic book plot revolves around Rick Grimes, a police officer who wakes from a coma in a hospital and finds the world infested with living dead. In the struggle for survival of his family, he ends up leading a group of survivors, who try to adapt while they realize that the dead are the smallest of their problems.
The Walking Dead (book), Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga
The Governor’s Ascension, the first book in a series of six, tells the story of Philip Blake, his daughter Penny, his brother Brian and other survivors, who seek safety amid the chaos generated by the zombie epidemic plaguing the outskirts of Atlanta. Within this group is the man who will become a great leader and one of the worst villains in the series.
Children of Men by PD James
Don’t get too comfortable, England. While the US’s current political horror show reaches its logical conclusion in many of the titles below, this novel of mass infertility, deranged government, exploited immigrants and war could be the dystopia lurking in the UK’s future. James selected 1995 as “Year Omega”, when things began to fall apart. Could she have been but a couple of decades out?
World War Z, Max Brooks
Years after World War Z, an event in which the living dead nearly destroyed all mankind, a military man decides to organize a series of interviews with survivors and to make known to the public. This book shows the events from the beginning of the war to its resolution, through interviews with people from around the world. In publishing these interviews, the narrator hopes to make the world better prepared for the inevitable return of the zombies and World War II Z.
Zombie Survival Guide, Max Brooks
Created by the same author of World War Z, this book is a practical guide to survival in a world infested by zombies. His teachings range from identifying how his town has hints of a zombie outbreak to how to fortify and defend his home from the living dead. This book is essential for anyone who likes the subject, even if it is only for specific subject matters.
Crossed, Garth Ennis
This HQ is undoubtedly the most brutal and bloody version of the end of the world. There are many apocalyptic stories in which a virus turns people into zombies or vampires, but in Crossed the infected become sadistic psychopaths without a sense of self-preservation and for the sole purpose of causing pain and suffering to survivors.
Crossed has been published since 2008, having a main series with more than twelve volumes and some parallel series (as Crossed: 100+, by Alan Moore). It is recommended that you begin by reading Volume 1, written by Garth Ennis.
The Night of the Living Dead, George Romero and John Russo
The Night of the Living Dead was The movie that revolutionized the theme of zombies, creating the concept of the human flesh-eating undead we have today.
True to the story of the film, the book retains the same somber tone and tells the story of a group of survivors inside a house that they try to fortify to survive attacks from the living dead. In addition to the strong and concise plot, the characters are extremely realistic. There are no heroes in red cloaks, only ordinary people in an extraordinary situation, which instigates the reader’s empathy.
Can You Survive the Zombie Apocalypse ?, Max Brallier
As you finish reading this book, the reader may answer the question: Can you survive the zombie apocalypse?
Narrated in second person, this book makes the reader feel that he is in an RPG session, where he himself chooses the decisions of the character. The decisions lead to different pages of the book, which may mean living for a few more chapters or ending the story over there (and trying again).
Noturno, Guillermo del Toro
When a plane lands in New York, with more than 200 inexplicably dead passengers and only four survivors, authorities immediately suspect another terrorist attack and the city is on alert. But when the dead come out of the morgue and begin to wander the streets of the city behind human blood, they are forced to face a more terrifying reality.
Nocturno brings a different concept of vampires, with less mysticism and more biology, appealing to more skeptical readers without letting go of suspense and terror.
Infected, Scott Sigler
A CIA agent and an epidemiologist try to find clues about a disease that apparently turns ordinary people into brutal and suicidal killers. Meanwhile, a football player discovers he is infected, hearing voices in his head commanding him to commit atrocities, while dealing with the paranoia of being pursued by government agents.
This story was originally recorded in Podcast format, where the author himself narrates each chapter, but exists in book format.
Day by day Armageddon, J. L. Bourne
Day by Day Armageddon is a story of zombie apocalypse narrated through a diary, where the author records the day-to-day life of a survivor from the first day the dead begin to walk and chase the living. The man responsible for this end-of-the-world diary is a military man who deserts his post to try to survive on his own, so the narration is very objective and accelerated, focusing on the practicalities of staying alive when the streets are infested with zombies.
Resident Evil, S.D. Perry
Many people had their first contact with the zombie world through the 1996 Resident Evil game. The game spawned a franchise, which became the best-selling of the giant Capcom, in addition to the very successful series of films.
This book is true to the story of the first game in the series, in which a group of police officers are sent to investigate the disappearance of people in the Raccoon City Forest, near an Umbrella corporation mansion. In a story of terror, suspense and police investigation, the reader accompanies Jill Valentine, who investigates Umbrella’s involvement with the murders, but ends up locked in the mansion infested with cannibal zombies.
28 Days Later (HQ), Michael Alan Nelson
Extermination (28 days later) is often cited as one of the best zombie movies. Unlike the concept of the living dead, zombies are people infected with a variant of the rabies virus, which makes them aggressive and highly contagious.
The story of the comic is a sequel to the first film, showing the story of a survivor of the outbreak of the disease that devastated London. She agrees to return to the capital to assist a group of reporters, who are seeking information on US military actions in British territory. With the infected and the army behind them, they realize that the situation is not under control, as the government made it look.
I am the Legend, Richard Matheson
With the world infested by vampires, Robert Neville believes he is the last human being in the world, spending his days in search of supplies and nights locked in his home, listening to the insults and taunts of his predators. While seeking a cure for vampire, or at least a better understanding of its functioning, Robert deals with his worst enemy in such a disturbing scenario: solitude.