68 books like The Rising

By Brian Keene,

Here are 68 books that The Rising fans have personally recommended if you like The Rising. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Day by Day Armageddon

S. L. Smith Author Of The River Dead

From my list on zombie apocalypse that take you on an epic journey.

Why am I passionate about this?

S. L. Smith is an author, attorney, and Catholic theologian with deep roots in southern Louisiana. Despite being better known for his work in Catholic theology and history, Smith has also published extensively in the Southern Gothic genre. This crucible of tastes, religion, and location resulted in the Cajun Zombie Chronicles. Beneath the oaks and moss, lie shadows that bite.      

S. L.'s book list on zombie apocalypse that take you on an epic journey

S. L. Smith Why did S. L. love this book?

I listened to this whole series while climbing mind-numbing stacks of backlogged legal work as an Assistant Attorney General. My vision was clogged with the vivid scenes of Bourne's books, legal folders, paper clips, and coffee stains. It actually inspired the fourth book of my zombie series.   

Told in the diary format common to many books of the zombie epic subgenre, this journal depicts one man's struggle for survival. The unnamed narrator is a naval officer who was just returning home to Texas from visiting his parents in Arkansas when the zombie apocalypse hits. John, another survivor, and Annabell, John's miniature greyhound, work together with the narrator to survive, hoping to find some last working vestige of the US government. 

There are some cool elements to this zombie epic that I haven't found anywhere else. They shelter in a functional missile silo at one point. The clunk, clunk…

By J. L. Bourne,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Day by Day Armageddon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Synopsis coming soon.......


Book cover of Cell

R.A. Seckler Author Of Containment Zone

From my list on zombies that can think.

Why am I passionate about this?

I hated reading as a kid. It wasn’t until I was in college I picked up Chuck Pahalniuk’s Survivor and fell in love with books and writing. Since then, I’ve been a non-stop reader and writer. I’d consume on average a book a week (sometime’s more) and write fiction every day. My first novel Containment Zone, combined my love of horror and zombies with themes of coming to terms with the end of one’s life and how we treat the elderly and infirm. For me, writing horror stories is a way of exploring deeper aspects of what it means to be human, all while having some thrills and chills along the way.

R.A.'s book list on zombies that can think

R.A. Seckler Why did R.A. love this book?

Call me a sucker for some Stephen King and you’d be right! While I could go on and on all day about different Stephen King novels, Cell in particular was one of my favorites. This novel jumps right into the action, bombarding the reader with the chaos of what is essentially a zombie outbreak caused by a mysterious cell phone pulse. I always love King’s attention to character in his novels and his ability to weave that characterization in with the story while not bringing the plot to a total standstill. Throw in some mystery when the zombies start operating as though they’re part of a hive-mind and this novel kept me turning the pages.

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 Monster Island: A Zombie Novel

Stacy Kingsley Author Of Zombies Are People Too!

From my list on zombies that stick with you and give you nightmares.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have read over 50 zombie novels and watched pretty much every zombie movie available to me. I write horror and a lot doesn’t really scare me anymore. The books I’ve listed are some of the ones that have stuck with me and gave me nightmares. My favorite zombie movies are the Norwegian film Dead Snow, Train to Busan, and REC (so scary as it added religion to the mix). I read a lot of zombie novels as research for my own zombie novels as I want my books to present new ideas that aren’t readily available, or overused.

Stacy's book list on zombies that stick with you and give you nightmares

Stacy Kingsley Why did Stacy love this book?

I recommend this series because it was the first that I read where there were intelligent zombies. I also found it fascinating that this series realized that humans could be the monsters, even in a zombie outbreak. There are a lot of people who continue to get excited at the thought of a zombie outbreak, but I am not excited because I worry that the human monsters will be more frightening. 

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 Plague Town

Stacy Kingsley Author Of Zombies Are People Too!

From my list on zombies that stick with you and give you nightmares.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have read over 50 zombie novels and watched pretty much every zombie movie available to me. I write horror and a lot doesn’t really scare me anymore. The books I’ve listed are some of the ones that have stuck with me and gave me nightmares. My favorite zombie movies are the Norwegian film Dead Snow, Train to Busan, and REC (so scary as it added religion to the mix). I read a lot of zombie novels as research for my own zombie novels as I want my books to present new ideas that aren’t readily available, or overused.

Stacy's book list on zombies that stick with you and give you nightmares

Stacy Kingsley Why did Stacy love this book?

I loved that the main character was a kickass female. Ashley is a fabulous character who is more than what people think she is, which is how I often feel. The fun thing is that Ashley is just like everyone else, a woman trying to get through a very rough day. Ashley felt like she could be any of us or all of us. In fact, I hope that I can be Ashley if there is a zombie apocalypse, a strong female who doesn’t let anyone cause me to die (except me). 

By Dana Fredsti,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Ashley was just trying to get through a tough day when the world turned upside down.

A terrifying virus appears, quickly becoming a pandemic that leaves its victims, not dead, but far worse. Attacked by zombies, Ashley discovers that she is a 'Wild-Card' -- immune to the virus -- and she is recruited to fight back and try to control the outbreak.

