Sunday, 16 March 2014

Suffer the Children by Craig DiLouie

In my last Monthly Musings post I told you that I had been contacted by horror author Craig DiLouie to review his new vampire novel Suffer the Children. I finished reading it last week and now I am able to give it a full review. But first, what is it about? Here's Craig's description of the novel -
One day, the children die. Three days later, they come back.
And ask for blood.
With blood, they stop being dead. They become the children they once were.
But only for a short time.
Too soon, they die again. And need more blood to live ...
The average body holds ten pints of blood.
How far would you go for someone you love?

This is essentially a vampire novel, but it is a vampire novel unlike any other I have ever read. I normally prefer my vampire novels to feature strong, sexy female vampires, like Vampirella, Selene, Durham Red, Sonja Blue or Amaliya Vezorak. This could have made me an unsuitable critic to review a book like this, that is so far removed from my normal comfort zone. But here's the rub. Good fiction is good fiction irrespective of the genre and this is extremely well written. Despite the fact that I prefer more action-packed yarns, I can still appreciate a good cerebral thriller. It's not all blood and guts and action with me! This is a novel that grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go. It involves a small group of people, all related to each other, either through family ties or more often than not because they are friends and neighbours. Some have children of their own, some like the doctor and nurse do not, but because of their profession they are closely tied to those families with children. The decisions that all must take during the event known as the Herod Syndrome has deep and lasting effects on them all. As Craig rightly asks, how far would you, as a parent, go to keep your child alive? This is the core concept of the novel. I have no intention of giving away the ending but the deeper I got into the novel, the more I kept thinking that it couldn't possibly have a happy ending. If you want to find out if I was right, then I can highly recommend you read this outstanding novel. Sorry, no clues or spoilers from me about the ending.
Author Craig DiLouie - a friend & a good bloke
Craig (that's him to the right of here) supplied me with a number of quotes from a few notable horror authors who have also read this novel -
"Not for the faint of heart." -Jonathan Maberry, author, Extinction Machine
"A stark, brutal and chilling vision of the end of days." -David Moody, author, Hater
"It will shake you to the core." -Joe McKinney, author, The Savage Dead
"Tense enough so that you can almost hear the clock ticking." -Jack Ketchum, author, The Girl Next Door
"The most disturbing book I've ever read." -Peter Clines, author, Ex-Heroes
"Chilling, compelling and convincing." -John Dixon, author, Phoenix Island
"A relentless burn of a novel." -Jason Bovberg, author, Under the Skin
"Rips out your heart and leaves you hanging on every word." -Jackie Druga, author, The Flu
"Brutal, painfully realistic and absolutely horrifying." -Eloise J. Knapp, author, The Undead Situation
"Will haunt you long after you finish reading." -Gareth Wood, author, Rise.

I can vouch for their reviews as I agree with every one of their comments. If you are of the opinion that vampire novels are not for you, this just might make you be think again. Forget all you think you know about vampires. This is a vampire tale for grown-ups but aware, it is not for the fainthearted. Even though it is not very graphic, it is, unquestionably, horrific and I have no hesitation in giving it a 9 out of 10 review.  The book is not available yet, but will be published as a joint venture between Simon and Schuster and Permuted Press on May 20, 2014. The novel will be published in trade paperback, popular eBook and audiobook formats.

12 comments:

  1. Whilst I do like Craig DiLoiue's zombie novels, I can't see myself venturing into his vampire stories, though this does sound like it has an interesting twist.
    Don't go getting ideas from this for your St. Trinian girls !

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    1. No worries, Joe. And also, I won't be using any ideas from this book for my St. Trinian's campaign. The girls are bad enough without turning them all into vampires!

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  2. Sounds like a fine read Bryan. Although after Anne Rice and Poppy Z Brite I did tire of vampire novels for a while. That said this sounds interesting enough. Have you read The Passage by Justin Cronin, very good. Another I really liked, although more traditional, was The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova.

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    1. Thanks, Bob. I've read both Poppy Z Brite and Anne Rice in the past. Anne's first three vampire novels were good but after them she really lost her way with her tedious sequels. I have read and greatly enjoyed The Passage by Justin Cronin but not the second or third part of this trilogy. I am sorry to have to admit that I have never heard of The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova.

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  3. Well I'm creeped out just thinking about the premise of this book, let alone reading it for myself! At least it makes a change from the moody teenage vampires that seem to be so common these days...

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    1. Yes, Hugh, this is a creepy book and it couldn't be any farther away from those irritating sparkly and moody vampires that are beloved of so many teenage girls, or indeed my own vampire heroines.

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  4. Yeah books with kids can be kind of creepy. The First Days by Rhiannon Frater I listened to on audio and when she's refers to Jennies escape from her previous life its creeps me out a lot.

    The Enemy series by Charlie Higson is a similar one to. Not as creepy though as its more teenage fiction than full on horror.

    I may have to give this one a miss its not really my thing.

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    1. That's perfectly understandable, Simon. I'm not sure how I'd feel about this novel if I was a father with young children.

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  5. Although I don't Like Vampire novels this sounds like the exception to the rule. This really does sound like my cup of blood!

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    1. It could well be, Clint. I very much doubt if you've ever read a novel like it. I know I haven't.

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  6. Sounds like a superb spin on the genre. Thanks for the rerview Bryan

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