The most recommended cave books

Who picked these books? Meet our 14 experts.

14 authors created a book list connected to caves, and here are their favorite cave books.
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What type of cave book?


Damien's Quest

By Jake Evanoff, Nino Balita (illustrator),

Book cover of Damien's Quest

Kim Ann Author Of Where Do Dinosaurs Go on Vacation?

From the list on for dinosaur fans.

Who am I?

I am a children’s book author that writes fun, colorful, imaginative books that help children develop a love of stories. My passion for books started at a young age, as one of my favorite things to do was visit the local library with my mom. I have had a lifelong passion for writing and began writing poetry books at nine years old for my school library. I started writing and publishing children’s picture books professionally and founded my publishing company, Lucky Four Press, LLC, in 2019. I hope you enjoy these dino-tastic books I recommended!

Kim's book list on for dinosaur fans

Why did Kim love this book?

A cute book by Jake Evanoff about a young cave boy, Damien, and his friend Trey the Triceratops.

The characters are both relatable and fun. During the story, the pair set out to discover the truth about Damien’s past without much thought about what trouble they might get into. It is an exciting adventure story about friendship, family, and acceptance.

A perfect bedtime story for dino-loving kids.

By Jake Evanoff, Nino Balita (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Damien's Quest as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

He's set out with his best pal to find the place he came from. On his quest to uncover the truth, will he discover something even greater?Nine-year-old Damien loves spending time with the triceratops that took him in, especially his friend Trey. Yet he can’t help but wonder if he truly belongs with them. So one night after everyone has fallen asleep, he decides he’s going to find out once and for all with Trey’s help.Stopping at nothing to reveal the truth, the brave duo search everywhere they possibly can; from the highest mountain tops to the deepest caves. But…

Child in Darkness

By Robert Hill,

Book cover of Child in Darkness

Carlyle Labuschagne Author Of The Broken Destiny

From the list on sci-fi as a way of explaining the angelic creation.

Who am I?

Carlyle Labuschagne was born in South Africa, Johannesburg in the early 1980s. Growing up my imagination always trumped the world around me. I was obsessed with stories, sneaking off to watch them or going off on my own to play out my own. I am now an award-winning, International and USA Today bestselling fiction author – kind of a rare species in my neck of the woods. I write many genres but started off with mild Science – fiction with a dystopian undertone. I guess growing up in the apartheid era, and being raised by an African nanny who I regarded as my mom, left a lasting impression on me.

Carlyle's book list on sci-fi as a way of explaining the angelic creation

Why did Carlyle love this book?

This is one of my favorite on the border of Science Fiction books. About a lonely boy who spends time on a hill in a tree near a closed mine entrance. One day he drops his apple and it rolls to the closed up entrance and the unexpected happens. I long blue arm reaches for the apple and disappears back in the min. 

Toward the end, the boy makes friends with the blue-skinned creature from the mine and discovers an entire community living in the cave. The explanation given on why they are so skinny and blue-skinned intrigued me as to why things are the way they are – that all things have a scientific explanation. 

By Robert Hill,

Why should I read it?

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

The White Road

By Sarah Lotz,

Book cover of The White Road

T.L. Bodine Author Of Neverest

From the list on to read instead of going out in the elements.

Who am I?

I've often lived around the fringes of nature, from late-night cross-country road trips through forested backwoods, to living off-grid in New Mexico's high desert. As much as I've lived in the shadow of mountains and extreme environments, I've never dared to venture up into them – and I'm endlessly fascinated by the people who do. What is it that drives people toward extreme sports and outdoor challenges, even understanding the risks? Why do people risk life and limb to venture into places where man isn't meant to be? It's a question I don't think I'll ever stop finding fascinating. 

T.L.'s book list on to read instead of going out in the elements

Why did T.L. love this book?

Lotz's book is an intense character study, painting a portrait of her protagonist in masterful strokes.

Simon Newman is complex – simultaneously thrill-seeking but lazy, ambitious but anxious, traumatized but desperate to hide his weakness.

He has no business searching for bodies in the notoriously dangerous Cwm Pots, and he takes away exactly the wrong lessons from his survival. He certainly has no business on Mount Everest, and knows it. But now he's haunted by the (possibly literal) ghosts of his own bad choices, and he's in too deep now.

