Dystopian books explore the bleak worlds that await if society gives in to extremes. We find these reads throughout literature: The Handmaid’s Tale, 1984, and more recently, The Hunger Games, Divergent, and The Maze Runner. And every year, new dystopian books warn us with terrifying visions. Check out these exciting new releases, complete with publishers’ descriptions below.
New Series and Standalone Books
Replica by Lauren Oliver
Two girls, two stories, one epic novel — now a New York Times bestseller!
From Lauren Oliver, New York Times bestselling author of Before I Fall and the Delirium trilogy, comes an epic, masterful novel that explores issues of individuality, identity, and humanity. Replica contains two narratives in one: Lyra’s story and Gemma’s story. The stories can be read separately, one after the other, or in alternating chapters. The two distinct parts of this astonishing novel combine to produce an unforgettable journey.
Lyra’s story begins in the Haven Institute, a building tucked away on a private island off the coast of Florida that from a distance looks serene and even beautiful. But up close the locked doors, military guards, and biohazard suits tell a different story. In truth, Haven is a clandestine research facility where thousands of replicas, or human models, are born, raised, and observed. When a surprise attack is launched on Haven, two of its young experimental subjects — Lyra, or 24, and the boy known only as 72 — manage to escape.
Gemma has been in and out of hospitals for as long as she can remember. A lonely teen, her life is circumscribed by home, school, and her best friend, April. But after she is nearly abducted by a stranger claiming to know her, Gemma starts to investigate her family’s past and discovers her father’s mysterious connection to the secretive Haven research facility. Hungry for answers, she travels to Florida, only to stumble upon two replicas and a completely new set of questions.
While the stories of Lyra and Gemma mirror each other, each contains breathtaking revelations critically important to the other story. Using hotlinks in this electronic edition, readers can decide how they would like to read the book, as with the print version. They can read the story of Gemma or Lyra straight through first, followed by the other girl’s story, or they can move between chapters in Lyra’s and Gemma’s sections. No matter how it is read, Replica is an ambitious, thought-provoking masterwork.
Children of Eden by Joey Graceffa
25-year-old Joey Graceffa has captured the hearts of more than 8.3 million teens and young adults through his playful, sweet, and inspirational YouTube presence. Already a bestselling author with his memoir, In Real Life, Joey now presents his first novel, Children of Eden.
Rowan is a Second Child in a world where population control measures make her an outlaw, marked for death. She can never go to school, make friends, or get the eye implants that will mark her as a true member of Eden. Her kaleidoscope eyes will give her away to the ruthless Center government. Outside of Eden, Earth is poisoned and dead. All animals and most plants have been destroyed by a man-made catastrophe. Long ago, the brilliant scientist Aaron al Baz saved a pocket of civilization by designing the EcoPanopticon, a massive computer program that hijacked all global technology and put it to use preserving the last vestiges of mankind. Humans will wait for thousands of years in Eden until the EcoPan heals the world. As an illegal Second Child, Rowan has been hidden away in her family’s compound for 16 years. Now, restless and desperate to see the world, she recklessly escapes for what she swears will be only one night of adventure. Though she finds an exotic world, and even a friend, the night leads to tragedy. Soon Rowan becomes a renegade on the run — unleashing a chain of events that could change the world of Eden forever.
The Book of Joan by Lidia Yuknavitch
The bestselling author of The Small Backs of Children offers a vision of our near-extinction and a heroine — a reimagined Joan of Arc — poised to save a world ravaged by war, violence, and greed, and forever change history, in this provocative new novel.
In the near future, world wars have transformed the earth into a battleground. Fleeing the unending violence and the planet’s now-radioactive surface, humans have regrouped to a mysterious platform known as CIEL, hovering over their erstwhile home. The changed world has turned evolution on its head: The surviving humans have become sexless, hairless, pale-white creatures floating in isolation, inscribing stories upon their skin.
Out of the ranks of the endless wars rises Jean de Men, a charismatic and bloodthirsty cult leader who turns CIEL into a quasi-corporate police state. A group of rebels unite to dismantle his iron rule — galvanized by the heroic song of Joan, a child-warrior who possesses a mysterious force that lives within her and communes with the earth. When de Men and his armies turn Joan into a martyr, the consequences are astonishing. And no one — not the rebels, Jean de Men, or even Joan herself — can foresee the way her story and unique gift will forge the destiny of an entire world for generations.
A riveting tale of destruction and love found in the direst of places — even at the extreme end of post-human experience — Lidia Yuknavitch’s The Book of Joan raises questions about what it means to be human, the fluidity of sex and gender, and the role of art as a means for survival.
