Today I have the pleasure of welcoming John G. Hartness to That Bookish Girl. John is here as a part of the blog tour for his latest book, Genesis. This tour was put together and is hosted by Bewitching Book Tours.
What to Read About the End of the World
By John G. Hartness
Since my new book, Genesis, is an apocalyptic novel, I figured I’d give you guys a little heads up on some of my favorite books on the end of the world, and the aftermath thereof. In my book, the world doesn’t end because of zombies, or vampires, or any kind of virus. In Genesis an EMP (electro-magnetic pulse) knocks out all technology, destroying civilization as we know it, and allowing magic to return to our world. In these books the world either ends in a spectacular way, or a band of survivors is dealing with the new world. These are some of my favorites, you oughta be sure to check them out.
You can’t really even talk about apocalyptic novels without mentioning Stephen King’s classic tome The Stand. This end-of-the-world behemoth is notable not just for its phenomenal story, but also for its staggering heft. The Stand is a huge book, one of the biggest in King’s career both in word count and scope. It’s a book that spans the entire American continent as two camps of survivors take refuge from a virus that kills off the majority of the world’s people. The Stand is a brilliant book to me because it was the first novel of its kind that I read, so it’ll always hold a special place in my heart. King covers a lot of ground in the book, but it never feels like a big book. It feels like a small story, because while his characters are going all over the place, we’re still so tightly focused on them that as readers it feels like a very small story. And that’s the beauty of the book, its ability to stay small and allow us to care about the characters while all these grand events are happening around them.
On the other end of the spectrum is Suzanne Collins’ dystopian chunk o’ brilliance The Hunger Games. The Hunger Games is a small novel in scope, but the character of Katniss is so lovingly created that we don’t care that we don’t ever really know what’s going on in the world. We care so much about Katniss, and love that character so much, that we’ll follow her anywhere, even into the role of emotional rebel leader in subsequent books. That’s a case of the character being so good that the plot is almost secondary, where King’s characters allow us to absorb his enormous plot.
Elsewhere on the spectrum of apocalyptic novels sit Amanda Hocking’s The Hollows series, World War Z, The Handmaid’s Tale and dozens of other dystopian and fall of civilization books. The guiding force in all these books is character, characters that you can get behind. These books all have characters that you root for while everything is falling apart, and they eventually triumph, at least on some level, giving us all a little more hope than we had when we started reading. I hope that my kids in Genesis can add a little hope back into the box.
GENESIS by John Hartness
The end of the world was just the beginning.
Now they have to stay alive.
17-year-old Christin Kinsey started the day with nothing more pressing than an English exam. But when an EMP attack knocked out all technology across the globe, she found herself in the mountains of Georgia trying to stay alive in a world suddenly thrown back in time a hundred years or more.
And when she starts shooting lightning bolts out of her hands, things get really weird. Christin, her younger brother Matt, and Matt’s cute friend Dave have to figure out what this new world is about, why they suddenly have super powers, and what happened to their mom in this apocalyptic fantasy novel geared for audiences 16 and up.
Mad Max meets X-Men: First Class in the first book of the Return to Eden trilogy by the best-selling author of The Black Knight Chronicles.
John G. Hartness is a recovering theatre geek who likes loud music, fried pickles and cold beer. John is an award-winning poet, lighting designer and theatre producer, with a theatre career spanning three decades.
His first novel, The Chosen, is an urban fantasy about saving the world, snotty archangels, gambling, tattooed street preachers, immortals with family issues, bar brawls and the consequences of our decisions.
He followed up The Chosen with Hard Day’s Knight, a new twist on the vampire detective novel and the first book in the highly successful series The Black Knight Chronicles. The second book of The Black Knight Chronicles, Back in Black, landed in March 2011 and enjoyed immediate success. Knight Moves, the third Black Knight book, was released in August 2011.
John has been called “the Kevin Smith of Charlotte,” and fans of Joss Whedon and Jim Butcher should enjoy his snarky slant on the fantasy genre.
He can be found online at www.johnhartness.com and spends too much time on Twitter, especially after a few drinks.