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

By Rob E. Boley,

Book cover of That Risen Snow

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...

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Monster Island: A Zombie Novel

Rob E. Boley Why did I love 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. 

By David Wellington, David Wellington,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Monster Island as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It's one month after a global disaster. The most "developed" nations of the world have fallen to the shambling zombie masses. Only a few pockets of humanity survive -- in places rife with high-powered weaponry, such as Somalia. In New York City, the dead walk the streets, driven by an insatiable hunger for all things living. One amongst them is different; though he shares their appetites he has retained his human intelligence. Alone among the mindless zombies, Gary Fleck is an eyewitness to the end of the world -- and perhaps the evil genius behind it all. From the other…

Book cover of The Resurrected

Rob E. Boley Why did I love 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!

By Megan Hart,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Resurrected as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Resurrected, The Compendium, includes the entire contents of the original serial, parts 1-10. Some content has been revised or updated and may differ from the original. When a series of freak storms sweep across the world, they leave behind something more than devastation. First come the swift-growing flowers, smelling like heaven and dying as quickly as they bloom. Next comes the infestation as the flowers breed and multiply inside their hosts. After that, chaos, mayhem and death. And after that...resurrection.

Book cover of Days Gone Bye

Rob E. Boley Why did I love 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 Robert Kirkman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Days Gone Bye as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The world we knew is gone. The world of commerce and frivolous necessity has been replaced by a world of survival and responsibility. An epidemic of apocalyptic proportions has swept the globe, causing the dead to rise and feed on the living. In a matter of months society has crumbled: no government, no grocery stores, no mail delivery, no cable TV. In a world ruled by the dead, the survivors are forced to finally start living.

Book cover of Cell

Rob E. Boley Why did I love 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. 

By Stephen King,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Cell as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Stephen King's bestselling apocalyptic thriller.

'Civilization slipped into its second dark age on an unsurprising track of blood but with a speed that could not have been foreseen by even the most pessimistic futurist. By Halloween, every major city from New York to Moscow stank to the empty heavens and the world as it had been was a memory.'

The event became known as The Pulse. The virus was carried by every cell phone operating within the entire world. Within hours, those receiving calls would be infected.

A young artist Clayton Riddell realises what is happening. He flees the devastation…

Book cover of The Girl With All the Gifts

Rob E. Boley Why did I love 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. 

By M.R. Carey,

Why should I read it?

12 authors picked The Girl With All the Gifts as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The phenomenal million-copy bestseller that is also a BAFTA Award-nominated movie


Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don't like her. She jokes that she won't bite. But they don't laugh.

Melanie is a very special girl.

Emotionally charged and gripping from beginning to end, THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS is the…

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The Road from Belhaven

By Margot Livesey,

Book cover of The Road from Belhaven

Margot Livesey Author Of The Road from Belhaven

New book alert!

Who am I?

Author Reader Secret orphan Professor Scottish Novelist

Margot's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

The Road from Belhaven is set in 1880s Scotland. Growing up in the care of her grandparents on Belhaven Farm, Lizzie Craig discovers as a small girl that she can see the future. But she soon realises that she must keep her gift a secret. While she can sometimes glimpse the future, she can never change it.

Nor can Lizzie change the feelings that come when a young man named Louis, visiting Belhaven for the harvest, begins to court her. Why have the adults around her never told her that the touch of a hand can change everything? When she follows Louis to Glasgow, she begins to learn the limits of his devotion and the complexities of her own affections.

The Road from Belhaven

By Margot Livesey,

What is this book about?

From the New York Times best-selling author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy, a novel about a young woman whose gift of second sight complicates her coming of age in late-nineteenth-century Scotland

Growing up in the care of her grandparents on Belhaven Farm, Lizzie Craig discovers as a small child that she can see into the future. But her gift is selective—she doesn’t, for instance, see that she has an older sister who will come to join the family. As her “pictures” foretell various incidents and accidents, she begins to realize a painful truth: she may glimpse the future, but…

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Interested in zombies, the zombie apocalypse, and comics?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about zombies, the zombie apocalypse, and comics.

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