24 Best Zombie Books: A List of the Must-Have Zombie Novels

Zombies are everywhere. They’re in our movies, they’re on our TV and they seem to be taking over the world. It’s not hard to see why: zombies make for a great story.

But which zombie fiction should you read? Which zombie book is considered the best of all time?

This list of 23 books will give you an idea of what people consider some of the best books about zombies out there today!

We’ve arranged these books to be in no particular order, so we would just glance through them and see which ones reach out to you, and which descriptions sound interesting. Then hit the link, purchase on Amazon, and go from there!

Note: We are an Amazon affiliate, so by clicking any of the links below you are contributing to our coffee fund, but it costs you nothing extra. Thanks!

So let’s dive right into the 23 best zombie books of all time.

1. Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks

The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Brooks, Max (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 272 Pages - 09/23/2003 (Publication Date) - Del Rey (Publisher)

This book was written by Max Brooks. It’s a non-fiction zombie survival guide that is meant to be taken seriously and used as an actual manual for how to survive if the world were ever hit with zombies.

It contains information on everything from what happens when you die, should there be any hope after all? How do you kill them? Where can you go to be safe? And what does ‘turning’ mean exactly?

This book is a must have for anyone who loves zombies, and should definitely be at the top of your list if you’re looking through this article.

2. World War Z by Max Brooks

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Brooks, Max (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 352 Pages - 09/12/2006 (Publication Date) - Del Rey (Publisher)

This book is also written by Max Brooks. It’s a fictional zombie novel that contains information on what would happen if zombies were to take over the world and how we as humans, both individually and nationally, responded

The stories in this book are told through interviews with people who’ve experienced it first hand – so you get firsthand accounts of every aspect of the zombie takeover from soldiers trying to stop them at borders, mothers protecting their children, doctors treating those infected… The list goes on!

If one day we do find ourselves surrounded by flesh-eating walkers then this story will give us all hope for survival.

3. Monster Island by David Wellington

Monster Island: A Zombie Novel (The Monster Island Book 1)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Wellington, David (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 292 Pages - 04/01/2014 (Publication Date) - Open Road Media (Publisher)

This is a novel by author David Wellington that I highly recommend. It’s got a riveting story about one zombie who, unlike all of the others, has maintained his human intelligence.

At the same time, a group of schoolgirls-turned-warriors have come looking for medicine and will stop at nothing to get it. The clash of these two storylines is what really makes this book interesting.

This is a classic zombie book, one that I recommend for just about anyone interested in getting into zombie books. It also has a little bit of dark humor, which can be fun.

4. The Reapers Are the Angels by Alden Bell

The Reapers Are the Angels: A Novel
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Bell, Alden (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 238 Pages - 08/03/2010 (Publication Date) - Holt Paperbacks (Publisher)

This is a novel by author Alden Bell and it’s one of my personal favorites. It takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where the dead have come back to life as zombies.

The story follows a young girl who has been left behind in this new, horrible world and is trying to survive on her own. She meets up with a group of people who are traveling together and they end up helping her find her family.

What I love about this book is that it doesn’t focus solely on the zombie aspect; it also dives into the human emotions that come along with all of this – such as grief, hope, love, and loss.

If you’re looking an emotional read then I definitely suggest picking it up.

5. Slow Burn: Zero Day by Bobby Adair

Slow Burn: Zero Day, Book 1
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Adair, Bobby (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 248 Pages - 07/17/2013 (Publication Date) - Bobby Adair (Publisher)

This is an action-packed one. It follows the story of a young man named Z Zane who finds his mother dead on the living room floor, having just been eaten by his stepdad who is now a zombie.

It’s a high energy, intense novel that will keep you glued to the pages until you finish.

6. Night of the Living Trekkies by Kevin David Anderson and Sam Stall

Night of the Living Trekkies (Quirk Fiction)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Anderson, Kevin David (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 258 Pages - 09/15/2010 (Publication Date) - Quirk Books (Publisher)

This is a novel by Kevin David Anderson and Sam Stall. It’s hilarious, I promise you that.

It takes place at a Star Trek convention where all of the attendees have turned into zombies. The story follows a group of people who are trying to survive and make it out alive.

