Stop! Before you read our post, arm yourself with a wooden stake and a garlic necklace! We would like to dive together with you into the literary world of vampires and werewolves. We present you with what we consider to be the 50 best novels about undead bloodsuckers and hairy beasts that have appeared on the market to date. Enjoy our selection!
1st place: Stephenie Meyer – Bite at Dawn
Young Isabella Swan, known as Bella, faces a bleak new chapter in her life. This changes only when the protagonist meets the enigmatic, yet extraordinarily attractive Edward. Soon Bella finds out that her new crush carries an incredible secret – he is a vampire!
Moving to a yawningly empty small town promises anything but excitement or even fun for the teenage girl.
The prelude to the “Twilight” series shows us that vampires don’t necessarily have to be bloodsucking killers, but can actually develop amazingly human feelings. The novels of U.S. author Stephenie Meyer are now considered modern classics within the genre. This is mainly due to Edward and Bella’s emotionally described love story, the coherently staged moments of suspense, and the fascinating dark fantasy theme.
2nd place: Bram Stoker – Dracula
In 1897, Irish author Bram Stoker gave the literary world a bloodsucking milestone. The figure of Count Dracula is still considered the prime example of a dark vampire in its purest form. The fascinating character from the Irishman’s pen has been adapted countless times in other works – this alone testifies to the legendary status that the undead flapper still enjoys today. In the context of Dracula’s first appearance, we follow London lawyer Jonathan Harker, who travels to Transylvania at the personal request of the mysterious Count. The appearance of the host, who has no reflection in a mirror and has strikingly pointed teeth, foreshadows the supernatural snake pit into which our protagonist has fallen.
Bram Stoker’s timeless masterpiece is an absolute must for any reader who has even a small shred left for scary and beautiful horror novels.
3rd place: Julie Kagawa – Immortal: Gate of Dawn
Where vampires rule the world, we earthlings have nothing to laugh about anymore. In the first volume of her “Immortal” series, author Julie Kagawa paints an extremely bleak setting: in a dystopian backdrop, the once vibrant cities of our earth lie in ruins. The last humans left on our planet are under the yoke of the all-surveilling vampires. Despite these harsh circumstances, the brave Allie tries everything to survive as best she can. When the title heroine is caught by a bloodsucker during one of her nightly lootings, he confronts her with a real dilemma – Allie must choose between death and eternal life. Ultimately, the protagonist decides to become a vampire herself in order to use her newfound powers to form a resistance against the ruling undead.
The combination of dystopian and fantastic elements proves to be a clever move by the author. The misery of the fictional world is described as authentically as the emotional journey on which we accompany Allie in the course of the novels.
4th place: Richelle Mead – Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters
No master has yet fallen from the sky. Just like us mere mortals, vampires have to learn how to use their natural abilities. For this reason, the st. Vladimir’s school of training up-and-coming bloodsuckers. Rose Hathaway, a half-vampire, also attends the gloomy academy in order to one day become a full-fledged guardian. Rose is also driven by the desire to protect her friend Lissa, who is one of the last members of a venerable vampire family. The two friends have no idea what dark forces are conspiring against them in the shadows.
The start of the “Vampire Academy” series shines with its fluid writing style, its well-developed characters, and, last but not least, its dramatic suspense curve.
5th place: Lisa J. Smith – Diary of a Vampire: In the Twilight
You like the TV series “Vampire Diaries”? Then you can’t go wrong with the novel based on the TV production! The plot centers on the never-ending feud between the brothers Stefano and Damon. It’s been four centuries since the two fell out over romance. Even worse: the beautiful Catarina, who aroused the desire of the brothers, put a curse on the quarrelsome brothers, which turned the normal mortals into vampires. Doomed to eternal youth, Stefano attends high school in today’s world. It doesn’t take long before the vampire meets the attractive Elena. It comes as it must – Damon also loses his heart to Elena and the fight between the hostile siblings is reignited.
Lisa J. Smith offers her characters enough space to develop authentically. Because the book differs in some aspects from the well-known TV adaptation, the “Diary of a Vampire” series is also suitable for every fan who is already familiar with the material of the TV production.
6th place: George R.R. Martin – Fevre Dream: Fever Dream
George R.R. Martin is, of course, primarily known for his world-famous “Song of Ice and Fire” series, which is the literary model for the no less prominent TV show “Game of Thrones”. What we quickly forget in view of the exceptional success of this series is the fact that the author’s portfolio includes countless other spin-offs that are just as worth reading as the intriguing machinations in the fictional world of Westeros.
In “Fever Dream” we follow the derelict ship’s captain Abner Marsh, who comes into possession of the fabled Fevre Dream. Onboard the steamer, however, the strangest things happen that make the blood run cold not only for the disillusioned captain but also for us readers. A gripping tale of vampires, deception, and fate you won’t want to miss!
