50 Best Vampire Books of All Time

vampire books novels for adults

Vampire books and stories about creatures of the night have enthralled people for so long, entrancing people with their bloodlust and supernatural powers.

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova is probably one of the first vampire books I ever read and loved, but I’ve gone on to discover so many more great ones since then. Here’s a list of some of the best, divided up into the following categories:

General Vampire Books
Classic Vampire Books
Vampire Humor
Young Adult / Teen Vampire Books

This list of The Best Vampire Books of All Time is based on books I’ve read, other people’s reviews and ratings from sites like Goodreads and Amazon. Enjoy!

General Vampire Books

Salem's Lot
Stephen King

What It's About: Ben Mears has returned to Jerusalem's Lot in the hopes that living in an old mansion, long the subject of town lore, will help him cast out his own devils and provide inspiration for his new book. But when two young boys venture into the woods and only one comes out alive, Mears begins to realize that there may be something sinister at work and that his hometown is under siege by forces of darkness far beyond his control...

Publication Date: October 17, 1975
stephen king vampires fantasy

The Historian
Elizabeth Kostova

What It's About: For centuries, the story of Dracula has captured the imagination of readers and storytellers alike. Kostova's breathtaking first novel, ten years in the writing, is an accomplished retelling of this ancient tale. "The story that follows is one I never intended to commit to paper... As an historian, I have learned that, in fact, not everyone who reaches back into history can survive it...

Publication Date: June 14, 2005
historical fiction fantasy horror

Let the Right One In
John Ajvide Lindqvist

What It's About: It is autumn 1981 when the inconceivable comes to Blackeberg, a suburb in Sweden. The body of a teenage boy is found, emptied of blood, the murder rumored to be part of a ritual killing. Twelve-year-old Oskar is personally hoping that revenge has come at long last—revenge for the bullying he endures at school, day after day...

Publication Date: February 18, 2024
vampires fantasy paranormal

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1)
Deborah E. Harkness

What It's About: A richly inventive novel about a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious manuscript that draws them together.

Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research...

Publication Date: February 8, 2011
fantasy romance paranormal

Octavia E. Butler

What It's About: Fledgling, Octavia Butler's first new novel in seven years, is the story of an apparently young, amnesiac girl whose alarmingly un-human needs and abilities lead her to a startling conclusion: she is in fact a genetically modified, 53-year-old vampire. Forced to discover what she can about her stolen former life, she must at the same time learn who wanted—and still wants—to destroy her and those she cares for, and how she can save herself...

Publication Date: September 8, 2005
fantasy horror vampires

Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse #1)
Charlaine Harris

What It's About: Sookie Stackhouse is just a small-time cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. Until the vampire of her dreams walks into her life-and one of her coworkers checks out....

Maybe having a vampire for a boyfriend isn't such a bright idea.

Publication Date: May 1, 2001
fantasy vampires paranormal

Fevre Dream
George R.R. Martin

What It's About: Abner Marsh has had his dearest wish come true - he has built the Fevre Dream, the finest steamship ever to sail the Mississippi. Abner hopes to race the boat some day, but his partner is making it hard for him to realise his ambition. Joshua York put up the money for the Fevre Dream, but now rumours have started about the company he keeps, his odd eating habits and strange hours...

Publication Date: September 1, 1982
fantasy horror vampires

Anno Dracula
Kim Newman


It is 1888 and Queen Victoria has remarried, taking as her new consort the Wallachian Prince infamously known as Count Dracula. His polluted bloodline spreads through London as its citizens increasingly choose to become vampires.

In the grim backstreets of Whitechapel, a killer known as 'Silver Knife' is cutting down vampire girls...

Publication Date: May 24, 2011
horror fantasy vampires

Robin McKinley

What It's About: Rae Seddon, nicknamed Sunshine, lived a quiet life working at her stepfather's bakery. There are places in the world where darkness rules, where it's unwise to walk. Sunshine knew that. One night, she went out to the lake for some peace and quiet. There hadn't been any trouble out at the lake for years, and Sunshine just needed a spot where she could be alone with her thoughts...

