14 Christopher Pike Books That Remind You Why He&039s AWESOME!

if you were a teenage 90s horror reader, you’ve probably read r.l stine. He is seen by many as the definitive author of the genre and era, thanks to the huge success of Fear Street and, later, Goosebumps. however, for me, the christopher pike books will always have a very special place in my heart. He is the author who inspired me as a child to become an avid reader for life!

my abiding love for christopher lucio

I grew up with mr. pike. Back then, I binge-read almost every book he produced, and was always ecstatic when he released something new. you could even call me a superfan.

Now that I’m a 30-year-old adult, and having read many authors since then, it’s easier for me to criticize some of Christopher Pike’s writing flaws. Regardless, I still think there’s something really special about the way it creates teen horror that hasn’t been replicated since.

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christopher pike often straddled the line between traditional and darker adult themes. he pushed the boundaries of the genre’s “safety,” even venturing to write about teenage killers (The Lost Mind, The Evil Heart), shower voyeurism (Die Softly), and terminal illness (The Midnight Club). Simply put, she didn’t simplify things for her young audience, which is something I greatly respect.

Of course, like most prolific authors, Pike had his fair share of failures. give me a kiss, for example, has not held up well over the years. furthermore, it is sometimes based on unwanted stereotypes that seem outdated by today’s standards.

However, when firing on all cylinders, Pike truly impresses with his imaginative ability to meld disparate sci-fi and horror themes into exciting and often unexpected narrative ensembles.

christopher pike didn’t just write fiction…

In the 90s, the enigmatic auteur was my perfect transition to stephen king, of which I became an adult horror fan. However, I still ventured out to read several lesser-known Christopher Pike books, particularly those marketed toward a more adult audience.

To my delight, I found her adult novels, like Transition Season, to be just as fascinating as the adult books I grew up with, if not more! Nostalgia aside, I still think of them as one of the most fascinating books I’ve ever read. no small feat, considering how many I’ve taken over the years.

That to me is the hallmark of not just a great young adult writer, but an all-round gifted author who, in my opinion, remains woefully underrated by the masses.

my favorite christopher pike books

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Here’s my list of 14+ of the best Christopher Pike books I’ve ever read (I mean, there’s a plus sign, because some are actually a series of novels). they are not ranked in any particular order and have of course been chosen based on my personal taste. I’ve also included a mix of her adult and adult books, just to be more complete.

If you’re a long-time fan, this list will remind you big time. And if you’re new, I implore you to pick up one of his books, and don’t be deterred by its age. Christopher Pike changed my life as a reader, and I hope he inspires you too!

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(if you like horror, you can also check out our list of great stephen king and h.p. lovecraft books! for adults, obviously!)

chain letter

I’ll admit, I’m not sure teens these days understand what snail mail “chain letters” are, with emails and digital technology so ubiquitous.

Regardless, I recently went back to reading chain letter. And, let’s just say, I think this is easily one of Christopher Pike’s most exciting books, even now and despite its faults.

the plot:

The story begins with Alison, who receives a mysterious chain letter of unknown origin. a harmless prank, perhaps.

only thing is… this anonymous stalker knows all about the fateful night alison and her six friends committed a terrible crime in a california desert, a secret unknown to others.

And now, the anonymous chain letter writer is out for deadly revenge, forcing them to perform increasingly dangerous tasks, or else!

my thoughts:

christopher pike also published a sequel to the original book. however, of the two, I much prefer the first chain letter, which to me remains a true classic. while still a great page turner, I find the second one to be quite over the top, essentially turning a suspenseful thriller into something supernatural.

Overall, Chain Letter is not Christopher Pike’s most complex or nuanced book. however, it’s still a very enjoyable read that will keep you guessing how things will unfold. a simple but very entertaining premise!

fall into darkness

falling into darkness is a gentle rewrite of kiss me, the latter of which pike feels “was too rushed”. I agree, and find the first to be his superior book.

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the plot:

the plot follows sharon mckay, a girl accused of killing her best friend anne mcfarland, although no body was actually found. With a guilty verdict all but likely, Sharon is in a race against time to prove her innocence. But nothing is what she seems as she unravels a mystery steeped in unexpected hate and revenge.

my thoughts:

falling into darkness is in itself a splendid thriller and mystery. however, what I like most about the book are the more subtle themes of friendship, love, pain and, above all, obsession. Pike’s characters are well developed, some of which have quite a bit of sass and bite. plus, the plot takes you to unexpected places, which is a joy to read.

fun fact: falling into darkness was adapted into a little known tv movie, of which pike simply comments “i hated it”. I feel the same. regardless, the book itself is a lot of fun.

remember me

remember me 2 & 3 were ok I guess. But I still consider the original not just a great Christopher Pike book, but one of the best young adult fiction novels ever written. there is a hint of the beautiful bones here, even before that book was published. this is pike at its writing peak.

the plot:

shari cooper wakes up to find herself at home. however, strangely, her family can’t seem to see her. She soon realizes that she is actually dead: an invisible wandering spirit.

