Prepare for the Ultimate Adrenaline Rush with These Captivating Survival Thrillers

Posted on February 19, 2024

by Amy H

Thrillers where nature is out to get you are exhilarating and jammed with edge-of-your-seat-y goodness. Here are some great survival novels that provide enough vicarious thrills to help you appreciate how relaxing it is to have a dull life.

Book Jacket: A Solitude of Wolverines

a solitude of wolverines by Alice Henderson

The first book in a thrilling series featuring an intrepid wildlife biologist who's dedicated to saving endangered species...and relies on her superior survival skills to thwart those who aim to stop her. In a wild and dangerous landscape, Alex’s life depends on staying one step ahead-using all she knows about the animal world and what it takes to win the brutal battle for survival.

Book Jacket: The Island

the island by Adrian McKinty

Newlyweds Heather and Tom are hoping a trip to Australia will help Tom’s children bond with their new stepmother, but an adventure to a remote island turns into a nightmare when Tom and Heather are separated-and it’s up to Heather to save herself and her step-kids. While navigating two children who don’t trust her at all, the unforgiving and dangerous bush, and the creepy island locals who want them all dead, Heather must find the strength she didn’t know she had to save her new family.

Book Jacket: The River at Night

the river at night by Erica Ferencik

Winifred Allen's three best friends insist on a high-octane getaway for their annual girls’ trip, but what starts out as an invigorating hiking and rafting excursion in the remote Allagash Wilderness soon becomes an all-too-real nightmare; a freak accident leaves the women stranded, separating them from everything they need to survive. When night descends, a fire on the mountainside lures them to a ramshackle camp that appears to be their lifeline. But as Wini and her friends grasp the true intent of their supposed saviors, long buried secrets emerge. To survive, Wini must harness an inner strength she never knew she possessed.

Book Jacket: The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon

the girl who loved tom gordon by Stephen King

During a day hike on the Appalachian Trail, nine-year-old Trisha McFarland briefly wanders off by herself and becomes lost in a wilderness maze. As night falls, Trisha has only her ingenuity and courage as a defense against the elements and her mounting fears. For solace, she tunes her radio to broadcasts of Boston Red Sox baseball games and takes solace in her hero, relief pitcher Tom Gordon. When the reception begins to fade, Trisha imagines that Tom Gordon is right there with her--the protector from an enemy who may or may not be who is waiting for her in the dense, dark woods...

Book Jacket: I Am Still Alive

i am still alive by Kate Alice Marshall

"Wild" meets "The Revenant" in this heart-pounding story of survival and revenge in the unforgiving wilderness. With only her father's dog for company, Jess must forage and hunt for food, build shelter, and keep herself warm. Some days it feels like the wild is out to destroy her, but she's stronger than she ever imagined. Jess will survive. She has to. She knows who killed her father...and she wants revenge.

Book Jacket: Drowning

drowning by T. J. Newman

Soon to be released as a feature film! Six minutes after takeoff, Flight 1421 crashes into the Pacific Ocean. During the evacuation an engine explodes, and the plane is flooded. Those still alive are forced to close the doors and the plane sinks 200 feet to the bottom with twelve passengers trapped inside, including engineer Will Kent and his eleven-year-old daughter Shannon. Their only chance at survival is an elite rescue team on the surface led by professional diver Chris Kent-Shannon’s mother and Will’s soon-to-be ex-wife-who must work together with Will to find a way to rescue the passengers from the sealed airplane, which is now teetering on the edge of an undersea cliff. There’s not much time. There’s even less air.

Book Jacket: Cold People

cold people by Tom Rob Smith

The world has fallen. Without warning, a mysterious and omnipotent force has claimed the planet for their own. There were no negotiations, no demands, no reasons given for their actions. Humanity has thirty days to reach the one place on Earth where they will be allowed to exist…Antarctica. Only some endure the frantic exodus to the most extreme environment on the planet. As they cling to life on the ice and the remnants of their past are swept away, they must also confront the urgent challenge: can they change and evolve rapidly enough to ensure humanity’s future? Can they build a new society in the sub-zero cold?

Book Jacket: The Overnight Guest

the overnight guest by Heather Gudenkauf

True crime writer Wylie Lark doesn’t mind being snowed in at the isolated farmhouse where she’s retreated to write her new book. It would be perfect, but decades earlier, two people were murdered in cold blood here and a girl disappeared without a trace. As the storm worsens, Wylie finds herself trapped inside the house, haunted by secrets. Then she discovers a small child in the snow just outside. After bringing the child inside for warmth and safety, she begins to search for answers. But soon it becomes clear that the farmhouse isn’t as isolated as she thought, and someone is willing to do anything to find them.

Book Jacket: The Wolves of Winter

the wolves of winter by Tyrell Johnson

Lynn McBride has learned much since society collapsed post-nuclear war and the relentless spread of disease. As memories of her old life continue to surface, she’s forced to forge ahead in the snow-drifted Canadian Yukon, learning how to hunt and trap. Forget the old days. Forget summer. Forget warmth. Forget anything that doesn’t help you survive in the endless white wilderness beyond the edges of a fallen world. But now the remaining world from before has found her tiny community-most prominently in the enigmatic figure of Jax, who brings with him dark secrets of the past and sets in motion a chain of events that will call Lynn to a role she never imagined.

Book Jacket: Force of Nature

force of nature by Jane Harper

Only four of the five women who began a corporate survival exercise make it out of the Australian outback. The missing woman, Alice Russell, is the whistle-blower in a money-laundering case that Falk, a Melbourne police investigator focused on financial crime, has been working on. Has Russell fallen victim to a copycat serial killer or to corporate retribution? Turns out that all of the other women on the exercise had reason to want her out of the way. Or did she simply wander off track on her own? Author Jane Harper presents an intriguing crime that might not actually exist and potential suspects with realistically complex personalities and possible motives. This is a terrific thriller not to be missed.

Book Jacket: Dixon, Descending

dixon, descending by Karen Outen

Dixon was an Olympic-level runner who missed the team by two-tenths of a second, and struggles to engage with anything passionately after that crushing defeat from decades ago. But when his brother suggests they attempt to be the first Black American men to summit Mount Everest, Dixon can't refuse. The brothers are determined to prove something--to themselves and to each other. Dixon interrupts his orderly life as a school psychologist, leaving behind disapproving friends, family, and students. Once on the mountain, the brothers are met with extreme weather conditions, oxygen deprivation, and precarious terrain. But as much as they've prepared, in one devastating moment Dixon's world is upended. He returns home and attempts to resume his job, but things have shifted: ultimately, Dixon must confront the truth of what happened on the mountain and come to terms with who can and cannot be saved.

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