Explore the most exciting new dystopian books to read for adults and young adults. Read the most anticipated and popular Dystopian book series as well as find here dark dystopian books for your book club.
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Best Dystopian Books To Read In 2022
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Get ready for some epic adventures and some of the most thought-provoking dystopian books you’ll ever read. We collected thrilling, funny, scary, and twisty dystopian novels and book series for adults and YA readers that’ll surely keep you on the edge of your seat from page one.
You’ll find here best-sellers as well as lesser-known but stunningly written dystopians by popular and diverse writers who’ll soon become your favorite go-to authors. Get ready to take dark and hopeful journeys around the world and into the future thanks to these beguiling and atmospheric new dystopian books.
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We added some of the most anticipated adult dystopian novels as well as exciting young adult dystopian books that are great reads for adults too. You’ll also find here fiction, fantasy, sci-fi, horror, thriller, and romance dystopian books so you’ll have something to read no matter what mood you’re in.
16| Hell Followed with Us by Andrew Joseph White – New Dystopian YA Romance Book, June 2022
This brilliant YA dystopian book is about Benji a sixteen-year-old trans boy who is on the run from the cult that raised him. The ruthless fundamentalist cult has unleashed Armageddon and decimated the population all around the world. Now Benji has to find a safe place where the cult can’t use the bioweapons they infected him with.
Soon Benji is saved by a group from the local Acheson LGBTQ+ Center. Only Nick, the group’s super handsome leader knows Benji’s secret and how it could wipe out humanity if it gets in the wrong hands. Despite everything, Nick offers a safe shelter for Benji among the other queer teens as long as Benji works on controlling the monster inside him and uses it to defend their group. Benji agrees but soon discovers secrets that might just change his decision. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for new fantasy romance books set in a dystopian world.
Hell Followed With Us is a brilliantly entertaining LGBTQ+ dystopian novel about finding your path and using your powers for good with a pinch of romance.
15| Scattered All Over the Earth by Yoko Tawada – New Sci-Fi Dystopian Novel, March 2022
Welcome to the not-too-distant future: Japan, having vanished from the face of the earth, is now remembered as “the land of sushi.” Hiruko, its former citizen and a climate refugee herself, has a job teaching immigrant children in Denmark with her invented language Panska (Pan-Scandinavian): “homemade language. no country to stay in. three countries I experienced. insufficient space in brain. so made new language. homemade language.”
As she searches for anyone who can still speak her mother tongue, Hiruko soon makes new friends. Her troupe travels to France, encountering an umami cooking competition; a dead whale; an ultra-nationalist named Breivik; unrequited love; Kakuzo robots; red herrings; uranium; an Andalusian matador. Episodic and mesmerizing scenes flash vividly along, and soon they’re all next off to Stockholm.
With its intrepid band of companions, Scattered All Over the Earth (the first novel of a trilogy) may bring to mind Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland or a surreal Wind in the Willows, but really is just another sui generis Yoko Tawada masterwork.
Scattered All Over the Earth is one of the most exciting new dystopian books for adults that’s both mind-expanding and surprisingly cheerful.
14| Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves by Meg Long – New Sci-fi Dystopian Book, January 2022
Seventeen-year-old Sena Korhosen hates the sled race, especially after it claimed both her mothers’ lives five years ago. Alone on her frozen planet, she makes money any other way she can–until she double-crosses a local gangster.
Desperate to escape, Sena flees with his prized fighting wolf, Iska, and takes an offer from a team of scientists. They’ll pay her way off-world, on one condition–that she uses the survival skills her mothers taught her to get them to the end of the race. But the tundra is a treacherous place. When the race threatens their lives at every turn, Sena must discover whether her abilities are enough to help them survive the wild, and whether she and Iska together are strong enough to get them all out alive.
As the girl and the wolf forge a tenuous bond and fight to escape ice goblins, giant bears, and the ruthless gang leader intent on trapping them both, one question drives them relentlessly forward: Where do you turn when there is nowhere to hide?
If you’ve been looking for thrilling new atmospheric books to read this year then you should pick up this beautifully written dystopian novel.
Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves is one of the most atmospheric new dystopian books about survival and found family that delivers a fresh twist on classic survival stories.
13| 40: A Novel by Alan Heathcock – New Sci-Fi Dystopian Novel, August 2022
In a future America ravaged by natural disaster, pandemic, and political unrest, a fundamentalist faction emerges. As the Novae Terrae gain power, enticing civilians with bread and circuses, a civil war breaks out between its members and the US government.
Mazzy Goodwin, a young soldier, only wants to find her little sister, Ava Lynn. One day, she wakes in a bomb crater to find wings emerged from her back. Has she died? Been gifted wings by God? Undergone a military experiment?
