How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu

How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu

Beginning in 2030, a grieving archeologist arrives in the Arctic Circle to continue the work of his recently deceased daughter at the Batagaika crater, where researchers are studying long-buried secrets now revealed in melting permafrost, including the perfectly preserved remains of a girl who appears to have died of an ancient virus. Once unleashed, the Arctic Plague will reshape life on earth for generations to come, quickly traversing the globe, forcing humanity to devise a myriad of moving and inventive ways to embrace possibility in the face of tragedy. In a theme park designed for terminally ill children… Read more.

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Trigger & Content Warnings

  • Ableism
  • Suicide
  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • Cancer & terminal illness
  • Hospitalisation
  • Blood & injury depiction
  • Emesis
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a child
  • Gun violence mentioned
  • Animal death & cruelty
  • Animal experimentation

Severance by Ling Ma

Severance by Ling Ma

Candace Chen, a millennial drone self-sequestered in a Manhattan office tower, is devoted to routine. So she barely notices when a plague of biblical proportions sweeps New York. Then Shen Fever spreads. Families flee. Companies halt operations. The subways squeak to a halt. Soon entirely alone, still unfevered, she photographs the eerie, abandoned city as the anonymous blogger NY Ghost. Candace won’t be able to make it on her own forever, though. Enter a group of survivors, led by the power-hungry IT tech Bob. They’re travelling to a place called the Facility, where, Bob promises, they will have everything they… Read more.

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Trigger & Content Warnings

  • Suicide
  • Pregnancy
  • Plague
  • Death of parents
  • Imprisonment

The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green

The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green

The Anthropocene is the current geological age, in which human activity has profoundly shaped the planet and its biodiversity. In this remarkable symphony of essays adapted and expanded from his ground-breaking, critically acclaimed podcast, John Green reviews different facets of the human-centered planet – from the QWERTY keyboard and Halley’s Comet to Penguins of Madagascar – on a five-star scale.

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Trigger & Content Warnings

  • COVID-19
  • Anxiety
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

This Delicious Death by Kayla Cottingham

This Delicious Death by Kayla Cottingham

Three years ago, the melting of arctic permafrost released a pathogen of unknown origin into the atmosphere, causing a small percentage of people to undergo a transformation that became known as the Hollowing. Those impacted slowly became intolerant to normal food and were only able to gain sustenance by consuming the flesh of other human beings. Those who went without flesh quickly became feral, turning on their friends and family. However, scientists were able to create a synthetic version of human meat that would satisfy the hunger of those impacted by the Hollowing. As a result, humanity slowly began to… Read more.

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Trigger & Content Warnings

  • Sexism
  • Transmisia mentioned
  • Child neglect
  • Deadnaming
  • Anxiety mentioned
  • Intrusive thoughts
  • Nightmares
  • Suicidal ideation, implied
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Drugging
  • Graphic blood & gore depiction including dead bodies and body parts
  • Body horror
  • Graphic cannibalism
  • Pandemic
  • Scars
  • Needles & syringes
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a grandparent
  • Death of a sibling
  • Murder
  • Gun violence
  • Captivity & confinement
  • Fire

*Context : The plot revolves around the protagonist eating people to survive. The deadname is not explicitly stated. The pandemic involves a fictionalised disease. Similarly, the drugging incident involves a fictional drug.

Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

Edwin St. Andrew is eighteen years old when he crosses the Atlantic by steamship, exiled from polite society following an ill-conceived diatribe at a dinner party. He enters the forest, spellbound by the beauty of the Canadian wilderness, and suddenly hears the notes of a violin echoing in an airship terminal—an experience that shocks him to his core. Two centuries later a famous writer named Olive Llewellyn is on a book tour. She’s travelling all over Earth, but her home is the second moon colony, a place of white stone, spired towers, and artificial beauty. Within the text of Olive’s… Read more.

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Trigger & Content Warnings

  • Infidelity mentioned
  • Suicide recounted
  • Drug use
  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • False imprisonment
  • Gun violence

A Death-Struck Year by Makiia Lucier

A Death-Struck Year by Makiia Lucier

For Cleo Berry, the people dying of the Spanish Influenza in cities like New York and Philadelphia may as well be in another country–that’s how far away they feel from the safety of Portland, Oregon. And then cases start being reported in the Pacific Northwest. Schools, churches, and theaters shut down. The entire city is thrust into survival mode–and into a panic. Headstrong and foolish, seventeen-year-old Cleo is determined to ride out the pandemic in the comfort of her own home, rather than in her quarantined boarding school dorms. But when the Red Cross pleads for volunteers, she can’t ignore the call. As Cleo struggles to… Read more.

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Trigger & Content Warnings

  • Spanish Influenza pandemic (theme)
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Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey 

Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey

Loup Garron was born and raised in Santa Olivia, an isolated, disenfranchised town next to a US military base inside a DMZ buffer zone between Texas and Mexico. A fugitive “Wolf-Man” who had a love affair with a local woman, Loup’s father was one of a group of men genetically-manipulated and used by the US government as a weapon. The “Wolf-Men” were engineered to have superhuman strength, speed, sensory capability, stamina, and a total lack of fear, and Loup, named for and sharing her father’s wolf-like qualities, is marked as an outsider.… Read more.

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Trigger & Content Warnings

  • Domestic abuse
  • Pandemic
  • Medical experimentation
  • Bombing
  • Animal death (dog), off-page
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Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord

Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord

Paama’s husband is a fool and a glutton. Bad enough that he followed her to her parents’ home in the village of Makendha, now he’s disgraced himself by murdering livestock and stealing corn. When Paama leaves him for good, she attracts the attention of the undying ones – the djombi – who present her with a gift: the Chaos Stick, which allows her to manipulate the subtle forces of the world. Unfortunately, not all the djombi are happy about this gift: the Indigo Lord believes this power should be his and his alone, and he sets about trying to persuade Paama to return the Chaos… Read more.

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Trigger & Content Warnings

  • Sexism
  • Suicide mentioned
  • Plague
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Edinburgh by Alexander Chee

Edinburgh by Alexander Chee

Twelve-year-old Fee is a shy Korean American boy and a newly named section leader of the first sopranos in his local boys’ choir. But when Fee learns how the director treats his section leaders, he is so ashamed he says nothing of the abuse, not even when Peter, his best friend, is in line to be next. When the director is arrested, Fee tries to forgive himself for his silence. But when Peter takes his own life, Fee blames only himself. In the years that follow he slowly builds a new life, teaching near his hometown. There he meets a young student who is the picture of Peter and is forced to confront the past he believed was gone.

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Trigger & Content Warnings

  • Racism
  • Homomisic slurs
  • Paedophilia, including child pornography
  • Suicide by gun
  • Self-immolation
  • Self-harm
  • Black Death pandemic
  • Death of a grandparents
  • Murder
  • Arson

Fever by Deon Meyer

Fever by Deon Meyer

Nico Storm and his father Willem drive a truck filled with essential supplies through a desolate land. They are among the few in South Africa–and the world, as far as they know–to have survived a devastating virus which has swept through the country. Their world turned upside down, Nico realizes that his superb marksmanship and cool head mean he is destined to be his father’s protector, even though he is still only a boy. But Willem Storm, though not a fighter, is both a thinker and a leader, a wise and compassionate man with a vision for a new community that survivors will rebuild from the ruins. And so Amanzi is founded… Read more.

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Trigger & Content Warnings

  • Child abuse
  • Suicide
  • Medical epidemic
  • Death of a parent
  • Murder
  • Gun violence
  • War themes
  • Animal cruelty
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