If you’re looking for a book that will make you laugh then you should definitely check this one out – but beware, there are some serious moments too.

7. Handling the Undead by John Ajvide Lindqvist

Handling the Undead
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Lindqvist, John Ajvide (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 385 Pages - 09/28/2010 (Publication Date) - Thomas Dunne Books (Publisher)

This is a novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist. It’s dark, and it’s one of the most disturbing zombie books that I’ve ever read – but I loved it.

The story follows a man who has recently lost his wife, but when he went to identify the body, she opened her eyes. While not a traditional zombie book, it does deal with dark issues such as grief and pain, and digs into the question of should the dead reawaken if they could?

It’s very dark and definitely not for the faint of heart, but if you’re looking for an intense read then this is definitely it.

8. The Complete Undead Apocalypse Series by Derek Shupert

The Complete Undead Apocalypse Series (A Post Apocalyptic Survival Thriller, Books 0-3) (The Zombie Apolcaypse Book 1)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Shupert, Derek (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 644 Pages - 07/11/2021 (Publication Date)

This is a series of zombie novels that are all written by Derek Shupert. I’d recommend them to anyone who’s looking for something fun and entertaining, but not too serious or thought-provoking.

This one is your traditional zombie novel, where the evil corporations have been experimenting on humans, and it is led to a virus that could wipe out all of humanity. And it follows a number of people as they try to survive in this new environment.

There are other books in this series if you enjoy this one enough to want more.

9. Last Man Standing by Keith Taylor

The Last Man Standing Complete Series Box Set (Books 1-3): A Zombie Apocalypse Thriller
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Taylor, Keith (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 704 Pages - 01/08/2019 (Publication Date)

This is a novel by author AG Henley, and it’s one of my favorites on this list because the protagonist is just so great! It follows his story after civilization has collapsed due to zombies taking over everywhere.

After many innocent lives were taken by a violent mob that attacked with no reason, the protagonist is tasked with reporting and interviewing the only survivor, and what he saw made him flee for home.

This book is full of action, adventure, and suspense. You won’t be able to put it down.

10. The Rising by Brian Keene

The Rising: Author's Preferred Edition
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Keene, Brian (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 283 Pages - 09/03/2013 (Publication Date) - Deadite Press (Publisher)

This is a novel by Brian Keene and it’s one of the best zombie books on this list.

The story follows a father who is just looking for his son during the midst of a horrible pandemic, while under fire by mindless zombies and godless humans.

It deals with the aftermath of a worldwide plague that has turned humans into zombies, but what makes this book stand out from some others is how detailed everything was – there are parts where you feel like you’re actually right there alongside them as they fight for their lives.

If you want something intense then I would definitely check out The Rising, because it will keep your attention to the very last page!

11. The Newsflesh Trilogy by Mira Grant

Feed (Newsflesh Book 1)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Grant, Mira (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 609 Pages - 04/10/2010 (Publication Date) - Orbit (Publisher)

This is a trilogy written by Mira Grant. It’s set in the future where cancer and the common cold are things of the past. But in their place is a new outbreak, one suspiciously similar to a zombie apocalypse.

It follows a team of bloggers as they try to uncover the truth behind this outbreak, and what it means for humanity.

Definitely a different take on the subject, and one that I recommend.

12. Cell by Stephen King

Cell: A Novel
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • King, Stephen (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 448 Pages - 01/24/2006 (Publication Date) - Scribner (Publisher)

This is a novel by Stephen King, and it’s one of my favorite books on this list because the protagonist had so many different dimensions to him.

Have you ever thought that spending too much time on your phone will turn you into a zombie? I’ll bet you have, but you might not think that it would turn you into a literal zombie. That’s the premise of Stephen King’s book.

In actuality, this is the perfect book for your mother or anyone who thinks that technology is going to turn your brain to mush. Because who knows, they might be right.

13. Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

Warm Bodies: A Novel (The Warm Bodies Series Book 1)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Marion, Isaac (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 270 Pages - 04/26/2011 (Publication Date) - Atria Books (Publisher)

This is a novel by Isaac Marion, and it’s one of my favorite zombie books because the love story in it was so unique.