Publication Date: September 1, 2003
vampires urban fantasy paranormal

Joe Hill

What It's About: NOS4A2 is a spine-tingling novel of supernatural suspense from master of horror Joe Hill, the New York Times bestselling author of Heart-Shaped Box and Horns.

Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions...

Publication Date: April 30, 2013
horror fantasy thriller

Certain Dark Things
Silvia Moreno-Garcia

What It's About: Welcome to Mexico City, an oasis in a sea of vampires. Domingo, a lonely garbage-collecting street kid, is just trying to survive its heavily policed streets when a jaded vampire on the run swoops into his life. Atl, the descendant of Aztec blood drinkers, is smart, beautiful, and dangerous. Domingo is mesmerized...

Publication Date: October 25, 2016
horror vampires urban fantasy

The Strain (The Strain Trilogy #1)
Guillermo del Toro

What It's About: A Boeing 777 arrives at JFK and is on its way across the tarmac, when it suddenly stops dead. All window shades are pulled down. All lights are out. All communication channels have gone quiet. Crews on the ground are lost for answers, but an alert goes out to the CDC. Dr. Ephraim "Eph" Goodweather, head of their Canary project, a rapid-response team that investigates biological threats, gets the call and boards the plane...

Publication Date: June 2, 2009
vampires fantasy science fiction

Storm Front (The Dresden Files #1)
Jim Butcher

What It's About: Meet Harry Dresden, Chicago's first (and only) Wizard P.I. Turns out that 'everyday' world is full of strange and magical things - and most of them don't play well with humans. That's where Harry comes in.

Harry is the best at what he does - and not just because he's the only one who does it...

Publication Date: April 1, 2000
urban fantasy mystery paranormal

The Passage
Justin Cronin

What It's About: IT HAPPENED FAST.

First, the unthinkable: a security breach at a secret U.S. government facility unleashes the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment. Then, the unspeakable: a night of chaos and carnage gives way to sunrise on a nation, and ultimately a world, forever altered...

Publication Date: June 8, 2010
horror science fiction fantasy

Blood Lite
Kevin J. Anderson

What It's About: The Horror Writers Association Presents Blood Lite...a collection of entertaining tales that puts the fun back into dark fiction, with ironic twists and tongue-in-cheek wit to temper the jagged edge.

Charlaine Harris reveals the dark side of going green, when a quartet of die-hard environmentalists hosts a fundraiser with a gory twist in An Evening with Al Gore...

Publication Date: October 21, 2008
anthology fantasy paranormal

Steven Brust

What It's About: What if you could live for centuries, and the only price was your soul…?

Agyar is a man who has paid this price. Born over a century ago, and once a frivolous young man in search of pleasure, he found instead immortality in a woman’s blood-red lips.

Now he roams from woman to woman, from decade to decade, and from land to land...

Publication Date: February 18, 1993
vampires horror urban fantasy

Vampire Hunter D
Hideyuki Kikuchi

What It's About: 12,090 A.D. It is a dark time for the world. Humanity is just crawling out from under three hundred years of domination by the race of vampires known as the Nobility. The war against the vampires has taken its toll; cities lie in ruin, the countryside is fragmented into small villages and fiefdoms that still struggle against nightly raids by the fallen vampires-and the remnants of their genetically manufactured demons and werewolves...

Publication Date: March 10, 1983
fantasy horror vampires

Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #1)
Laurell K. Hamilton

What It's About: Anita Blake is small, dark, and dangerous. Her turf is the city of St. Louis. Her job: re-animating the dead and killing the undead who take things too far. But when the city’s most powerful vampire asks her to solve a series of vicious slayings, Anita must confront her greatest fear—her undeniable attraction to master vampire Jean-Claude, one of the creatures she is sworn to destroy...

Publication Date: May 14, 2009
urban fantasy fantasy vampires

Night Watch
Sergei Lukyanenko

What It's About: They are the "Others," an ancient race of supernatural beings—magicians, shape-shifters, vampires, and healers—who live among us. Human born, they must choose a side to swear allegiance to—the Dark or the Light—when they come of age.

For a millennium, these opponents have coexisted in an uneasy peace, enforced by defenders like the Night Watch, forces of the Light who guard against the Dark...

