The 10 Books Every Zombie Fan Must Read

Let’s face it, vampires are played out. Sparkles and sexiness vanquished their frightfulness in a way garlic and holy water never could. But the world needs a monster, particularly in tough times, so zombies have spent the last few years shambling in to fill the pop culture void. We play Plants vs. Zombies on our phones, watch The Walking Dead on TV, go on zombie walks, run zombie-themed races, and will almost certainly make World War Z (based on the 2006 book by Max Brooks, released today) one of the highest-grossing films of the summer. According to the Today show, the "zombie economy" is worth more than $5.74 billion in the U.S. alone.

There is simply no better time to brush-up on zombie fiction, but with so many undead-related titles to choose from, it's hard to figure out where to start. LitReactor to the rescue. Here are ten not-to-be-missed zombie books worth their weight in rotting flesh. Um, we mean worth their weight in something much more valuable than rotting flesh. Even if you don't consider yourself a horror buff, you might be surprised to find something here you'll love. After all, most good zombie novels are more about the humans than the monsters, and you'll find everything from political intrigue to romance to Southern Gothic literary fiction on this list...

10. Patient Zero  by Jonathan Maberry

There were a few zombie books we could've chosen by Bram Stoker Award-winning author/zombie aficionado Jonathan Maberry, and this one barely won out over Rot and Ruin and Dead of Night, but Patient Zero deserves a spot on this list because it is a zombie novel for people who don't like zombie novels. Detective Joe Ledger is a tough guy leading man to rival anyone you've seen on the big screen. As part of a government task force whose mission it is to keep terrorists from deploying a bio-chemical weapon that turns us all into zombies, Ledger is full of so much bravado, action, and manly knowledge of advanced weaponry that he's almost cartoonish, but if you want a fast-moving, creepy book full of explosions, b-movie-style jumps, and evil geniuses (oh, and zombies), Maberry's got your number.

For fans of: Jonathan Spy thrillers, tough guys, Jack Bauer from 24, The A-Team, zombies


9. Day by Day Armageddon  by J.L. Bourne

Day by Day Armageddon describes the downfall of humanity through the diary of a U.S. naval officer. To keep the personal, intimate feel of a journal, Bourne originally wrote the story by hand—complete with scratch-outs, underlines, and margin notes—and uploaded the "journal" piece by piece to his website, where it became a cult hit among zombie fans. Bourne was eventually approached by Simon & Schuster, who did a 50,000 copy first print run, and have since published two sequels. The plot is fairly standard "zombie apocalypse happens, guy defends his house, guy picks up other survivors and travels for a while, group of survivors holes up in a missile facility and defends against the living and undead" style stuff, but the presentation is suspenseful, personal, and engaging. This is a quick read that feels almost voyeuristic at times.

For fans of: Reality TV/voyeurism, military terminology, first-person narration, old-school slow-moving zombies


8. As the World Dies: The First Days  by Rhiannon Frater

When a book starts with an abusive father gnawing on his three-year-old, it didn't come to mess around. Especially when it's described like so: "She found Lloyd hunched over Benjamin, eating away her baby's tender flesh." There's not much of the baby left. Probably because "Lloyd always was a big eater." These are the first images in Frater's trilogy, which was self-published before being picked up by Tor Books, and the gore, dark humor, and action just keep going. Abused (and, to be honest, fairly annoying) housewife Jenni joins up with lesbian attorney Katie for a zombie-killing road trip across Texas to pick up Jenni's step-son. This is not high-brow literature, nor is it feminist parable (goofy love triangles and catty comments abound), but it is a fun apocalyptic read.

