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15 Fascinating Fiction Survival Books

A book guide to some of the best fiction survival book out there

Navigating the literary landscape, one genre that has undeniably seized the spotlight is fiction survival books. 

With a surge in popularity, these gripping tales of resilience have not only earned their place on bookshelves but have become must-have additions to our living spaces as captivating coffee table books and adventure books

In this blog post, I delve into survival fiction, these books being essential companions for both avid readers and those seeking a thrilling escape within the confines of their homes. 

So, let’s embark on a literary journey through the captivating world of fiction survival books that bring the pulse-pounding excitement of adventure to our very fingertips.

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Fiction Survival Books – My top picks:

Category Name ImagePrice
Wilderness survival booksHatchet 51G3ZaTqOtL. SL500 - 12 Best Survival Books FictionClick here
Fiction survival booksIsland of the Blue Dolphins41YLqBa8VwL. SL500 - 12 Best Survival Books FictionClick here
Best adventure booksLife of Pi- 12 Best Survival Books FictionClick here
Best adult bookLord of the Flies 51eeAWItwbL. SL500 - 12 Best Survival Books FictionClick here
Adventure books for adultsLife As We Knew It - 12 Best Survival Books FictionClick here

1. The Martian 

By Andy Weir

41b8Ema f9L. SL500 - 15 Fascinating Fiction Survival Books

I just finished reading Andy Weir’s “The Martian, ” and let me tell you, it’s a total game-changer in the world of survival fiction books. 

Mark Watney’s journey on Mars is like a rollercoaster of “will he make it or won’t he” moments that had me on the edge of my seat. 

Weir’s writing style is so down-to-earth (no pun intended) that it feels like Watney is telling you his story over a beer.

The blend of humor and hardcore science makes it oddly relatable for a stranded astronaut.

I cheered for Watney’s resourcefulness and rooted for his potatoes to grow. 

If love space, science, and a dash of humor, “The Martian” is a must-read that’ll leave you contemplating your survival skills – just in case you ever end up on Mars.

2. Lord of the Flies 

by William Golding

51eeAWItwbL. SL500 - 15 Fascinating Fiction Survival Books

Having delved into William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies,” it’s a wild ride in the best survival books fiction. 

The descent into chaos and primal instincts among a group of boys stranded on an uninhabited island is captivating and unsettling. 

William Golding‘s exploration of human nature in extreme circumstances is hauntingly real, making you question the thin veneer of civilization. 

The symbolism throughout the story adds depth, making it more than just a tale of kids gone wild. 

The unraveling dynamics among the characters and the visceral portrayal of their struggle for power and order make “Lord of the Flies” a timeless exploration of the darker facets of humanity. 

This classic is an absolute must-have for everyone who enjoys reading the best adventure books that are both thought-provoking and a little scary.

3. Hatchet 

by Gary Paulsen

51G3ZaTqOtL. SL500 - 15 Fascinating Fiction Survival Books

Diving into Gary Paulsen’s “Hatchet” was like getting a crash course in survival without leaving the comfort of my reading nook. 

This fiction book on survival follows Brian, a young boy stranded in the Canadian wilderness after a plane crash, armed with nothing but a hatchet. 

The premise’s sheer simplicity makes it so gripping – no frills, just pure survival instincts at play. 

Paulsen’s vivid descriptions make you feel the biting cold, hunger, and desperation along with Brian. 

It’s a rollercoaster of emotions as you witness him evolve from a scared kid to a resourceful survivor. 

Hatchet” is a timeless tale that will keep you captivated from beginning to end if you enjoy fiction books that thrust you into the action with a hint of coming-of-age.

4. The Road 

by Cormac McCarthy

41OYjTKJ8eL. SL500 - 15 Fascinating Fiction Survival Books

Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road” is a gut-wrenching journey through a desolate world that left me emotionally battered in the best possible way. 

This survivalist fiction masterpiece paints a bleak picture of a post-apocalyptic landscape where a father and son navigate a hauntingly barren world. 

McCarthy’s prose is as sparse as the setting, yet every word carries the weight of the characters’ struggle for survival. 

The bond between the father and son adds a poignant layer to the narrative, making it more than just a tale of survival against all odds. 

The relentless pursuit of hope in the face of despair is heartrending and beautiful. 

The Road” is a must-read if you enjoy survivalist fiction books that stay with you long after you’ve closed the cover or want some travel coffee table books to improve your bookshelves.

5. The Mountain Between Us 

by Charles Martin

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Charles Martin’s “The Mountain Between Us” takes fiction survival books to a new level, weaving a gripping tale of resilience and unexpected connections. 

Stranded in the unforgiving wilderness after a plane crash, the protagonists, Ben and Ashley, face the harsh elements and the complexities of survival and human connection. 

