Book #50: Suffer the Children by Craig DiLouie

From an acclaimed horror writer, a chilling tale of blood-hungry children who rise from the dead in this innovative spin on apocalyptic vampire fiction.

Suffer the Children presents a terrifying tale of apocalyptic fiction, as readers are introduced to Herod’s Syndrome, a devastating illness that suddenly and swiftly kills all young children across the globe. Soon, they return from the grave…and ask for blood. And with blood, they stop being dead. They continue to remain the children they once were…but only for a short time, as they need more blood to live. The average human body holds ten pints of blood, so the inevitable question for parents everywhere becomes: How far would you go to bring your child back?

This was a book I first found in a Goodreads Giveaway. I didn’t win it, but I did get this book in last month’s Nocturnal Readers subscription box (great box, btw). I decided to make this one of my many paperback reads this year.

The first thing that grabbed me was the genre. I love horror. Always have. Most of the books I read today are young adult or contemporary romances. I do open up a bunch of fantasy and I like to curl up every now and then to a paranormal read. That said, horror has always been my literary fave. I used to own all of the Goosebumps and Shivers books, which I read in first grade. I was even writing horror short stories in elementary school.

That said, my inner psychopath was in dire need of blood and disturbing emotions. I cracked open this book and I found it to be a good read.

Suffer the Children is separated into four parts. Each part signifies the change of tone in the prose. The chapters are further separated in different viewpoints. The viewpoints are stay at home mom (Joan), her husband (Doug), the pediatrician (David), and single mom (Ramona). The change of viewpoints aren’t confusing and only makes the story that much more real.

Reading the book made me think of a good horror miniseries. Each part could be an episode and the episodes would be broken down through the viewpoints.

The story centers on children coming back from the dead and the decline of humanity that follows. It’s a chilling story that I could see happening. As a mother, I was forced to wonder if I would be like Joan or Ramona if children in our world were taken in this fashion. I have no idea if I would do what the parents start doing or if I will somehow be able to do differently.

Though I wasn’t necessarily afraid, I chalk that up to me not finding fear in books or movies as much anymore. I can see the emotions the book invoked and I would love to see this book in another medium. A comic book or a tv miniseries would definitely spur that fear.

In all, I enjoyed the read and found it a creative take on vampires. I haven’t had a good vampire book in a long time.

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