20 Best Zombie Books & Novels of All Time
Zombies come in many different shapes, sizes, and personalities and they can come with the most fun and entertaining world-building you’ll find in books. We want to prove that while zombie books are great at scaring the bejesus out of you they are also able to make you laugh, cry or fall in love. So if you’re looking for a good zombie comic, a comedy zombie book, or a romance book with zombies then you’ve come to the right place.
One thing is for sure; Zombie books are a whole lot of fun to read. Are you ready?
Best Books About Zombies from around the world
20| Deathless Divide (Dread Nation #2) by Justina Ireland | 2020
Justina Ireland quickly became a celebrated author in the historical fiction and zombie horror genre. The first book swept fans of the undead off their feet and couldn’t wait to finally read more about 19th century USA and a kick-ass female protagonist zombie hunter Jane McKeene.
She is always prepared for the worst, but when Summerland falls, she expects a somewhat easier life to come, with fewer troubles. She couldn’t have been more wrong. Her life is about to get much more complicated and even inside her darkness is rising which she has to find a way to cope with.
To ease the pain she makes an unlikely ally; Katherine Deveraux, who has seen the USA at its darkest hour and learned to appreciate a companion like Jane. The two watch each other’s back and try to work through their own inner struggles while slaying zombies tirelessly.
Deathless Divide by Justina Ireland is superbly written historic fiction horror, which is definitely among the best zombie books with female leads. It’s also the best zombie book of 2020.
19| FVZA: The Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency by David Hine | 2009
Life seems to be a much more relaxed nowadays than it was between the Civil War and WW2 when a virus turned people into ravaging bloodsuckers and flesh-eaters.
At every dark hour of history FVZA (Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency) came to the rescue but thanks to vaccination, there was no need for them. Until now.
A new strain seems to turn people but luckily a kick-ass agent is nearby to face and eliminate the threat. Landra Pecos is humanity’s best option, and she will not disappoint.
This eye-catching and bone-chilling graphic novel by David Hine (written) and Roy Allan Martinez (Illustrator) is definitely going to your new favorite.
FVZA: The Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency by David Hine is without a doubt among the scariest and disturbingly beautiful zombie graphic novels.
18| Blood Crazy by Simon Clark | 1995
Imagine the world is about to end tomorrow. Or at least for the little and younger ones. It all began as a regular Saturday but overnight things go incredibly crazy, well not all things, only all adults.
They go raging and without thinking they begin to hunt down children starting with their own. It sounds pretty scary and leaves very little chance for humanity to survive.
Simon Clark has a very enjoyable voice which can give you goosebumps quite instantly.
You are in for a scary time with this zombie horror, which has a new angle on how the world may end this week.
Blood Crazy by Simon Clark is definitely a unique kind of zombie apocalypse book which is going to make your weekend if you dare.
17| How to Survive a Horror Movie: All the Skills to Dodge the Kills by Seth Grahame-Smith | 2007
Seth Grahame-Smith is a huge fan of horror movies but simply cannot stand scenes, where characters die who could have survived easily.
We think everyone agrees, it is important to make the scenes relatable and realistic to be truly scary.
Anyway, if you love horror movies, enjoy a good mocking of them, or just simply looking for some dark humor, this is your book.
There are all sorts of situations in the book, not all of them are zombie apocalypse scenarios, but we are sure there is something for everyone.
You can be assured of a great time, the same author brought Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Graphic Novel and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter among many other hilarious horror books.
How to Survive a Horror Movie by Seth Grahame-Smith is definitely one of the funniest dark humor zombie books out there.
16| The Reapers are the Angels (Reapers #1) by Alden Bell | 2010
The first book of the intended trilogy (unfortunately we are still waiting for the third book) is a little dark and makes its readers feel trapped from time to time.
It may sound a negative description, but the truth is Alden Bell has a great talent when it comes to awakening all sorts of feelings with her books.
A zombie torn world is pretty dark with not much to be hopeful about.
As we follow Temple, a young girl who is looking for a home, we are going to feel down sometimes. All that and Temple’s past aching her heart keeps the girl on the road. Will there be a place Temple can finally call home?
The Reapers are the Angels by Alden Bell is n emotional horror fantasy, which will most likely be a new favorite to all lovers of sci-fi books about zombies.
15| This is Not a Test (This is Not a Test #1) by Courtney Summers | 2012
Courtney Summers has taken on the whole zombie apocalypse idea with a fresh approach. Naturally, we have heard of the undead taking over the living and forcing the handful of survivors to run or seek shelter.
