Snapshot Review: Suffer the Children by Craig DiLouie

Snapshot reviews are a new format I am trying out here at A Kernel of Nonsense that helps both me the reviewer get straight to the point and you the reader find out if a book is for you without having to read a longer review.

Title: Suffer the Children
Author: Craig DiLouie
Series: N/A
Pages: 343
Publisher: Gallery/Permuted Press
Release Date: May 20th 2014

**I received a free copy of this book from the author which does not influence my review**

Trigger Warning: death of children, suicide, and sexual assault.

      “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?”

swirl (2)

“A massive roar of grief and rage washed over the crowd. One after another, the children went limp in their parents’ arms. The father who’d shouted at the camera howled and tore at his clothes while his wife screamed.”

  • The set-up – Much of Suffer the Children is devoted to getting to know four adult characters and their relationship to their children. There is the devoted stay-at-home mom Joan, her blue-collar-working husband Doug, single-mom Ramona, and pediatrician David, who lost a child years ago.
  • The surprise character arcs – Based on the synopsis, I expected the focus to be on the children and how they change after coming back from the dead, but DiLouie instead stays with the adult characters and takes readers on a journey of grief that ultimately leads in desperation.
  • Aftermath of Herod’s syndrome – The story doesn’t shy away from the devastation that follows: the collecting of bodies, grief that manifests itself in self-destructive behavior, and how easily the characters resort to violence to achieve their goal.
  • The real horror – While children dying all over the world is a horrifying and then them coming back from the dead with a need for blood is terrifying, the real horror of this story are the parents who find out just how far they are willing to go to have a one more day with their children.

  • My own expectations – I went into this thinking it was going to be more about the kids and how creepy it would be for them to be walking around needing blood, so was a tad disappointed that it took so long for this to come about.

  • Craig DiLouie’s Suffer the Children is unlike any vampire novel I’ve come across and the behavior exhibited by the adult characters is as terrifying as it is plausible.

★★★
(3/5)

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5 thoughts on “Snapshot Review: Suffer the Children by Craig DiLouie

  1. I saw a meme this weekend that ABSOLUTELY ruined vampires for me. The meme reminds folks that the only reason we can see the moon is because the sun is shining on it, which means all that moonlight shining on vampires should, according to legend, kill them.

    Like

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