Below you can find the best vampire books to sink your fangs into!
These books with vampires are sure to excite, thrill, or swoon you. Whether you’re looking for books to read if you like the vampire diaries (hint: you can also read the books from the series) or looking to read about a skilled vampire hunter: this list has it all.
Now, you’ll notice that Twilight is not part of this list. Why?
Well, it’s extremely likely you already know Twilight, and I wanted to give you some other ideas. While this list also mentions books like Interview with the Vampire and Vampire Academy, neither of these books have that kind of hype.
Dracula is also not on there, but if you want to read one of the books that laid the groundwork for future vampire books, I’d definitely recommend it.
Otherwise, I have to admit that it’s quite slow and a bit tedious to read (in my opinion, at least).
The Best Vampire Books
1. Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff
This is a relatively new vampire book series that packs a punch. I’ve finished the first book, and I can’t wait for the rest of them. Read this if you love a snarky protagonist, gory action, forbidden love, and ruthless, demonic vampires.
Publisher: Harper Voyage
After Day’s Death, 27 years ago, the creatures of the night have been able to walk the day without fear. A holy order—the Silversaints—was created to fight against these cold-blooded monsters.
Gabriel de León is the last of them, imprisoned by vampires for the murder of the vampiric king. The charge? Telling the story of his life.
It’s a tale of years, from his youth in the monastery of San Michon and the forbidden love that spelled his undoing. But the most important story of all is that of the Grail: a legendary cup that would bring an end to the eternal night. But the location is only known by a teenage urchin named Dior.
2. Salem's Lot by Stephen King
Stephen King is a masterful writer of horror stories. Salem’s Lot is no different. A terrifyingly magnetic vampire-mastermind, a well-spoken henchmen, and a whole lot of townpeople who succumb easily. Even children are turned, making it somehow even more horrifying. I feel this is one of the best vampire books for adults, filled with that eerily sensation that you long for when reading horror.
Publisher: New English Library
Two terrified people, a man and a boy, share the secrets of the clapboard houses in the small township of Salem’s Lot. Even though they’re thousands of miles away, they must return to this town. A final confrontation with the unspeakable evil that lives there is coming.
3. The Awakening (The Vampire Diaries #1) by L.J. Smith
Of all the vampire book series, The Vampire Diaries may be the most popular aside from Twilight. And yes, there are definitely similarities between the two—it’s quite tropey—but I would like to point out that Smith was first. Although, honestly, it doesn’t really matter, because I quite enjoy my tropes (#guiltypleasure). There’s love, hot vampires, high school drama, and lurking danger.
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Elena Gilbert is a typical high school golden girl, used to get what she wants. And who she wants. However, when she sets her sights on the handsome and haunted Stefan, he isn’t interested. Never would she have guessed the real reason he’s resisting her: he’s a vampire. And Elena is in danger just by being around him.
Things get even more dangerous when Stefan’s dark vampire brother Damon arrives in town. Because wherever Damon goes, trouble also follows.
4. Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
Likely one of the best vampire books in existence. No sparkle and glitter, but the raw unpacking of what happens when you live forever. How your humanity is slowly but surely stripped away over the years. It combines the characters’ struggles with the political and social changes in the background, detailing themes of immortality, power, change, and sexuality.
Publisher: Ballantine Books
This is the journey of Louis, through both mortal and immortal life. He became a vampire at the hands of the radiant and sinister Lestat, becoming indoctrinated into the vampire way of life. In New Orleans, he finds the young child Claudia, who he doesn’t want to hurt but comfort her with the last breaths of humanity he still has inside.
Yet, he makes her a vampire, trapping her passion, will, and intelligence inside the body of a small child. Still, Louis and Claudia form an alliance and even “settle down” for a while in the French Quarter as Claudia struggles to understand herself.
Both are desperate to find somewhere they belong, to find others who understand, and someone who knows what and why they are.
5. Metallic Red (The Royally Human Vampire #1) by Jennifer Ann Shore
A more lighthearted vampiric story to offset all the monstrous ones. It’s a fun chicklit with romance and drama, along with the search for identity—how can Mina reconcile her human and vampire sides? Read this if you want some good paranormal romance, along with mystery and a strong, snarky heroine.
Publisher: Indie Published
Mina Byron wants to be like every other high school senior. However, since she’s half-human, half-vampire, she’s far from normal.