Release date: April 18
Borne by Jeff VanderMeer
“Am I a person?” Borne asked me.
“Yes, you are a person,” I told him. “But like a person, you can be a weapon, too.”
In Borne, a young woman named Rachel survives as a scavenger in a ruined city half destroyed by drought and conflict. The city is dangerous, littered with discarded experiments from the Company — a biotech firm now derelict — and punished by the unpredictable predations of a giant bear. Rachel ekes out an existence in the shelter of a run-down sanctuary she shares with her partner, Wick, who deals his own homegrown psychoactive biotech.
One day, Rachel finds Borne during a scavenging mission and takes him home. Borne as salvage is little more than a green lump — plant or animal? — but exudes a strange charisma. Borne reminds Rachel of the marine life from the island nation of her birth, now lost to rising seas. There is an attachment she resents: In this world any weakness can kill you. Yet, against her instincts — and definitely against Wick’s wishes — Rachel keeps Borne. She cannot help herself. Borne, learning to speak, learning about the world, is fun to be with, and in a world so broken that innocence is a precious thing. For Borne makes Rachel see beauty in the desolation around her. She begins to feel a protectiveness she can ill afford.
“He was born, but I had borne him.”
But as Borne grows, he begins to threaten the balance of power in the city and to put the security of her sanctuary with Wick at risk. For the Company, it seems, may not be truly dead, and new enemies are creeping in. What Borne will lay bare to Rachel as he changes is how precarious her existence has been, and how dependent on subterfuge and secrets. In the aftermath, nothing may ever be the same.
Release date: April 25
The Boy on the Bridge by M. R. Carey
Once upon a time, in a land blighted by terror, there was a very clever boy.
The people thought the boy could save them, so they opened their gates and sent him out into the world.
To where the monsters lived.
In The Boy on the Bridge, M. R. Carey returns to the world of his phenomenal USA Today and word-of-mouth bestseller, The Girl With All the Gifts, for the very first time.
Release date: May 2
Rebellion by Kass Morgan
It’s been a month since the new dropships landed and the rest of the Colonists joined the hundred on the ground. The teens, once branded juvenile delinquents, are now leaders among their people. It should be a time for celebration and togetherness, but a new threat appears before long: a fanatical cult determined to grow its ranks and “heal” the war-ravaged planet… by eliminating everyone else on it.
After scores of their friends are captured, CLARKE sets off to retrieve them, certain that she can come to an understanding with these strangers. BELLAMY has a different plan; he won’t let anything — or anyone — get in the way of saving the people he loves. Meanwhile, in captivity and scared for their lives, GLASS falls under the spell of the cult’s magnetic message, and WELLS has to learn how to lead again. Unless the rescue party arrives soon, the teen captives will face a fate more terrifying than anything they could imagine.
If the hundred ever want to call this dangerous planet home, they’ll need to put aside their differences and fight to protect themselves and their world.
The Final Day by William R. Forstchen
A major release in the New York Times bestselling One Second After series, set in an alternate America rebuilding after an electromagnetic pulse, this is William R. Forstchen’s The Final Day.
Since the detonation of nuclear weapons above the United States more than two years ago, the small town of Black Mountain, North Carolina has suffered famine, civil war, and countless deaths. Now, after defeating a new, tyrannical federal government, John Matherson and his community intend to restore their world to what it was before the EMP apocalypse. For the most part, they are succeeding.
This period of relative stability doesn’t last long. A new, aggressive government announces that it’s taking over and ceding large portions of the country to China and Mexico. The Constitution is no longer in effect, and what’s left of the U.S. Army has been deployed to suppress rebellion in the remaining states. John fears he and his town will be targets.
General Bob Scales, John’s old commanding officer and closest friend from prewar days, is sent to bring John into line. Will John and his people accept the new, autocratic regime? Or will revolution rip the fledgling nation apart at the seams?
Months before publication, William R. Forstchen’s novel One Second After was cited on the floor of Congress as a book all Americans should read. This third book in the series immerses readers once more in the story of our nation’s struggle to rebuild itself after an electromagnetic pulse wipes out all electricity and plunges the country into darkness, starvation, and death.
The Book of Etta by Meg Elison
In the gripping sequel to the Philip K. Dick Award-winning novel The Book of the Unnamed Midwife, one woman undertakes a desperate journey to rescue the future.