Publication Date: December 31, 2013
urban fantasy horror vampires

The Gilda Stories
Jewelle Gomez

What It's About: Before Buffy, before Twilight, before Octavia Butler's Fledgling, there was The Gilda Stories, Jewelle Gomez's sexy vampire novel.

"The Gilda Stories is groundbreaking not just for the wild lives it portrays, but for how it portrays them--communally, unapologetically, roaming fiercely over space and time...

Publication Date: April 1, 1991
fantasy horror vampires

Those Who Hunt the Night (James Asher #1)
Barbara Hambly

What It's About: Alternate Cover Edition can be found here.

At the turn of the twentieth century, a former spy is called into service to hunt down a vampire killer...

Once a spy for Queen Victoria, James Asher has fought for Britain on every continent, using his quick wits to protect the Empire at all costs...

Publication Date: November 12, 1988
horror vampires mystery

They Thirst
Robert McCammon

What It's About: The Kronsteen castle, a gothic monstrosity, looms over Los Angeles. Built during Hollywood’s golden age for a long-dead screen idol with a taste for the macabre, it stands as a decaying reminder of the past. Since the owner’s murder, no living thing has ever again taken up residence. But it isn’t abandoned...

Publication Date: January 1, 1981
vampires fantasy vampire

Already Dead (Joe Pitt #1)
Charlie Huston

What It's About: They live among us, slaves to the very condition that empowers them. They are the Vampyre, and their sole chance at survival lies in banding into Clans. Only Joe Pitt has gone his own way. The upside is freedom. The downside is there's nobody on his side when trouble comes around. Joe gets rough receptions from all the countless Clans shifting about on the island of Manhattan, but his current trouble is with the Coalition - the Clan that controls the city river to river, from 14th Street to 110th Street...

Publication Date: December 27, 2005
horror fantasy vampires

Morrigan's Cross (Circle Trilogy #1)
Nora Roberts

What It's About: Author Nora Roberts delivers a new trilogy—an epic tale that breaks down the boundaries between reality and the otherworldly, while forging together the passions of the men and women caught in a battle for the fate of humanity ...

In the last days of high summer, with lightning striking blue in a black sky, the sorcerer stood on a high cliff overlooking the raging sea...

Publication Date: August 29, 2006
romance nora roberts fantasy

Classic Vampire Books

Bram Stoker

What It's About: You can find an alternative cover edition for this ISBN here and here.

When Jonathan Harker visits Transylvania to help Count Dracula with the purchase of a London house, he makes a series of horrific discoveries about his client. Soon afterwards, various bizarre incidents unfold in England: an apparently unmanned ship is wrecked off the coast of Whitby; a young woman discovers strange puncture marks on her neck; and the inmate of a lunatic asylum raves about the 'Master' and his imminent arrival...

Publication Date: May 26, 1897
horror fantasy classic

J. Sheridan Le Fanu

What It's About: Predating Bram Stoker' Dracula, Carmilla is the ultimate gothic vampire tale—stylish, menacing, sensual, and spellbinding

You are mine, you shall be mine, you and I are one for ever.

When a mysterious carriage crashes outside their castle home in Styria, Austria, Laura and her father agree to take in its injured passenger, a young woman named Carmilla...

Publication Date: Not Available
gothic vampires fantasy

Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles #1)
Anne Rice

What It's About: Here are the confessions of a vampire. Hypnotic, shocking, and chillingly erotic, this is a novel of mesmerizing beauty and astonishing force --- a story of danger and flight, of love and loss, of suspense and resolution, and of the extraordinary power of the senses. It is a novel only Anne Rice could write.

Publication Date: April 12, 1976
horror fantasy vampires

The Vampire Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles #2)
Anne Rice

What It's About: Returning to the hypnotic world she so brilliantly created in Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice demonstrates once again her power to enthrall.  With the same richness of drama, atmosphere and incident, she tells the fantastic story of the vampire Lestat, whom we first perceived as the seductive devil-vampire of Interview with the Vampire and whom we now follow through the ages as he searches for the origin and meaning of his own dark immortality...

Publication Date: October 31, 1986
horror fantasy vampires

I Am Legend and Other Stories
Richard Matheson

What It's About: Robert Neville is the last living man on Earth...but he is not alone. Every other man, woman, and child on Earth has become a vampire, and they are all hungry for Neville's blood.

