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5 Post-Apocalyptic Sci-Fi Thriller Books Like Bird Box

By: Hidden Gems on January 15, 2019

Hidden Gems Books ARC service.

By: Hidden Gems on January 15, 2019


Here are five recent recommendations similar to the hit post-apocalyptic thriller Bird Box.

Netflix recently released a fantastic post-apocalyptic movie called Bird Box, starring Sandra Bullock and John Malkovich. The movie was based on the 2014 novel by Josh Malerman, lead singer of The High Strung (they wrote the theme tune to Shameless) and the New York Times described it as: “A book that demands to be read in a single sitting, and through the cracks between one’s fingers. There has never been a horror story quite like this.”

We highly recommend Bird Box – but if you’ve already read it, here are some more recent post-apocalyptic and near-future thrillers that will also leave you on the edge of your seat.

Written By Blood: Conviction by Dwayne GillWritten By Blood: Conviction by Dwayne Gill

The Written by Blood series is the work of author Dwayne Gill, who envisioned the concept when he was just twelve years old, and brought it to the page years and years later in the form of an action-packed near-future science fiction thriller.

Part One follows the adventures of the world’s deadliest assassin, Cane, as he struggles to adapt to ‘regular’ life following the dissolution of his agency; and stumbles into a global conspiracy after he follows an interesting new lead.

The Book Review Directory described the first novel in this series as: “perfect for fans of hard science fiction and spy thrillers alike, particularly action aficionados who enjoy the Jason Bourne series. In a genre where authors can sometimes forgo one for another, Gill ratchets up both the adrenaline and the suspense, weaving a tale that is sure to have readers coming back for more.”

Reviewer Mallory A. Haws from The Haunted Reading Room Reviews gave the book 5-stars, writing: “If your particular taste is nonstop, breathtaking, action thrillers with tuned-up science in a near-futuristic setting; and if you also enjoy conspiracy theory dilemmas; take a look right here. This novel will blow you out of the water, because it is jam-packed full with all of that. I hardly took a breath during my reading. Just whenever I thought something had been straightened out, I was wrong…more action, more breathtaking suspense; and that reader’s hook! Totally awesome! (Tragic, yet awesome) And the series rolls on!”

“Get the 3 prequels and read those first,” reviewer Al K recommends in his 5-star review (you can find the prequels here). “Now that I have, I can’t wait for more. If you like action and a story that also has the characters who are real and have strength but are people with souls buy this book. This is a winner. Dwayne is one of my new favorite authors. This should be made into a movie.

The Gender Game by Bella ForrestThe Gender Game by Bella Forrest

I’ll admit, the #1 Best Seller tag gets a little less impressive the further and further down the subcategories you go, but given the immense competition in hard science fiction, Bella Forrest’s novel fought hard for the top slot in Genetic Engineering Science Fiction eBooks on Amazon. 

Set in a post-apocalyptic future, the world has been divided into the kingdoms of Matrus and Patrus – in which women rule the former, and are subjugated in the latter. The tale follows 19-year-old Violent as she tries to locate her missing brother and bring peace to her tumultuous existence.

In her 5-star review, Customer writes: “This book delves deep into the characters, politics, and daily life in a unique dystopia. It provides enough emotional and logical connections that you feel you can not only understand but belong to this world right alongside the protagonist. In a genre flooding with competing titles, this book carves itself out as one of the greats. It stands right alongside Divergent, Matched, the Giver, and others while not quite coming close to the mastery of political allegory that is the Hunger Games.)

Popcorn reads gave a similar 5-star review, writing: “This long-range dystopian series is all about political oppression as well as the long-term effects of cataclysmic nuclear war. At the same time, it’s very personal with strong female and male characters who I found highly-relatable, very interesting relationships of all kinds, and a story line that moves like lightning. I recommend it wholeheartedly.

