Can you believe it’s already time for the very last Book Unicorn post of the Sapphic Reading Challenge? This year sure flew by!
This last category features sapphic dystopian, post-apocalyptic, or apocalyptic books. These terms are often used interchangeably, but they are actually distinct subgenres.
In an apocalyptic book, a devastating disaster or war happens that makes society as we know it collapse.
Post-apocalyptic fiction is set in the aftermath of that disaster and focuses on the individual’s struggle to survive in a devastated world.
Dystopian fiction is set in a future society that is oppressive. It usually has a political element, e.g., the fight against a government that needs to be overthrown.
Send in your reading lists to be entered into the giveaway!
Next week, I’ll post the very last Sapphic Reading Challenge post, so the time to send in your reading lists is quickly approaching. The deadline to be entered into the big giveaway is December 31, at 10 am German time, so my advice would be to send in your list of books you read in 2021 on December 30 or sooner!
15 sapphic dystopian or (post-)apocalyptic books
I put together a list of 15 sapphic dystopian or (post-)apocalyptic books. I hope you find a few new favorites!
Darkness Falls by KC Luck
When four women from different walks of life are brought together by fate to witness the end of the world as they know it, each must find a way to survive against the odds as well as learn to rely on each other.
Jackie Scott wields incredible influence as a magazine executive in Seattle. As she plans a smashing party for her fortieth birthday, everything is precisely as she wants it. But when a solar storm lights up the night sky in a dazzling display, it not only ruins the party but destroys power around the planet and Jackie must turn for help from the one woman she has tried so hard not to want … Taylor.
Taylor Barnes is an Army veteran new to Seattle and wants nothing more than to find some peace and quiet working as a rent-a-cop in a corporate high-rise. When she is asked to attend the birthday party of the building’s powerful and sexy CEO, she can hardly say no. Little did she realize every skill she ever learned would be put to the test to save the woman she can’t seem to stop thinking about … Jackie.
Anna Patten is a nurse practitioner who has returned one last time to the town she ran away from to pack up the house where she grew up. Trying to avoid any drama, she cannot get away fast enough, or so she tells herself while her heart wonders about her high school crush. When fate lands them together in Seattle at a birthday party, suddenly Anna must lean on the woman she once left behind … Lexi.
Lexi Scott has built a simple life of writing novels and remodeling her farmhouse, but when she runs into a long-lost friend, her world is turned upside down. It’s not until she attends her sister Jackie’s birthday party that she is forced to not only face the apocalypse but now she must decide if she is willing to risk her heart again to save the only woman she ever loved … Anna.
The end of the world is only the beginning.
Survival Instincts by May Dawney
Civilization ended long before Lynn Tanner was born. Wild animals roam the streets, but mankind is still the biggest threat to a woman alone in the ruins of a world reclaimed by nature. Lynn survives by sleeping with one eye open at all times and trusting no one but her dog.
When she is forced to go on a dangerous journey through the concrete jungle of New York City, Lynn does all she can to scheme her way to safety. Her guard, Dani Wilson, won’t be played that easily, however. As their lives become entwined, Lynn finds herself developing feelings for Dani and is forced to find the answer to the question that scares her most: is staying alone really the best way to survive?
Fast-paced and full of adventure, Survival Instincts introduces a post-war dystopian world where the only person you can rely on is yourself…unless you fall in love.
Ride for Tomorrow by Linda K. Silva
First there was the outbreak…
As the virus sweeps across the United States claiming more and more victims, butch firefighter Dallas was sure death was coming for her, too. Only it never did. Of course, that doesn’t mean its deranged, bloodthirsty horde won’t…
Dallas and a hodgepodge gang of new friends know that to survive the world, they must shut themselves off from it. But with constant misdirection from the government, a frightening decree of martial law, rogue military leaders, and—oh yeah—a roaming drove of hungry zombies, that task could prove pretty damned difficult.
Will they make it out with their lives and sanity intact? Or will they end up as meals on wheels for a hungry zombie?
Love and Chaos by Poppy Woods
The second collapse changed the world forever.
Cris has spent her entire life in her Tribe. Safe from the pollution that still clings to more populated areas, they grow crops to sell in the Cities, they hunt for their meat, and they take care of their own. Their rural way of life ensures the politics of the Cities doesn’t reach them.
Until one day, it does.
