Looking for a new series to sink your teeth into? Quite enjoyed The Hunger Games but would prefer to get on the next bandwagon earlier and not be just one of a hundred reading the exact same book on your commute (I hate that…)? Here’s a list of dystopian/post-apocalyptic/utopian series that I recommend. There’s a real range here! Only one thing in common: the future doesn’t look good….
The Uglies Series by Scott Westerfield
Uglies | Pretties | Specials | Extras
The future looks bleak: When you turn 16 you are subjected to a programme of plastic surgery to turn you from an “Ugly” into a “Pretty”, where you get to live a life of leisure in a high-tech paradise. Of course, it’s not just your face that the authorities meddle with, creating a society of gorgeous, compliant sheep.
The Divergent Series by Veronica Roth
Divergent || Insurgent || ??
Status: Waiting for the third book, release date October 2013
The future looks bleak: Society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue–Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. Beatrice (Tris) Prior discovers to her horror that she is ‘divergent’ – she suits three out of the five factions equally. A bandwagon to be jumped on sooner rather than later; they are just finishing casting the movie.
The UnWind Series by Neal Shusterman
UnWind || UnWholly || UnSouled
Status: Waiting for the third book, release date October 2013
The future looks bleak: The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child “unwound,” whereby all of the child’s organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn’t technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.
The Chemical Garden Series by Lauren DeStefano
Wither || Fever || Sever
The future looks bleak: Thanks to geneticists messing around trying to procure designer babies, the human race is now afflicted with a virus that kills women at the age of twenty, and the men at twenty-five. Women – like our protagonist, Rhine – are literally kidnapped off the street to be sold to brothels, or if they’re lucky as wives to the men of affluent families – either way, to be used as baby machines. Rhine finds herself trapped in a nightmareish mansion and the polygamous marriage that has come with it, unable to shake off the suspicion that her father-in-law is chopping up babies down in the basement, in his obsession to find a cure before his son’s time runs out.
The Chaos Walking Series by Patrick Ness
The Knife of Never Letting Go || The Ask and the Answer || Monsters of Men
The future looks bleak: Prentisstown is a colony town, but something has gone terribly awry. Everyone can hear the thoughts of everyone else – even the animals, a constant stream of babble referred to as “Noise”. It isn’t in the Noise that Todd discovers a secret, but rather in a strange silence. He flees for his life and in doing so, discovers the truth of his world and its past.
The Forest of Hands and Teeth Series by Carrie Ryan
The Forest of Hands and Teeth || The Dead-Tossed Waves || The Dark and Hollow Places
The future looks bleak: Zombie apocalypse! Mary lives in a village, fenced all around, keeping what she believes to be one of the last vestiges of the human race safe from the Unconsecrated who roam the forest. The villagers’ world is ruled by fear and the orders of a pseudo-religious community…
Across the Universe Series by Beth Revis
Across the Universe || A Million Suns || Shades of Earth
The future looks bleak: When humans use up all of the Earth’s resources, they are obliged to send a spacecraft, the Godspeed, out across the universe to a new planet, three hundred years’ travel away. Amy is kept as ‘frozen cargo’ on the ship, along with her parents and other eminent scientists and individuals that will be needed to set up society on the new Earth. But Amy’s stasis is broken and she awakens fifty years to soon, to find that the descendants of the original crew of the Godspeed have created their own odd society and barely seem human at all, any more…
Under the Never Sky Series by Veronica Roth
Under the Never Sky || Through the Ever Night || Into the Still Blue
Status: waiting for the third book, release date January 2014
The future looks bleak: The Earth’s atmosphere has been ruined to the point where the sky is constantly blighted by ‘aether storms’. Society has split into two – those whose ancestors were lucky enough to get a place in one of the subterranean domes and therefore live a life of high-technology and relative safety – and those whose ancestors remained outside, whose constant exposure to the radiation has given them heightened senses and who need live a very primitive, tribal existence.
The Selection Series by Kiera Cass
The Selection || The Elite || ??
Status: Second book release date April 2013; third book release date 2014
The future looks bleak: After generations of world war and annexation by China, the USA has refounded itself as a new country called Illeá. The dystopian society of Illeá is based on separating people into numbered castes; Ones are royalty – Sixes, Sevens and Eights are servants/slaves. Our protagonist, America is a Five (musicians, artisans, etc). Traditionally in Illeá, a young lady from each of the 35 districts is presented to the heir to the throne and from this lottery – broadcast on television – he selects his bride and future queen. Obviously, America is Selected, probably the only girl in Illeá brokenhearted to be so, as she is taken away from her family and from her true and made-over and groomed and trained in the arts of being a Queen, all the while terrified that she’s about to be blown to bits by a terrorist’s bomb.
Blood of Eden Series by Julie Kagawa
The Immortal Rules || The Eternity Cure || ??
Status: second book to be released April 2013
The future looks bleak: Presumably thinking that a zombie apocalypse just wasn’t badass enough, Julie Kagawa adds vampires into the mix… The vampires treat the remaining humans like cattle, keeping them in walled in cities. Outside the cities, humans succumb to a “zombie” virus to become “Rabids”. Protagonist, Allie, is your typical rebel, hating the ‘establishment’, refusing to conform to the vampires’ control. Julie Kagawa then does what she does best and neatly flips everything – Allie becomes a vampire herself but is forced to pose as a human so she can flee her city and its threats.
The Partials Sequence by Dan Wells
Partials || Fragments || ??
Status: third book to be released 2014
The future looks bleak: This series is I, Robot or Chobits turned nasty. People invented Partials, engineered organic beings – super-humans, if you will – and are now all but extinct after a war with them. The Partials released a chemical weapon, killing all humans on Earth, bar a fraction who appear to be immune. No baby born for over a decade has survived for longer than three days and time is running out to safeguard the continuation of the human race. Those that govern the crumbling society of survivors passed the Hope Act; all women over the age of 18 must be impregnated over and over again, in the hope that at least one of the babies will survive; now they are talking about lowering the age and including pubescent girls…
The Delirium Series by Lauren Oliver
Delirium || Pandemonium || Requiem
The future looks bleak: They say that love makes you do crazy things… In this series, the authorities agree. They identify love as a disease, one called amor deliria nervosa, and what’s more, they’ve learned how to cure it. Once you turn 18 you have an injection and never feel any strong emotion ever again – for your family, for your country, for your lover, nothing. Children live in fear of what falling in love would do to their brain, to their hearts – they long for the cure. The protagonist, Lena, is no exception, looking forward to her eighteenth birthday, where she will receive her ‘vaccination’ and thereafter be paired with the man the state believes is her most suitable match. Unluckily for Lena, 95 days before her birthday, she falls in love…