For fans of: The Walking Dead, love triangles, gore, dark humor, Thelma and Louise, zombies


7. Forest of Hands and Teeth  by Carrie Ryan

Like most teenagers, Mary has a crush (two actually), teen angst, a mistrust of authority, and a desire to escape from the rule-laden world where she was raised. Unlike most teens, Mary lives in an isolated village separated from a forest full of flesh-eating zombies by a single fence. This—the first book of Ryan's well-received YA trilogy—could, in some ways, just as well have been set in an urban gated community with violent gangs outside its walls. The metaphor of the teenage desire to buck rules and build an adult life would have stood up, but as a general rule, if you can add zombies to a plot, go ahead and do so. Same with unicorns. Mary's own parents are among the "Unconsecrated" (religious terms and imagery are plentiful, and Mary's world is ruled by a religious order known as The Sisterhood). But before her mother started wandering around the Forest of Hands and Teeth as one of the zombified, she told Mary of a thing called the ocean, and Mary's desire to see the mythical beaches makes her consider risking everything.

For fans of: The Hunger Games, teen crushes and angst, YA supernatural fiction, fantasy, Shyamalan's The Village, zombies


6. Zone One  by Colson Whitehead

Thoughtful turns of phrase, biting dark humor, careful satire, and zombies, Colson Whitehead's Zone One isn't going to give you non-stop zombie-shooting head-smashing action (though the flashbacks to the outbreak are intense), but it is worth a read. Mark Spitz is a "sweeper," clearing away stragglers from Manhattan's Zone One district after the zombie attacks. These trapped souls are malfunctioning zombies, destined to ceaselessly repeat mundane acts they carried out while alive—filling balloons at a party store, working the copy machine, flying a kite with no wind. More lyrical than many zombie novels, Zone One provides careful wartime satire mixed with bleak allegories about modern life.

For fans of: Satire, uber-dark humor, New York City stories, the place where literature and genre novels meet, zombies


5. Breathers: A Zombie's Lament  by S.G. Browne

The most ridiculous (in a good way) book on our list is S.G. Browne's entertaining debut about modern life as a zombie. After Andy Warner dies, he has trouble adjusting to his new life as one of the undead. And who could blame him? He has to live in his parents' wine cellar, isn't allowed to go to the movies or even use the internet, and is constantly harassed by frat boys and other members of the living (aka "Breathers"). Things change after he meets Rita, a recent suicide who eats cosmetics for their formaldehyde content, and Jerry, a car crash victim who loves Renaissance porn, at an Undead Anonymous meeting. Together they learn the delights of devouring human flesh and find new ways to stand up for the rights of zombies everywhere.

For fans of: Max Brooks's The Zombie Survival Guide, Shaun of the Dead, black comedy, Warm Bodies, rom-coms, zombies


4. Feed  by Mira Grant (aka Seanan McGuire)

Do you want the good news or the bad news? Let's start with the good because the bad is a doozy. The good news is that, according to Feed, we have managed to cure both cancer and the common cold. The bad news? Combining those two cures reanimates the dead. It's pretty inconvenient. A zombie apocalypse story, a political thriller, and a cautionary tale about the state of modern media all at once, the first novel in Mira Grant's Newsflesh trilogy is as much about the state of the world post-zombie outbreak as it is about the zombies themselves. Our snarky heroes are three bloggers who—in a world where mainstream media almost let everyone get devoured by zombies—are, along with their blogging brethren, responsible for getting the truth to the people. In the way of the truth are zombie giraffes, corrupt politicians, grand conspiracies, and hoards of undead who share a collective consciousness and get smarter in groups. The trilogy is a bit campy and unnecessarily descriptive at times (the first book weighs in at 600 pages), but if you don't mind those minor details, this Hugo Award-nominated book is a fun, intriguing read. (On a side note: I'm fond of the subtle pop culture references to other zombie books and movies woven throughout the books, from characters named Shaun and Buffy to the acknowledgement that George Romero is "one of the accidental saviors of the human race.")

