Looking for the Best Dystopian Books to read? Dystopian literature provides several most apparent cultural critiques, and we adore them for this. Reading about oppressive authorities regimes – or possibly a giant mind telepathically controlling a whole world – stokes the fire in our spirits. And seeing citizens rebel against the status quo provides hope for its near future, even if this rebellion proved ineffective.
Therefore, if you’re trying to find your new favorite dystopian book, we have you covered. Pennbook has assembled the best new Dystopian novels, ranging from modern Young Adult sagas to classics from pros such as George Orwell and Margaret Atwood.
Table of Contents
- 1 Top Rated Best Dystopian Novels To Read
- 1.1 Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich
- 1.2 Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
- 1.3 Secondborn by Amy A. Bartol
- 1.4 A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.
- 1.5 Unwind by Neal Shusterman
- 1.6 He, She and It by Marge Piercy
- 1.7 The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
- 1.8 World War Z by Max Brooks
- 1.9 The Girl with the All Gifts by M. R. Carey
- 1.10 Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman (2001)
- 1.11 The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh (2018)
- 1.12 Anthem by Ayn Rand (1938)
- 1.13 Red Rising by Pierce Brown (2014)
- 1.14 The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin (1971)
- 1.15 Wool by Hugh Howey (2011)
- 1.16 Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson (1992)
- 1.17 Delirium by Lauren Oliver
- 1.18 The Maze Runner by James Dashner
- 1.19 Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
- 1.20 The Time Machine by H. G. Wells
- 1.21 The Giver by Lois Lowry
- 1.22 We by Yevgeny Zamyatin
- 1.23 The Children of Men by P. D. James
- 1.24 The Road by Cormac McCarthy
- 1.25 Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
- 1.26 The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
- 1.27 A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
- 1.28 Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (1953)
Top Rated Best Dystopian Novels To Read
Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich
Erdrich’s brilliant book – her sixteenth-depicts a long run where development has started running in reverse: a brand new life has been born cruder than before. While looking for her biological origins, a pregnant girl starts writing a journal for the unborn child.
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy invest their adolescence in a high English boarding school, held away from the external world. Just after Ruth and Tommy escape do they find why they have been isolated. Ishiguro’s insecure tour-de-force is a poignant coming-of-age narrative about sacrifice, impermanence, and precisely what it means to be human.
Secondborn by Amy A. Bartol
On Transition Day at the Fates Republic, the next child of each family is accepted by the authorities and made to serve the elite firstborns or join the military. When Roselle St. Sismode is called to the army, all eyes are on her – her mother’s elite standing has made her something of a star – that signifies her decision to spare the lifespan of an enemy observed and judged by all.
A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.
At a post-apocalyptic Utah, a monk of the Order of Saint Leibowitz finds ancient relics apparently from the life span of Leibowitz himself. And during those artifacts, which illuminate the type of lifetime Leibowitz led to his fallout shelter, the monks begin to know where and how humanity went wrong so many decades back.
Unwind by Neal Shusterman
After another civil war in America – pro-choice, pro-life on another – the Bill of Life says human life starts at conception, makes abortion illegal, but allows for a process referred to as “unwinding,” a method for parents to get rid of a kid when they are between the ages of 13-18. Unwind follows three adolescents who jump for unwinding who eventually become runaways, deciding to rescue their lives.
“I have a tendency to see YA Dystopia, and this summer I was introduced to Unwind by Neal Shusterman and loved it – and with the diplomatic argument ramping up in the US, it sounds unbelievably relevant at the moment.” – Elizabeth Sughrueu
He, She and It by Marge Piercy
Following her marriage’s dissolution, Shira Shipman loses her son into a considerable company that simplifies the zone that she takes home. She contributes to Tikva, the free city she grew up in, to live with the grandmother who raised her – and while there, she meets with an outstanding person who also appears to be a cyborg.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Between the Hulu television series and the current sequel, Margaret Atwood’s contemporary classic The Handmaid’s Tale is undergoing a surge in popularity. Following the collapse of the USA, the theocratic patriarchal society Gilead is presently in power. Because of an outbreak of infertility, the majority of the elite girls can’t have kids.
Instead, they utilize handmaids, girls of the lower caste made to submit to men to bear children. Handmaid’s Tale is written as the journal of one handmaiden, Offred, as she struggles to live in a brutal society, hoping to one-day getaway. This is one of the best Dystopian novels for adults to read.
World War Z by Max Brooks
Composed as an oral history of the Zombie War, Brooks divides the book into a set of short stories, interviews of survivors of this war. Each narrative focuses on a snippet of this battle by the discovery of Patient Zero into the invasion of Japan shifts people. Brooks expertly narrates every personality to communicate a varied overview of a literary world event.