It's Buffy meets the Walking Dead in a rapid-fire zombie adventure!


Book cover of Germ

Michelle Kilmer Author Of Mistakes I Made During the Zombie Apocalypse

From my list on plagues of all kinds, including zombies.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a quiet horror and apocalyptic fiction author with a love for all Horror, but I started with zombies. I have eight published books (three of which are zombie apocalypse novels) and short stories in a handful of zombie anthologies. My favorite movies (Dawn of the Dead remake, 28 Days Later, Shaun of the Dead, Rammbock: Berlin Undead) populate the zombie subgenre. I’ve participated in several zombie walks, written a zombie song and made a music video for it, and done zombie wound special effects makeup. Several of my plague short stories have won awards, including one about Norwegian sea zombies and another about a child-stealing plague.

Michelle's book list on plagues of all kinds, including zombies

Michelle Kilmer Why did Michelle love this book?

Germ is an intriguing look at how a plague can be weaponized. We follow the bio-terrorist act of a modified form of Ebola that targets people of a specific genetic makeup. Ebola scares the hell out of me because it really exists and pockets of it still spring up around the world. I loved this book for how descriptive it was and how real it felt. This book isn’t so well known, but it deserves more attention. If you liked The Andromeda Strain or if you just want a somewhat gross (ebola is a messy disease!), thriller-type story you’ll enjoy this one.

By Robert Liparulo,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

If you breathe . . . It will find you.

The list of 10,000 names was created for maximum devastation. Business leaders, housewives, politicians, celebrities, janitors, children. None of them is aware of what is about to happen--but all will be part of the most frightening brand of warfare the world has ever known.

The germ--an advanced form of the Ebola virus--has been genetically engineered to infect only those people whose DNA matches the codes embedded within it. Those whose DNA is not a match simply catch a cold. But those who are a match experience a far worse fate.…


Book cover of Infected

Michelle Kilmer Author Of Mistakes I Made During the Zombie Apocalypse

From my list on plagues of all kinds, including zombies.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a quiet horror and apocalyptic fiction author with a love for all Horror, but I started with zombies. I have eight published books (three of which are zombie apocalypse novels) and short stories in a handful of zombie anthologies. My favorite movies (Dawn of the Dead remake, 28 Days Later, Shaun of the Dead, Rammbock: Berlin Undead) populate the zombie subgenre. I’ve participated in several zombie walks, written a zombie song and made a music video for it, and done zombie wound special effects makeup. Several of my plague short stories have won awards, including one about Norwegian sea zombies and another about a child-stealing plague.

Michelle's book list on plagues of all kinds, including zombies

Michelle Kilmer Why did Michelle love this book?

Possibly one of the best plague books I’ve read, Infected introduces us to an extraterrestrial-created epidemic that soon spreads worldwide. Amazing points of view including scientists with the CDC trying real-time to figure it all out as bodies dissolve in front of them and a pro footballer who is determined to survive even if it means he loses some flesh in the process. Gruesome descriptions, tense action. Thank goodness it’s a trilogy because you’ll want more after the first book.

By Scott Sigler,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Scott Sigler is the voice in modern horror - and the INFECTED trilogy is a terrifying, menacing series that will leave you sleepless.

The alien intelligence that unleashed two horrific assaults on humanity has been destroyed. But before it was brought down in flames, it launched one last payload - a tiny soda-can-sized canister filled with germs engineered to wreak new forms of havoc on the human race. That harmless-looking canister has languished under thousands of feet of water for years, undisturbed and impotent . . . until now.

Days after the new disease is unleashed, a quarter of the…


Book cover of Dead City

Stacy Kingsley Author Of Zombies Are People Too!

From my list on zombies that stick with you and give you nightmares.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have read over 50 zombie novels and watched pretty much every zombie movie available to me. I write horror and a lot doesn’t really scare me anymore. The books I’ve listed are some of the ones that have stuck with me and gave me nightmares. My favorite zombie movies are the Norwegian film Dead Snow, Train to Busan, and REC (so scary as it added religion to the mix). I read a lot of zombie novels as research for my own zombie novels as I want my books to present new ideas that aren’t readily available, or overused.

Stacy's book list on zombies that stick with you and give you nightmares

Stacy Kingsley Why did Stacy love this book?

This book was so dramatic and horrifying, especially as zombies could infect pretty much anything—including animals. It made me think back to the movie The Birds, especially as there are killer birds. If you can’t trust animals and you can trust humans, will there really even be a chance of hope for survival for the survivors?

By Joe McKinney,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A relentless thrill ride. . . Break out the popcorn, you're in for a real treat. --Harry Shannon, author of Dead and Gone

Texas? Toast.

Battered by five cataclysmic hurricanes in three weeks, the Texas Gulf Coast and half of the Lone Star State is reeling from the worst devastation in history. Thousands are dead or dying--but the worst is only beginning. Amid the wreckage, something unimaginable is happening: a deadly virus has broken out, returning the dead to life--with an insatiable hunger for human flesh. . .