Like all orphans, Love Ward was conscripted into the Venus Guard as a child. She has done her best to take the opportunity and make it into a career, something she can be proud of. The Venus Guard is her family.
But the New Republic has secrets, the kind of secrets that can get a low-ranking officer like Love reassigned and even killed if she’s not careful.
When chaos erupts around them, the two women find themselves at odds but with only each other to rely on. Their shared past and the growing attraction between them can only serve as a distraction as they fight for their lives.
Can a guard from the Cities and a girl from the Tribes expose the New Republic’s dirty secrets?
Can they change their world without losing their lives—or their hearts?
Smoketown by Tenea D. Johnson
The city of Leiodare is unlike any other in the post-climate change United States. Within its boundaries, birds are outlawed and what was once a crater in Appalachia is now a tropical, glittering metropolis where Anna Armour is waiting. An artist by passion and a factory worker by trade, Anna is a woman of special gifts. She has chosen this beautiful, traumatized city to wait for the woman she’s lost, the one she believes can save her from her troubled past and uncertain future.
When one night Anna creates life out of thin air and desperation, no one is prepared for what comes next – not Lucine, a smooth talking soothsayer with plans for the city; Lucine’s brother Eugenio who has designs of his own; Seife, a star performer in the Leiodaran cosmos; or Rory, a forefather of the city who’s lived through outbreak, heartbreak, and scandal. Told through their interlocking stories, Smoketown delves into the invisible connections that rival magic, and the cost of redemption.
Bigger Monsters by Eliza Andrews
Who would you be during the zombie apocalypse — the hunter or the hunted?
Some zombie apocalypse stories are full of fighting and gore and dramatic battles and narrow escapes.
If that’s the kind of zombie tale you’re looking for, look elsewhere, because this is not that story.
This is a zombie apocalypse story about the choices we’re faced with when trying to survive. Specifically, it’s about Willow (just call her Will), her dysfunctional mother, and the fiancé who recently cheated on her. When the three of them stumble across a post-apocalyptic vegan hippie commune in the mountains of North Carolina, they think they’ve found a true utopia. (Well, except for the veganism. And all the hippies.)
The community takes them in without realizing that Will and her companions are harboring a dark secret — a secret Will, her mom, and her fiancé will do almost anything to keep hidden.
But when mother nature transforms their new utopia into a dystopia, Will and the community she’s with face some hard choices. Ultimately, no matter what the survivors each believe about themselves, they are reminded that the only real choice you can make in a zombie apocalypse is the choice between being the hunter or the hunted.
There’s not a lot in between.
In the Midst of Tribulation by Mary Griggs
Long suspicious that the world was going to go up in flames, Jay has retreated to remote Northern California and lived off the grid for years. She didn’t want to be right—but she was.
When the war ended, it was clear nobody had won. Susan knows only one place where she and her extended family might be safe: with Jay, her ex. Desperate and frightened, the refugees rely heavily on their friend Piper, who agrees to make the journey with them.
After a ragged reunion, Jay is willing to take in the newcomers, but the only way they will survive on the land is if they all work and sacrifice. It is easier said than done, especially when old feelings—and new ones—break the fragile peace and threaten them all.
The Three by Meghan O’Brien
Two lovers, Elin and Kael, struggle to survive in a post-apocalyptic world where disease, lawless marauders, and fanatics threaten their existence. When the two befriend Anna, another survivor, the fabric of their lives and the family they have made shifts in ways that challenge each woman to redefine the boundaries of love and friendship.
For in order to prevail, the two must become…The Three, and ultimately Anna and Kael must find a way to save the woman they both love.
The Sisterhood Season One by Tali Inlow
Boarding school girls, now grown and formidable women, navigate a post-apocalyptic landscape and their odds-defying love for one another.
Follow the Sisterhood before and after the end of the world in this split timeline, serialized adventure!
Rabbits of the Apocalypse by Benny Lawrence
Rabbits of the Apocalypse is set in a not-too-distant future plagued with drought, human trafficking, rabid religious groups, and people who completely lack a sense of humor. What with all the hunger, chaos, sunstroke, landmines, and radiation it’s hard to get by, and harder still to get laid.
In the remote desert town of Lafontaine, Casey Prentice has been trying to survive the endtimes by keeping her head down and refusing to give a damn about anyone except her younger sister Emily and wingman Malice Hiroyama. But that ceases to be an option when a powerful and mysterious entity known as the Anastasian League descends on the town.
