The best zombie books for readers who are sick of zombies

Who am I?

I’ve been reading horror books and watching horror movies since I was entirely too young to do either—thanks to my father’s collection of Stephen King books and my uncle’s love of horror movies. Now I’m a horror writer and wake early each morning to make blank pages darker. Zombies remain one of my favorite horror sub-genres. There’s something relentlessly compelling about these mindless ghouls linking inside each of us waiting for some triggering event to set them loose. Maybe it’s the resulting chaos. Maybe it’s the gruesome horror. Mostly, it’s how such tales show us the fragility of our civilization and the darkness of our own nature. 

I wrote...

That Risen Snow: A Scary Tale of Snow White and Zombies (The Scary Tales) (Volume 1)

By Rob E. Boley,

Book cover of That Risen Snow: A Scary Tale of Snow White and Zombies (The Scary Tales) (Volume 1)

What is my book about?

The angry young dwarf named Grouchy has long dreaded this day. His abusive father raised him to hate humans, yet when a troubled human girl named Snow sought sanctuary at the home for wayward young dwarfs, Grouchy fell in love with her. Snow now lies in cursed slumber. When a smitten Prince arrives to kiss her awake, Grouchy feels as though his world is about to end. He has no idea how right he is. Snow wakes up, but she doesn’t wake up right.

Now a deranged zombie, Snow infects both the Prince and the dwarfs’ elder leader. It’s up to Grouchy and his friends to find a cure for her malicious curse to stop That Risen Snow...

The books I picked & why

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Monster Island: A Zombie Novel

By David Wellington,

Book cover of Monster Island: A Zombie Novel

Why this book?

Monster Island is the first book in the first book in Wellington’s Zombie Island Trilogy, followed by Monster Nation and Monster Planet. I loved it because while it starts as a traditional zombie apocalypse novel, Wellington takes the story into some exciting new areas. I don’t want to give any spoilers, but one of the zombies becomes more than a mindless flesh-eater. Much more. Suffice to say, Wellington provides readers with a very fresh take on zombies. A lot of horror trilogies start with a strong first book and then go downhill from there, but the Monster Island saga proved to be a solid story from start to finish. 

The Resurrected

By Megan Hart,

Book cover of The Resurrected

Why this book?

Originally released in ten parts as a horror serial, The Resurrected is a real treat. For starters, the zombie virus has a unique origin. The planet is hit by a series of freak storms. In the aftermath, strange flowers bloom, spreading a virus that transmits across humanity. The shocking action that follows is told from a shifting array of characters with many of their stories intertwining. My favorite thing about this book is Hart’s visceral description. Her sensory details will transport the reader right into each moment. It’s a wicked read, and features the best zombie sex scene you’ll ever read!

The Walking Dead Volume 1: Days Gone Bye

By Robert Kirkman,

Book cover of The Walking Dead Volume 1: Days Gone Bye

Why this book?

I know, I know. Lots of people are over The Walking Dead. I have a love/hate relationship with the television show, as well. But I’ve read every chapter of the comic book series, and I have to tell you that zombie fiction doesn’t get much better. Kirkman’s epic spans 22 collection editions comprising 193 total comic books, and it’s pure dark magic from start to finish. He populates his tale with compelling characters and terrifying zombies. The tension is palpable and absolutely no one is safe. One of the hallmarks of this series is the shocking, unexpected deaths of key characters, which made all the more impactful because Kirkman makes us feel genuine emotions for them all. 


By Stephen King,

Book cover of Cell

Why this book?

Technically Cell may not be a pure zombie novel. Instead of traditional flesh-eating undead zombies, King’s zombies are people who have been transformed by their cell phones into savage berserkers. This occurs during an event known as the Pulse, in which everyone using their cell phone becomes a “crazie.” We get to experience the resulting downfall of society through the eyes of artist Clayton Riddell, and we follow him on his quest to reunite with his wife and son. Zombie apocalypse stories often start in the midst of the apocalypse. This one starts at the beginning of society’s collapse, and it’s a truly terrifying spectacle. 

The Girl With All the Gifts

By M.R. Carey,

Book cover of The Girl With All the Gifts

Why this book?

The Girl with All the Gifts has a lot of intelligence and plenty of heart. In this tale, civilization has succumbed to a fungus that transforms people into cannibalistic “hungries.” Unlike traditional zombie viruses, this one is passed by blood, saliva, and airborne spores. The story opens in a remote military research base established to capture and study child hungries who, unlike other hungries, retain some semblance of their normal selves. These children still eat human flesh and can still be driven into a frenzy by normal humans. The heart of this story centers around Helen Justineau, a psychologist and teacher at the base, and one of her students Melanie, an intelligent 10-year-old hungrie. Not only does this book take a unique approach to zombie lore, but it also spins an entirely compelling tale with real characters and genuine emotion. 

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in zombies, comics, and Manhattan?

5,215 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about zombies, comics, and Manhattan.

Zombies Explore 74 books about zombies
Comics Explore 121 books about comics
Manhattan Explore 56 books about Manhattan

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Zone One, The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead, and Undead Ultra if you like this list.