For fans of: The West Wing, political thrillers, sci-fi, campiness, bashing traditional media, blogging, zombies


3. Raising Stony Mayhall  by Daryl Gregory

In 1968, Wanda Mayhall and her three daughters discover a frozen baby in a snowstorm. He is not breathing and has no heartbeat, but he begins to move. Knowing that authorities would destroy the baby, Wanda decides to raise him as one of her own. What follows is one of the biggest twists on the zombie genre in recent memory. Stony Mayhall (the zombie kid) is raised with his human family, but realizes he is different. He is, for example, shot in the chest with an arrow at one point without pain. As he grows older, he wonders what it means to be human and this heartfelt, emotional book takes on some distinctly philosophical undertones. As an older boy, he meets other members of the living dead but realizes that, because of his upbringing in a living family, he feels different. Layers of civil rights commentary are deftly woven into the plot. If you are not a horror fan, but want an excellent read about the human condition, Stony Mayhall is your man.

For fans of: Coming-of-age stories, Philip K. Dick, heartwarming undead families, science fiction, civil rights, zombies


2. World War Z  by Max Brooks

Presented as a series of UN-commissioned interviews a decade after the zombie outbreak, World War Z is terrifying because it feels like it could happen. If zombies were real, this is actually how things would go down. And that's true horror. Author Max Brooks—who exchanged the tongue-in-cheek presentation of his 2003 Zombie Survival Guide for a gritty portrayal of loss and devastation—said, "[E]xcept the zombies ... everything else in the book is either taken from reality or 100% real. The technology, politics, economics, culture, military tactics... it was a LOT of homework." At times, Brooks's portrayal of postwar culture hits a little too close to home, forcing readers to confront the darker side of human nature, the dangers of bureaucracy, American isolationism, and corporate corruption in between tales of the murderous undead. Because the book is less about a single story arc and more about how the individuals being interviewed have been affected, it'll be interesting to see how the new Brad Pitt film handles Brooks's bestseller.

For fans of: Episodic presentation, extreme realism, social commentary, military tactics, Theodore Judson's Fitzpatrick's War, Studs Terkel's The Good War, zombies


1. The Reapers Are the Angels  by Alden Bell

Temple is a 15-year-old girl who has never known a world that didn't involve bashing in the skulls of zombies (here known as "slugs"). She handles these encounters like I handle seeing a spider in my house—as unpleasant but survivable encounters. What she does not handle as well is the guilt, grief, and emotional baggage she drags around during her quest for redemption. The bleak, painfully honest portrayal of Temple's loneliness and self-doubt—not the "slugs"—put this book at the top of our list. In fact, the origin of the slugs is never even revealed. What's passed is in the past, and the narrative lives in the present. "Beautiful" is not a word normally used to describe zombie tales, but this is no ordinary zombie book. It hits you with unexpected moments of joy amidst the horror, and with prose that owes quite a debt to Southern Gothic literature, The Reapers Are the Angels proves that zombie stories can be literary. They can make you cry. They can introduce you to introspective, believable, memorable characters that stay with you long after you've finished reading. One last thing: Don't think that because the protagonist is a teenager, this is a YA book. It's not. You'll scar your kiddos with this one.  

For fans of: Cormac McCarthy, Flannery O'Connor, William Faulkner, strong female protagonists, zombies

Ten Honorable Mentions

  • The Walking Dead series by Robert Kirkman
  • Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahme-Smith
  • The Aftertime trilogy by Sophie Littlefield
  • Autumn by David Moody
  • Monster Island: A Zombie Novel by David Wellington
  • The Deadworld series by Joe McKinney
  • Zombie Fallout by Mark Tufo
  • The Morningstar Saga by Z.A. Recht
  • The Rising by Brian Keene

Okay, zombie fans, what did we miss? Do you agree with our choices? Sound off in the comments.

Kimberly Turner

Column by Kimberly Turner

Kimberly Turner is an internet entrepreneur, DJ, editor, beekeeper, linguist, traveler, and writer. This either makes her exceptionally well-rounded or slightly crazy; it’s hard to say which. She spent a decade as a journalist and magazine editor in Australia and the U.S. and is now working (very, very slowly) on her first novel. She holds a B.A. in Creative Writing and an M.A. in Applied Linguistics and lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, two cats, ten fish, and roughly 60,000 bees.