7th place: Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu – Carmilla
“Carmilla” is among the most influential classics within the entire vampire genre. The work, which was published in 1872, is distinguished not only by its dark theme but also by its surprisingly explicit depiction of a same-sex love affair for its time. From the perspective of the first-person narrator Laura, we experience how the young protagonist meets the mysterious Carmilla. Laura has no idea that she has just encountered a female vampire. Between the two, a forbidden romance breaks out, which is apparently steered by dark forces.
“Carmilla” is a timeless good tip within the vampire ranks, which takes us back to the literary beginnings of the bloodsuckers.
8th place: Stephen King – Salem must burn
When it comes to outstanding novels of horror literature, sooner or later, there is no way around Stephen King.
In his book, published in 1975, the U.S. writer tells us the story of the protagonist Ben Mears, who has a great interest in the Marsten House in Salem’s Lot. This is not just any conventional building but a legendary house in which supernatural forces seem to be up to mischief. Soon Ben realizes that an ancient vampire is the root of all evil. Together with some brave cronies, the title character sets out to destroy the undead bloodsucker. However, the fight against the personified evil quickly goes off the rails.
Dramatic, gruesome, brutal – “Salem Must Burn” captivates with its gloomy staging, within which the threat seems tangible at all times.
9th place: Cassandra Clare – City of Bones: Chronicles of the Underworld
Clary is fifteen when her hitherto normal life is turned upside down. Suddenly there is no trace of the teenage girl’s mother. The research that the teenage protagonist subsequently conducts reveals to her the truth about a long-hidden family secret: Clary’s mother once worked as a Shadowhunter and was thus a member of a millennia-old secret society that fights vampires, demons, and other creatures of the underworld. Now it’s up to the courageous heroine to follow in her mother’s footsteps and fight the evil again.
The “Chronicles of the Underworld” series by Cassandra Clare believably portrays the personal development of an initially clumsy heroine, who grows more and more in her tasks as the story progresses. The fusion of fictional and real settings is comprehensibly designed; the suspense curve of the story knows how to please with many unforeseen twists and turns.
10th place: Angela Sommer-Bodenburg – The Little Vampire
It doesn’t always have to be eerily dark or heartbreakingly emotional! “The Little Vampire” by Angela Sommer-Bodenburg is refreshingly light bloodsucker fare that takes us back to our own childhood. The book centers on young Anton, who loves scary stories more than anything else. Then, when he meets the real vampire Rüdiger, a fantastic journey begins for the little protagonist, one that holds many lessons, new friendships, and a big pinch of fun.
11th place: Maggie Stiefvater – After Summer
The love between Grace and Sam is subject to a heartbreaking curse. Every year, as soon as winter comes, Sam loses his human form and turns into a wolf.
“After the summer” by Maggie Stiefvater represents in detail the prelude to a successful trilogy, which brings us closer to the love stories of the disparate main characters. Naturally, the works live from their sensitive presentation; the alternating first-person perspective of the two protagonists also gives us an insight into the different views of the characters.
12th place: Anonymus – The book without a name
The town of Santa Mondega is a truly whimsical place. The approaching solar eclipse threatens to escalate into a bloodbath. “The Book Without a Name” is written in a completely over-the-top manner on purpose. Within the book, the acting characters search for a legendary bluestone, which can plunge the world into irrevocable chaos. The story of the book, however, serves only as a shallow cloak; the big spotlight falls in “The Book Without a Name” without any doubt on the dark, crazy, sometimes trashy characters.
13th place: P.C Cast & Kristin Cast – Marked: House of Night
When an inexplicable, bluish shimmering crescent appears on 16-year-old Zoey’s forehead, the teenager suspects that her life is about to change in a dramatic way. In the beginning, the teenage main character has a lot of trouble finding her way in her new life since she had to leave all her friends and family behind. Now that she has the supernatural mark on her forehead, it’s time to get to the legendary House of Night, a storied vampire academy, as soon as possible.
The first part of the ongoing series awakens in us the desire for more. The characters are multi-layered; the story scores with comprehensible tension and draws much of its appeal from the creative, different vampire boarding school setting.
14th place: Patricia Briggs – Call of the Moon: Mercy Thompson
At first glance, Mercy Thompson seems to lead a perfectly normal life. In truth, however, the car mechanic harbors a dark secret, which she conscientiously hides from the eyes of those around her. Mercy is a so-called walker, which means that she can take the form of a coyote. Raised by a pack of werewolves, the protagonist once left the community to find her way to a normal life. When a werewolf suddenly appears in the main character’s workshop, Mercy is caught up with her own past from one moment to the next.
The entire “Mercy Thompson” series knows how to please with its exuberant richness of detail. If you enjoyed “Call of the Moon,” you’ll have a great time reading the following installments of the series.
15th place: Elizabeth Kostova – The Historian
When a girl comes across a puzzling collection of old letters while rummaging through her parents’ library, she begins to unravel a previously hidden family secret that stretches back many centuries. The writings in question deal with the dreaded Vlad the Impaler, who is generally regarded as the real-life model for the literary figure of Count Dracula. The protagonist soon finds out that Vlad’s arm of terror reaches into the present time.
