The most recommended vampire books

Who picked these books? Meet our 338 experts.

338 authors created a book list connected to vampires, and here are their favorite vampire books.
Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

What type of vampire book?


Book cover of The Lesser Dead

Jasper Kent Author Of Twelve

From my list on vampires of the past, present and future.

Why am I passionate about this?

My love of vampire stories can be put down to two men: Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing—Dracula and Van Helsing. I can’t remember how old I was, but undoubtedly too young to be allowed to sit up and watch late-night Hammer movies on the BBC. I was into science fiction too, particularly Doctor Who, and it was that, in part, which inspired me to become a scientist, studying physics at Cambridge. It may seem odd that someone so grounded in what is real should so enjoy writing about the impossible. But it’s reassuring to know that what I write can never actually be. Probably.

Jasper's book list on vampires of the past, present and future

Jasper Kent Why did Jasper love this book?

The Lesser Dead is set in the past, but it’s not what you’d expect from an historical vampire novel. The setting is New York City, 1978, and so the atmosphere is more like the American police movies and TV shows that I grew up with than a gothic shocker.

Told by an unreliable narrator with an authentic, claustrophobic voice, the story follows an internecine conflict between two groups of the undead beneath the streets of Manhattan. Buehlman expertly mixes a twisting plot with believable vampires, who both disturb the reader and elicit their compassion, making this my favourite vampire novel of the 21st century.

By Christopher Buehlman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


“As much F. Scott Fitzgerald as Dean Koontz” (#1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia Briggs), Christopher Buehlman excels in twisting the familiar into newfound dread in his “genre-bending” (California Literary Review) novels. Now the acclaimed author of Those Across the River delivers his most disquieting tale yet...

The secret is, vampires are real and I am one.
The secret is, I’m stealing from you what is most truly yours and I’m not sorry...

New York City in 1978 is a dirty, dangerous place to live. And die.…

Book cover of Saltwater Vampires

Paula Weston Author Of Shadows

From my list on other-worldly creatures roaming around Australia.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m Australian and there’s a big place in my heart for Australian-set stories. I read mostly for escapism, but there’s a deeper connection with tales from my own backyard. I’ve also always loved speculative fiction and I’m excited when my favourite genres and setting come together. I’m the author of five speculative fiction novels with Australian settings: the four novels in The Rephaim series (urban fantasy) and The Undercurrent (slightly futuristic/pre-apocalyptic). With The Rephaim series, I wanted to put angels, half-angels, and demons in a sunny coastal Australia setting, rather than the gloomy European forests we’re mostly used to for those types of stories. It was a lot of fun.

Paula's book list on other-worldly creatures roaming around Australia

Paula Weston Why did Paula love this book?

Australian author Kirsty Eagar’s love of surfing and the ocean comes through in every book she writes.

Here, she combines quintessential Aussie surf culture with vampires. Not sexy, heart-throb vamps, but soulless killers with an unquenchable thirst and increasingly disturbing plans for themselves and humanity. This novel is equal parts edgy contemporary Aussie coming-of-age story and skin-crawling horror. It’s no mean feat, and Kirsty hits it tone-perfect.

As always, there are well-written, believable characters (teen protagonists, unhinged vamps, and dodgy adults), plus a tense plot that builds to a frenetic pace with high stakes. Kirsty gives us classic mythology, refreshed and transplanted into a sun-drenched beach setting, underpinned by a reimagining of the brutal real-life story of the Batavia shipwreck in 1629.

I first read this over a decade ago and I loved it even more the second time around.

By Kirsty Eagar,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A fast-paced thriller about surfing, the supernatural, and one of history's bloodiest maritime incidents. Shortlisted for the NSW Premier's Literary Award for Young Adult fiction.

Holidays in the coastal village of Rocky Head should mean surfing, dodging tourists, and partying at the local music festival. But when Jamie Mackie is savagely bitten in the surf by a friend, he realises things are going to be different this summer. The Mutineers are in town, a coven of brutal vampires created in the shipwreck of the Batavia, four hundred years ago. If their plans succeed, nobody in Rocky Head will survive to…

Book cover of Captain Vampire

Tyler R. Tichelaar Author Of Vampire Grooms and Spectre Brides: The Marriage of French and British Gothic Literature, 1789-1897

From my list on classic French gothic you probably never heard of.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been attracted to the Gothic before I even knew the term. From watching The Munsters as a child to wanting to live in a haunted house and devouring classic Gothic novels like The Mysteries of Udolpho and Dracula, I’ve never been able to get enough of the Gothic. After fully exploring British Gothic in my book The Gothic Wanderer, I discovered the French Gothic tradition, which made me realize how universal the genre is. Everyone can relate to its themes of fear, death, loss, guilt, forgiveness, and redemption. On some level, we are all Gothic wanderers, trying to find meaning in what is too often a nightmarish world.

