Post-Apocalyptic Novels: First Vampires Then Robots

Lately I’ve been on a post-apocalyptic kick. Not only have I been watching Falling Skies with my husband, I’ve been reading novels with the same theme as well. I’m not sure why I enjoy reading end of the world novels. Maybe I want to know how humans will react when the world is at its worse.

The Passage by Justin Cronin

The Passage by Justin Cronin, at almost 800 pages long, seemed like a daunting task when I first picked it up. My copy sat on my desk for about a month before I decided to crack it open. Once I started, I could not put it down. I became obsessed with it, reading every chance I could. I even let the kids watch extra television so I could read it. I was binge reading. I finished the novel in 3 days. (I’m a fast reader.)


Cronin’s novel begins with the Department of Defense’s attempt at creating super powerful soldiers. The balance of vampire (though he never calls them vampires in the novel) and human cannot be found and soon goes horribly wrong. That’s just the first part of the novel. The rest follows a cast of characters as they venture out into the post-vampire takeover, two generations later. The Passage is no horror story. The complex characters drew me in and kept me turning the pages. All 700+ of them.

Though it’s the first novel of a trilogy, the ending was satisfying for me. Enough for me to wait until 2012, when The Twelve (#2) will be published. There’s not set publication date yet.

Robopocalypse by Daniel WilsonAfter seeing all the promos about Robopocalypse by Daniel Wilson at Book Expo America, I was curious about it. When I saw that it was available as an ebook from my library, I went for it.  The book was optioned for a movie, directed by Stephen Speilberg, even before it was published. Perhaps that affected the style and format of the novel because it was very choppy. Maybe it was because I read it as an ebook and couldn’t easily flip back to refresh myself on previous chapters.

Robopocalypse also begins with a science experiment gone awry. Instead of vampires, a scientist creates a sentient artificial intelligence that escapes its confines. Next thing you know, cars are running over people and mailbots are directing senior citizens into crashing elevators. Told in flashback mode, each chapter is part of an oral history of how humans overcame the sentient computer.

Robopocalypse was a quick read as well, but is half the length of The Passage at slightly over 300 pages.

If you’re looking for a fun, quick read, I would recommend Robopocalypse.  If you want to be taken into an alternate reality with fascinating characters and relationships, grab a copy of The Passage.

I think all I need now is to read a zombie post apocalyptic novel. Any recommendations?

I received a copy of The Passage for review and borrowed Robopocalypse from my library. Book title links are Amazon affiliate links.

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