This book is a journey in its own right. 

By Sarah Lotz,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

*****From the author of The Three, coming soon to your screen as a major BBC adaptation by Golden Globe winner Peter Straughan*****

Adrenaline-junky Simon Newman sneaks onto private land to explore a dangerous cave in Wales with a strange man he's met online. But Simon gets more than he bargained for when the expedition goes horribly wrong. Simon emerges, the only survivor, after a rainstorm trap the two in the cave. Simon thinks he's had a lucky escape.

But his video of his near-death experience has just gone viral.

Suddenly Simon finds himself more famous than he could ever have…

Tomb of Gods

By Brian Moreland,

Book cover of Tomb of Gods

Kev Harrison Author Of Below

From the list on subterranean horrors to make you avoid your basement.

Who am I?

At university, I studied Classical Studies, which leans heavily into archaeology. As I went on more site visits, I became much more aware of the worlds and lives which exist below our feet. Later, when working as a teacher in Poland, I had the chance to visit one of Europe’s deepest active coal mines. The experience surprised me in so many ways, not least the oppressive heat and the darkness—something you feel you can almost touch. From that moment onward—especially as a horror writer—I’ve found myself wondering about the nightmares lurking below our world, as well as above, and beyond.

Kev's book list on subterranean horrors to make you avoid your basement

Why did Kev love this book?

As someone who has explored the tombs of Egypt in real life, this story dug its claws right into me.

As well as all the claustrophobia, the darkness, and the sense there’s no way out, Moreland confronts you with ancient gods and monsters so terrifying you’ll be testing the walls for a secret passage out of there every step of the way.

By Brian Moreland,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"The suspense of the story, aided by sly hints from the author, and the atmosphere of a dark, claustrophobic tomb work together to create a scary story. The characters' fear invites the reader into the world to experience the fright themselves." - Booklist Starred Review

Deep inside the tomb exists a hidden world of wonder and terror.

In 1935, British archaeologists vanished inside an Egyptian cave. A year later, one man returned covered in mysterious scars.

Egyptologist Imogen Riley desperately wants to know what happened to the ill-fated expedition led by her grandfather. On a quest for answers, she joins…


By Robert K. Murray, Roger W. Brucker,

Book cover of Trapped!: The Story of Floyd Collins

Keven McQueen Author Of Kentucky Book of the Dead

From the list on Kentucky weirdness.

Who am I?

As a lifelong Kentuckian with a lifelong fascination for history, true crime, biography, and the supernatural, once I started writing, I pursued these and related topics. The writer Charles Fort’s research methods interested me: he read old newspapers looking for forgotten stories. That seemed a good way to find little-known information. I am a lecturer in the English Department at Eastern Kentucky University and have spent two decades reading old newspapers issue by issue between classes and taking notes on possible stories. The books on my list also include much detail on entertaining obscurities, and I hope you enjoy them. 

Keven's book list on Kentucky weirdness

Why did Keven love this book?

This book is the frightening tale of Floyd Collins, the Kentucky cave explorer who in 1925 violated one of the cardinal rules of spelunking: don’t go alone.

His leg was pinned by a falling rock, and rescuers’ ultimately tragic efforts to feed and free him became a worldwide sensation. The book resonates with me because the incident well illustrates the best side of humanity (the dangerous rescue attempt) as well as the worst (persons who exploited Collins’s plight for personal gain). 

By Robert K. Murray, Roger W. Brucker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"When Floyd Collins became trapped in a cave in southern Kentucky in early 1925, the sensationalism and hysteria of the rescue attempt generated America's first true media spectacle, making Collins's story one of the seminal events of the century. The crowds that gathered outside Sand Cave turned the rescue site into a carnival. Collins's situation was front-page news throughout the country, hourly bulletins interrupted radio programs, and Congress recessed to hear the latest word. Trapped! is both a tense adventure and a brilliant historical recreation of the past. This new edition includes a new epilogue revealing information about the Floyed…


By Robert Macfarlane,

Book cover of Underland: A Deep Time Journey

Rosemary Sullivan Author Of Where the World Was: A Memoir

From Rosemary's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Biographer Poet Literary journalist Creative Writing mentor/professor

Rosemary's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Why did Rosemary love this book?