Blackout: Still Surviving by Boyd Craven III Blackout: Still Surviving by Boyd Craven III 

The first book in the Still Surviving series sees a tough and rugged ‘prepper’ (somebody who prepares for disaster) on the run from the law when he has to raise money for his grandfather’s surgery. Author Boyd Craven is an avid hunter and fisherman and uses his own interest and expertise to great effect in making the experiences of our protagonist vividly realistic.

Reviewer Valerian8 wrote: “Craven has put together a great story that focuses on a rural area that faces uncertainty after a disaster strikes. Fortunately, the main character (Wes) was raised by frugal grandparents who taught him some helpful skills, including how to make moonshine. That may seem odd – but it is a great plot addition in what turns into a tale that could foretell a future any of us regular folk could face. My biggest disappointment was that the story ended.”

grammyshere gave the book 5-stars in her review, writing: “Moonshine and prepping – who knew what a great combination this can be. His books are fun, informative and always exciting. And how I want some of grandma’s tart lemonade w ‘extra’ goodness. Wes and his very smart puppy Raider are excellent ‘heroes’, both showing exceptional common sense with the ability to listen and learn. From the first page to the last, I was wrapped up in down-home life in rural Arkansas. Already anxious for the next.”

Alone by Robert J. CraneAlone by Robert J. Crane

Over a million copies of Robert J. Crane’s books have been sold to date, and that looks like it’s not slowing down with the recent release of the first book in the Girl in the Box series. Alone follows 17-year-old Sienna as she flees the malevolent intentions of the shadowy Directorate agency, and the clutches of psychotic killer Wolfe.

Jack Murphy, one of Amazon’s top reviewers in the Fantasy Books category, is a fan of this book and writes: “I found Robert Cranes book engrossing, perhaps because the main character wasn’t your typical little girl please feel sorry for me type. Instead she’s a tough as nails young woman, with a smart-alec attitude, but she still managed to act with the carelessness of an inexperienced youth.”

In her 5-star review, Kindle Customer admits to starting off a little skeptical but soon coming around: “I have to say that at the beginning of the book I wasn’t sure I’d like it. Teenagers with special powers and snappy attitudes are hardly rare in today’s fiction. However by the time a seriously bad meta named Wolfe, (a three thousand year old being who, along with his two brothers, was the basis for the myth of Cerberus the three-headed dog guarding the entrance to hell) tries to grab her, I found myself totally hooked. Mr. Crane writes some absolutely killer action scenes and just when I thought I had a lock on where the story was going it changed.”

NanoMorphosis by Marla L. AndersonNanoMorphosis by Marla L. Anderson

The irony of science fiction is that much of what we once considered outlandish is now becoming reality – and that poses some sinister implications given the near-future technology features in Marla L. Anderson’s novel NanoMorphosis.

At the heart of this story is nanotechnology – tiny robots – and the potential they have to help or hinder humanity – but throw in aliens and space travel and everything comes at you hard and fast in a manner that ensures the “tension in the book builds slowly from beginning to end, like a bicycle racing downhill.”

Reviewer Robert G. Williscroft gave the book 5-stars, writing: “Anderson includes interstellar travel, presenting a plausible scientific basis for travel through hyperspace, habitable alien worlds, militant aliens with their own mode of interstellar travel, greedy, self-seeking corporations, even a global government and a world-encompassing church. We also experience what it might feel like to blend both body and mind while making love. Anderson builds a surprising twist into the fabric of her tale that I suspect you will not see coming. This is a good yarn, fit for any hard science fiction fan.”

JTC gave the book the same rating in his review, praising the quality of its world-building – which is often one of the biggest challenges sci-fi authors face. “An incredible depth of detail that goes into building the world of NanoMorphosis. It starts with an compelling premise and creates exactly the right amount of suspense to keep you turning the pages. Cadmon is equally tragic and horrifying as an antagonist. You also feel empathy for Daniel in his single-minded pursuit to finish the work his parents started and confront his own demons from his tragic past along the way.”

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