Bestselling books with ‘girl’ in the title
The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo, Gone Girl, Girl on the Train, The Girl with all the Gifts, The Girl in the Red Coat, The Girl Who Lied – all been flying off the shelves, or rushing through the download ether. By the way, I have read them all and liked them.
So if you are an author at a loose end, not knowing what to write about, you should think about a young female lead (she doesn’t need to be a heroine, even though I would welcome it, she can be psychologically challenged or simply an alcoholic, even a child will do) and stick ‘girl’ somewhere in the title. And off into bestselling orbit, you should go. Oh, also make sure it is a page turner. The competition is stiff and you’ll be compared with the other ‘girl’ books.
Why do I go on about this on a dystopian blog you might wonder? Well, I wanted to present ‘The Girl with all the Gifts’ by M. R. Carey, one of the best zombie novels ever written. This is the ‘girl’ novel with the apocalyptic fix (you know what I mean), you really ought to read. It is utterly unique and stands head above shoulders in a genre that seems to attract the most talentless of writers.
More notable dystopian ‘girl’ books
And while we are on the subject of apocalyptic fiction featuring girls in the lead, the wonderful Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel is another must-read book by an exceptionally gifted writer.
And it is not just me saying it. To prove it, Emily St. John Mandel has a handful of credentials to her name, among them: WINNER OF THE ARTHUR C. CLARKE AWARD 2015, as well as, New York Times Bestseller.
And last but not least, there is my favorite zombie book of all times: The Reapers are the Angels by Alden Bell. I have written a review a while back which you can read here.
If you have written a dystopian, apocalyptic or crime book with or without girl in the title and need a good book cover designer, Jacqueline Abromeit at goodcoverdesign.co.uk should be able to help.
Parasite; The True Story of the Zombie Apocalypse by Doug Ward
It has been a while since I have seen a semicolon in a title, but hey, just because I don’t really know where they have to go…
Harry, a workaholic entomologist, barely a lose limb away from Asbergers, turns hero motivated by wanting to rescue his wife Melissa who is stuck at her nine-to-five when the dead rise.
At times it is as amateurish and childish as the cover suggest. Dual narrative doesn’t really give another perspective, nor voice. Characterisation is thinner as a bug’s leg. And having said all that, just like the cover, it is not without talent. Action and settings are great – as long as nobody thinks or speaks too much it flows along nicely.
It is one of the few free-bees I finished because, almost to my surprise, I found myself wanting to know what happens next. I wasn’t curious enough to pay money for part 2, but wouldn’t blame anyone who does.
Nod by Adrian Barnes
Full marks for originality. Nod is a one person’s account of what happens when everybody, apart from himself and a bunch of kids, fails to be able to sleep. Well, nothing good. Maybe I would have liked the book better if it was another person’s account? I don’t know. Not that I disliked it. If I would give away stars on Amazon, I would have given a generous 4 and 3 of those would have been for the collective insomnia idea. Love the cover though!
I Have Waited, And You Have Come by Martine McDonagh
Madness, obsession and bad weather. Now, what does that remind me of…? Never mind, this is great stuff. Rachel is alone in a stormy future, in a society that has gone back to somewhere between medieval and biblical times. Excellent writing – I loved it!
Dear me, my reviews are so short I should twitter. Only, nothing good ever came out of twitter…
Cold Earth by Sarah Moss
Sarah Moss is one of my favourite authors and her début novel Cold Earth is right down my apocalyptic alleyway. It is tense, ice-cold, and like everything else by Sarah Moss, a real pleasure to read!
Reapers Are the Angels by Alden Bell
For some, The Reapers Are The Angels is the best zombie novel ever written, and I wholeheartedly agree. Not only is it the best zombie book, but one of the best pieces of fiction I’ve ever read, full stop. The story follows Temple, a sixteen-year-old girl who has never known a world without zombies, or meatskins as she calls them. But do not worry – this is not young adult or a coming of age book (not that there is anything wrong with YA) – this is dystopia in its full gory!
Thankfully without gratuitous violence, rape and questionable politics of which I have found more than enough in some other zombie reads. Temple having survived on her own by mainly seeking solitude and keeping on the move when necessary, saves the life of a simple man who becomes her charge. In an effort to find a safe place for her helpless companion we meet a host of characters – some good, some bad, most already dead… I don’t want to give away too much, so best just read it yourself. It is fantastically well written, nicely paced and will blow you away…
Outpost by Adam Baker
I especially liked the setting. The end of the world happens while folks are stuck on an arctic outpost – at the end of the world.
This had everything you want in an apocalyptic read… …nothing more, nothing less.
The Dog Stars by Peter Heller
I loved this book. It is zombie-like dystopian- the struggle for survival, fighting over scarce resources and the thread of mindless violence.
There’s also a dog (good!) and a Cessna – what is it with Cessnas and apocalyptic fiction? They’ve been featuring in at least 4 books I’ve read so far – maybe I should get one? Never mind, it is an outstanding good read! It had me in tears…
Bleeding Kansas The SAGA of the DEAD SILENCER by L Roy Aiken
This one is utterly bleak. The humour so dark you need a torch to find the funny bits. OK, a decent zombie novel is by its very nature not exactly fluffy lighthearted fun, but I don’t remember having ever read anything this cynical. Different, shocking and I think I like it..!? If you despair of humankind, Bleeding Kansas won’t change your mind. And I’ve never been and I never will go to Kansas.
By the way, I still have the original cover 🙂 I am glad the author put his hands in his pockets and invested in a professionally designed cover, or honed up on his skills.
ps I read this some time ago before book 2 and 3 came along. Let’s see what happen next in book 2…