Etta comes from Nowhere, a village of survivors of the great plague that wiped away the world that was. In the world that is, women are scarce and childbearing is dangerous… yet desperately necessary for humankind’s future. Mothers and midwives are sacred, but Etta has a different calling. As a scavenger. Loyal to the village but living on her own terms, Etta roams the desolate territory beyond: salvaging useful relics of the ruined past and braving the threat of brutal slave traders, who are seeking women and girls to sell and subjugate.
When slavers seize those she loves, Etta vows to release and avenge them. But her mission will lead her to the stronghold of the Lion — a tyrant who dominates the innocent with terror and violence. There, with no allies and few weapons besides her wits and will, she will risk both body and spirit not only to save lives but also to liberate a new world’s destiny.
Alone by Scott Sigler
In the final installment of an exhilarating sci-fi adventure trilogy in the vein of The Hunger Games, Divergent, and Red Rising, Scott Sigler’s unforgettable heroine, Em Savage, must come to grips once and for all with the perilous mysteries of her own existence.
“We thought this place was our destiny — not our doom.”
Pawns in a millennia-old struggle, the young people known only as the Birthday Children were genetically engineered to survive on the planet Omeyocan —but they were never meant to live there. They were made to be “overwritten,” their minds wiped and replaced by the consciousnesses of the monsters who created them.
Em changed all of that.
She unified her people and led a revolt against their creators. Em and her friends escaped an ancient ghost ship and fled to Omeyocan. They thought they would find an uninhabited paradise. Instead, they found the ruins of a massive city long since swallowed by the jungle. And they weren’t alone. The Birthday Children fought for survival against the elements, jungle wildlife, the “Grownups” who created them… and, as evil corrupted their numbers, even against themselves.
With these opponents finally defeated, Em and her people realized that more threats were coming, traveling from across the universe to lay claim to their planet. The Birthday Children have prepared as best they can against this alien armada. Now, as the first ships reach orbit around Omeyocan, the final battle for the planet begins.
Release date: March 7
The First City by Joe Hart
In the thrilling conclusion to Joe Hart’s Dominion trilogy, Zoey discovers who she truly is — and who she must become.
Zoey has only ever known a world with few women and a society capable of unimaginable evil. Now she’s about to learn she may be the only hope it has for salvation.
After she and her companions flee a vicious attack, barely escaping with their lives, Zoey finds herself faced with a new threat: video evidence suggesting she is the mother of an unborn baby girl— and the key to mankind’s survival. Knowing that her former captors will stop at nothing to control the power that lies within her, Zoey sets out on her own for the last American city, Seattle, in search of answers. But a new enemy awaits her there, and the truth she seeks may lead to her destruction as well as that of all humankind.
This stunning finale, hailed by bestselling author Blake Crouch as a “rapturous, thought-provoking, [and] impossible-to-put-down thriller,” begs us all to consider what we would do when asked to choose between humanity’s survival — and our own.
Release date: March 28
Perfect by Cecelia Ahern
Celestine North lives in a society that demands perfection. After she was branded Flawed by a morality court, Celestine’s life has completely fractured — all her freedoms gone.
Since Judge Crevan has declared her the number one threat to the public, she has been a ghost, on the run with Carrick — the only person she can trust.
But Celestine has a secret — one that could bring the entire Flawed system crumbling to the ground. A secret that has already caused countless people to go missing.
Judge Crevan is gaining the upper hand, and time is running out for Celestine. With tensions building, Celestine must make a choice: Save just herself or to risk her life to save all Flawed people.
And, most important of all, can she prove that to be human in itself is to be Flawed?
Release date: April 4
The Adjustment by Suzanne Young
Tatum Masterson never went through The Program. She never had her memory stripped, never had to fight to remain herself. But when Weston, her longtime boyfriend and love of her life, was taken by handlers, she hoped he’d remember her somehow — that their love would be strong enough.
Like all returners, Weston came back a blank canvas. The years he and Tatum spent together were forgotten, as well as the week when he mysteriously disappeared before The Program came for him.
Regardless of his memory loss, Tatum fights to get Weston to remember her. And just as they start to build a new love, they hear about the Adjustment — a new therapy that implants memories from a donor. Despite the risks, Tatum and Weston agree to go through the process. Tatum donates her memories from their time together.
But the problem with memories is that they are all a matter of perspective. So although Weston can now remember dating Tatum, his emotions don’t match the experiences. And this discrepancy is slowly starting to unravel him, worse than anything The Program could have done.
And as the truth of their life together becomes clear, Tatum will have to decide if she loves Weston enough to let him go, or to continue to live the lie they’d build together.
Prepare for your Adjustment.
Release date: April 18
Which of these books do you plan to read? Share in the comments!
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