Tyler's book list on classic French gothic you probably never heard of

Tyler R. Tichelaar Why did Tyler love this book?

This novel, published in 1879, is set in Romania at the time of the 1877-8 Russo-Turkish War. It is significant for its setting because it predates Dracula (1897) in being set in Romania (home of Transylvania). Nizet was a twenty-year-old Belgian woman who encountered Romanians in Paris who told her about how Russians had treated them during the war. Nizet created the character of Captain Vampire to represent how Russia acted like a vampire toward the Romanians, even though they were Russia’s allies. Captain Vampire’s behavior is shocking yet fascinating. As a critique of war, the novel is extremely relevant today given Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine. Personally, I am amazed by how a woman who never saw a battlefield could capture war’s essence so vividly.

By Marie Nizet, Brian Stableford (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Written in 1879 (18 years before Dracula) by 19-year-old Marie Nizet, Captain Vampire, in its method and tone alike, is way ahead of its time. Although its plot has supernatural elements, and its antagonist is manifestly demonic, the novel's true purpose is to bring out the horror of war. A significant work in the history of horror fiction, it is undoubtedly one of the finest literary works ever to have made use of the vampire motif.

Book cover of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

M. A. Maddock Author Of The Sixth Amulet

From my list on blood-curdling, time travelling adventures.

Why am I passionate about this?

Hi, my name is Miriam, and I write—wait for it—historical fantasy fiction. I know, a bit of a mouthful. And, because of my love for Scotland, I decided to set my novel there, in the beautiful village of Balloch, on the shores of Loch Lomond. When writing in this genre, I’m not tied or limited to what I can create. All you need is imagination! In times of crisis, as we live and struggle in the real world and are faced with hardship, it’s nice to escape from it, once in a while, whether it’s to pick up a book or watch, yes, Lord of the Rings, or whichever fantasy world takes your fancy.

M. A.'s book list on blood-curdling, time travelling adventures

M. A. Maddock Why did M. A. love this book?

This is one book where, by the end, I was absolutely convinced that Abraham Lincoln actually hunted and killed vampires, on the side. It’s cleverly written, and the photographs (actual photos) were photo-shopped, to give the story an authentic feel to it. Gifted with his legendary height, and axe (of course!) Abraham sets out, hell-bent on revenge, after discovering that his beloved mother had actually been killed by a vampire when he was a boy. The book is full of facts, giving us a history lesson on Abe Lincoln’s life, from when he was a boy until his assassination, in 1865. It also tells us of his campaign to stamp out slavery and his rise to become the sixteenth—and one of the most influential—president of the United States of America. Thoroughly enjoyable, and believable! 

By Seth Grahame-Smith,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Abraham Lincoln as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It's Indiana, 1818. Moonlight falls through the dense woods that surround a one-room cabin, where a nine-year-old Abraham Lincoln kneels at his suffering mother's bedside. She's been stricken with something the old-timers call 'Milk Sickness'. 'My baby boy ...', she whispers before dying. Only later will the grieving Abe learn that his mother's fatal affliction was actually the work of a vampire. When the truth becomes known to young Lincoln, he writes in his journal, 'henceforth my life shall be one of rigorous study and devotion. I shall become a master of mind and body. And this mastery shall have…

Book cover of Swipe Date Bite

Tania Gold Author Of Prophecy of a Vampire

From my list on a different perspective of the Vampire genre.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve loved Vampire Romance themes since I was a teenager. They were all over the house, with my mum and my sister both reading them too, all part of our home library. I can’t count how many series and standalone books I’ve read, but I don’t foresee it ever stopping. Whilst I am also a fan of fantasy and sci-fi, I love the romance factor in Paranormal books. As a result, I find them to be best suited for my mood. I not only read paranormal romance but write it and have dabbled in researching backgrounds on the myths of vampires, which led me to read vampire novels that integrate fiction and speculation.

Tania's book list on a different perspective of the Vampire genre

Tania Gold Why did Tania love this book?

I found this book funny and different from what I expected.

There is a love triangle, suspense, and a twist between the three characters, which I found refreshing too.

It’s got that ‘new age’ feeling to it, based on a dating app, but with a delicious twist. 

Something that also caught my eye was that it is a standalone, so it's perfect if you just want a vampire romance to read and leave it at that. I usually read series, so it was nice to not have to mentally prepare myself to dive into a sequel. 