Things escalate quickly when Shari finds out that not only did she die, but she was murdered! she then embarks on a ghostly investigation to find out who killed her, all while trying to escape the clutches of the otherworldly shadow.

my thoughts:

although i was already into his works, remember me is the novel that made me a lifelong fan of christopher pike. beyond the ‘whodunit’ surface and the supernatural twists, I think the real heart of the book lies in its emotional storytelling. you are drawn so deeply into the world of shari (of pain, love, anger, and regret) that you will be filled with heartfelt empathy when it’s all over.

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this is a perfect example of christopher pike’s unique relationship with his young readers. it basically treats them (us, if you were reading during the ’90s) as adults coming of age capable of feeling and appreciating their precious bonds with others.

In short, remember me is a true pike classic that you cannot miss.

thirsty / the last series of vampires

Before the current plethora of teen vampire novels, the latest vampire series really felt like a breath of fresh air. These Christopher Pike books are filled with intriguing characters (human and bloodsuckers alike), a rich supernatural mythology, and a plot that pulls you in unexpected directions.

Due to recent market demands, The Last Vampire has been repackaged as sed, and new installments are still being released.

the plot:

This long-running series follows a 5,000-year-old vampire, Alisa, who suddenly finds herself haunted by her long-lost creator. She befriends Ray, a teenager whom she teams up with to find out the truth about why she is being targeted. Alisa soon falls in love with Ray, which makes things very complicated.

my thoughts:

The Last Vampire/Thirst certainly starts out generic, but eventually turns into a full-blown thriller replete with government conspiracy theories, mythical lore, existential dilemmas, and much more.

Like most long stories, the series has its fair share of ups and downs. Of the latter, there are moments where, for example, Alisa’s mindset oscillates strangely between a time-crossed immortal (as she should be) and an angsty teenage girl. The plot also gets a bit convoluted in places, perhaps due to Pike expanding the series beyond what he himself originally intended.

However, despite such inconsistencies, I love the series as a whole! It’s a mistake to compare these Christopher Pike books to the cheeky teen romances of Twilight. instead, the last vampire/thirst threads its themes of love amidst a broader and more nuanced fabric of theological discourses. there’s depth that comes with the action, which helps expand its appeal to slightly more mature audiences.

In short, if you’re even the least bit interested in vampire fiction, give these books a try!

(Speaking of which, you can also check out my list of other vampire romance books worth reading.)

the midnight club

The midnight club has stuck in my mind all these years. However, compared to most of Christopher Pike’s books, this version offers very few traditional thrills and spills.

but what he does have is a lot of heart. the book is, at its core, a powerful and thought-provoking drama about death, interconnectedness, and what it means to be alive.

the plot:

the midnight club starts at rotterdam house. We are introduced to a group of five young teenagers, all of whom are terminally ill. To pass the time, they form a storytelling club and meet every night to trade spooky tales. this eventually leads to them making a pact, promising each other that whoever dies first will do their best to establish contact from beyond the grave.

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Of course, that’s just what the blurb says. in reality, the midnight club goes much further than this initial setup. pike tells stories within the main story, crafting a beautiful story about the past, present and future, and how everything is inextricably linked.

my thoughts:

I know I’m being a bit vague with the story. this is intentional because honestly the midnight club plot per se is not its main draw. Rather, the book is simply used by Pike as an impetus for us to reflect on the bittersweet paradox of our short-lived but momentous lives.

Even in my 30s, the book still holds a very special place in my heart and touches me in unexpected ways. many longtime pike fans feel the same way. The first time I finished it, I shed tears, sad to say goodbye to the intimate connection I had with the characters.

don’t be put off by the scary street cover. The Midnight Club is by far one of the best Christopher Pike books I have had the pleasure of discovering. A must read for young and adult readers alike.


Now for something a little more cheerful!

monster is christopher pike’s sharp foray into over-the-top sci-fi/horror for teens. structurally, this is one of her best works, as the story flows from scene to scene in a fascinating and well-paced way.

the plot:

Things literally start with a bang. Mary Blanc walks into a party, pulls out a shotgun and kills two people. Fortunately, the police arrive to stop her murderous spree.

We then cut to Angela, Mary’s best friend, who visits her in a holding cell. It is then that Mary divulges a dark secret: the “people” she had killed were not humans, but ravenous monsters of some sort.

Thinking Mary is crazy, Angela decides to investigate further and soon learns the terrifying truth. What follows is a heap of gripping action as Angela, along with her friends, fight to stop a supernatural force consumed by a thirst for death.

my thoughts:

this is christopher pike at his finest. for a book intended for young adults, monster can get pretty brutal, with a bit of rougher scenes thrown in. however, I think this serves a purpose, as it effectively adds to the visceral tone of the novel.

Angela’s development as a character is also going well. you really feel like you are part of his dangerous and self-evolving journey to destroy an ancient evil. the ending is also very satisfying, topping off with an intense climactic scene.