What makes This is Not a Test outstanding is the fact that this time we have six teens who barricade themselves into their school and do their best to survive.
It still a pretty imaginable scenario, but one of them, Sloane is rather welcoming the little desired gruesome death and what comes after as a zombie.
She doesn’t want to live anymore, even before the breakout she found very little joy in her life.
There is a very interesting dynamic in the group and it seems the real threat isn’t coming from outside but the youngsters crumbling under the pressure may bring upon their end.
This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers is surely one of the best zombie books for YA readers who enjoy horror and survival stories. However, adults also enjoy this dystopian horror too.
14| Eat, Brains, Love (Eat, Brains, Love #1) by Jeff Hart | 2013
After reading Jeff Hart’s first book you are going to be baffled how he is not better known. He has an outstanding sense of humor and a pretty fascinating imagination when it comes to how the world can become a terrible place just in a moment.
Jake is a quiet, difficult-to-notice kind of guy, who would only dare to dream about beautiful girls like the school’s number one Amanda. One day, however, Jake does get the attention of the girl in a rather unusual way.
When having lunch as always, things turn rather horrific; he and Amanda turn into zombies and consume most of their schoolmates.
Obviously things cannot get back to normal and when a secret agent, Cass is after them, who later becomes their companion, they have to leave their home.
As the title references to the soul searching book, Jake, Amanda and Cass go on a journey themselves to figure some stuff out.
Eat, Brains, Love by Jeff Hart is definitely one of the most hilarious YA books about zombies. It’s a fun book that will give you just as many chills as laughs.
13| World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks | 2006
It’s sad to see, there are many issues standing in our way to handle a zombie invasion. After reading World War Z, we quickly get to the realization that we are still too badly divided. But do not worry, there is a bright side as well. Humanity, even if vastly dwindled, survived the zombie invasion.
About the book, besides being realistic and well thought through, there are a few points that make it stand out. First, as there is no actual protagonist, we are not relating, bonding with anyone closely. Of course, there is the option to bond with the whole world, there has been a zombie apocalypse after all. Secondly, the stories told by the survivors are very interesting, however, you know how it ends.
In case you were wondering Brad Pitt’s Zombie movie (with the same title) World War Z is based on this book and the second one is announced. Yay!
Despite these points, we are certain you are going to have a good read and find this book worth your time.
World War Z is, without doubt, one of the most famous apocalyptic military zombie books. It’s pretty dark but a great satire that’s perfect for adult readers who love zombie novels.
12| Rot & Ruin (1st book of Rot and Ruin series) by Jonathan Maberry | 2010
Zombie lovers watch out, this is not your typical post-apocalyptic zombie book because Maberry puts a huge emphasis on brothers Benny and Tom Imura’s relationship and it changes the whole tone of the book… for the better if you ask us.
Rot & Ruin shows a world fourteen years after the zombie outbreak, living in a small safe zone, Benny has to find a way of living. He doesn’t want to join his brother, a zombie hunter as they aren’t very close.
Including Benny’s friends, we meet a number of well-crafted characters. Enjoyed the depth of Tom’s character, the humane zombie hunter. He thinks of his “victims” as someone’s beloved family member. Furthermore, it is a delight to find two strong females brought to life as Nix and Lilah. Both of them are very strong and resourceful with quite different personality traits.
Additionally, despite having a mostly dark vibe as most books with zombies, there is also plenty of humor hidden in the pages. Giving us a little relief from all the Rot & Ruin.
Rot & Ruin is one of the smartest sci-fi zombie book series in a post-zombie apocalypse setting.
11| Dark Recollections (1st book of Adrian’s Undead Diary Series) by Chris Philbrook | 2013
Chris Philbrook first published chapters online, which then became so popular, they got published. Lucky for us, now we can all enjoy one of the best zombie survival books in print.
Adrian, ex-military, thanks to his training and mindfulness, survives “The Day”. He was able to keep cool and accessorize his environment, which is key to surviving during a zombie attack.
Adrian’s diary unveils a lot of inner struggles and brings a whole lot of action to the reader.
The book has plenty of funny, entertaining lines to lighten the mood but it’s also able to quickly pull you back into the dark reality of its world.
Dark recollections and Adrian’s diary book series is one of the most beloved epic horror fiction zombie series. It’s smart, dark, and has great pacing and has all the elements that make a great zombie novel.
