Sunday, May 18, 2014

Review: Suffer the Children by Craig DiLouie

Suffer the Children is the latest novel written by Craig DeLouie. What's instantly gripping about this novel and pretty much sparked my interest was the creepy cover. I mean look at it. The dirty, dilapidated, beheaded doll always suggests the novel will be pure horror. Long story short, this cover was a tad bit misleading.

It's a normal day like any other in this Michigan town when kids start dropping like flies. They just flat out die. Not just the children in this small town, but EVERY child under a certain age. Everywhere parents are wondering what happens next. Is this the end of the human race? Even unborn children that are in the protection of their mothers womb is not safe from whatever's plaguing the world. This all happens pretty early in the story since the true girth of this novel doesn't begin until all the children start coming back with a taste for blood. 

Grieving parents everywhere are left trying to keep their children alive with their own blood. The problem is this is only a temporary solution since the children are only alive for a few hours at a time. Usher in life after Herod's Syndrome which becomes an existence where it is those who have children against those who don't and blood is the only currency that matters.

Suffer the Children is a quick read that I could have possibly gotten through in a few hours but... c'mon, we all have work, school, and life to get to. Anyway, DiLouie instantly grabbed my attention by the neck and did not let go. I was as invested in preserving the lives of these children as their parents were. But surely, life started deteriorating for all the people involved. 

So why the 2-star rating? The answer is that eventually I felt that there just wasn't enough here to propel the vampire genre forward. Even bloodsucking kids couldn't save this title for me. Although my take on Suffer the Children is a little more "philosophical"... it still wasn't enough.

Philosophical you say? Yes. I see parents who would do anything they possibly can to save their children, or at least to keep them happy. And I mean anything. I remember all those crazy parents who fight each other for the last "tickle-me-elmo" or the ones who spoil their children rotten and declare that the sociopath they raised just maybe wasn't given enough to keep from turning into a homicidal maniac. The parents in Suffer the Children are the absolute extreme but I've seen enough children having tantrums in the grocery store to know that most parents aren't far from point. Anything, and I mean anything, to keep little Johnny or Sara happy. 

Although I wasn't blown away by Suffer the Children I actually look forward to reading more by this author. This novel wasn't bad, I just think the whole vampire thing is the black t-shirt you keep rewashing that fades with every cycle. That black is not coming back. **

Copy provided by Simon & Schuster via Netgalley

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