The Passage: a novel by Justin Cronin
A super-secret military research project has gone awry, creating powerful vampire-like creatures ("virals") that threaten to overrun a world already reeling from environmental disasters. Into this apocalyptic scene steps a little girl named Amy, who shares some qualities with the "virals" but is not a voracious, bloodthirsty monster. Embattled survivors of the apocalyptic events hope Amy can provide the key to vanquishing the monsters. In a desperate cross-country expedition to find and rescue other survivors, the determined band of normal people have to face down powerful and gruesome evil. For another unusual vampire tale, read Stephen King's Salem's Lot.
Read my review of The Passage here.
The Cobra Event by Richard Preston
The Cobra Event opens with a sense of dread--it's obvious that the cold Katie wakes up with is no ordinary virus even before the infection gets out of control. After two victims die, the CDC investigator finds that their brains have turned to mush and they have been…eating themselves. Though author Richard Preston's only novel is generally considered a thriller, this story's realistic premise is horror at its most terrifying. What if someone develops a virus and releases it just because he thinks there should be fewer people in the world? For another scary tale about evil scientists unleashing havoc, read The King of Plagues by Jonathan Maberry.
Contagious: a novel by Scott Sigler
In Infected, aliens planning an invasion of Earth created a virus that turned humans violent and paranoid. Now, in this sequel, the aliens have sent in an updated virus that is spread by human contact. Perry Dawsey, one of the heroes from Infected, can tune in to the aliens' chatter and finds out they are building portals for the first wave of invaders. Dawsey joins forces once again with entomologist Margaret Montoya and CIA agent Dew Phillips, and the trio must find a way to head off the new virus...ich has already appeared in a little girl in Michigan. Booklist calls this "B-movie horror of the highest order."
The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan
A plane lands at JFK and goes dark. Nobody gets off. When authorities board the aircraft, expecting a possible hostage-taking, they find nearly everyone dead and the survivors strongly craving raw meat. As CDC officials begin to investigate a potential epidemic, they discover a parasite unknown to science: it turns people into vampire-like creatures...and then havoc is unleashed. Movie maker Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy films; Oscar winner for Pan's Labyrinth) has teamed up with thriller writer Chuck Hogan for this terrifying story, the 1st in a planned trilogy which continues in The Fall.