A captivating book that takes us to several different eras. In addition to the description of the protagonists, the historical background is also examined in detail, which does not detract from the coherently developed suspense curve.
16th place: J.R. Ward – Night Hunt: Black Dagger
Beth Randall leads an inconspicuous life. The young woman works as an underpaid reporter in her New York home, and in her free time, the title character prefers to withdraw into the four walls of her small apartment. One day Beth is called to a crime scene for a report. A man has died as a result of a car bomb explosion, but there is no trace of the victim’s remains. The ambitious reporter soon suspects that the mysterious Wrath may have something to do with the incident. What Beth doesn’t know: Wrath is a vampire who belongs to the legendary secret society of the Black Daggers.
In “Night Hunt”, tingling romance, a dark setting, and eerie suspense blend into a coherent literary symbiosis.
17th place: Bianca Iosivoni – Midnight Chronicles: Shadow View
Roxy is faced with a seemingly insurmountable task. Within 449 days, she is supposed to capture 449 escaped souls. To make matters worse, the protagonist is additionally supposed to take care of the extraordinary Shaw, who was once possessed by a ghost and since then has no memories of his former life whatsoever.
Within the first part of the “Midnight Chronicles” series, the events are described from the point of view of different characters. So we learn a lot about the motivations of the main characters, which gives the coherently developed storyline an even more authentic flair.
18th place: Nalini Singh – Angel’s Kiss: Hunter’s Guild
The setting that Nalini Singh creates within her novel “Angel’s Kiss: Guild of Hunters” is as creative as it is captivating. We find ourselves in a supernatural-influenced world where angels rule over vampires and mere mortals. Elena, a renowned hunter by trade, is tasked with tracking down a disgraced archangel. The protagonist’s soul is shattered not only by the gruesome discoveries she makes during her journey but also by the romantic feelings she begins to harbor for her employer.
An unorthodox, refreshing story carried by a strong title character.
19th place: Jeaniene Frost – Night Rebel: Kiss of Darkness
The master vampire Ian is feared by those around him due to his cruel nature. The bloodsucker’s ruthless behavior has, in turn, brought a host of powerful enemies to the scene, including the demon Dagon. To protect himself from the attacks of his adversaries, Ian is forced to make a pact with the hated lawmen, who actually spend their time trying to catch vampires. Against all odds, Ian and law enforcement officer Dagon begin to develop feelings for each other – but evil has no regard for love.
If you like romance in a dark fantasy setting, the “Night Rebel” series is for you.
20th place: Deborah Harkness – The Souls of the Night
The plot centers on historian Diana Bishop, who comes from an ancient lineage of witches. When the protagonist gets hold of an enchanted manuscript, she is threatened by her magical past, which she renounced long ago. The vampires, demons, and werewolves, who shortly after that are breathing down Diana’s neck, are not interested in the personal wishes of their victim.
Thrilling, intense, entertaining – “Souls of the Night” is a sure bet for all fans of the genre.
Places 21-50 of the best novels about vampires:
|Place:||Novel:||Author:||Link to book:|
|21.||The Seed||Chuck Hogan and Guillermo del Toro|
|22.||The transition||Justin Cronin|
|23.||Shadow of the Wolf: Alpha & Omega 1||Patricia Briggs|
|24.||The hunters of the night||Andrew Fukuda|
|25.||Temporarily Dead||Charlaine Harris|
|27.||Evermore – The Immortals||Alyson Noël|
|28.||Children of the Night||Dan Simmons|
|29.||Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter||Seth Grahame-Smith|
|30.||Blood Bride||Lynn Raven|
|31.||Bittersweet Deaths||Laurell K. Hamilton|
|32.||The prince of darkness||Anne Rice|
|33.||Are you still kissing or are you already biting?||Katie MacAlister|
|34.||So dark the night||John Ajvide Lindqvist|
|35.||Bloodlines – False promises||Richelle Mead|
|36.||Nocturnal Temptation||Sherrilyn Kenyon|
|37.||A vampire on the loose||Lynsay Sands|
|38.||Blood Curse||Kim Harrison|
|39.||Way of the Wolf||E.E. Knight|
|40.||Chicagoland Vampires – Freshly Bitten||Chloe Neill|
|41.||Immortal – Gate of Dawn||Julie Kagawa|
|42.||Blood red kisses||Jeaniene Frost|
|43.||Consecrated of Death||Lara Adrian|
|44.||Calm Blood||Terry Pratchett|
|45.||Shadow Falls – After Dark – In the Starlight||C.C. Hunter|
|46.||A beginning with bite||Michelle Rowen|
|47.||Icy Touch||Kresley Cole|
|48.||Vampire Earth – Day of Darkness||E. E. Knight|
|49.||Blood of the Demon||Lynn Raven|
|50.||Dark Heroine||Dark Heroine|