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Jaime Wilson's picture
Jaime Wilson June 21, 2013 - 9:28am

You left off Ex-Heroes. Probably the best Zombie book I've ever read.

Craig Bertuglia's picture
Craig Bertuglia from Houston (but I grew up in South Jersey) is reading "The Priest" by Gerard O'Donovan June 21, 2013 - 9:34am
Aaron Hamilton's picture
Aaron Hamilton June 21, 2013 - 9:43am

The Passage by Justin Cronin! First of a trilogy, have yet to read the second one.

Mark Prospero's picture
Mark Prospero June 21, 2013 - 9:43am

The Zombie Apocolypse Series by Mark Tufo wickedly funny and a GREAT read!

Meredith Hatcher's picture
Meredith Hatcher June 21, 2013 - 10:03am

Pariah by Bob Fingerman deserves to be on the honorable mention list.

Daniel B. O'Shea's picture
Daniel B. O'Shea June 21, 2013 - 10:47am

This Dark Earth by John Hornor Jacobs.


Tyler Oberle's picture
Tyler Oberle June 21, 2013 - 12:31pm

CELL by Stephen King! How could that possibly be left off?! A personal, emotional zombie book written by the master of horror writing himself!

Chris Owen's picture
Chris Owen from Atlanta, Georgia is reading Drowned Hopes by Donald Westlake June 21, 2013 - 12:42pm

What about "I am Legend" by Matheson? Basically the first zombie book ever written.

Zackery Olson's picture
Zackery Olson from Rockford, IL is reading pretty much anything I can get my hands on June 21, 2013 - 12:45pm

Good call with the majority of these.


Ex-Heroes and it's sequel Ex-Patriots are both entertaining. Super heroes and zombies in the same story works surprisingly well.


This Dark Earth is also very good; it's much better than Jacobs first novel, Southern Gods.


I would have gone with Rot and Ruin over Patient Zero. Rot and Ruin is also a zombie novel for people who don't like zombie novels. My girlfriend openly disliked zombie fiction of all kinds, but when I finally got her to read Rot and Ruin, she devoured it; pun intended.


I'm damn near ecstatic to see The Reapers are the Angels at the Top of this list, because it is my favorite zombie novel of all time. I have continued to read zombie novels since reading Reapers, but most of them fall short by a significant margin.

Joe LeDux's picture
Joe LeDux from The Deepest Darkest South is reading The Child of God, Cormac McCarthy June 22, 2013 - 2:41am

I agree that _I Am Legend_ is the most glaring omission from this list.  The book (much different from the Will Smith movie with the same title) is the book that started the modern zombie genre.  But anyone who has read the book knows it's not about zombies, per se, but about vampires. Not the supernatural variety, admittedly, and in their case it's caused and spread by a microorganism, not by some dark magic quality.  It makes sense if you think about it: vampires are undead--animate yet without breath or heartbeat; they're not mortal, in that they can't be killed or destroyed by something that would take out a normal human; they're created when a normal human is bitten by someone already turned; and most importantly they're ruthless predators on what used to be their own kind.  So in that sense the book that started the zombie genre would have to be Bram Stoker's _Dracula_.  That's the granddaddy of them all.

For my money, the vampire is the scarier opponent by far, because he still has his mind intact.  Zombies, or if you prefer, infected (as in the Danny Boyle movies) might be single-minded, implacable, and very hard to kill, but they're stupid.  The only way they become apocalyptically scary is when there are ever-increasing waves of them.

Another book which is decidedly not part of the genre, but shares some similarities, is _The Road_ by Cormac McCarthy.  That book is also full of humans running down and eating other humans.  But in that case the cannibals are created not by a virus or black magic, but by some undescribed apocalyptic event that has killed most people and left those remaining normal but starving to death.  The only food source that is even somewhat readily available is our fellow humans.  Because those who wish to eat their kind are thinking, planning people with their intellectual faculties intact, and because they strategize and cooperate and drive vehicles and carry guns and even to a sense are understandable...for that reason _The Road_ is ultimately more terrifying to me than any zombie/infected story. 

