8 Best Books Like Stephen King Update 05/2022

Books Like Stephen King

Find more spine-tingling reads like It here.

Although Stephen King has written nearly 100 novels and collections of short stories, he is unquestionably one of the best-known. When a young boy is killed in Derry, Maine, the murder goes unsolved, resulting in the deaths of many other children in the town.

Something otherworldly, assuming the form of their worst nightmares and turning them against them, is killing them. The most common apparition is that of Pennywise the Clown.

This evil was confronted by seven children in 1958, and they then went on with their lives. Since their childhood, they’ve been haunted by it. When the murders resume in 1985, they must reunite to face their greatest fear or perish trying to escape its grasp.

It’s a must-read for anyone who enjoys a novel that’s fresh and original. If you’re looking for a book like It that follows children as they’re being targeted by outside forces or depicts a monster that needs to be killed, you’ll find it in the following titles.

Books like It

Lord of the Flies, by William Golding

Lord of the Flies, by William Golding

A plane crash leaves a dozen boys stranded on an island during the Cold War, and Lord of the Flies tells their story of surviving in this new environment. Together with the rule-abiding but friendless Piggy, Ralph takes command of the island and works to make it livable while they wait for rescue.

Jack, on the other hand, is skeptical of Ralph’s abilities and would rather go pig hunting than wait for someone to find them. Initially intended to be a respite from the stresses of adult life, the trip quickly devolves into chaos as rival factions vie for control and a beast stalks the island.

Pre-pubescent boys’ struggles to survive in a dangerous environment while frightened of the evil that lurks in the shadows are featured in this novel.

Is this book familiar to you? We’ve compiled a list of books that are similar to Lord of the Flies.

The Institute, by Stephen King

The Institute follows in the footsteps of other books that focus on children, like It. A gifted young man named Luke Ellis is kidnapped in the middle of the night and taken to The Institute, a school for children with telekinesis or telepathy, where he meets the killers of his family.

It’s not clear why the school’s administrators are gathering these students, but Luke recognizes right away that they are dangerous and won’t hesitate to harm children in order to achieve their goals. In spite of this, Luke continues to make new friends, attempting to solve the puzzle and stay alive while doing so.

Children Luke’s age are being hunted by something they don’t understand, just like the characters in the film It. To survive, they must learn to fight. Because the books are being read to children, they are even more frightening because of their age group’s vulnerability.

Dracula, by Bram Stoker

There is no mention of kids in this novel, but the author depicts a humanlike monster who is on a killing spree. When Jonathon Harker goes to Transylvania to help Count Dracula buy some land in England, he quickly learns that there is more to the Count than meets the eye.

His fiancée’s best friend succumbs to the vampire, and soon strange events begin to occur in the area where he and his fiancée reside. To defeat this supernatural foe, as in It, a team must be assembled, but they have no idea what they’re doing or how to do it.

He’s like It in that he’s your worst nightmare come to life, and he vows to fight to the death or take someone else down with him. Bram Stoker’s Dracula is a must-read for fans of It and the horror genre.

Have you read this well-known work of horror fiction? Check out our list of books that are similar to Dracula!

Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro

Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro isn’t explicitly a horror novel. Our protagonist Kathy H is simply reminiscing about her past, beginning with her time at the boarding school Hailsham. At first, the story appears to be very normal.

It sounds like an ideal childhood, if not for the lack of parents or the gruesome tales of what happens to those who try to flee the school. Ruth and Tommy were her two best friends there.

As Kathy and her friends grow older, it becomes clear that they aren’t just any other kids; they are special, and they must serve a greater purpose than simply pursuing their own dreams.

There are no monsters to be confronted here, but the future that hangs over Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy’s heads is anything but pleasant – if only they could see it that way. There is nothing Kathy and her friends can do about their predestination to a life of servitude in It Must Return to Derry.

What do you think of this? Make sure to check out our list of books that are similar to Never Let Me Go!

Sharp Objects, by Gillian Flynn

There are no supernatural entities in this book either, but the fact that someone is killing children is enough to make it extremely unsettling. The teeth of young girls have been removed from the bodies that have been found in Wind Gap. Curfews have been imposed across the town, with parents fearing for their children’s safety because of the lack of reliable leads.

Visiting her hometown to write a story about the case brings back painful memories for Camille Preaker, a reporter who grew up here and now returns to revisit the place where she lost her sister when she was a teenager.

It’s impossible for Camille to stay away from the town any longer as her half-sister, who is of the same age as all the other missing girls, only adds to her intrigue.

It’s like other books like It in that the killer targets young girls, and no one can figure out who is doing it. Sharp Objects is a terrifying novel about damaged characters in a backwards town. It’s sequel is a must-read.

Is Gillian Flynn a fan of yours? See our list of books like Gone Girl and Sharp Objects!

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

Doctor Sleep, the sequel to The Shining, is the second Stephen King novel on this list of books like It. This time around, Danny has grown up and is struggling with alcoholism as a result of his experiences at the Overlook Hotel.

With the help of “the shining,” Danny’s powers have carried over into adulthood and he appears to be in good health after years of dealing with addiction. Inadvertently, he connects with Abra, an extremely powerful adolescent girl. The only problem is that an immortal group called the True Knot is on the lookout for people with abilities like hers, and Abra has only recently appeared on their radar.

You can read this novel after you’ve finished reading about the evils in Derry, Maine, because the higher powers at work here are dependent on children’s fear, just like in It.

The Outsider, by Stephen King

Because he can persuade the reader that the monsters he writes about could in fact be real, Stephen King is a great author for world-building and imagining the supernatural in realistic settings.

Outsider is about Terry Maitland, a much-loved father and husband who is linked to the murder of a child in a gruesome and seamless way.

Detective Ralph Anderson has reservations about the case, especially when Maitland insists he never committed the crime and has an alibi to back it up.

But what are they supposed to believe when their neighbors are talking about the brutality of a boy’s murder? The evidence points to him as the perpetrator and points to him not. Can we rule out the possibility of a paranormal element?

It’s possible that King frequently uses children as the victims of his monsters, as in books like It, because the death of a child is every parent’s worst nightmare. Because of their vulnerability, the reader is forced to experience the crime with an even greater sense of horror.

The Chain, by Adrian McKinty

There is no supernatural element in The Chain, unlike most of the other books on this list, and all of the victims are children. After receiving a phone call from a blocked number claiming that her daughter Kylie has been kidnapped, Rachel’s life is turned upside down. Unless she follows their instructions, Kylie’s life will be in danger.

First-time readers will quickly learn that The Chain will never let you out of its clutches, so Rachel must kidnap another child to get back her own. Without knowing why she has been chosen or if she will be able to carry out the mission, Rachel sets out to acquire the tools necessary to commit the unthinkable: the kidnapping of the child of another set of parents, no matter the cost to herself or the child.

You can’t imagine anyone killing these children as you read, but with their own sons and daughters at risk, just how far will a parent go to protect their own?

If you’ve seen It, you know that it’s the children who are harmed the most; they have to endure the hell and hope that their parents will come through for them, even if that means they become criminals themselves.

It’s a long book, but that’s because the author wants you to be fully invested in the lives of these children as they confront their worst fears and the knowledge that death awaits them no matter where they go.

All of the books on this list feature a killer lurking in the shadows, be it supernatural or human, and you can’t wait to find out how they defeat this ominous force.

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