Mar 1, 2021

The Top Ten Vampire Books You MUST Read Before You Die

Let's face facts, vampires are everywhere in the book world. They're in Urban Fantasy, Horror, Comedy, Horror Comedy, Romance, Thrillers, Suspense, Young Adult, and all sorts of other genres that make great search engine keywords for articles like this.

As such, people often ask, "Rick, as a vampire author" what are the top vampire novels you think I should read before I pass from this mortal coil?"  

It's a great and terrible burden to have foisted upon one's back, but one I am happy to shoulder. Because the truth, dear reader, is that not all vampire books are created equal.

Thus, I present to you, the top ten vampire books you need to read before you die. 


Well, yeah, I suppose I may have written this one. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't read it. What? You're the one who asked me? I'm just giving you my unbiased opinion on the subject.

No, I'm not being a self-indulgent clickbait writing prick by suggesting it. Well, okay, I might be, but that's beside the point.

Anyway, yes, you should definitely read Bill The Vampire (The Tome of Bill -1), if only to find out why "There are reasons we fear the night, he's not one of them."

Full of nerdy humor and pop culture awesomeness, it is the quintessential vampire comedy book, mostly because I said it is.


Yeah, I know what you're thinking, but hear me out. It would be the height of dickishness for me to tell you how awesome Bill the Vampire is without also mentioning its sequel.

What kind of host would I be if I did that? 

Scary Dead Things is my number 2 pick to read before you die, because it's funny as fuck. Bill Ryder is back, running like hell from the "love" of his life - an immortal princess stuck in a child's body. 

If that doesn't scream vampire classic, then I honestly don't know what will make you people happy.


Okay, I sort of get what you're saying. But before you accuse me of writing an entire article devoted to jacking off my own ego, hear me out.

Vampires vs. Sasquatch!

Seriously, how fucking cool is that? I mean, that alone should propel it to anyone's top three. Hell, if you don't love that concept, all I can say is begone because you obviously have no soul to speak of. 

This book has it all, chills, thrills, laughs, gore, and did I mention vampires fighting Bigfoot?  Because it has that, too. Now shut up and go read it.


Why is The Wicked Dead (Tome of Bill 7) here? You mean besides being awesome as shit? Well, it's simple. It's penultimate book in the Tome of Bill series. I mean, heck, I can't just send you straight to the finale without setting it up.

That would be seriously uncool.

Oh, yeah, it was also written by an awesome author .... me! And I say that with complete humility.

The end of the world has never been so much fun. Don't believe me? Read it and prove me wrong. I dare you!

This is it!  The final chapter in the saga of Bill Ryder ... until the next chapter anyway.  But seriously, the finale of the Tome of Bill series has it all. 

You've seen other book series finales, right? You know they suck. Characters dying who should have lived, other characters doing dumb shit, and people being introduced just they can steal away other people from the characters they're supposed to fall in love with.

Fuck that noise. 

This is the series sequel you need. It even has a final chapter called "The Hate Mail Inducing Epilogue" because, damn it, I came prepared.


Did I say that last book was the final story of Bill Ryder? Huh. I must've been mistaken.  This little ditty here - A Higher Calling (Bill of the Dead 0.5) serves as a bridge between The Tome of Bill and Bill of the Dead series.

So why is it here? Because it's wonderful, duh!  It's also FREE, as in beer. 

All you gotta do is sign up for a certain author's mailing list, and this little beauty is all yours. Go on, click the title. You know you want to.

Not only is it one of the top ten vampires books you MUST read before you die, but it doesn't cost you a dime. You're welcome.


The true horror of a series ending is it leaving you wanting more. Fortunately some authors (like me) are listening to your pleas of, "We need more Bill!!!"

Introducing Strange Days (Bill of the Dead 1). It's 5 years since the Tome of Bill ended, and shit is about to get surreal again. 

And yes, it is worthy of both the Tome of Bill name and being on this official list. And I say this being 100% objective on the matter. Seriously, if another book deserved to be in this spot, it would be ... but it doesn't, because it probably sucks - which is great if you're a vampire, but less great if you're reading about them.


Once again, I'd be remiss to talk about the first book in a series without mentioning the kick-ass followup to it. 

Everyday Horrors is book 2 of Bill of the Dead. And it deserves its spot on this list for the character of Glen alone. Seriously? It's damned near impossible to read about that creepy little eyeball blob without falling in love with it.

Of course he's not a vampire, but fortunately there are still plenty of those here too, which makes this book eligible to be on this list.

Hell, you've made it this far. Why start turning your nose up now?

Okay, enough! I heard you. I'm being 100% fair in my choices here and to prove it, here's Second String Savior (False Icons 1) - written by someone else - R.E. Carr (and also co-written by me).

Err ... anyway. 

This spinoff to the Tome of Bill series, focuses on the exploits of a wannabe vampire slayer / superhero. Yeah, yeah, I know. But you can't have a vampire slayer without vampires ... duh!

It's also a wonderfully written coming of age story ... with a high body count. Because, well, what else do you really want from the teenage years?


Finally, we round out this list with Bottom Feeders, which is book 1 of the Bill of the Dead Adventures novella series. 

Amazing isn't it? But what I can I say? If those other vampire writers really wanted to make it to this list, well, they'd have seriously upped their game. 

Don't look at me. This is entirely their own fault.

As for this fun tale, once again we step into the shoes of a legendary vampire slayer ... just one who's maybe a bit stupider than the job really calls for. 

Will they survive? There's only one way to find out....

And that brings us to the end of our list. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did putting it together. If so, all my painstaking research and effort wasn't for naught. 

And don't worry. Plenty of other vampire novels came close to making it ... even including a few I didn't write. But, well, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. Go figure. Better luck next time, fellas! 

Until then ... go and grab you some vampire books!