As I've mentioned, I've been reading lots of post-apocalyptic and dystopian novels this year and I wanted to tell you about a few.
Mockingjay is the third in a series by Suzanne Collins. While I think the first book of the series, The Hunger Games, is the best, this provided a nice conclusion to the story. Some people might find it a little darker with its war and politics, but I didn't find it any darker than the first two, in which children have to kill or be killed in a twisted government scheme to keep the masses subdued. Though the books are considered young adult books, they are a good read for adults as well.
The Passage by Justin Cronin is what I'm working on right now. It is a story about the creation of "virals" and the consequences thereof. Virals are what we would call vampires, but they are not sexy, sparkly, or in any way romantic. They are terrifying killers. The story of how they were created is just as fascinating as the story of how the survivors live in a bleak, barren world. The book is 766 pages, but it is worth the time you'd have to invest to read that many. I'm not even finished yet (page 692), but I can already say that I love this book. I'm really excited to find out that this may be the first of a trilogy. I can hardly wait to finish the book tonight to find out which characters are likely to appear in a sequel.
Speaking of interesting takes on classic monsters, another book I really enjoyed this year was World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks. What made this book so interesting is that the oral history style of the book made the whole thing seem so real. In addition, I liked that the book wasn't just about zombies eating people, but was much more about the political and tactical maneuvers that would have to be implemented if such a situation really did arise, thus lending more reality, and more creep factor, to the story.
I guess now I just need to read a really great take on werewolves.