The world sees a miracle. Mazzy is coaxed into seeing it as an opportunity: to become the angel-like figurehead of the revolution, in return for being reunited with her sister. Her journey leads her to New Los Angeles, where the Novae have set up the headquarters for their propaganda machine––right in the ruins of Hollywood. Aided by friends old and new, she must navigate a web of deceit while staying true to herself.
Told in sharp, haunting prose, as cinematic as it is precise, Alan Heathcock’s 40 is a dizzyingly fantastical novel about the dangers of blind faith, the temptation of spectacle, and the love of family. In a tale by turns mythic and tragic, one heroine must come to terms with the consequences of her decisions––and face the challenges of building a new world.
40: A Novel is one of the most fascinating dystopian books for adults that’ll make you think and it tells the tale of an American myth of the future: a vision of civil war, spectacle, and disaster of biblical proportions.
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12| The Women Could Fly by Megan Giddings – Thriller Dystopian Novel, August 2022
Josephine Thomas has heard every conceivable theory about her mother’s disappearance. That she was kidnapped. Murdered. That she took on a new identity to start a new family. That she was a witch. This is the most worrying charge because in a world where witches are real, peculiar behavior raises suspicions and a woman—especially a Black woman—can find herself on trial for witchcraft.
But fourteen years have passed since her mother’s disappearance, and now Jo is finally ready to let go of the past. Yet her future is in doubt. The State mandates that all women marry by the age of 30—or enroll in a registry that allows them to be monitored, effectively forfeiting their autonomy. At 28, Jo is ambivalent about marriage. With her ability to control her life on the line, she feels as if she has her never understood her mother more. When she’s offered the opportunity to honor one last request from her mother’s will, Jo leaves her regular life to feel connected to her one last time.
It’s a great choice if you’ve been looking for meaningful books and inspiring new books about witches.
The Women Could Fly is one of the most timely and thought-provoking new dystopian novels about the unbreakable bond between a young woman and her mysterious mother, set in a world in which witches are real and single women are closely monitored.
11| The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan – Contemporary Dystopian Novel, January 2022
Frida Liu is struggling. She doesn’t have a career worthy of her Chinese immigrant parents’ sacrifices. She can’t persuade her husband, Gust, to give up his wellness-obsessed younger mistress. Only with Harriet, their cherubic daughter, does Frida finally attain the perfection expected of her. Harriet may be all she has, but she is just enough.
Until Frida has a very bad day.
The state has its eye on mothers like Frida. The ones who check their phones, letting their children get injured on the playground; who let their children walk home alone. Because of one moment of poor judgement, a host of government officials will now determine if Frida is a candidate for a Big Brother-like institution that measures the success or failure of a mother’s devotion.
Faced with the possibility of losing Harriet, Frida must prove that a bad mother can be redeemed. That she can learn to be good.
The School for Good Mothers is a dark dystopian novel about a young mother whose one lapse in judgment lands her in a government reform program where custody of her child hangs in the balance.
10| Manhunt by Gretchen Felker-Martin – New Sci-fi Horror Book, February 2022
If you enjoy post-apocalyptic horrors, this one is definitely going to be on your must-read lists. In case you are new to the genre, Felker-Martin’s remarkable piece is a superb start without a doubt. Travel the New England coast with Beth, Fran, and Robbie, who know they cannot trust anyone, but each other. Hunting feral men is their only key to survival, but plenty of adventure awaits our heroes.
2022 is a great year for new horror novels and if you are looking for perfectly written LGBT+ dystopian new horror books for adults, Manhunt is for you.
Manhunt by Gretchen Felker-Martin is definitely among the spookiest dystopian horror books of 2022.
9| The Crossing Gate by Asiel R. Lavie – New YA Dystopian Book, January 2022
She can’t grow up. Literally.
In the kingdom of Elpax, juveniles must walk through the mysterious Crossing Gate to become adults—and seventeen-year-old Lenora is determined that her third attempt at crossing to adulthood will be successful. Even though adulthood means facing horrible realities, such as sin-spots appearing on her body whenever she commits a sin, it also means being able to have a job. And Lenora needs to work to support her struggling family.
But Lenora’s Crossing Day goes horribly wrong.
Accused of trying to start a revolution, Lenora must obey the kingdom’s laws to the letter if she wants to take suspicion off herself. But following the rules isn’t as easy as it sounds. Especially when she meets a mysterious and handsome stranger who makes her feel emotions she’s never experienced before—even though juveniles in Elpax aren’t supposed to be capable of falling in love.
With the long arm of the law looming over her and her family, Lenora must walk a tightrope between following the rules and investigating why she’s unable to cross. Not to mention discovering where her new adult emotions are coming from. But as Lenora uncovers more of Elpax’s terrible secrets, she realizes that fighting the system might be the only way to save her family, her country, and her first love.