Martin masterfully balances the physical challenges of their predicament with the emotional toll it takes on the characters. 

The survival story is intertwined with a slow-burning romance that adds depth and warmth to the narrative. 

The vivid descriptions of the snowy expanse and the characters’ struggle for survival make it a page-turner, offering adrenaline-pumping moments and heartwarming surprises.

If you’re into fiction survival books with a perfect blend of suspense and heartfelt moments, “The Mountain Between Us” is a captivating adventure worth experiencing.

6. Life As We Knew It 

by Susan Beth Pfeffer

- 15 Fascinating Fiction Survival Books

Susan Beth Pfeffer’s “Life As We Knew It” hooked me from the first page, offering a gripping perspective on survival in the face of a world turned upside down. 

The story unfolds as a meteor collides with the moon, wreaking havoc on Earth’s climate and plunging society into chaos. 

Through the eyes of the protagonist, Miranda, we witness the unraveling of civilization and the daily struggles for necessities.

Pfeffer’s attention to detail creates a chillingly realistic portrayal of the challenges one would face in such a dystopian scenario. 

The novel doesn’t just focus on physical survival but delves into the emotional and psychological toll, making it a compelling read that lingers in your thoughts long after you finish. 

There are fiction books about survival like this, thought-provoking and suspenseful, “Life As We Knew It” which should not be missed. 

7. My Side of the Mountain 

by Jean Craighead George

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Immersing myself in “My Side of the Mountain” was like stumbling upon a hidden gem among the best fiction survival books. 

The story of Sam Gribley, a young boy who ditches city life for the wilderness, is an adventure that captivates both young and old readers. 

Jean Craighead George weaves a tale of resourcefulness and self-discovery as Sam survives and thrives in the natural world. 

The vivid descriptions of Sam’s makeshift home in a hollowed-out tree and his ingenious survival tactics make for an engaging and educational read. 

The bond between Sam and the falcon, Frightful, adds a unique charm to the narrative. 

My Side of the Mountain” is one of the best wilderness survival books that is just waiting to be found if you’re looking for a traditional survival story that encourages curiosity and independence.

8. Patriots (The Coming Collapse)

by James Wesley

41qoHLAdv2L. SL500 - 15 Fascinating Fiction Survival Books

Patriots: The Coming Collapse” by James Wesley Rawles is a rollercoaster of a survival fiction book that catapults itself into the ranks of top-tier reads. 

Rawles takes you on a gripping journey through a post-economic-collapse America, where survival skills become the new currency. 

The characters are as rugged as the landscape, and their struggle for self-sufficiency is inspiring and intense. 

What sets it apart is Rawles’ meticulous attention to detail, turning the narrative into a survival manual of sorts. 

It’s not just a story; it’s a wake-up call that had me reevaluating my emergency preparedness. 

If you’re looking for one of the top survival fiction books that combines a riveting plot with practical survival insights, “Patriots” is a must-read that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

9. Avalanche 

By Melinda Braun

51GVON1nzRL. SL500 - 15 Fascinating Fiction Survival Books

Avalanche” by Melinda Braun is a hidden gem among good survival fiction books, delivering an adrenaline-packed adventure that kept me hooked from start to finish. 

Braun throws her characters into a snowstorm of chaos, literally and figuratively, as they navigate a treacherous avalanche. 

The intensity of the survival situation is palpable, making it a white-knuckle read that had me holding my breath. 

The characters are relatable, their struggles genuine, and Braun’s writing skillfully captures the unforgiving nature of the wilderness.

It’s not just a survival story; it’s a wild ride that explores the strength of the human spirit when faced with nature’s fury. 

Avalanche” is a book you should add to your reading list if you enjoy compelling books about outdoor adventures that deftly combine tension and survival.

10. Life Of Pi 

By Yann Martel

- 15 Fascinating Fiction Survival Books

Lost at sea with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker – now that’s what I call a wild ride, and “Life of Pi” by Yann Martel delivers just that. 

Martel’s storytelling prowess takes survival fiction to new heights, immersing readers in Pi Patel’s harrowing journey. 

The oceanic backdrop is vividly painted, and Pi’s resourcefulness in the face of unimaginable challenges keeps you on the edge of your seat. 

The seamless blend of adventure and philosophical reflection makes it one of the best survival fiction books and one of the best books about the sea you must read.  

Martel weaves a tale that’s not just about physical survival but delves into the resilience of the human spirit and the power of storytelling.

11. The Hunger Games 

By Suzanne Collins

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In the dystopian world of “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins, survival takes on a new level of intensity. 