Short of something like an outbreak of weaponized rabies (the excellent 2010 movie remake of 'The Crazies" is a great example of that), anything like the zombie scenario is so unlikely that it properly belongs in the realm of science fiction.  But all you have to do to get a scenario like _The Road_ is to eliminate most of the food in a wide geographic area.  It would happen.  It has happened, albiet on a small scale (e.g. Jamestown Colony).

I do think there should be a super-genre, so to speak, called the Feral Human genre, and it would include the zombie and infected stories, as well as others like _The Road_.  Because ultimately, nothing is as frightening to us as our fellow humans.



Amanda Rogers's picture
Amanda Rogers June 22, 2013 - 6:56am

I know it's not a "zombie" book but Beloved by Toni Morrison is both an emotionally challenging and at-base a horrifying novel. Lots of antebellum Southern culture here. Lots of dramatic web weaving. Brilliantly written and in the vein of Faulkner with a little bit of Poe thrown in. 

Jane Wiseman's picture
Jane Wiseman from living outside of Albuquerque/in Minneapolis is reading Look to Windward by Iain M. Banks June 22, 2013 - 7:26am

Wow, Amanda, I wouldn't expect to find "Beloved" on a zombie list, although certainly on a ghost story list. That said, I agree completely and would go so far as to call it one of the best American novels of our time.

Earl Marischal David Greybeard's picture
Earl Marischal ... June 23, 2013 - 8:17am

John Joesph Adams collection of short stories, "THE LIVING DEAD" is very impressive. If you're a zombie fan, you must read this book.


Earl Marischal David Greybeard's picture
Earl Marischal ... June 23, 2013 - 8:19am

Also, Scot Sigler's  "INFECTED"  and it's second part, "CONTAGIOUS".

Tim's picture
Tim from Philadelphia is reading approximately eight different books. Most unsuccessfully. June 24, 2013 - 7:24am

I'm not a huge fan of zombie books though I have read my share. WWZ I found impossible to slog through. The Pride and Predjudice ones were fun and The Reapers Are The Angels well deserves first place on this list.

Most recently I've read "What Our Eyes Have Witnessed" By Stant Litore ( It is part of his Zombie Bible series (zombies in biblical/historical settings) and I've got to say I really enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to reading the other books in the series. He's got an interesting twist on "the hunger".

Anne Henning Bankowski's picture
Anne Henning Ba... June 24, 2013 - 11:00am

I agree with Tim. I have read all three of Stant Litore's works and  have loved each and every moment of each and every book. What Our Eyes Have Witnessed, Death Has Come Up To Our Window and Strangers in the Land. I am more than eagerly waited the next installment of The Zombie Bible. Can't get enough of his writing.

Ray Richards's picture
Ray Richards from Michigan and Iowa is reading The Great Shark Hunt by Hunter S. Thompson June 25, 2013 - 12:30pm

I am Legend. 

Tom1960's picture
Tom1960 from Athens, Georgia is reading Blindness by Jose Saramago July 1, 2013 - 7:20am

Based on your article I bought The Reapers Are The Angels.  Wow!  This is the zombie story I wan to see on the big screen. 

DA Roberts's picture
DA Roberts July 1, 2013 - 5:32pm

Dang. I was hoping my book series would at least get an honorable mention. However, having said that...there are some excellent books and authors on that list. But I'd be remiss if I didn't shamelessly plug my own books...the Ragnarok Rising Saga.  Thanks!

Jeff Sorensen's picture
Jeff Sorensen July 2, 2013 - 12:31pm

"Zombies Ruined My Weekend." and I AM LEGEND.

Tim Johnson's picture
Tim Johnson from Rockville, MD is reading Notes From a Necrophobe by T.C. Armstrong July 11, 2013 - 6:02pm

Everyone suggesting I Am Legend, those are vampires. Same with The Passage.

JEFFREY GRANT BARR from Central OR is reading Nothing but fucking Shakespeare, for the rest of my life July 12, 2013 - 10:43pm

What a godamned awful list. Patient Zero? Zone One? Feed, for Christ's sake?

