The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker

The Dreamers by Karen Thompson

In an isolated college town in the hills of Southern California, a freshman girl stumbles into her dorm room, falls asleep—and doesn’t wake up. She sleeps through the morning, into the evening. Her roommate, Mei, cannot rouse her. Neither can the paramedics who carry her away, nor the perplexed doctors at the hospital. Then a second girl falls asleep, and then another, and panic takes hold of the college and spreads to the town. As the number of cases multiplies, a quarantine is established. The National Guard is summoned.

Mei finds herself thrust together with an eccentric, idealistic classmate. Two visiting professors try to protect their newborn baby. And at the hospital, a new life grows within a college girl, unbeknownst to her—even as she sleeps. A psychiatrist, summoned from Los Angeles, attempts to make sense of the illness as it spreads. Those infected are displaying unusual levels of brain activity, more than has ever been recorded. They are dreaming heightened dreams—but of what?

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racist language
  • Suicide
  • Epidemic
  • Animal death
  • Bullying

Network Effect by Martha Wells

Network Effect by Martha Wells

You know that feeling when you’re at work, and you’ve had enough of people, and then the boss walks in with yet another job that needs to be done right this second or the world will end, but all you want to do is go home and binge your favorite shows? And you’re a sentient murder machine programmed for destruction? Congratulations, you’re Murderbot.

When Murderbot’s human associates (not friends, never friends) are captured and another not-friend from its past requires urgent assistance, Murderbot must choose between inertia and drastic action.

Drastic action it is, then.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Indentured servitude & slavery discussed
  • Amnesia
  • Blood & gore depiction
  • Physical injuries
  • Contagion
  • Murder & attempted murder
  • Gun violence
  • Explosions
  • Kidnapping & hostage situation
  • Loss of autonomy discussed
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In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters

In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters

In 1918, the world seems on the verge of apocalypse. Americans roam the streets in gauze masks to ward off the deadly Spanish influenza, and the government ships young men to the front lines of a brutal war, creating an atmosphere of fear and confusion.

Sixteen-year-old Mary Shelley Black watches as desperate mourners flock to séances and spirit photographers for comfort, but she herself has never believed in ghosts. During her bleakest moment, however, she’s forced to rethink her entire way of looking at life and death, for her first love—a boy who died in battle—returns in spirit form. But what does he want from her?

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Suicide mentioned
  • Pandemic (Spanish Influenza)
  • Gore depiction
  • Hospitalisation
  • Death of a parent recounted
  • Murder & attempted murder
  • Poisoning
  • Mind control (possession)
  • War themes
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Immunity by Erin Bowman

Immunity by Erin Bowman

Immunity by Erin Bowman book cover

Survivors of a deadly planetary outbreak take on a new, sinister adversary in the white-knuckle sequel to Contagion.

Thea, Coen, and Nova have escaped from Achlys, only to find themselves imprisoned on a ship they thought was their ticket to safety. Now the nightmare they thought they’d left behind is about to be unleashed as an act of political warfare, putting the entire galaxy at risk.

To prevent an interstellar catastrophe, they’ll have to harness the evil of the deadly Achlys contagion and deploy the only weapons they have left: themselves.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Suicide recounted
  • Non-consensual medical experimentation
  • Blood & gore depiction
  • Contagion (theme)
  • Medical procedures & treatment, including amputation
  • Terminal cancer of a sibling discussed
  • Radiation poisoning
  • Comas
  • Graphic torture
  • Electrocution
  • Gun violence
  • Kidnapping & captivity
  • Explosions & bombings
  • Military violence
  • Animal testing
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Contagion by Erin Bowman

Contagion by Erin Bowman

Contagion by Erin Bowman book cover

It got in us
After receiving an urgent SOS from a work detail on a distant planet, a skeleton crew is dispatched to perform a standard search-and-rescue mission.

Most are dead.
But when the crew arrives, they find an abandoned site, littered with rotten food, discarded weapons…and dead bodies.

Don’t set foot here again.
As they try to piece together who—or what—could have decimated an entire operation, they discover that some things are best left buried—and some monsters are only too ready to awaken.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableism
  • Parental abandonment recounted
  • Self-harm
  • Suicide by gun (on-page in prologue)
  • Graphic blood and gore depiction
  • Dead bodies
  • Physical illness & injuries, including eyeball trauma
  • Plague, central theme
  • Needles and syringes
  • Medical procedures, including blood test and surgery
  • Medical emergency & serious (terminal) illness of a loved one
  • Comas
  • Emesis
  • Death of parents
  • Death of cousin
  • Death of friend
  • Death of colleague
  • Murder and attempted murder
  • Strangulation mentioned
  • Knife violence
  • Gun violence
  • Kidnapping
  • Drowning mentioned
  • Death from electrocution
  • Blizzards & severe storms
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The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson

The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson

The daughter of a union with an outsider that cast her once-proud family into disgrace, Immanuelle does her best to worship the Father, follow Holy Protocol and lead a life of submission, devotion and absolute conformity, like all the women in the settlement.

But a chance mishap lures her into the forbidden Darkwood that surrounds Bethel – a place where the first prophet once pursued and killed four powerful witches. Their spirits are still walking there, and they bestow a gift on Immanuelle: the diary of her dead mother, who Immanuelle is shocked to learn once sought sanctuary in the wood.

Fascinated by secrets in the diary, Immanuelle finds herself struggling to understand how her mother could have consorted with the witches. But when she begins to learn grim truths about the Church and its history, she realises the true threat to Bethel is its own darkness. And if Bethel is to change, it must begin with her . . .

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism & colourism
  • Misogyny
  • Slut-shaming
  • Ableist language
  • Persecution for witchcraft
  • Physical, verbal & emotional child abuse
  • Sexual assault
  • Rape & statutory rape recounted
  • Paedophilia & child molestation recounted
  • Forced nonconsensual marriage*
  • Exile & ex-communication
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Suicide recounted
  • Self-harm & self-inflicted injuries
  • Pregnancy & child pregnancy (secondary character)
  • Death from childbirth (two on-page scenes), and mentions of miscarriage & stillbirth
  • Graphic blood depiction & menstruation discussed
  • Plague (multiple)
  • Seizures & stroke (side character)
  • Nonconsensual branding
  • Emesis
  • Death of a mother & father recounted
  • Death of a son recounted
  • Death of a best friend (on-page)
  • Strangulation
  • Drowning
  • Being burned alive
  • Earthquake
  • Imprisonment & captivity
  • Murder & attempted murder
  • Knife violence & stabbing
  • Animal death & sacrifice

Note: This book portrays a cult which uses its beliefs to justify abuse, torture, misogyny, racism & paedophilia, including the marriage, rape (‘bedding’) & impregnation of multiple children (not graphic or on-page, but mentioned & discussed by secondary characters).

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