The Crossing Gate is one of the most exciting sci-fi fantasy YA dystopian books with a Greek-inspired setting and classic fantasy elements.
8| Goliath by Tochi Onyebuchi – New Sci-fi Dystopian Novel, January 2022
In the 2050s, Earth has begun to empty. Those with the means and the privilege have departed the great cities of the United States for the more comfortable confines of space colonies. Those left behind salvage what they can from the collapsing infrastructure. As they eke out an existence, their neighborhoods are being cannibalized. Brick by brick, their houses are sent to the colonies, what was once a home now a quaint reminder for the colonists of the world that they wrecked.
A primal biblical epic flung into the future, Goliath weaves together disparate narratives—a space-dweller looking at New Haven, Connecticut as a chance to reconnect with his spiraling lover; a group of laborers attempting to renew the promises of Earth’s crumbling cities; a journalist attempting to capture the violence of the streets; a marshal trying to solve a kidnapping—into a richly urgent mosaic about race, class, gentrification, and who is allowed to be the hero of any history.
Goliath is one of the most anticipated adult dystopian books of 2022 that will make you think.
7| The Light We Lost by Kyla Stone -New Fantasy Dystopian Book Series, January 2022
The sun gives life. It is also capable of profound destruction.
With little warning, a solar super flare erupts from the sun. A billion tons of superheated plasma hurtles through space toward Earth…
When all lights fail, who will save you?
Thirteen-year-old Shiloh wakes with a dead body beside her, her brother missing, and no memory of what happened. As fiery northern lights blaze across the sky, she sets out into the night, determined to find him.
Haunted by the past, Undersheriff Jackson Cross vows to catch a vicious killer. But every clue he uncovers leads him further into a darkness he fears he cannot defeat.
Eli Pope has just been released from prison. Wrongly convicted of murder, the former Ranger has but one goal: exact vengeance upon those who betrayed him.
Meanwhile, Search-and-Rescue first responder Lena Easton begins a harrowing 1600-mile journey to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to find the children of the one person she couldn’t save.
As multiple solar storms strike Earth, transformers explode, the power grid fails, and communication networks collapse. Half the world goes dark, thrusting the planet into utter chaos.
With society crumbling around them, the survivors must fight not only for their lives, but for everything they hold dear–hope amid devastation, justice in the face of depravity, and ultimately, the perseverance of the human spirit against all odds.
The Light We Lost is one of the most thrilling new post-apocalyptic survival thriller dystopian books that explore the destructive power of coronal mass ejections with great twists and flawed but inspiring characters.
6| Such a Beautiful Thing to Behold by Umar Turaki – New Sci-Fi Dystopian Book, May 2022
A mysterious plague known as the Grey grips the small village of Pilam, which the world has quarantined without pity. Laying waste to Pilam’s residents, the sickness saps its victims of strength, drains the color from their eyes, and kills all promise. Only the young are immune. But beyond the barricades and walls of soldiers—the manifestation of a nation’s terror—there are rumors of a cure. Dunka, the eldest son of a family reeling from the Grey, takes on the daunting task of leaving Pilam to find that cure for his siblings and save them before it’s too late.
His brother and sisters, however, have plans of their own. Navigating the chaos of violence, hunger, and death, each of them tries to make sense of the bleak circumstances, forging new bonds with other juvenile survivors left to their own devices. Now an unlikely family of six, they choose their own perilous paths, at first separately and then together, coming to terms with the decisions they make and the ghosts they cannot leave behind.
Such a Beautiful Thing to Behold is a gripping dystopian novel for adults about survival, love, and the human spirit’s tenacious capacity for wonder.
5| All That’s Left in the World by Erik J. Brown – New Romance Dystopian Book, March 2022
When Andrew stumbles upon Jamie’s house, he’s injured, starved, and has nothing left to lose. A deadly pathogen has killed off most of the world’s population, including everyone both boys have ever loved. And if this new world has taught them anything, it’s to be scared of what other desperate people will do . . . so why does it seem so easy for them to trust each other?
After danger breaches their shelter, they flee south in search of civilization. But something isn’t adding up about Andrew’s story, and it could cost them everything. And Jamie has a secret, too. He’s starting to feel something more than friendship for Andrew, adding another layer of fear and confusion to an already tumultuous journey.
The road ahead of them is long, and to survive, they’ll have to shed their secrets, face the consequences of their actions, and find the courage to fight for the future they desire, together. Only one thing feels certain: all that’s left in their world is the undeniable pull they have toward each other.
All That’s Left in the World is one of the most popular new queer YA adventure romance dystopian books that’s a great read for adults too.