Baskins31's picture
Baskins31 October 2, 2013 - 11:49am

Good list in my opinion, especially with so many in the genre.  I am glad to see the often forgotten Day by Day Armageddon.  For fans of high octane zombie action I would add The Demented and the entire Remaining series.

Scott Colbert's picture
Scott Colbert October 16, 2013 - 7:11am

Phil Nutman's Wet Work is one of the best zombie novels I've read, and Kim Paffenroth's Dying to Live series is phenomonal.

John Snark Holmes's picture
John Snark Holmes November 19, 2013 - 11:49am

Irregular Scout Team One - The Complete Zombie Killer Series.

It's a compilation of three books I wrote based on Army / Civilain scouts exploring the Post-Zombie world. I've gotten pretty good reviews, I'd apprecaite it if you'd take a look. Thanks!

Charlie Eastbourne's picture
Charlie Eastbourne December 1, 2013 - 7:31am

I have never heard of half of them, WWZ is good. but undoubtedly the best zombie book ive ever read is "Among the Fallen Genesis" its getting raves on goodreads at the moment and something a little different without ruining it for all of you lol

Jeremy Bell's picture
Jeremy Bell December 8, 2013 - 3:21pm

My frustration with zombie books is that they all seem "cartoonish".  The characters are usually cardboard cut-outs that don't change.  The story usually falls apart into some crazy, last-stand with somebody with two machine guns in each hand cutting through like 100,000 zombies.  The zombies usually inherit some type of supernatural power (mind communication, global awareness, etc).  The protagonist is either super human, or makes ridiculous mistakes that plagues "B" horror films.    BOOORINNNGG!

I want an actual realistic zombie/end-of-the-world book where the protagonist has to survive and has real human limitations.  I want to see what they would build in their shelter to help them survive from day to day.  How they would handle realistic food and supply runs.  Something that has some philosophical thought to it, rather than feel like I'm reading a comic book for 13 year olds with a violent streak.

It's like the current zombie authors feel they need the book to have these huge outrageous climaxes in order to be entertaining.  Please authors, a woman trapped in a building with 3 zombies can be way more terrifying than a woman blowing up 30,000 zombies on a city street.  Keep it simple.

I will check out the recommendation for "The Road" as that seems more up my ally.

Oneofakind Kindof's picture
Oneofakind Kindof December 15, 2013 - 8:22am

Zombie fans should check out Good Intentions by D.N. Simmons. What I loved about it is unlike most books, you see the actual beginnng of a zombie outbreak and the person responsible for it has to survive to come up with a cure. There's alot of twists and turns and just non-stop action and gore. Great book. 

Laser Tag's picture
Laser Tag December 18, 2013 - 8:16am

"The Zombie Notebooks" is one of the funniest and fresh zombie books out there. It lives up to its great Kirkus review. It's geared to teenagers, but still funny.

Laser Tag's picture
Laser Tag December 18, 2013 - 8:17am

"The Zombie Notebooks" is one of the funniest and fresh zombie books out there. It lives up to its great Kirkus review. It's geared to teenagers, but still funny.

Eric Michael's picture
Eric Michael March 12, 2014 - 11:06pm

This list is a bit dated, but why isn't I am Legend in here?  Also, a new book called Into the Darkness by Fox Lee is better than at least 5 of the top 10.  It rules.  Fast and sexy.  Book description said author wrote the book to Tool and Metallica pumped up to full volume and the pace of the book reflects that.  Awesome.

CuseNation's picture
CuseNation March 20, 2014 - 9:30pm

       I love zombie books and I read every book in this genre I can get my hands on. That being said the series The Remaining by D.J. Molles is by far some of the best fast paced zombie books I've found and they get better with every book. I can't wait for the next book to come out in 2015!!!

Martin Rothery's picture
Martin Rothery from Huddersfield, England is reading Meat April 18, 2014 - 1:56pm

I enjoyed WWZ. But how about a book from the zombie's point of view like 'Human Rights:Undead set on Living' by Damon Rathe. If you like Breathers you might like this.