Overall, Monster is a true homage to cheesy b-movie horror; However, like most of Pike’s books, it has a surprising amount of affection. It’s campy, timeless fun with a heart.

the passing season

For me, transition season is unequivocally Christopher Pike’s magnum opus. this is him at his best. Twenty years later, I still consider the book to be among the most satisfying sci-fi horror novels ever written. it is severely underrated in its genre.

the plot:

the year is 2004. the us. He has commissioned a trip to Mars. their mission: find out what happened to a crew of Russian cosmonauts who landed two years ago but have since disappeared from communications.

enter the main character dr. Lauren Wagner Ella is a celebrity medical officer who suspects that an alien infection has killed the isolated Russian crew. Lauren fears the same fate will befall her own team.

Unfortunately, the doctor soon discovers that Mars holds a secret far more terrifying than she and her comrades can imagine.

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(yes, 2004 was a very wrong estimate when it came to our expeditions to mars!)

my thoughts:

Let me clear things up. the plot of the passing season, once revealed, is insane. I mean, it’s too far! but, in the end, the narrative ebb and flow, coupled with the rich cast of characters, really makes this novel a fascinating reading experience.

don’t you believe me? just read the five star reviews from fans on various sites. Even with its faults, I think the transition season is greatly overlooked by the sci-fi loving masses. which is a real shame.

Overall, the transition season is a spooky, mysterious, introspective and exciting journey meant to keep your pages moving. it’s a weird sci-fi concoction, to be sure, and that’s precisely why it’s such a charming and unique read. go ahead!

death whisper

the whisper of death reads like the twilight zone, mixed with a bit of prom night and the disappearance on 7th street. christopher pike maximizes the chill factor here with a young adult tale that surprisingly tackles a number of mature topics, including abortion.

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this is one of the shorter christopher pike books, but often a fan favourite. it’s a fast, atmospheric read that twists and turns in all the right ways.

the plot:

Roxanne and pepper, a teenage couple, embark on a weekend trip to try to resolve their relationship problems. however, when they return, they find their town mysteriously empty. everyone is gone.

in fact, the whole world seems to be completely abandoned!

That is until they run into three other teenagers. together, the group searches for answers to what is really going on. Talking to each other, they soon discover that they share one strange thing in common: they have all interacted with Betty Sue, a girl they once knew who committed suicide.

and that’s when the situation goes from being bad to becoming a real nightmare.

my thoughts:

death whisper is concise and effective. there is no fluff. The story progresses at an exciting pace from start to finish, making for an enjoyable and enjoyable read.

be careful. Parts of Christopher Pike’s writing here, particularly when it comes to the characters’ views on abortion, might inadvertently upset some modern readers. however, it is understandable, given that most older works of fiction are inescapably shaped by past social norms.

Regardless, I especially love the dark and foreboding tone of the whisper of death. it really scares you when you wonder how things will turn out for the five teenagers. Also, I applaud Christopher Pike for taking chances with the ending, which isn’t necessarily what you’d expect.

other books by christopher pike worth reading

the above are some of my all time favorite christopher pike books. here are a few more you might like!


a thought-provoking book that invites you to think deeply about spirituality, more specifically, what it means to you. Some fans find Sati to be a bit preachy. others, like me, really enjoyed the novel for its introspective tone.

sati is about a girl who appears in a small town when the people around her react to her strange and inexplicably mythical presence.

more recently, christoper pike revisits similar themes in his already novel, strange girl, but i think sati is the better novel of the two.

until the end (final friends trilogy)

Like many fans, I’m divided on the final friends trilogy (recently repackaged as till the end). for one thing, the final third of the series slyly wraps itself around as previous plot lines build to a satisfying climax. it’s a solid ending to an excellent murder mystery that, overall, I thoroughly enjoyed.

on the other hand, the first two parts (especially the second) are not christopher pike’s best books. the rhythm is a bit off. some characters are mildly annoying and there are also some outdated stereotypes.

However, if you don’t think too much, I encourage you to try these novels. they will do fun “whodunit” readings for a few afternoons.

die softly

die softly features a main character, herb, who spies on girls in the shower. in all likelihood, this makes him a morally dubious character.

However, against your better judgment, you’ll start to grow fond of him when he finds out he accidentally caught a possible murder on film. That’s when Herb begins to evolve as a person as he sets out to do the right thing.

die softly is a popular old favorite for many fans of christopher pike, mainly because of its quick and intriguing turns.

the starlight crystal

starlight glass covers some very evocative sci-fi themes. I see it as a mix of the transition season and the immortal, aimed at young adults.

The story centers on Paige, an eighteen-year-old girl who lives in a spaceship that warps time and orbits the earth as it speeds beyond the speed of light. however, a shocking tragedy occurs that causes billions of years to pass, only for her to return to a completely different land, one she has never known.

the dialogue in the starlight crystal isn’t pike’s best. however, I think the ideas contained within are still very refreshing and, above all, delightfully ambitious. take the book and see what you think!

the eternal enemy

the eternal enemy follows rela who, after buying a VCR, realizes that he can record tomorrow’s news. she’s pretty witty, until one day she finds herself in the headlines, for all the wrong reasons. she then does everything she can to change her tragic fate, or die trying.

The technology in this book is obviously out of date, as vcr’s are all but extinct these days. however, the story itself is still excellent, if bordering on over the top at times (even by pike’s standards). however, it is still a very enjoyable read!

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did i miss any of your favorite christopher pike books? write me and I will include them in this list!

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