Casey offers shelter to genius Pax, who is trying to escape the League. In doing so, she invites a whole new kind of danger into her life on top of a budding romance. The town of Lafontaine has a secret . . . and if the League discovers it, then the apocalypse will be the least of Casey’s worries.
The Rise of the Resistance: Phoenix One by Jackie D
The year is 2088 and the bones of American democracy have been left sweltering in the ashes of a hostile takeover. Sixty-five years before, four carefully chosen individuals in the Phoenix Program were cryogenically frozen until the time was right for them to combine forces and restore the government. That time is now.
Arrow Steele has trained her whole life to bring the Phoenix Program to fruition, but no amount of training could have prepared her for Phoenix One herself, Kaelyn Trapp, or the attraction neither one of them can deny.
Kaelyn’s destiny is to navigate the new world and bring America back to some semblance of a country the Founding Fathers had envisioned. That is, if Arrow can get them to safety. The only thing that stands in their way is thousands of miles and a militarized government.
Arrow and Kaelyn carry the fate of their country on their shoulders. Love couldn’t possibly have come at a more inconvenient time, but with their mission and their lives in jeopardy, love may be what matters most.
Vanished by Eden Darry
First came the storm, and then the blinding white light that made everyone in town disappear. Everyone except Ellery, Loveday, Rocky the dog, and Claude, Loveday’s big ginger cat. The light brought something else, too, something that isn’t human. Plagued by prophetic dreams that signal the end of the world, Ellery and Loveday set out across the country to save a girl they’ve never met who just might be humanity’s last hope.
Rosemary Decker, leader of the Children of the Ark, wants the girl too. Except she wants her dead. Rosemary’s seen the end of the world coming and has been preparing for years. She’s going to make a new world in her own image, and nothing’s going to stand in her way.
Another storm is coming and not everyone will survive it.
The Renegade by Amy Dunne
In this post-apocalyptic world, you have a choice: survive as a slave or fight for your freedom.
The Red Death pandemic wiped out most of the human population, and the world that remains is dangerous and unforgiving. Survivor Alex Clarke and her companions are rescued after a vicious attack and welcomed into the Rapture’s Haven Camp. Although given medical treatment, food, shelter, and protection, Alex senses something sinister lurking beneath the camp’s friendly exterior.
Camp medic Evelyn Bennett is instinctively drawn to Alex and warns her that the camp is a dangerous cult and the women are slaves. While planning to escape, their secret relationship is discovered. Escape is no longer possible. They must fight for their freedom—or die trying.
In Dyer Need by Claire Highton-Stevenson
Ren Dyer is at the pinnacle of her career. Newly appointed as head of the protection team for Home Secretary Andrea Fielding, she is a woman focused only on her job.
Andrea Fielding is a woman who is looking for love and finding it in all the wrong places.
When the worst happens and the world changes dramatically around them, will Andrea finally see what’s been right in front of her all along?
On the road, together with a group of people that includes Andrea’s ex, Dutch Foreign Minister Marja Stegenga, they must try to reach the safety of HQ at the other end of the country.
For Ren Dyer, it is simple: keep her safe.
For Andrea Fielding, it’s anything but…
As protocols shift and rules go out the window, will Ren see there is more to life than work, and will Andrea finally find the love she is searching for?
The Others by Annette Mori
As a seer and brilliant scientist, Em convinces her wife, Lise, to prepare for the inevitable conclusion, after the chaos caused by foreign countries attacking the United States. Leaving behind a wake of destruction and a new world order. Forcing them to navigate a frightening reality.
After ten months in their cozy bomb shelter, they emerge to a world where the vegetation is surprisingly unaffected. Should they band together with other survivors or try to make it on their own? There are others in this unknown world. On the first day outside of their shelter, they meet members of an alternate society. Are they friend or foe? Change is inevitable. But will they change in ways Em and Lise can live with, or will this altered world change them into something unrecognizable?
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Leave a comment and let us know which book you’ll be reading or have read for the “dystopian or (post-)apocalyptic book” category!
The 2022 Reading Challenge: Sapphic Book Bingo
There will be a year-long reading challenge in 2022 too! I’m running a Sapphic Book Bingo with two bingo cards to choose from. Make sure you subscribe to my blog to get the Sapphic Book Bingo posts sent to your in-box starting on January 1!