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4| Shadowblade Academy 1: Darkness Calls by KC Kingmaker – New Fantasy Dystopian Book Series, February 2022
At Shadowblade Academy, everyone fears the shadows…
Being the ordinary sister of a supernatural powerhouse isn’t fun. I live in the Crust, an outsider town for normies, while she gallivants around her top-secret academy for Abnorms.
Then everything goes sideways on my twenty-first birthday. Mediums scream at me like possessed nuns. Dudes pop out of shadows, trying to kidnap me. My dreams become very strange.
Most importantly, my sister goes missing.
I have to go looking for her, which means finding her school. Problem is, I learn the academy trains magical assassins who manipulate shadows. Badass but terrifying.
Bullies at the academy don’t think I belong. Smoldering fae, vampire, and shifter men are obsessed with me for different reasons: attraction, hate, suspicion. And who the hell is the sexy ghost-man haunting my dreams?
I’m trapped in a place where I’m always looking over my shoulder, and I can’t even trust my own shadow…
Shadowblade Academy is a steamy paranormal romance book series set in a dystopian fantasy world with a kick-ass female lead, multiple love interests, and a splash of darkness with lots of mystery and dark humor.
3| Black Tide by K.C. Jones – New Thriller Dystopian Book, May 2022
It was just another day at the beach. Then the world ended.
Mike and Beth were strangers before the night of the meteor shower. Chance made them neighbors, a bottle of champagne brought them together, and a shared need for human connection sparked something more.
Following their drunken and desperate one-night stand, the two discover the astronomical event has left widespread destruction in its wake. But the cosmic lightshow was only part of something much bigger, and far more terrifying.
When a lost car key leaves them stranded on an empty stretch of Oregon coast and inhuman screams echo from the dunes, when the rising tide reaches for their car and unspeakable horrors close in around them, these two self-destructive souls must fight to survive a nightmare of apocalyptic scale.
Black Tide is a character-driven science fiction/horror dystopian novel that’s a perfect choice for Stephen King fans.
2| Curfew by Jayne Cowie – New Dystopian Mystery Thriller Novel, March 2022
Imagine a near-future Britain in which women dominate workplaces, public spaces, and government. Where the gender pay gap no longer exists and motherhood opens doors instead of closing them. Where women are no longer afraid to walk home alone, to cross a dark parking lot, or to catch the last train.
Where all men are electronically tagged and not allowed out after 7 p.m.
But the curfew hasn’t made life easy for all women. Sarah is a single mother who happily rebuilt her life after her husband, Greg, was sent to prison for breaking curfew. Now he’s about to be released, and Sarah isn’t expecting a happy reunion, given that she’s the reason he was sent there.
Her teenage daughter, Cass, hates living in a world that restricts boys like her best friend, Billy. Billy would never hurt anyone, and she’s determined to prove it. Somehow.
Helen is a teacher at the local school. Secretly desperate for a baby, she’s applied for a cohab certificate with her boyfriend, Tom, and is terrified that they won’t get it. The last thing she wants is to have a baby on her own.
These women don’t know it yet, but one of them is about to be violently murdered. Evidence will suggest that she died late at night and that she knew her attacker. It couldn’t have been a man because a CURFEW tag is a solid alibi.
Curfew is a dark dystopian novel set in a world where all men are electronically tagged and placed under strict curfew, and the murder investigation threatening to undo it all.
1| Walk the Vanished Earth by Erin Swan – New Sci-Fi Fantasy Dystopian Novel, May 2022
The year is 1873, and a bison hunter named Samson travels the Kansas plains, full of hope for his new country. The year is 1975, and an adolescent girl named Bea walks those very same plains; pregnant, mute, and raised in extreme seclusion, she lands in an institution, where a well-meaning psychiatrist struggles to decipher the pictures she draws of her past.
The year is 2027 and, after a series of devastating storms, a tenacious engineer named Paul has left behind his banal suburban existence to build a floating city above the drowned streets that were once New Orleans. There with his poet daughter he rules over a society of dreamers and vagabonds who salvage vintage dresses, ferment rotgut wine out of fruit, paint murals on the ceiling of the Superdome, and try to write the story of their existence. The year is 2073, and Moon has heard only stories of the blue planet—Earth, as they once called it, now succumbed entirely to water.
Now that Moon has come of age, she could become a mother if she wanted to–if only she understood what a mother is. Alone on Mars with her two alien uncles, she must decide whether to continue her family line and repopulate humanity on a new planet. A sweeping family epic, told over seven generations, as America changes and so does its dream, Walk the Vanished Earth explores ancestry, legacy, motherhood, the trauma we inherit, and the power of connection in the face of our planet’s imminent collapse.
Walk the Vanished Earth is a new environmental dystopian novel that’s thoughtful, warm, and hopeful and is about the end of the world but also about the beginning of something entirely new.
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