The Nightmare Begins

Within hours, the plague has spread all over Texas.…


Book cover of Patient Zero

Rachel Drummond Author Of The South Forsaken

From my list on ways to manage the end of the world.

Why am I passionate about this?

My name is Rachel Drummond, and I've had a passion for reading since primary school. Drawn to the books where the protagonist finds themselves needing to survive on their own. My mum challenged me to actually try write something to publish and I finally took her up on this. I wanted to create a world that skates the edge of ‘this could happen’ and superimpose a fictional situation over a place that is so recognisable, that if you drove through the town, you could use the book as a map. I write because I enjoy it, and because sometimes you need to kill someone without getting your hands dirty.

Rachel's book list on ways to manage the end of the world

Rachel Drummond Why did Rachel love this book?

I pulled this book out not really expecting much, I had read so many zombie stories that they were all starting to blend together at this point. So I was pleasantly surprised to read a new take, a group of terrorists threatening to use a bioweapon to create a race of zombies. This had very few dead spots, plenty of human/human and human/zombie action to keep me interested while still showing humanity and the conflict of morals when you need to take a life. 

By Jonathan Maberry,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'When you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week, then there's either something wrong with your skills or something wrong with your world. And there's nothing wrong with my skills.' Police officer Joe Ledger, martial arts expert, ex-army, self-confessed brutal warrior is scared. The man he's just killed is the same man he killed a week ago. He never expected to see the man again, definitely not alive, and definitely not as part of the recruitment process for the hyper-secret government agency the Department for Military Sciences. But the DMS are scared too - they have word…


Book cover of A Ritual of Bone

Jamie Edmundson Author Of An Inheritance of Ash and Blood

From my list on dark characters, dark sorcery, or dark age history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I published my first book in 2017 and I’m currently working on book number 11. In that time, I’ve got to know some great indie authors and read some great indie fantasy. These five titles are a selection. I could easily have done this exercise ten times over with different authors and titles. But if you’re looking to see what indie fantasy has to offer, or simply searching for your next engrossing read, I think these will do the trick.

Jamie's book list on dark characters, dark sorcery, or dark age history

Jamie Edmundson Why did Jamie love this book?

Another fantasy book inspired by dark-age Britain and the Viking world. But this one has zombies, a plague, and as much darkness as you can handle.

The creepy atmosphere was great. I also enjoyed the multiple points of view in this one, as individuals of all backgrounds slowly learn what is happening to their world. As I read, I wondered who would become heroes, and who would succumb.

By Lee C Conley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Ritual of Bone as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Only valour and steel can stand against the rising dead'

Arnar is a land of warriors, its people as stalwart as the stones themselves. In a land of dark forests and ancient hill forts, a forgotten evil is awoken by curious minds.
The Great Histories and the Sagas say nothing of this evil, long passed from the memory of even the studious scholars of the College. For centuries, the scholars of Arnar have kept these records and preserved the knowledge and great deeds of a proud people. The story of these peoples forever chronicled in the Sagas of the Great…


Book cover of Tribes of Decay: A Zombie Novel

Sunshine Somerville Author Of The Kota

From my list on science fiction and fantasy world-building.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been pulled to rich, deep, complex fiction all my life. And I started building my own world when I was nine, adding to The Kota Series over two decades. Even while getting an English Literature degree, I was bored by simple worlds, characters, and stories and always found myself more interested in unique books and fresh reads. Really, the weirder the world, the better! That’s what I’ve continued to look for as a reader, and I’ve been lucky to encounter new authors that a lot of people might not have heard about yet. I’ve found some real world-building gems, like these I’ve discussed. I hope to find many more!

Sunshine's book list on science fiction and fantasy world-building

Sunshine Somerville Why did Sunshine love this book?

I love everything this author does because his world-building is simple but perfect. The post-apocalyptic world-building in this story involves not only a description of mass desolation but also how that desolation has changed humanity. Of course, people are going to be affected by their environment – especially under post-apocalyptic circumstances – and too often I feel like characters in post-apocalyptic fiction are just the same as people today. 

Zombie worlds all have the same familiar feel, but I really liked the idea of how “tribes” of survivors had formed in cities and how these people had reverted to more primitive ways – if the world hadn’t functioned in decades, yeah, teens wouldn’t know about electricity. The world-building in this book covers everything from setting to characters to a strange new social structure that was really intriguing.

By Michael W. Garza,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Our world decayed and a new world arose from the ashes of the old. The remains of the human race cling to life decades after a decimating global plague. The infected hunt the living as the dead roam abandoned streets craving the taste of flesh. Mia and Rowan hoped to carve out a life for themselves in an apocalyptic wasteland, but fate had other plans. They're forced to leave behind the relative safety of their home after a chance encounter challenges everything they've ever known. Evolution always finds a way...


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in zombies, Day of the Dead, and plagues?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about zombies, Day of the Dead, and plagues.

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