By Tori Tucker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Dating apps are hard, at least for 26-year-old Aurora Lopez, who feels like her love life and career are both going nowhere fast. After a string of eighteen first dates in less than four months, Aurora has had enough of dating. Out on her luck and running out of patience, a friend manages to persuade her into one last effort at finding Mr. Right on an app called Love Bites. I mean, why couldn't this dating app work for her? Her friend's coworker's best friend's cousin had success with it, or was it her friend's cousin's best friend's coworker? Either…

Book cover of Greywalker

Sarah J. Sover Author Of Fairy Godmurder

From my list on dicks in urban fantasy (detectives, that is).

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m Sarah J. Sover, and I adore smashing genres together, especially when there’s magic involved. My first book, Double-Crossing the Bridge, is a comedic fantasy about drunk trolls pulling a suicidal heist, and my new release, Fairy Godmurder is like Jessica Jones with sparkle. The novels are wildly different from each other, but they both exist in the crime-fantasy sphere, where I can delve deep into character motivations, explore wrongs in the world through a fantastical lens, and play with well-loved tropes, inverting and subverting in unexpected ways. I love that this is a growing genre, and I hope I get an influx of suggestions added to my own TBR tower because of this list!

Sarah's book list on dicks in urban fantasy (detectives, that is)

Sarah J. Sover Why did Sarah love this book?

After a near-death experience, PI Harper Blaine gains the ability to navigate the occult world of magic. But the realm between our world and the next is filled with monsters. Some are malicious, but some are looking to hire. The concept of the Grey is fascinating and slightly terrifying to me. Harper deserves to be on this list because only a true badass could survive her client list.

By Kat Richardson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Meet Harper Blaine. She also sees dead people...Harper Blaine is a small-time private investigator trying to earn a living when a low-life savagely assaults her, leaving her for dead. For two minutes, to be precise. When Harper comes to in the hospital, she begins to feel a bit ...strange. She sees things that can only be described as weird-shapes emerging from a foggy grey mist, snarling teeth, creatures roaring. But Harper's not crazy. Her "death" has made her a Greywalker - able to move between our world and the mysterious, cross-over zone where things that go bump in the night…

Book cover of Reluctant Immortals

Paul Jessup Author Of Glass House

From my list on horror that will blow your mind (kaboom).

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve loved weird horror from a young age, and that passion only grew as the years went on. It all started when I was ten, and I got an anthology of classic horror for my birthday. Inside I read The White People by Machen, Cast the Runes by MR James, and The Colour Out of Space by Lovecraft, and I was hooked. Ever since then I chased that same thrill of the horror that is so out there and strange it just breaks your brain and changes you inside out. I have a feeling I’ll be chasing that obsession until the end of my days.

Paul's book list on horror that will blow your mind (kaboom)

Paul Jessup Why did Paul love this book?

This is a great riff on Hammer Horror, Dracula, psychedelia, the sixties, and Jane Eyre. Yes, I said Jane Eyre!

Take Mina, Bertha Mason, throw them into the middle of the 1960s Sunset Strip, and you have yourself a rocket of a novel. It starts with the voice of Dracula coming from his urns, his ashes speaking to Mina, and her just so sick of his nonsense, and only gets better from there.

By Gwendolyn Kiste,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

For fans of Mexican Gothic, from three-time Bram Stoker Award-winning author Gwendolyn Kiste comes a novel inspired by the untold stories of forgotten women in classic literature—from Lucy Westenra, a victim of Stoker's Dracula, and Bertha Mason, Mr. Rochester's attic-bound wife in Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre—as they band together to combat the toxic men bent on destroying their lives, set against the backdrop of the Summer of Love, Haight-Ashbury, 1967.

Reluctant Immortals is a historical horror novel that looks at two men of classic literature, Dracula and Mr. Rochester, and the two women who survived them, Bertha and Lucy, who…

Book cover of Garlic and the Vampire

Stephanie Cooke Author Of Paranorthern: And the Chaos Bunny A-Hop-Calypse

From my list on magical middle-grade graphic novels.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a kid, I was obsessed with the fantastical, especially when it came to books. I was constantly trying to find my own door to Narnia to go off on an incredible adventure. While I never found a door that led to another world, I found that books offered me a similar experience…and all from the comfort of my fave places to read. Magic is still something I’m enthralled with and love exploring in books I read as well as the ones I write. And these are some of my favorite magical graphic novels.

Stephanie's book list on magical middle-grade graphic novels

Stephanie Cooke Why did Stephanie love this book?