10| Boneshaker (1st book of the Clockwork Century series) by Cherie Priest | 2009
Cherie Priest has a very good concept going on with a unique writing style. It’s a one of a kind steampunk book about zombies that may start off a little slow, however, it is necessary to build up the story.
The Boneshaker, a gigantic drill was invented by Dr. Blue to unearth Pacific Northwest’s gold reserves. The drilling resulted in releasing a gas in Seattle that turned people into zombies who inhaled it.
16 years later, the city is sealed tight, so no zombies can escape. Dr. Blue’s widow, Briar Wilkes, and their son, Ezekiel are struggling to shed his negative reputation. The teenager decides to go on a quest inside the toxic city’s walls.
Prepare for a real steampunk adventure. You are going to love the world-building and all the gadgets it comes with. Watch out for the air pirates, while zombies aim for your brain on the ground.
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9| My Life as a White Trash Zombie (1st book of White Trash Zombie series) by Diana Rowland | 2011
Angel has a lot of difficulties fitting in society, nothing works out for her. She cannot hold a job, has drinking and drug problems. At 21, Angel is on probation. She was never afraid to get into a physical fight. She is living with an alcoholic father in a mess. Her relationship with her boyfriend doesn’t seem to go anywhere. Her situation looks pretty beyond hope.
Everything changes on the day when Angel wakes up in a hospital after a car crash without a scratch. Also, she receives a mysterious job offer at the morgue. Her craving for drugs and alcohol strangely turns into a craving for brains.
Diana Rowland really stands out with her style and graveyard humor. With its outstanding story and character building, it is a superb read for those who love books with dark humor and some zombie comedy.
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8| The Walking Dead, Vol. 1: Days Gone Bye by Robert Kirkman
The artwork itself is great and is creating a melancholy that helps you imagine yourself in the characters’ situation.
This comic will make you ask yourself; what would we do if all of the current comforts were gone. No TV, no food whenever you feel hungry and no phones. Well, there is much more than that is gone, including your loved ones. Not to mention surviving when ferocious walking dead people want to take a bite from you.
Kirkman’s comic is not only blood and shredded body parts. Of course, if you are into it then it won’t make your best comics list.
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7| The Girl with All the Gifts (1st book of part of The Girl with All the Gifts Series) by M. R. Carey
Just when thought we have read, heard, seen everything about zombies that’s when M. R. Carey’s heart-breaking zombie book came along and turns out to be so is incredible that it changes the zombie scene. Even if you saw the movie (& didn’t like it) you should pick up this book because you know, books are always better than…
The girl with all the gifts has a truly new angle on zombie stories and is going to shake your world. It’s about Little Melanie who is a smart, compassionate and loving school girl. Top of her class, she has a deep bond with her teacher, Miss Justineau. Melanie doesn’t understand why she is strapped to the chair during class. She cannot tell why her classmates disappear from the class. Despite all the strange things, she loves school, loves learning and has great plans for the future.
Then one day, she has to visit the feared lab her friends had gone to and never came back.
This book is by far one of the most interesting reads in the zombie genre. After a couple of pages, you are going to bond with the characters and feel for Melanie. The excitement, the hope things will work out for the better make you read the book in one sit. Furthermore, besides the emotional struggles, there is a lot of action as well.
In case you’re also into science then you’re going to enjoy facts and science behind how a fungus evolved to cause the zombie outbreak.
6| Alice in Zombieland (1st book of the White Rabbit Chronicles series) by Gena Showalter
Alice in Zombieland is an entertaining and fun young adult zombie story. However, the story has little or nothing to do with the original Alice in Wonderland stories other than the catchy title. Despite this Gena Showalter has done a good job creating a kick-ass lead female character, who has to go through the same issues in Zombilend just like the Alice we know and love had to in Wonderland.
Alice has lived her life abiding her father’s rules, who was always sure zombies exist. After the tragic death of her family, she goes to a new school where everyone is acting strange. Soon Ali has to realize she will have to toughen up to fight zombies. Along with Cole, the bad boy of the school they begin their adventure.
It is a fun and easy book with zombies, where nothing indigestible or gore comes along. The characters have distinctive personalities, unique voices, which can be a rare find in the young adult romance fantasy world.
5| Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (1st book of the (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies series) by Seth Grahame-Smith
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is pretty much what it sounds like. Seth Grahame-Smith has really done the impossible and turned Jane Austen’s beloved classic into a thrilling zombie novel. Imagine everything as Jane Austen had written with a little twist.