Do not allow the notion of zombies or Brad Pitt’s “meh” movie adaptation to set you off, the publication (as well as the full-cast audiobooks are five-star read one of the famous dystopian novels.
The Girl with the All Gifts by M. R. Carey
Young Melanie does not quite comprehend why she has to be escorted to school by armed guards, or her teacher appears so gloomy when Melanie talks concerning the long run. She does not see that she’s exceptionally particular – a zombie kid but using genius-level IQ. Unless she has too near the characteristic odor and loses most of the self-control, can this amazing zombie kid bring the remedy that humankind badly needs?
Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman (2001)
We mentioned that Malorie Blackman’s award-winning show portrays another 21st-century Britain beset by racial tension and violent eruptions. Sephy is a Cross: dark-skinned and lovely, living a privileged life. Callum is a Nought: pale-skinned and bad. They fall in love, and things do not work out entirely to program a narrative that appears to increase in influence and prestige with each year.
The Water Cure by Sophie Mackintosh (2018)
A household lives on an isolated island, with fled society to prevent illness’ that appears strangely connected to guys. When a ship of man stowaways lands on their shore, the sisters are fearful, but finally, through their very own untethered curiosity, welcome them. With their father to direct them whose whereabouts are also threatening, their newfound partners cause threat. An outstanding debut that has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2018.
Anthem by Ayn Rand (1938)
Fans of this Hunger Games and The Divergent series will recognize several similar topics within this contemporary classic. First released in 1938, the narrative explores a world in which individualism is prohibited, and its people operate as collectives, delegated their rightful location by The Council of Vocations.
Our hero, Equality 7-2521, understands he’s different and tries to locate his vocation and fall in love. It’s a narrative highlighting the requirement for us to maintain our individuality, individualism, and the significant battle for equality.
Red Rising by Pierce Brown (2014)
Red Rising, the first publication in Pierce Brown’s sci-fi set of the same name, introduces readers into an interstellar caste system made from nightmares. In the all-powerful Golds who rule over the world into the humble Reds who participate under the Martian surface, everybody is born into a particular part of society. When Darrow finds the terrible truths behind his presence as a Red, he combines a plot to rip the Golds’ rule. Brown delivers a narrative that is as violent as it’s attractive, slowly showing the Golds’ twisted machinations to perpetuate a mysterious society.
The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin (1971)
The Lathe of Heaven starts in a horrible future and tumbles into worse. Ursula K. Le Guin employs a lonely protagonist, George Orr, to peel back the skin of fact and question how profoundly we could determine the length of our lives. Plagued by the belief that his fantasies transform time and space, Orr abuses drugs, which has him relegated to essential drug programs in a controlled society. Orr refers to a therapist, who appears for a famed sleep researcher using a machine that could better attest Orr’s fantasy power, enabling Orr to change the already-dystopian forces of background irrevocably.
However, the more Orr tries to control his lifetime; the higher his decisions devastate everything he had been attempting to alter. His destiny is finally recognizing that he’d had much of a choice in any way.
Wool by Hugh Howey (2011)
Among the significant success stories of this self-publishing sector, Hugh Howey’s first novella was followed by four books that compose Wool’s novel-length narrative. The book occurs at one giant silo, where tens of thousands of individuals work and live and take for granted they can never depart. The story starts with a sheriff investigating the mystery of the wife’s departure and expands until the existential mysteries are shown.
Like all fantastic dystopian works, Howey instills his narrative with the same questions that plague us now: How can we balance security and liberty? How can we react to an authority which does not have the interests of its people in our mind? What can we risk in pursuit of these facts? And Howey is a master of the slow show, every publication peeling back the shrouds out of the people who have dropped their particular history.
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson (1992)
In Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson supposes technology pushing us ahead as a part of excavating the past, wherein secrets to reshaping the future lay buried in the origins of speech – believe the Tower of Babel. Stephenson’s potential entails an anarcho-capitalist hellscape bound together by greed and also a sort of Web 2.0, the Metaverse, by which anyone wrong, inducing technological acumen or an immigrant, is doomed to flail toward a meaningless death. Stephenson piles his plot with car chases and sword fighting and other high-seas experience.
Still, in its center, Snow Crash is an in-depth exploration of technology and class -specifically, how technology will neglect to provide power to people who want it most.
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Delirium is a young adult, a dystopian novel published in 2011 with an engaging storyline. Lena, a young woman, falls in love in a society in which love is regarded as a disorder that’s often known as “Deliria.” The narrative is set at a period after decades of acute bombings. The government has a surgical treatment for this disorder. Lena falls in love a couple of months before her scheduled procedure. The narrative revolves around Lena simplifying this battle. The publication was a New York Times bestseller.