Collins crafts a gripping narrative where Katniss Everdeen’s fight for survival in the annual Hunger Games becomes a thrilling rollercoaster. 

The juxtaposition of glamour and brutality adds a unique flavor to the story, making it stand out among fiction survival books. 

Katniss’s resilience, resourcefulness, and the complex relationships she navigates make the book a compelling read. 

The arena, filled with deadly traps and formidable opponents, keeps you hooked from start to finish.

This survival fiction book combines heart-pounding action with societal commentary, and it gives us one of the best adventure books for adults that you just have to read.  

12. Island Of The Blue Dolphins

By Scott O’Dell

41YLqBa8VwL. SL500 - 15 Fascinating Fiction Survival Books

Island of the Blue Dolphins” by Scott O’Dell is a young adult fiction gem that whisked me away to a captivating world of survival and solitude. 

The story of Karana, a young girl stranded on an uninhabited island, unfolds with a simplicity that belies its emotional depth.

O’Dell’s vivid descriptions bring the island to life, and Karana’s journey from isolation to self-sufficiency is inspiring and heart-wrenching. 

The book beautifully captures the resilience of the human spirit and the bond between an individual and their environment. 

It’s not just a tale of survival; it’s a poignant exploration of loneliness, strength, and the power of nature. 

The “Island of the Blue Dolphins” is a timeless classic that won’t disappoint,  a young adult fiction book that combines adventure with profound themes. 

13. Divergent 

By Veronica Roth

- 15 Fascinating Fiction Survival Books

Traversing the futuristic landscape of Veronica Roth’s “Divergent” felt like stepping into a compelling maze of identity and rebellion within the realm of science fiction books. 

Roth crafts a society divided into factions, and as Tris Prior navigates this dystopian world, the narrative unfolds with a perfect blend of adrenaline-pumping action and reflective moments. 

The concept of being ‘Divergent’ and not fitting neatly into one faction adds an intriguing layer to the story.

Roth’s writing keeps you on the edge, balancing the complexities of a society obsessed with categorization. 

With a robust and relatable protagonist and a gripping plot, “Divergent” secures its spot as a standout in science fiction.

It offers readers a thrilling and thought-provoking journey through a not-too-far-fetched future.

14. The Call Of The Wild 

By Jack London

- 15 Fascinating Fiction Survival Books

Trudging through Jack London’s “The Call of the Wild” felt like a rugged expedition into the heart of wilderness survival fiction. 

London’s vivid prose throws you headfirst into the harsh Yukon landscape, following Buck, a domestic dog turned wild, as he embraces his primal instincts. 

The brutal beauty of the wilderness comes alive on every page, making you feel the biting cold and hear the haunting howls. 

Buck’s transformation from a pampered pet to a formidable force in the wild is both exhilarating and poignant. 

It’s a classic tale that captures the essence of survival against nature’s untamed backdrop, making “The Call of the Wild” a must-read for anyone craving adventure by reading one of the best outdoor adventure books.

15. The Handmaid’s Tale 

By Margaret Atwood

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Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” is a mind-bending trip into a dystopian nightmare that stands out among futuristic dystopian books. 

Set in the Republic of Gilead, the story unravels a nightmarish society where women are stripped of their rights and reduced to roles dictated by their fertility. 

Atwood’s narrative is as gripping as it is disturbing, offering a stark reflection on the fragility of freedom. 

The protagonist, Offred, provides a hauntingly personal account of survival in a world plagued by oppressive ideologies.

It’s a thought-provoking read that lingers, forcing you to question the boundaries of power, autonomy, and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of societal decay.

My final thoughts on the best fiction survival books

Close up shot of a stack of books with one book open on the top with a full bookshelf visible behind,  Fiction Survival Books

Having navigated through the wild terrains of fiction survival books, these 15 captivating tales have proven to be a rollercoaster of adrenaline, resilience, and unexpected twists. 

Each book on this list has left an indelible mark on my reading journey, from dystopian landscapes to the heart of untamed nature. 

As fellow enthusiasts of fiction survival books, I urge you to dive into these gripping narratives and let the thrill of survival unfold. 

The beauty of this genre lies not only in the stories themselves but in the diverse perspectives readers bring to the table. 

The non-fiction adventure books are also great for those of you who want a bit more thrill when it comes to reading.

FAQ about the best fiction survival books

What are the best survival fiction books for young adults?

Some of the best survival fiction books for young adults are Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer, or Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins.

What are the best wilderness survival fiction books?

Some of the best wilderness survival fiction books are Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer, I Am Still Alive by Kate Alice, or Wild River by P.J. Petersen.

What are the best survival novels of all time?

Some of the best survival novels of all time are Gone Dark by Amanda Panitch, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, or Lord of the Flies William Golding.