By day, he is the hunter, stalking the sleeping undead through the abandoned ruins of civilization. By night, he barricades himself in his home and prays for dawn...

Publication Date: September 15, 1997
science fiction sci fi vampires

The Vampyre
John William Polidori

What It's About: "The Vampyre - is a short story written by John William Polidori and is a progenitor of the romantic vampire genre of fantasy fiction.

"The Vampyre" was first published on April 1, 1819, by Colburn in the New Monthly Magazine with the false attribution "A Tale by Lord Byron." The name of the work's protagonist, "Lord Ruthven", added to this assumption, for that name was originally used in Lady Caroline Lamb's novel Glenarvon, in which a thinly-disguised Byron figure was also named Lord Ruthven...

Publication Date: April 1, 1819
classics gothic vampires

Deborah Howe

What It's About: THIS book is written by Harold. His full time occupation is dog. He lives with Mr. and Mrs. X (here called Monroe) and their sons Toby and Pete. Also sharing the home are a cat named Chester and a rabbit named Bunnicula. It is because of Bunnicula that Harold turned to writing. Someone had to tell the full story of what happened in the Monroe household after the rabbit arrived...

Publication Date: March 1, 1979
fantasy children children s

Vampire Humor

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Seth Grahame-Smith

What It's About: 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...

Publication Date: February 16, 2010
fantasy historical fiction horror

Bloodsucking Fiends
Christopher Moore

What It's About: There is an alternate cover edition here.

Jody never asked to become a vampire. But when she wakes up under an alley dumpster with a badly burned arm, an aching neck, superhuman strength, and a distinctly Nosferatuan thirst, she realizes the decision has been made for her.

Making the transition from the nine-to-five grind to an eternity of nocturnal prowlings is going to take some doing, however, and that's where C...

Publication Date: September 1, 1995
fantasy vampires paranormal

Carpe Jugulum
Terry Pratchett

What It's About: Mightily Oats has not picked a good time to be a priest. He thought he'd come to the mountain kingdom of Lancre for a simple little religious ceremony. Now he's caught up in a war between vampires and witches, and he's not sure there is a right side.

There're the witches - young Agnes, who is really in two minds about everything; Magrat, who is trying to combine witchcraft and nappies, Nanny Ogg, who is far too knowing,...

Publication Date: September 8, 1999
humor terry pratchett pratchett

Undead and Unwed (Undead #1)
MaryJanice Davidson

What It's About: First Betsy Taylor loses her job, then she's killed in a car accident.  But what really bites is that she can't seem to stay dead.  And now her new friends have the ridiculous idea that Betsy is the prophesied vampire queen, and they want her help in overthrowing the most obnoxious power-hungry vampire in five centuries...

Publication Date: March 2, 2004
paranormal romance fantasy

The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires
Grady Hendrix

What It's About: Fried Green Tomatoes and Steel Magnolias meet Dracula in this Southern-flavored supernatural thriller set in the '90s about a women's book club that must protect its suburban community from a mysterious and handsome stranger who turns out to be a blood-sucking fiend.

Patricia Campbell had always planned for a big life, but after giving up her career as a nurse to marry an ambitious doctor and become a mother, Patricia's life has never felt smaller...

Publication Date: April 7, 2020
horror fantasy vampires

Soulless (Parasol Protectorate #1)
Gail Carriger

What It's About: Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations.

First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire--and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate...

Publication Date: September 4, 2009
fantasy romance paranormal

Fat White Vampire Blues
Andrew Fox

What It's About: Jules Duchon was a real New Orleans vampire. Born and bred in the working-class Ninth Ward, bitten and smitten with the Big Easy. Driving through the French Quarter, stuck in a row of bumper-to-bumper cars that crept along Decatur Street like a caravan of bone-weary camels, Jules Duchon barely fit behind the steering wheel of his very big Cadillac taxicab...

Publication Date: July 1, 2003
vampires fantasy humor

Young Adult Vampire Books

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
Holly Black

What It's About: Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown's gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses...

Publication Date: September 3, 2013
fantasy vampires paranormal

Scott Westerfeld

What It's About: Okay, let's clear up some myths about vampires. First of all, you won't see me using the V-word much. In the Night Watch, we prefer the term parasite-positives, or peeps, for short.