This is a little different in how it approaches magic. Garlic is a sentient vegetable that has been brought to life by a witch residing in the woods. She’s tasked with confronting a vampire that has come to town (since they’re not fans of garlic…) and helping to keep her friends safe. Garlic suffers from anxiety though and this is a big ask for someone who second-guesses herself a lot. It’s a delightful adventure though, and between the heart put into the story and the fun little jokes, I was smiling the whole way through.

By Bree Paulsen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Garlic and the Vampire as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

An enchanting, farm-fresh debut graphic novel starring an unusual heroine who is braver than she realizes, for middle grade readers looking for a cozy, adventuresome read in the vein of Witch Boy or Be Prepared.

Garlic feels as though she's always doing something wrong. At least with her friend Carrot by her side and the kindly Witch Agnes encouraging her, Garlic is happy to just tend her garden, where it's nice and safe.

But when her village of vegetable folk learns that a bloodthirsty vampire has moved into the nearby castle, they all agree that, in spite of her fear…

Book cover of Vampires, Burial, and Death: Folklore and Reality

Stephen R. Wilk Author Of Medusa: Solving the Mystery of the Gorgon

From my list on the unexpected truths behind myths.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a scientist, engineer, and writer who has written on a wide range of topics. I’ve been fascinated by mythology my entire life, and I spent over a decade gathering background material on the myth of Perseus and Medusa, and came away with a new angle on the origin and meaning of the myth and what inspired it. I was unable to present this in a brief letter or article, and so decided to turn my arguments into a book. The book is still in print, and has been cited numerous times by scholarly journals and books. It formed the basis for the History Channel series Clash of the Gods (in which I appear).

Stephen's book list on the unexpected truths behind myths

Stephen R. Wilk Why did Stephen love this book?

The figure of the vampire has become very familiar through portrayals in literature, stage, and cinema, but where does the myth itself originate?

Many have speculated on the roots of the vampire legend, ascribing it to various diseases, like porphyria or rabies. But Barber stripped away the cultural additions imposed on the legend by its fictional interpretation and looked for origins consistent with the bare, original legend.

A nice piece of folkloric detective work, and one that influenced my own book.

By Paul T. Barber,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Vampires, Burial, and Death as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this engrossing book, Paul Barber surveys centuries of folklore about vampires and offers the first scientific explanation for the origins of the vampire legends. From the tale of a sixteenth-century shoemaker from Breslau whose ghost terrorized everyone in the city, to the testimony of a doctor who presided over the exhumation and dissection of a graveyard full of Serbian vampires, his book is fascinating reading.

"This study's comprehensiveness and the author's bone-dry wit make this compelling reading, not just for folklorists, but for anyone interested in a time when the dead wouldn't stay dead."-Booklist

"Barber's inquiry into vampires, fact…

Book cover of God Touched

Bill Hiatt Author Of Haunted by the Devil

From my list on How bargaining with supernatural beings can ruin your whole day.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve loved reading ever since I learned how. Sometimes, that can be inconvenient. I now own over 8000 books, not including ebooks, so storage space is an issue. Fortunately, my heart space is not as constrained as my physical space. Anyway, given my keen interest in reading, it’s no surprise that I began to write. Though my reading tastes are wide, I mostly write in fantasy, my favorite genre. It’s an opportunity to explore new worlds and to use them to reflect upon our own. We may not make literal pacts with demons, but we all face temptation. Figuring out how to navigate our desires is a crucial part of life.

Bill's book list on How bargaining with supernatural beings can ruin your whole day

Bill Hiatt Why did Bill love this book?

Conroe has a talent for creating interesting characters, as Chris Gordon, the main character in this book, illustrates. He has violet eyes, a perfect physique, and enough sexual chemistry to overwhelm most women. Yet he is at best standoffish with them.

I was puzzled by this pattern until I realized his motivation. He lives a dangerous life, exorcising demons and driving them back to Hell. He doesn’t want to subject a woman to that kind of risk. It’s lucky that he finally encounters a woman who can deal with such risks—Tatiana Demidova, a vampire princess.

One of the things I like about Conroe is the introduction of that kind of twist—at a point when Chris doesn’t even know vampires exist. A demon hunter and a vampire wouldn’t normally make a plausible couple, but Conroe creates a different kind of vampire, one capable of good. His fresh take on old themes…

By John Conroe,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked God Touched as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Book 1 of the Demon Accords. Chris Gordon is a rookie cop in the big apple with an interesting sideline - hunting demons. But after rescuing a beautiful girl from a demonic attack, he finds life stranger than he ever thought possible. Vampires, werewolves, shadowy federal agencies and a giant short-faced bear. And it's not even halloween yet.