Why are we so fascinated by monster books? Since ancient times, monsters have been a staple of literature, appearing in everything from Homer’s Odyssey to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. While the specific form of these creatures may vary, they typically share certain characteristics, such as their ability to terrify and their capacity for evil. In many ways, monsters can be seen as a reflection of our deepest fears, and their popularity in literature reflects our age-old fascination with the dark side of human nature.

While monster stories have been around for centuries, they became particularly popular during the Victorian era. This was a time when many people were fascinated by the scientific discoveries being made about the natural world, and this new knowledge led to a renewed interest in monster stories. In particular, tales of vampires and werewolves became extremely popular, as they tapped into our fear of the unknown and the power of science to unleash forces beyond our control.

Today, monster stories continue to be popular, as they offer us a way to explore our fears in a safe and controlled setting. Whether we’re rooting for the monster to triumph or cheering for its defeat, these stories provide us with a way to confront our fears and come to terms with the dark side of human nature.

A monster is a creature that is typically large, ugly, and dangerous. They are often the stuff of nightmares, and their mere existence can be enough to strike fear into the hearts of even the bravest people. Monsters can take many different forms, but they all have one thing in common: they are not to be trifled with.

In folklore and mythology, monsters are often used to represent the dark side of human nature, and they can serve as a warning to stay away from dangerous places or behaviors. Whatever their origin, monsters remain one of the most fascinating and feared creatures in our imaginations.


Salem's lost - best monster booksSalem’s Lot by Stephen King

Salem’s Lot is a 1975 horror novel by Stephen King about a vampire that terrorizes the town of Jerusalem’s Lot, Maine. It was his second published novel. The novel is set in the fictional town of Jerusalem’s Lot (or ‘Salem’s Lot for short), which is located in the state of Maine. The protagonist, Ben Mears, is a writer who has returned to his hometown to write a book about a house on Elm Street that is said to be haunted by vampires.

When mysterious deaths and disappearances begin to occur, Ben realizes that there may be more truth to the legend than he thought. With the help of his friend, Father Callahan, he sets out to rid the town of its monster. Salem’s Lot is considered one of King’s classic monster books and is one of his most personal novels. King has said that it is the book that he is most proud of.

dr jekyl and mr hyde  - best monster books
Dr. Jekyl and My. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

One of the classic monster books, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is the story of a scientist who creates a potion that unleashes his darker side. As he succumbs to his evil impulses, he becomes more and more like the monster that he fears.

The novel explores the theme of duality and the dangers of repressing our darker desires. Although it was written over a hundred years ago, the book continues to be relevant today, as we struggle to come to terms with our own shadows.


the hatching - best monster booksThe Hatching by Ezekiel Boone

The Hatching is a monster book by Ezekiel Boone. The novel follows a group of people as they attempt to survive an onslaught of giant Hatchlings, ancient creatures that have been awakened from their millennia-long sleep. While the book is fast-paced and action-packed, it also provides some insights into human nature, particularly our capacity for self-preservation.

The characters are well-drawn and believable, and the story is suspenseful and heart-pounding. Overall, The Hatching is an enjoyable read that will keep you on the edge of your seat.


let the right one in - best monster booksLet the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist

Anders is just a normal thirteen-year-old boy, living a normal life in suburban Stockholm. That is until he meets his new next-door neighbour, Eli. Eli is different from anyone Anders has ever met—she’s ageless, she doesn’t go to school, and she only comes out at night. But it’s not her strange appearance that makes Eli so different. She’s a vampire.

As their friendship grows, Anders finds himself drawn into Eli’s dark world. He starts skipping school to spend time with her, and he even helps her to hunt for victims. But the more time Anders spends with Eli, the more he realizes that she is not the monster he thought she was. She may be a vampire, but she is also a caring and compassionate person.

Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist is a modern classic of the horror genre. It’s a story of friendship, love, and what it means to be human—even if you’re not quite human yourself.


frankenstein - best monster booksFrankenstein by Mary Shelley

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is a classic monster story that has been adapted for stage and screen many times. The story follows Victor Frankenstein, a young scientist who creates a monster from the parts of dead bodies. The monster is initially grateful to Frankenstein for bringing him to life, but he soon realizes that he is ugly and shunned by society. The monster turns on Frankenstein and kills his friends and family in revenge.

Frankenstein eventually tracks down the monster and destroys him. Shelley’s novel raises important questions about science and morality, and it continues to be popular today. Monster stories like Frankenstein are often used to explore social issues such as prejudice and discrimination.


the mist - best monster booksThe Mist by Stephen King

One of the most well-known monster books of all time is Stephen King’s The Mist. The novel tells the story of a town that is besieged by a mysterious fog, which contains terrifying creatures. The townspeople are forced to take refuge in a local supermarket, where they must battle both the monsters and their own personal demons.