Macfarlane took me under the earth: I climbed with him into dark caves miles deep, into prehistoric burial sites 65,000 years old, into the understory of living creatures just beneath our feet and the wide web of the forest that connects all trees into a community, and into underground spaces where physicists unravel the cosmos searching for dark matter.

I now know there is a doomsday vault in the Arctic that preserves ninety million seeds for a post-apocalyptic future. I can never look at trees, the earth, or the cosmos in the same way. He warns of “species loneliness” if extinctions continue. But Macfarlane offers hope.

The world is utterly precious. Mystery abounds. There is so much to discover. 

By Robert Macfarlane,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In Underland, Robert Macfarlane delivers an epic exploration of the Earth's underworlds as they exist in myth, literature, memory, and the land itself. Traveling through the dizzying expanse of geologic time-from prehistoric art in Norwegian sea caves, to the blue depths of the Greenland ice cap, to a deep-sunk "hiding place" where nuclear waste will be stored for 100,000 years to come-Underland takes us on an extraordinary journey into our relationship with darkness, burial, and what lies beneath the surface of both place and mind.

Global in its geography and written with great lyricism, Underland speaks powerfully to our present…

The Anomaly

By Michael Rutger,

Book cover of The Anomaly

Nicholas Holloway Author Of Three Houses on a Hill

From the list on mystery thrillers set in mountainous landscapes.

Who am I?

This topic is very close to my heart, as a lot of my readers know me as “the landscape guy.” My two award-winning mystery thrillers (and the serial killer thriller I'm currently writing) feature chillingly explosive landscapes (the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the Gates of the Arctic, and the Rocky Mountains). Readers and reviewers have mentioned time and again how I utilize landscape as a character in its own right, and I have very much been influenced by other authors who do the same. There is so much opportunity in these remote and high-altitude landscapes to propel the dread and isolation for these types of stories.

Nicholas' book list on mystery thrillers set in mountainous landscapes

Why did Nicholas love this book?

This one’s a little bit of a cheat because the Grand Canyon isn’t technically a mountainous landscape—unless you’re looking at it from the bottom. But as far as landscapes go, you can’t do much better. The Anomaly follows an I’ll-do-it-myself archaeologist who discovers an ancient cave that seems to have a mind of its own. More than anything, this book is just downright freakin’ fun. It’s evident that Rutger knows this landscape better than most, and he utilizes both history and conspiracy theories to his advantage. This one’s a true mystery where the setting is a character in itself.

By Michael Rutger,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An utterly gripping thriller perfect for fans of Dan Brown, Michael Crichton and Stephen King. The Anomaly will leave you breathless until the final page has been turned . . .


A team of explorers seek ancient treasures, hidden in a secret cave.

At first it seems they will return empty handed. Then their luck turns.

But the team's elation is short-lived as they become trapped there in the dark, with little possibility of escape.

Then events take an even more terrifying turn.

For not all secrets are meant to be found…

Into the Planet

By Jill Heinerth,

Book cover of Into the Planet: My Life as a Cave Diver

Nicholas Harvey Author Of Twelve Mile Bank

From the list on female scuba diving thrillers and mysteries.

Who am I?

My wife suggested we try scuba diving while on holiday in Grand Cayman. We were already falling in love with the island, and the incredible experience underwater opened a whole new world to us. From that moment on, our yearly travels changed completely. Our destination choices were now based upon diving opportunities. That was twenty years ago. Today, I’m a certified divemaster with dives all over the US (including Hawaii), the Caribbean (including Cuba), Australia, and even Iceland. Throw in my sense of adventure as a former race car driver, motorcycle rider, and outdoor adventurer, and I had plenty of personal experiences to create the AJ Bailey series.

Nicholas' book list on female scuba diving thrillers and mysteries

Why did Nicholas love this book?

Jill isn’t only the world’s top female cave diver, she’s one of the best, period. What’s amazing about this book is how it reads like a hair-raising fantastical adventure tale, yet it’s all true.