The protagonist is a zombie who falls in love with a human girl, and their interactions are both humorous and heartwarming. It’s basically Romeo and Juliet as zombies. It’s definitely worth reading if you’re looking for something light-hearted and fun.

14. The Forest of Hands and Teeth Series by Carrie Ryan

The Forest of Hands and Teeth
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Ryan, Carrie (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 322 Pages - 03/05/2009 (Publication Date) - Delacorte Press (Publisher)

This is a series written by Carrie Ryan, and it’s one of my favorite zombie books because the world-building was so amazing.

It follows a young girl who just wants to leave her village, much like any other hero’s journey novel. Unfortunately, there is a literal forest of hands and teeth waiting on the other side, a horde of zombies surrounding the village fence. So what do you do about that?

That’s what this story gets into, and it’s one of the better stories on this list.

15. Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

Alice in Zombieland (The White Rabbit Chronicles Book 1)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Showalter, Gena (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 410 Pages - 08/27/2013 (Publication Date) - Harlequin Teen (Publisher)

Imagine Alice in Wonderland, but with zombies. That’s the premise of this novel by Gena Showalter.

Allison is thrown into a new world when she goes to a college where everyone is acting strangely. Soon enough she learns that she is there to toughen up so she can fight zombies.

This book is full of action, adventure, and romance. It’s perfect for anyone who loves zombie stories.

16. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith

pride and prejudice and zombies(Annotated)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Austen, Jane (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 324 Pages - 01/04/2017 (Publication Date)

This is a novel by Seth Grahame-Smith, and it’s one of my favorite zombie books because the author took something as amazing as Pride and Prejudice to make this story.

In actuality, you could read this book without reading the original work by Jane Austen – but that would be a mistake. Because then you’d miss out on a clever twist on some of the best scenes in literature history!

Mr. Darcy has been turned into a zombie hunter who must save his family from being eaten alive at their estate party, while Elizabeth Bennett tries desperately to avoid falling for him even though he may just prove himself worthy enough if they both live through the ordeal…all amidst swarms upon swarms of zombies trying to eat them all up.

17. My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland

My Life as a White Trash Zombie
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Rowland, Diana (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 321 Pages - 07/05/2011 (Publication Date) - DAW (Publisher)

This is a series written by Diana Rowland, and it’s one of my favorite zombie books because the protagonist was such an interesting character.

Angel Crawford has been turned into a white trash zombie after she overdoses on painkillers and is rushed to the ER. At the same time, she is mysteriously given a job in the county morgue, and offer that looks really good on the surface.

This story has romance, it has zombies, it has punk, and it’s definitely a different take on the traditional zombie story. Definitely one that you should check out.

18. Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

Rot & Ruin
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Maberry, Jonathan (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 351 Pages - 09/14/2010 (Publication Date) - Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (Publisher)

This is a series written by Jonathan Maberry, who is one of the more famous authors on this list.

Benny Imura has been living in a world where zombies have taken over for years, and he’s just now becoming of age to start his training so that he can fight them.

The thing I love most about this book is that it takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where the kids are the ones who have to figure out how to survive. It’s definitely worth reading if you’re looking for something action-packed and exciting.

19. Zombie Fallout by Mark Tufo

Zombie Fallout
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Tufo, Mark (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 405 Pages - 01/16/2014 (Publication Date) - DevilDog Press LLC (Publisher)

This is a series written by Mark Tufo, and you will probably like it because it is extremely pertinent in today’s day and age.

If all is a survivalist who refuses to take a vaccine during a pandemic, and in this particular case (no anti-vaxxing here, this is fiction after all) the cure ends up turning people into mindless zombies.

So of course it’s the person who didn’t take the vaccine that is suddenly on the hunt to survive. It’s a great book and one that you should definitely check out for a unique take that is relevant to today.

20. The Living Dead by George A. Romero and Daniel Kraus

The Living Dead
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Romero, George A. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 631 Pages - 08/04/2020 (Publication Date) - Tor Books (Publisher)

This book is a compilation of the scripts for the classic zombie movies by George A. Romero. It’s a great book because even if you’ve never seen any of the movies, it gives enough information that you can understand what is going on.