First of all, there is a zombie invasion in Hertfordshire. Secondly, the Bennet sisters are well trained Shaolin Kung Fu fighters making them the best zombie hunters in the county. Lastly, Elizabeth is rather fond of using actions over her words. One of the good examples is when she actually beats Mr. Darcy up for not making a move on her.
There is a lot of fun moments besides the good old romantic scenes. It’s very interesting how the exact same plot had been brought to life with the zombie twist. Get ready for your next favorite romantic zombie novel. One thing is for sure; it’s going to be one of the weirdest and funniest books about zombies you’ll ever read.
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4| Warm Bodies (1st book of the Warm Bodies series) by Isaac Marion
Probably you have heard about Warm Bodies but probably because of the movie. The book, however, really deserves more attention as Isaac Marion has kind of created the zombie version of Twilight.
Despite the similarities of the two novels, Marion’s world remains original. So don’t think it is a simple knock off and the only difference is that the handsome and polite vampire was just swapped to a zombie. Not at all.
The story revolves around R, a zombie, who tells his story after the deadly breakout R is really a unique character in the world of zombie literature. He is living in a Boeing 747 and spends most of his time at the airport. Until one day he saves Julie from being eaten by other zombies (and a little by him).
After this encounter things change for R forever. For the first time, R doesn’t think of a living person as food. She has moved something inside him and wants to protect her.
It is a very catchy book, difficult to put down. It’s also a quite short read, which means there are no fillers. The story goes on in a very convenient flow.
This book has everything you need to have a good time with a book; love, laughter and zombie fights.
3| Night of the Living Trekkies by Kevin David Anderson and Sam Stall
Star Trek geeks and zombie fans brace yourselves because Night of The Living Trekkies is a surprisingly fun, well written and geek-friendly book awaits your reading glasses.
Kevin David Andreson has really done it when combined two of our favorite things Star Trek and Zombies.
The story is about Jim Pike who has just been promoted to assistant manager at a two-star hotel, where a Star Trek convention is being held.
To Jim’s luck, there is a zombie outbreak. But don’t worry his survival instincts kick in while he also has to deal with his PTSD because of his time spent in Afghanistan where he lost his troops. Along with some of the Trekkies, Jim does whatever it takes to stay alive.
Speaking of books deserving more attention. Night of the Living Trekkies should be on everyone’s bookshelves.
Throughout the book, we meet superb characters, laugh hard on funny dialogues and get emotionally invested. There are plenty of Start Trek and even some Star Wars references along with hilarious situations.
2| Happy Hour of The Damned (1st Book of the Amanda Feral series) by Mark Henry
Happy Hour of The Damned is something else… This chick flick zombie novel is a completely different read from the ones above. Amanda is not a regular protagonist or zombie for that matter. She has her own way of expressing her liking or disliking. She eats flesh, as every zombie does and she drinks alcohol, because at least that she can digest.
Meet Amanda Feral, a marketing executive, who had just been turned to a zombie. She tries to keep it positive, fit into the world of the darkness. Up until one day, her undead friend disappears and Amanda has to realize; death wasn’t the worst thing that could happen to her.
Prepare for a little cussing along with gruesome scenes as Amanda takes on the dark side of Seattle. It’s a well-built novel, full of twists and reasons to smile about.
1| Married With Zombies ( 1st book of the Living With the Dead series) by Jesse Petersen
Jesse Petersen has pulled a real chucklesome with Married with Zombies. It’s certainly one of the best comic zombie books out there and the series is one of the rare ones where the books get better and better.
Sarah and David are in a major crisis of their marriage. Even decided to seek help and visit a counselor. Upon arriving at the office, the not-so-happily married couple sees Dr. Kelly munching on his previous client.
Petersen’s sarcastic style and entertaining stories where very real characters having very real conversations will make you laugh through every page.
Married With Zombies is a very interesting take on the whole zombie apocalypse as the couple is working through their issues.
Overall, the writing is very entertaining, there are a lot of great, catchy conversations. And last but not least the lovable and relatable characters make the story into a completely tasty, saucy, zombie slaughter.
Thank you for reading!
Hahaha such an interesting list! I haven’t read any of these books actually! I have to say that I’ve never been that much into zombies (if being into zombies is a thing) 😂
It’s definitely a thing! =) I’m more of a fun of the comedies than the dystopian books/movies but I do love them. Give them a try when you have some time to do so maybe you’ll find a new fav genre.