I’ve dabbled in cave diving in the cenotes of Mexico, and it is certainly addictive stuff, but I can’t imagine going to the places Jill has risked her life to discover.

This could easily have been a choice in my females who kick-ass list as well!

By Jill Heinerth,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From one of the world’s most renowned cave divers, a firsthand account of exploring the earth’s final frontier: the hidden depths of our oceans and the sunken caves inside our planet

More people have died exploring underwater caves than climbing Mount Everest, and we know more about deep space than we do about the depths of our oceans. From one of the top cave divers working today—and one of the very few women in her field—Into the Planet blends science, adventure, and memoir to bring readers face-to-face with the terror and beauty of earth’s remaining unknowns and the extremes of…

Fire in the Night Sky

By Chris J. Pike, M. D. Cooper,

Book cover of Fire in the Night Sky

AM Scott Author Of Lift Off

From the list on sci-fi adventures with strong teen heroines.

Who am I?

I’ve published eleven classic-style space opera novels, a novella, and many short stories. Before becoming a writer, I spent twenty years in US Air Force in space operations; even though my books are light on science, I really was a rocket scientist! Plus, I’ve read science fiction since I was barely a teen, starting with Heinlein and McCaffery, and am always looking for my next favorite author!

AM's book list on sci-fi adventures with strong teen heroines

Why did AM love this book?

Clair Johnson is determined to prove herself and find out what really happened to her mother. Neither of those things happen the way she expects. 

This is an easy read, with interesting world building, and a realistic set of characters. I enjoyed the setting, the friend group, and the intrigue a lot!

By Chris J. Pike, M. D. Cooper,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fire in the Night Sky as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In a world of music videos on television, punk rock, and roller derby, the race for space is finally on in this young adult SF adventure!

The United Federation has set a goal of sending a manned rocket to the moon; but rival countries will stop at nothing to plant their flags first—no matter the cost.

For Claire Johnson, that cost might be her life.

The seventeen-year-old spunky waitress wants nothing more than to honor her mother's memory by gaining entrance to the United Federation Space Program and doing her part for the mission. Yet her father wants Claire as…

Into the Sublime

By Kate A. Boorman,

Book cover of Into the Sublime

Natasha Deen Author Of The Signs and Wonders of Tuna Rashad

From the list on kickbutt heroines.

Who am I?

I grew up in the 1980s when there wasn’t consideration for representation or diversity in literature or media. If I wanted to read about a Girl of Color, inevitably, she was a slave. If I wanted to watch a TV show featuring women (of any color), they were inevitably rescued in the climactic moment by a man. As such, I grew into a reader who loves kickbutt girls of all stripes. Give me a chance to cheer on a female who’s looking for her happy ending and not about to let the world dictate how she finds that happiness (and with whom), and boy, you got me!

Natasha's book list on kickbutt heroines

Why did Natasha love this book?

I love books that keep me guessing and leave me unsettled about character motivation and story truth, and Into the Sublime gets the gold on all of those requirements and more! Amelie, a member of a thrill-seeking group, heads out with three other girls—H, Gia, and Devon—to find a lake called “The Sublime,” that’s said to reveal your deepest fears. Much like the underground cave system the girls find themselves in, Into the Sublime takes readers on a twisting tale full of tension and changing alliances, and an ever-tightening noose of dread and unease. What happened in those caves? Why did four girls go in but only three come out—and whose blood is Amelie covered in? This is the kind of book you stay up late to finish...then spend the next few days sleeping with the lights on. Lovers of psychological suspense and horror won't be disappointed.

By Kate A. Boorman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"Gripping and breathless, Into the Sublime is equal parts terrifying, claustrophobic, psychological, and cunning." ―Wendy Heard, author of She's Too Pretty to Burn and Dead End Girls

A new YA psychological thriller from Kate A. Boorman, author of What We Buried, about four teenage girls who descend into a dangerous underground cave system in search of a lake of local legend, said to reveal your deepest fears.

When the cops arrive, only a few things are clear:
- Four girls entered a dangerous cave.
- Three of them came out alive.
- Two of them were rushed to the hospital.…