This story has been compiled by Daniel Kraus following George A. Romero’s death, and Daniel managed to finish the story, something that George was unfortunately unable to do in his own lifetime. So if you want the full story, definitely give this book a look.

21. As the World Dies Trilogy by Rhiannon Frater

The As The World Dies Trilogy: First Days, Fighting to Survive, Siege
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Frater, Rhiannon (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 990 Pages - 03/13/2018 (Publication Date) - Tor Books (Publisher)

I’m a big fan of independent publishing, and this is one of those success stories there. The As the World Dies trilogy was written by Rhiannon Frater,and originally self-published. It has since been edited and expanded, and newly published by Tor books.

If you’re a fan of indies and want to support them, especially if you want to support those that eventually make a transition into a hybrid publisher, then this is one to check out for sure.

22. Zone One by Colson Whitehead

Zone One: A Novel
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Whitehead, Colson (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 338 Pages - 10/18/2011 (Publication Date) - Anchor (Publisher)

This is a book by Colson Whitehead, and it’s about, surprise surprise, the zombie apocalypse.

Mark Spitz is one of the survivors in a world where most of humanity has been turned into zombies. He spends his days trying to stay alive and clear zones with other survivors, but he finds himself haunted by memories of his past life before everything went to hell.

It’s definitely an interesting look at how people would deal with the end of the world, and I think you’ll enjoy it if you’re looking for something different in your zombie books.

23. The Girl With All the Gifts by M. R. Carey

The Girl With All the Gifts
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Carey, M. R. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 420 Pages - 06/10/2014 (Publication Date) - Orbit (Publisher)

This book is by M. R. Carey, who you might know as the author of The Unwritten series.

The Girl With All the Gifts is about a girl named Melanie who is a student at a special school for children with unusual talents. She and her classmates are being studied, and we don’t know why.

But when the installation is attacked, Melanie is freed, and there are many who want her alive, some that want her dead, and others that want to open her up and dissect her brain.

It’s a surprisingly heartfelt story that is different than your typical zombie thriller.

24. Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry

Patient Zero: A Joe Ledger Novel
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Maberry, Jonathan (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 432 Pages - 03/03/2009 (Publication Date) - St. Martin's Griffin (Publisher)

This is the first book in a series by Jonathan Maberry, and it’s about Joe Ledger, who is a part of the Department of Military Sciences.

They’re responsible for dealing with all sorts of threats to national security, including zombies. And when a new virus starts turning people into zombies, they have to find Patient Zero before the entire world falls apart.

It’s an action-packed thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat, and I promise you’ll love it if you’re a fan of zombie books.

Bonus: The Walking Dead Graphic Novels

The Walking Dead Compendium Vol. 1
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Kirkman, Robert (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 1062 Pages - 09/14/2016 (Publication Date) - Image - Skybound (Publisher)

This isn’t a book, but I felt like it needed to be included. The Walking Dead graphic novels are definitely some of the best zombie stories out there, and if you’re looking for something that is both visual and textual, then these are perfect for you.

The Walking Dead did a lot to popularize zombie books in the last decade, and there’s a reason for it. The way that the authors managed to show the human threat as being just as great or greater as the zombie threat is chilling. It’s a great study of what our society might look like in the worst of situations.

Bonus for Kids: My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish

My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish (My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish Series Book 1)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • O'Hara, Mo (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 191 Pages - 07/09/2013 (Publication Date) - Feiwel & Friends (Publisher)

Lastly, we have one more bonus book, this time a zombie book for kids. My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish is about a kid named Tom who owns a pet zombie goldfish.

It’s about a childhood experiment gone horribly wrong, and now there is a fish who is also a zombie, and who also has hypnotic powers. Yep, you read that right.

It’s a great book for kids that are just getting into zombie stories, and I’m sure they’ll love it. And if you’re an adult that’s looking for something fun and light-hearted, then this is perfect for you too!

Which One is Your Favorite?

Of all of the items on this list, which one is your favorite? We would love to hear your thoughts, and any other zombie books that you would add to this list.

Let us know in the comments below, and we’ll definitely consider your feedback.

We hope you enjoyed this article, and that it helped you find some great new zombie books to read! Thanks for reading, and have a good day!

Leave a Comment