We all love a good scary book, right? And what’s even more scary than zombies?
There are a lot of zombie books out there now that aren’t all the same. Many of them have new ideas and concepts for the genre. As far back as the 1950s, Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend was a big hit. Since then, the zombie genre has grown a lot. Almost everything has a zombie theme these days, from books to movies to TV shows, and even video games. The fact that we’re also into zombies means we’re fine with that, though.
On this page, you’ll find 11 of our favorite zombie books. We hope you enjoy them! (some series). You might want to note that we didn’t include any zombie comedies in our list (although there are quite a few that could be on this list). Instead, we chose books that were focused on the scary parts of the story, instead.
‘The Reapers Are the Angels’ by Alden Bell
As long as Alden Bell’s book is about a 15-year-old, it doesn’t mean it’s a book for kids who are young. So don’t be fooled by the main character, Temple, who is called Temple. In fact, it’s the other way around.
This isn’t your run-of-the-mill zombie book. Its unique take on the loneliness of a zombie apocalypse from a young person’s point of view is why we put it on this list of the best. Temple’s story takes place in the near future, 25 years after zombies first appear. It’s a great place to look at a society that’s stuck between what it used to be and a brutal new world. If you can get past the fact that the zombies in the book are called “slugs,” not walkers, zeds, Zs, or anything else, this is a great book.
‘World War Z’ by Max Brooks
Even if you don’t want to waste your time, you could watch World War Z. But the book was better in every way possible.
The book World War Z scares people because it sounds like a zombie apocalypse that could happen. After the war, zombies are a big problem. Brooks’ gritty zombie novel shows what would happen in a post-war society when zombies were involved, and the unforgiving brutality of it all hits close to home.
‘Slow Burn: Zero Day (Book 1)’ by Bobby Adair
Slow Burn: Zero Day (Book 1) has a typical zombie movie or book story line, but the way it’s told is worth noting. This is the first book in the series. During the movie, Zed Zane finds his mother dead on the floor of the living room. His stepfather, who has turned into a zombie, looks on with crazy eyes and a bloody rage. They make a great thriller. In this first book, the action starts right away and doesn’t stop until the end. It’s hard to put down.
‘Monster Island’ by David Wellington
David Wellington’s book, Monster Island, takes place a month after the zombie apocalypse starts. There are only a few pockets of humanity left. In honor of I Am Legend, this movie is brutal and unforgiving, pitting humanity against seemingly impossible odds and making it seem like there is no way out (the novel, not the movie, although that was also good). An army of schoolgirls and a military man work together to find medicine in a zombie-infested New York City. Monster Island is lively and even a little frantic at times, and it’s a must-read for zombie fans.
‘The Rising’ by Brian Keene
People love this book, and it’s one of the most popular zombie books of all time. It’s been translated into more than a dozen languages, and it’s been one of the best-selling zombie books ever. Check out Brian Keene’s book, The Rising, which is about a father and a few new friends who have to fight their way through post-apocalyptic zombie-infested lands in search of his young son.
The Rising is a story about how to keep going when the odds are against you. It also talks about how a man would look for his lost child. When you read this list, it is the hardest-hitting zombie book to read. You should also read its sequel, City of the Dead, which is just as good, if not better, than The Rising.
The Newsflesh Trilogy by Mira Grant
In the first book in Mira Grant’s Newsflesh Trilogy, “Feed,” the cancer has been cured. It has an interesting premise about what would happen if cancer were to come back.
People who have been cured now have a blood-thirsty hunger for those who haven’t. After 20 years, a couple of journalists are trying to find out what happened to cause the disease, and they want to find out what happened. The second book, Deadline, and the third book, Blackout, are also great books (and highly-rated). A big part of what makes these shows so exciting is that they have a lot in common with the real world we live in now.
‘The Girl With All the Gifts’ by M.R. Carey
I didn’t know about The Girl With All the Gifts until the movie came out in 2017. Somehow, I didn’t notice it. The movie is even more powerful than the book.
The story is about a zombie plague that is fungal, not viral or bacterial, which makes it different from other zombie plagues. And the book takes place 20 years after the first outbreak. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you much more than that because I don’t want to give away the plot for you. The book has well-written female protagonists who don’t feel rushed or just there for the sake of being there, which makes them more interesting. If you like zombies, this is a book that you won’t be able to put down.
‘The Forest of Hands and Teeth’ by Carrie Ryan
All you need to know about The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan is that it’s a lot like M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village, but what’s beyond the fence is actually scary. We all know that zombies can be found outside of the fence. The story is about Mary, who lives inside the village walls until one day, the Unconsecrated broke through.
Ryan’s zombie series isn’t just scary, but it also has a lot of beauty and love. In this book, it’s well-written, and it’s set in an interesting setting after the world has been turned upside down. The Forest of Hands and Teeth is also in the works. Maisie Williams is set to star in the movie.
‘Devil’s Wake’ by Steven Barnes
Wake of the Devil
By Steven Barnes, it’s more than just a great idea. In Devil’s Wake, an alien race tries to bring Earth’s civilization down to its knees by spreading a zombie virus through the air.
There are people who have to go a thousand miles in an old school bus while battling zombies, raiders, and each other in this story. Yes, the premise is a little over the top, but I think that’s what makes Devil’s Wakes so fun. It’s a book that knows what it needs to be: fun and scary.
‘This is Not a Test’ by Courtney Summers
In a lot of zombie movies, it turns out that zombies can be the least of your problems when other people are around. In This Is Not a Test, that theme is the most important one. A zombie outbreak is taking place at the time the book is set. Six high school students take shelter at their local high school. A group of six people is fighting for their lives inside the walls of a school while zombies try to get in.
People will go to great lengths to find a way to stay alive in this book.
‘Autumn’ by David Moody
In David Moody’s “Autumn” series, he doesn’t even use the word “Z” once. The plague that causes this book’s zed problem is one of the fastest-moving diseases we’ve seen so far. In just 24 hours, 99 percent of the world’s population was killed by the virus. Slowly, after they die for the first time, these zombies start to get their basic senses back. They start out as zombies from Night of the Living Dead, but then become more like zombies from World War Z.
It tells the story of a group of survivors who have to fight off a never-ending wave of zombies. It has a lot of action and suspense, but it doesn’t go over the top with the blood.