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
The Maze Runner is a fast-paced, thrilling post-apocalyptic science fiction novel that was printed in 2009. The protagonist, Thomas, wakes up in an elevator that takes him to The Glade. He also has no memory of his lifetime. The Glade is a futuristic giant maze that homes animals with arms. The Maze Runner has received many accolades and is among the top dystopian novels.
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
It is set, later on, calling an imperiled society following conflicts using an insectoid alien species. Kids are trained to fight an alleged invasion by those species. The publication explores interplanetary space flights and exotic species. The paper has received criticism and appreciation both equally. It’s an excellent fantasy fiction book that can transport you to a different time and space.
The Time Machine by H. G. Wells
The Time Machine is considering the first works of science fiction under the subgenre “Time Travel.” H.G. Wells has brilliantly scripted a scheme in which an English scientist examines his time machine, which requires him to A.D. 802,701. He travels into a modern society consisting of Eloi, a bunch of childlike adults. This is a classic in the genre of dystopian sci-fi books.
The Giver by Lois Lowry
The Giver is a 1993 American young adult dystopian novel, the 1994 Newbery Medal winner, has become one of the best modern Dystopian novels. The haunting story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community.
This movie tie-in edition features cover art from the movie and exclusive Q&A with members of the cast, including Taylor Swift, Brenton Thwaites, and Cameron Monaghan.
We by Yevgeny Zamyatin
It is an artistic dystopian novel set in the 26th century A. D. interpreted in English from 1924. The writer refers to life in a totalitarian regime of a single the One. It’s a contemporary, futuristic society controlled by the Authorities. The plot details the significance of pursuing the collective vision of exploiting advanced technology.
The Children of Men by P. D. James
Within this publication, James-that was typically a crime author -Establishes a universe in which men’s sperm count plummets and humankind is on the brink of extinction due to the inability to reproduce. There’s a despotic principle; the previous generation to be born (dubbed Omegas) are violent and unstable; bulk suicides (killings from the authorities, really) happen when folks reach age 60, so as not to be a burden on the steadily aging society. However, there are dissidents, as there are, and one of them is discovered to be pregnant, for the very first time lately.
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
A dad and his son walk through burnt America. Nothing goes at the ravaged landscape to rescue the ashes in the end. It’s chilly enough to crack rocks, and as soon as the snow falls, it’s grey. The sky is dim. Their destination is the shore, even though they do not precisely understand what awaits them if anything else. They’ve nothing; merely a pistol to protect themselves against the lawless bands which stem the street, the clothing they’re wearing, a cart of scavenged meals – and every other.
The Road is the profoundly moving story of a trip. It imagines a future where no expectation remains, but where the father and his son,” each other’s world whole,” are sustained by love. Excellent at the totality of its vision, it’s an unflinching meditation about the worst and the very best we are capable of: supreme destructiveness, desperate tenacity, and the consequences that keep two individuals alive in the face of total devastation.
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Brave New World is one of the best sci-fi Dystopian novels, composed in 1931 and printed in 1932. Primarily set in a futuristic World Condition, occupied by genetically modified inhabitants and also an intelligence-based social hierarchy, the publication anticipates enormous technological progress in reproductive technologies, sleep-learning, emotional manipulation, and classical conditioning, which are united to make a dystopian society That Is contested by only one person: the story’s protagonist
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
(The Hunger Games #1)
In the ruins of an area formerly called North America is located the state of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is unpleasant and unkind and retains the sections based on forcing them to ship one boy and one woman between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the yearly Hunger Games, a struggle to the death on live TV.
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen sees it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s position at the Games. However, Katniss has been near lifeless earlier – and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she’s a competitor. However, if she’s to win, she might need to begin making decisions that burden success against humanity and lifestyle contrary to love.
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
In Anthony Burgess’s compelling nightmare vision of their future, criminals take over after dark. Teen gang leader Alex narrates in a beautifully inventive fashion that echoes childhood rebelling against society’s brutal intensity. Dazzling and transgressive, A Clockwork Orange is a frightful fable about good and evil and the meaning of human freedom. This edition contains the contentious last chapter not printed in the very first variant, and Burgess’s debut, “A Clockwork Orange Resucked.”
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (1953)
When it was composed, Ray Bradbury’s masterpiece tapped into genuine worries about censorship at McCarthyism’s peak. It tells the story of Guy Montag – a fireman’ used to burn off the possessions of individuals who read outlawed novels, but that – such as Nineteen Eighty-Four’s Winston Smith – gradually has his eyes opened. The book’s depiction of the future forecasts everything out of in-ear headphones to 24-hour money machines.
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