Martin Rothery's picture
Martin Rothery from Huddersfield, England is reading Meat April 18, 2014 - 1:57pm

I enjoyed WWZ. But how about a book from the zombie's point of view like 'Human Rights:Undead set on Living' by Damon Rathe. If you like Breathers you might like this.

c0rlam90's picture
c0rlam90 May 24, 2014 - 2:46pm

Search Amazon for "I Am Become Zombie" by C. L. Allen. You'll thank me later. Both hilarious and morbid at the same time.

emceeassassin's picture
emceeassassin June 15, 2014 - 10:58am

Hmmm, I realise this is of the opinion of the author, but seriously why is there no mention of The Undead by RR Haywood? An epic 15 days in to the Zombie Apocalypse, thousands of pages and only just getting warmed up. 

900 Miles by S Jonathan Davis - A roller coaster ride and I cannot wait for the authors next one. 

Ravage and Savage by Iain Rob Wright - 2 completely different stories but both based in the UK - spot the familiar faces.... The list is endless and while not disrespecting the above books, most of them do not even come close to the ones I mention. 

incredibly pleased that Zombie Fallout my Mark Tufo got a mention though. 

Time for a top twenty list perhaps? 

zombella's picture
zombella June 17, 2014 - 12:46pm

If you like growing plants and you love you can have the best of both worlds.

The Zombie Plant Grow kit is not a joke!  In it you can grow a real ZOMBIE PLANT that "Plays DEAD" when you Touch it!  Minutes later it comes back to life!

Tina Lette's picture
Tina Lette July 9, 2014 - 9:21pm

I agree this list is just pretty amazing but you missed the autumn series by David moody is positively amazing

Jake Michael Jackson's picture
Jake Michael Jackson July 18, 2014 - 11:21pm
James Michael Hartley's picture
James Michael H... July 24, 2014 - 9:48am

Please support this past paced, new zombie novel.


Its called "Jacinto: An Undead Texas Novel"

by J.M. Vaughn


Maria Emblad's picture
Maria Emblad August 13, 2014 - 11:21am

What can I say? That's probably the twenty books he read about the subject....I have read almost 200 books in that genre...embarrassing is the best I can say

Doug Jeffreys's picture
Doug Jeffreys August 13, 2014 - 11:57am

The title of this article is "The 10 Books Every Zombie Fan Must Read", yet it hilights books that will appeal to people that don't normally read zompoc fiction. Books that actual zompoc fans would like, in no particular order, are the "Feed" trilogy by Mira Grant, Patient Zero by Jonathan Mayberry, Dead of Night by jonathan Mayberry, the Rot & Ruin series by Jonathan Mayberry, World War Z by Max Brooks, Zombie, Ohio by Scott Kenemore.

Rus34's picture
Rus34 August 13, 2014 - 8:13pm

The Gathering dead series by Stephen Knight is fast paced military zombie goodness!

also liked LZR - 1143 by Bryan James

Deadthings's picture
Deadthings August 14, 2014 - 1:34am

What didn't you leave off this list?

- Most of Permuted Press' line up.

Time of Death - Shana Festa

Tankbread - Paul Mannering (You'd like that one - it's Australian)

Dead Tide - Stephen A. North

Little Dead Man - Jake Bible

Z-Boat - Suzanne Robb

Blood Soaked and Contagious - James Crawford.


Darkknight1501's picture
Darkknight1501 August 14, 2014 - 3:08am

Odium The Dead Saga series by Claire C Riley is a brilliantly grim and dark apocalypse read. You can check her work out at

Kimra Plaisance's picture
Kimra Plaisance August 21, 2014 - 8:03am

Thanks to everyone for sharing titles and personal reviews!  

