Surviving Love: Exploring Post-Apocalyptic Romance Books

The post-apocalyptic romance, while not having the same widespread adoption as either of its parent genres, has been rising in popularity over the last several years. If executed properly, a smart blend between love dramas and the intensity of a desperate dystopian landscape should present a thrilling route for character development and deliver a lasting impression on readers. It is a good combination for heartfelt emotional depths through versatile storytelling possibilities. Some of the best examples of post-apocalyptic romance books in recent years are as follows:

Dustwalker (2017) by Tiffany Roberts

Post-Apocalyptic Romance Books

Up until the very end, including the epilogue, Dustwalker takes you on an emotional rollercoaster full of ups and downs with quite surprising twists along the way. In this version of a post-apocalyptic world, robots take full control of the few remaining human settlements. Ronin is unlike other robots; he once saw a female human dancing and discovered that machines too could have feelings. He makes a bold offer to the woman that he will promise to keep her safe as long as she is willing to dance for him. Although the woman hates robots, she has no choice but to accept the offer anyway. She is starving, and there are worse things than mere dancing. They soon develop a bond and grow fond of each other.

Moonshine (2020) by Kat Bostick

It is a slow-burn, low-intensity romance in the midst of a post-apocalyptic world. Moonshine does have a few erotic scenes, but the writing never allows them to be overly frontal. Much of the book focuses on the survival theme and gives lengthy, elaborate descriptions of every moment. If you enjoy novels with unbound attention to details like investigation reports, Moonshine doesn’t disappoint. The main male character is quite a grumpy one, mostly due to his upbringing in the middle of the woods, raised by a prepper. On the other hand, the female lead practically has zero survival skills. The two of them stumble upon each other in a damsel-in-distress situation and love sparks burst out from that very moment. He saves her and takes her back to his cabin, but the real journey to sincerity is still a long way to go.

Deal with the Devil (2020) by Kit Rocha

Let’s keep this one real short; the speculative history depicted in the book has been happening in the real world, so the premise is far from implausibility. Crumbling infrastructure, energy wars, incompetent government, and the lack of essential resources are all around. The story focuses on the adventures of a group of female librarians and rebellious boys as they try to escape the shackles of authority. It is an action-packed post-apocalyptic road trip sprinkled with erotic sequences.

Land of the Beautiful Dead (2015) by R. Lee Smith

Post-Apocalyptic Romance Books

There are many other books that offer a higher intensity of eroticism and violence than Land of the Beautiful Dead. The romance is noticeably more consensual, but it does not mean the book is any less exciting than those with outright explicit content. However, you can still sense the raw edginess to the point where the writing makes you feel like nothing is held back for the sake of censorship. The story revolves around Azrael – a powerful figure with the ability to create zombies and turn mere humans into immortals who serve no one but him – and an ordinary woman named Lan. To stop the madness and prevent the zombies from constantly devouring people, Lan decides to go on a suicide mission to confront Azrael. In an unexpected turn of events, Lan finds herself in bed with Azrael.

Flesh (2012) by Kylie Scott

Within just two months following the outbreak, the vast majority of the population in Brisbane, Australia has turned into zombies. Daniel is one of the few lucky ones who survived the initial onslaught. In a seemingly aimless wandering, he bumps into another uninfected person named Ali. It turns out that she has been hiding in her neighbor’s attic as the outside world crumbles to cannibalism. Before meeting Ali, living and surviving are not exactly complex matters to Daniel, but now he wants to take her outside in search of refuge. His instant lust for Ali is quite understandable in such circumstances; when everyone else has turned into flesh-eating monsters, finding a non-infected person is like rain after an endless drought. Daniel tells Ali the zombies are dying and that there are other survivors in the suburbs.

We think the unique mixture of romantic elements and post-apocalyptic settings can be an excellent groundwork to explore a wide range of themes from death and resilience to love and hardships. Most post-apocalyptic romance books focus on the survival matters and treat the romance as a secondary issue, but there is no rule to dictate how a writer should approach the style. Although love might not conquer everything, the end of the world isn’t probably so bad at all when you have someone to keep you company through all adversities.

Do you have favorite post-apocalyptic romance books? Do youthink zombies can have feelings toward each other? We’d love to hear from you.

Other things you might want to know:

Popular post-apocalyptic romance movies:

– Warm Bodies (2013)

– The Divergent Series (2014)

– The Hunger Games (2012)

– The Host (2013)

– Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)

Best post-apocalyptic couples in films and TV series:

– Clarke and Lexa – The 100 (2014 – 2020)

– Cassie and Cole – 12 Monkeys (2015 – 2018)

– Jim and Selena – 28 Days Later (2002)

– Columbus and Wichita – Zombieland (2009)

– Glenn and Maggie – The Walking Dead (2010 – 2022)

– Max and Furiosa – Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Is WALL-E a post-apocalyptic romance?

It is a resounding yes. Some of the most exciting moments in the film begin after Wall-E comes across another robot called EVE. Some might say the depiction of love between the two robots looks awkward at best, but the same kind of awkwardness is not uncommon for human characters as well.

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