After her first eighteen years have been dictated by whatever is best for the vampires around her, she now wants to embrace her humanity.
So when her uncle, the vampire King of Appalachia, agrees to send her to a private high school to integrate into the culture of the living and breathing, she jumps at the chance. However, it’s not without sacrifice. As she attempts to find love and friendship, she has to reconcile the future her uncle has planned for her as a vampire.
6. The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix
A vampire book for adults with a great set of characters. There are themes of chauvinism, racism, and classism—basically a lot of -isms. This definitely gives it that ‘90s feel. In addition, there’s a lot of ickiness to go around, to add to the horror-vibe and tension.
Publisher: Quirk Books
Patricia Campbell had always planned for a big life, but it turned into something small. Ungrateful kids, a distant husband, and an everlasting to-do list. The one thing she loves is her book club, Charleston mothers united by their love for true-crime and suspenseful fiction.
But when an artistic and sensitive stranger moves into the neighborhood, the club’s meetings turn into speculation. While Patricia is initially attracted to him, she starts to suspect him once some local children go missing. She beings her own investigation, assuming a Jeffrey Dahmer or Ted Bundy. However, what she uncovers is far more terrifying, and soon she and her book club are the only people who can take down this monster.
7. The Passage (The Passage #1) by Justin Cronin
An original vampire book series taking a sci-fi approach to vampires in the form of an experiment gone wrong. The first book is very much a“first book,” in that it grounds the reader in the world and the story. But mostly, it’s to introduce a very large set of characters. As such, it’s more a character-driven story.
Publisher: Ballantine Books
While most books with vampires tends to be fantasy, this one is a dystopian sci-fi story. After a security breach at a secret US government facility, the monstrous product of a chilling military experiment is unleashed. It’s followed by a night of chaos and carnage and a world forever altered. What remains for the survivors is the long fight ahead and a future ruled by fear.
Civilization crumbles swiftly into a primal landscape as two people flee in seach of sanctuary—FBI agent Brad Wolgast and orphan Amy Bellafonte—a refugee from the doomed scientific project. Wolgast is determined to protect her from the horrors, while for Amy the escape is only the beginning of a much longer odyssey. She must finish what should never have begun.
8. Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy #1) by Richelle Mead
One of the more popular YA vampire book series—and with good reason. Rose is a total badass, and there’s also no shortage of teen drama and romance. And then there’s also a big focus on the power of friendship, which we don’t always see enough in these types of books.
Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a gift for harnessing the earth’s magic. Because of this, she must be protected at all times from Strigoi—vampires who never die. Since Rose Hathaway has a powerful blend of human and vampire blood, she’s the perfect candidate to be Lissa’s dhampir—her protector.
After two years of freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir’s Academy, a school for vampire royalty and their guardians. But inside the iron gates, there is even more danger, and the Strigoi are always close by.
9. Fevre Dream by George R. R. Martin
We all know him for A Song of Fire and Ice. But as we wait—and wait some more—on the conclusions of that series, we can read some other books by Martin. The character in this vampire book has all the traits of a vampire, except that he’s still morally right and doesn’t hurt people to feed. However, there are also demonic blood-sucking monsters, if that’s more your thing.
When riverboat captain Abner Marsh receives an offer of partnership from a wealthy aristocrat, he suspects something’s amiss. He’s certain there is after he meets the pale, steely-eyed Joshua York. And so, he means to turn down York’s offer—it was too full of secrets that spelled danger—but the promise of gold and a brand new boat crushed his resolve. That, and the terrible force of York’s mesmerizing gaze. Not until they’re well on their way would Marsh realize he had joined a mission both more sinister and nobler than his most fantastic nightmare.
10. Fledgling by Octavia E. Butler
One of the more original vampire books in existence. It does have a unique take on vampirism, questioning “otherness” and what it means to be human. Read this if you love a book that makes you think as well as entertains.
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
A young, amnesiac girl is actually a genetically modified, 53-year-old vampire. An experiment by her community. Forced to discover what she can about her stolen former life, she must also learn who wanted to destroy her and those she cares for.
Those Were the Best Vampire Books!
That was it for my list of best vampire books. I hope you found a new one to add to your tbr.
Is there a book missing on this list? Let me know & I’ll be sure to add it (with credit).
Any books from this list that you’ve read?
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!