I've gained some ideas for new reads.  =)

Having read half of the books on the list and honorable mentions plus around twenty more not on the list, I'd say it has a lot to do with people's individual tastes in this genre. My favorite books have been: 

1) Day by Day Armageddon  by J.L. Bourne (the second book in this series also good)

2) Patient Zero  by Jonathan Maberry (but I'm a huge fan of the Joe Ledger series)  The zombies are pretty secondary in this book, so not a huge amount of zombie action.  But Joe Ledger and his team never disappoints.

3) Zombie Fallout Series by Mark Tufo ( I was a little slow to warm up to the character in the first book. I had one eyebrow raised trying to adjust to the idea of humor in a zombie novel. I felt it to be very tongue in cheek at first, but by about four chapters in, I was hooked. Some of the books in this series are better than others, but all are very entertaining with dark humor, great zombie fighting moments, and you become very invested in the main character)

4) Recently Enjoyed The Undead Situation by Eloise Knapp. Not the best zombie novel I've read, but it was entertaining and not a waste of money. I really liked the main character as he is very indifferent to the situation, he just don't like people anyway, alive or dead.

5) Dead of Night by Jonathan Maberry was a disappointment for me.  I usually love Maberry's work, but I felt like this book lacked the meatyness I expected.  It was just okay.

6) The Postmortal by Drew Magary. This last suggestion is NOT a Zombie novel.  However, it is very dark and totters on the edge of the genre.  I really think more people should know about this book, as I've enjoyed this read more than anything I've read in a good while, zombie or otherwise.  This book really makes you think about things in different ways.

One's I've not liked or just outright hated are:

- Ex-Patriots.  I've enjoyed Peter Clines other works but this was just way too campy and cartoonish for me to get too far into it.  I finished the book but will not follow the series. It was what I consider a 'filler' book to fill my time while waiting for a better book to be released. 

- DEAD: The Ugly Beginning by TW Brown: The book was not awful otherwise,  but the rape scenarios seemed unending to me and wayyy over the edge of what I'm willing to picture in my mind for entertainment purposes. Much too dark and descriptive. (Rape of young girl. Rape of woman while she's being attacked by zombies)  I would have followed the series otherwise, but I couldn't live with the dread of 'when is the next horrible rape scene coming?'.  I ditched it and marked this author off my list.

- METAtropolis by Jay Lake: Drolled on and on and on... never got to any real action. Boring so I just walked away from it.

- I Am Legend.  Again, NOT a Zombie novel.  Vampires.  One of the most dark and depressing books I've ever read.  Had they made the movie just like the book, it would have lost money.  I see a lot of people singing the praises of this book, and I just don't get it.

bddurden's picture
bddurden September 29, 2014 - 12:23am

The forest of hands and teeth is the worst zombie book I've ever read. How did this ya garbage make a list like this? All I could think while reading this book was that a pathetic writer saw how much money the twilight series made, so she threw together another teenage love triangle and hoped that zombies would go down as well as vamps and wolves and would make up for her complete lack of character building or plot layout. Why do people support books like this? Money? I wish someone would pay me to tell everyone how good their terrible writing is.

NormanChristof's picture
NormanChristof October 19, 2014 - 8:03pm

I may be a little bit biased since I wrote this one, but I think it twists the zombie genre a little and makes for a pretty good read.  It's a freebie right now on Amazon.  Enjoy the read.

Tracy Carlson-King's picture
Tracy Carlson-King December 19, 2014 - 6:35pm

having read a lot of these books, I am wondering if the person who wrote this has read them.

Jonathan Maberry and J.L Bourne belong MUCH higher on the list, but what I cannot believe is that Brian Keene, Mark Tufo and David Wellington only got honorable mentions!

And to leave Joe McKinney and Mark Clodi out altogether is unacceptable! 

All of these authors write books that you can see unfolding in your mind, and that is a sign of an amazing author.

Two other authors that i have recently found (but reserve judgement on until I read another of their books) are Eric A. Shelman and Sean Liebling, but I enjoyed the first books of theirs i read.

Pixel Motel's picture
Pixel Motel December 19, 2014 - 7:16pm


Just thought I'd throw this into the mix. .

. .

Available at Amazon: