The Last Policeman - Ben H. Winters The Girl with All the Gifts - M.R. Carey Station Eleven - Emily St. John Mandel

I think that overall, I've had a good reading year. Not great. But good.


I have really steered away from dystopian/post-apocalyptic novels this year because, hello, I am totally over zombies. I'm also over YA dystopians that are basically just misogyny masquerading as world-building. 


So, my list of great dystopians is pretty narrow, indeed.


First off, I really enjoyed Ben Winter's whole Last Policeman trilogy. Part detective novel, part social commentary, part it's the end of the world as we know it, all fantastic. Rather than being post-apocalyptic, technically, this is pre-apocalyptic. There is an asteroid bearing down on earth, nothing can be done to stop it, and we watch as civilization collapses. Winters does a brilliant job of thinking through the possibilities, and Hank, the main character who just can't give up his heroism in spite of the fact that most of the rest of the world already has, is worthy of admiration without being unrealistically perfect.


Second, The Girl With All The Gifts. Technically, this is a zombie novel, but it takes the genre and turns it on its head. Told from the perspective of a child, Melanie, it is a brilliant riff on the impermanence of humanity. We are a but a flyspeck on the history of the world, and shouldn't forget it.


Finally, Station Eleven, which I just finished, is so gorgeously written that it is easy to forget that it happens after the end of the world as we know it. There are aspects of the book that are hard to swallow, and the author uses coincidence with great intentionality. Intersecting character arcs are beautifully constructed, but it is the words that are breathtaking.

Reblogged from Moonlight Murder