The Mist is a gripping tale of suspense and terror that will leave readers on the edge of their seats. It is also a powerful commentary on human nature, as the townspeople are forced to confront their own fears and prejudices. The Mist is a truly classic monster book that is sure to send chills down your spine.


annihilation - best monster booksAnnihilation by Jeff Vandermeer

Annihilation is the first book in Jeff Vandermeer’s Southern Reach trilogy. The novel tells the story of an all-female expedition into an environmental disaster zone known as Area X. The expedition’s goal is to collect data and find out what happened to the previous team, who all perished in mysterious circumstances. However, as the novel progresses, it becomes clear that there is something far more sinister at work in Area X than anyone could have anticipated.

While Annihilation is certainly a gripping read, it also has a lot to say about the relationship between humans and the natural world. Throughout the novel, the characters are forced to confront the ways in which their own actions have contributed to the destruction of Area X. In many ways, the book is a warning about the dangers of ignoring our impact on the environment. At a time when climate change is increasingly top of mind for people all over the world, Annihilation feels especially timely and relevant.


watchers - best monster booksWatchers by Dean Koontz

Dean Koontz’s Watchers is a monster book in the best sense of the term. It’s a big, brash, imaginative novel that blends elements of horror, science fiction, and suspense into a wholly original story. Koontz masterfully weaves together multiple plotlines and characters, creating a fast-paced, page-turner of a novel that will keep readers guessing until the very end.

Watchers is also a tribute to the monster books of yesteryear, paying homage to classic works like Frankenstein and Dracula. But make no mistake, this is a Dean Koontz novel through and through, and it stands on its own as a modern masterpiece of horror fiction.


the mummy or ramses the damned - best monster booksThe Mummy, or Ramses the Damned by Anne Rice

The Mummy or Ramses the Damned is one of Anne Rice’s monster books. It tells the story of Ramses, an ancient Egyptian priest-king who is resurrected in modern times. The novel explores themes of love, death, and immortality, and it also offers a fascinating glimpse into Egyptian mythology and culture.

In addition, the book features some truly harrowing moments, as Ramses struggles to adjust to the demands of the modern world. Overall, The Mummy or Ramses the Damned is a gripping and thought-provoking read that is sure to appeal to fans of monster books.


dracula - best monster booksDracula by Bram Stoker

Bram Stoker’s monster book, Dracula, is one of the most popular and influential horror novels of all time. First published in 1897, the novel tells the story of Count Dracula, a vampire who moves from Transylvania to England in order to spread the undead curse to new blood. Along the way, he encounters a group of people who band together to try and stop him, led by Professor Abraham Van Helsing.

The novel was an instant success upon its release, and has been adapted numerous times for stage, film, television, and radio. In addition to being a highly entertaining read, Dracula is also notable for its exploration of themes such as good vs. evil, religion, and science. As a result, it continues to be one of the most popular monster books of all time.


relic  - best monster booksRelic by Douglas Preston

Relic is a monster book by Douglas Preston. It is the first book in the Pendergast series. The book was published in 1995 and was a New York Times bestseller. Relic is about a monster that is loose in the Museum of Natural History in New York City. The monster is killing people and the police are trying to find it.

The police bring in FBI Special Agent Pendergast to help with the case. Pendergast is able to track down the monster and kill it. Relic is a great book for fans of monster books. Bestselling author, David Baldacci said of the book, ‘Sit back, crack open the book and get ready for the ride of your life’.


the odyssey - best monster booksThe Odyssey by Homer

The Odyssey is one of the most famous monster books ever written. The story centers on the Greek hero Odysseus and his ten-year journey home from the Trojan War. During his voyage, Odysseus must contend with a wide variety of monsters, including the Cyclops, Scylla, and Circe. These challenges test his courage and strength, but ultimately he is successful in completing his journey.

The Odyssey remains an essential monster book to this day, due to its compelling story and unique monster characters. It continues to inspire new generations of readers to embark on their own monster-filled adventures.


it - best monster booksIt by Stephen King

Stephen King’s It is one of the most classic monster books of all time. The story follows a group of seven friends who come together to face their fears in the form of an evil clown called Pennywise. While the book is primarily a horror story, it also deals with themes of childhood innocence, bullying, and loss.

King’s use of suspense and dread throughout the novel helps to create a truly terrifying experience for readers. It is no wonder that the book has gone on to become one of the best-selling novels of all time.


There’s something about monsters that just captivates our imagination. Maybe it’s their strange, otherworldly appearance. Or their superhuman strength and powers. Whatever the reason, we can’t get enough stories about monsters. Maybe it’s because they represent everything that we’re afraid of.

They’re a reminder that there are things in this world that are beyond our control. And yet, at the same time, they’re also a reminder of our own strength and resilience. We love monsters because they remind us that we’re not as powerless as we sometimes feel. We love monsters because they remind us that we’re capable of overcoming anything.

If you enjoyed this reading list of the best monster books, you may also want to check out the best zombie books.