The main thing to remember is that there's no magic involved. No flying. No transforming into bats or rats either ...

Publication Date: August 25, 2005
vampires fantasy science fiction

The Last Vampire
Christopher Pike

What It's About: I am a vampire, and that is the truth. But the modern meaning of the word vampire, the stories that have been told about creatures such as I, are not precisely true. I do not turn to ash in the sun, nor do I cringe when I see a crucifix. I wear a tiny gold cross around my neck now, but only because I like it...

Publication Date: January 1, 1998
fantasy books i own thirst

Stephenie Meyer

What It's About: I know, I know. But I had to include it. Love it or hate it, it's part of our pop cultural knowledge and deserves a place on this list.

Publication Date: October 5, 2005
young adult romance vampires

Marked (House of Night #1)
P. C. Cast

What It's About: Also see: Alternate Cover Editions for this ISBN [ACE]
ACE #1

After a Vampire Tracker Marks her with a crescent moon on her forehead, 16-year-old Zoey Redbird enters the House of Night and learns that she is no average fledgling. She has been Marked as special by the vampyre Goddess Nyx and has affinities for all five elements: Air, Fire, Water, Earth and Spirit...

Publication Date: May 1, 2007
young adult fantasy vampires

The Beautiful(The Beautiful #1)
Renée Ahdieh

What It's About: In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she's forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger...

Publication Date: October 8, 2019
fantasy young adult romance

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Vol. 1
John Vornholt

What It's About: In every generation, there is a Chosen One. A slayer destined to protect the human race. She alone must fight the demons of hell. She alone must risk her life to stop the spread of evil.

Buffy is the Chosen One.

In Coyote Moon, a typical night at the carnival becomes deadly as shape shifters turn the amusement park into their own house of horrors...

Publication Date: June 8, 2010
books i own vampires fantasy

The Silver Kiss
Annette Curtis Klause

What It's About: Zoe is wary when, in the dead of night, the beautiful yet frightening Simon comes to her house. Simon seems to understand the pain of loneliness and death and Zoe's brooding thoughts of her dying mother.
Simon is one of the undead, a vampire, seeking revenge for the gruesome death of his mother three hundred years before...

Publication Date: July 28, 2009
vampires fantasy romance

Lady Midnight
Cassandra Clare

What It's About: The Shadowhunters of Los Angeles star in the first novel in Cassandra Clare’s newest series, The Dark Artifices, a sequel to the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series. Lady Midnight is a Shadowhunters novel.

It’s been five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire that brought the Shadowhunters to the brink of oblivion...

Publication Date: March 8, 2016
fantasy young adult books i own

The Hunt (The Hunt #1)
Andrew Fukuda

What It's About: Don’t sweat. Don’t laugh. Don’t draw attention to yourself. And most of all, whatever you do, do not fall in love with one of them.

Gene is different from everyone else around him. He can’t run with lightning speed, sunlight doesn’t hurt him, and he doesn’t have an unquenchable lust for blood...

Publication Date: May 8, 2012
vampires dystopian dystopia

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy #1)
Richelle Mead

What It's About: St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St...

Publication Date: August 16, 2007
young adult fantasy vampires

Vampire Kisses (Vampire Kisses #1)
Ellen Schreiber

What It's About: In her small town, dubbed "Dullsville," sixteen-year-old Raven — a vampire-crazed goth-girl — is an outcast. But not for long... The intriguing and rumored-to-be haunted mansion on top of Benson Hill has stood vacant and boarded-up for years. That is, until its mysteriously strange new occupants move in...

Publication Date: August 1, 2003
young adult paranormal fantasy

The Awakening (The Vampire Diaries #1)
L. J. Smith

What It's About: Elena is the school beauty, but she’s bored, until a new boy turns up in her class. Stefan is dark and mysterious—and she’s determined to get to know him better. But Stefan is just as determined to resist her... until a series of attacks in the area terrify the town and Stefan is held responsible...

Publication Date: September 1, 1991
young adult fantasy vampires

vampire books novels for adults

vampire books novels for adults

vampire books novels for adults

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