As is proper, I do have to preface that I was sent a copy of ‘Suffer the Children’ for review purposes. That being said, I would have happily picked it up on my own as I am a huge fan of Craig DiLouie’s work and this one had a thread of horror in it that truly struck home for me. If you have a child (as I do) you are going to be hard pressed to not feel the chills that DiLouie has conjured in these pages. However, I believe this story would be a good read for non-parents as well.
This is a gripping tale of horror that hits nerves you didn’t even know that you had.
Now as I say that, the focus here isn’t a gore fest and truly is a proper mixture of horror and suspense as we learn of a new disease that has spread across the globe known as ‘Herod’s Syndrome’. It is a new illness that is set to only infect the youth and kills an entire generation of children across the globe. Only, they don’t stay dead. The children quickly come back but are all now suddenly demanding blood to go on. If given, they are able to happily remain as children and stop being dead — for a short time at least. The blood only lasts so long and isn’t being reproduced as it normally would have so the parent’s job now also requires them to find alternate ways to refill that blood.
Once we find out about the virus, we start to follow a variety of characters who find themselves in this situation and how they choose to deal with it as well as the consequences of their actions. With the situations we are presented and the choices that are made, you will most likely be able to relate to at least one if not multiple families found within. Many are quite relatable to, all of the way through to the bitter end!
Again, as a parent I would do anything for my child and I’m sure most of you that have kids out there feel the same way. What if you now needed to constantly find them a fresh supply of blood? Would you give your life for them? Would you take the life of another? Would you help or stop them from finding it on their own? Hard questions are asked here and hard answers are delivered. We are given a world that is on a run to keep our children alive in the face of death in a way that can be prevented, but at a cost.
The truly scary moments sneak up on you and it isn’t just the actions the parents do to keep their children alive in the novel but knowing much of it would also happen in the real world that is terrifying. This is what myself and many of you would also do in order to keep our little bundles of joy with us. Those without children have to wonder how much their own lives would be worth when suddenly their close friends had to find a fresh stock of blood to keep their own kids alive. It’s a vicious view of the mindset of a parent whose child truly needs them to do everything within their power to keep them living.
This is some of Craig’s best work to date!