Craig DiLouie is back with a new round of horror and this deep he’s mixing things up by taking a look at mutations, children, and the terrifying things that can happen to a society when the two mix on a mass scale. His last outing that I read was ‘Suffer the Children,’ and DiLouie isn’t slouching with this novel and is just as interesting of a read. While it will keep you turning pages to find out what happens next, the book is quite complex with quite a few philosophical ideas being examined so I wouldn’t go into this one expecting a whimsical horror novel with a comic book feel which the description could make you believe it to be.
The story technically begins in 1968 when a new form of sexually transmitted diseases are unleashed upon the world. These incurable STDs initially don’t seem to cause any issues, but in the babies who are born to parents with them, there are massive physical malformations with some cases being fatal. The children are known as “the plague generation,” and the story truly begins in 1984. These children have been abandoned in large numbers and now live in the Home. This is where things pick up as these outcasts from society are now starting to develop supernatural powers and abilities.
The story puts a focus on Dog who is the main character and covered in fur and his best friend Brian who has both a genius level intellect and a photographic memory. Dog wants humanity and the mutants to live together as equals while Brian feels that a revolution to take over is the only route to go. Comic fans will quickly see a parallel between Professor X and Magneto here but don’t let that fool you.
As the story continues, Enoch who is a gentle soul is killed, and Brian decides that war is looming between humanity and their kind and gathers those who have abilities together to prepare for it. The government, of course, wants to weaponize the newly powered kids and we start to see some disappearing.
Going into this you can expect a look at society and DiLouie touches on topics from the problems that minorities face on a daily basis from bigotry to hate to non-tolerance. All of these are themes which have been flaring up across the globe in recent years, and this takes an alternate look at these serious topics.
You are not going to walk away from this book with a smile on your face, but you’ll have an exciting story lot to think about as you make your way to the end. If you’re looking for an action-filled novel that is equally dark and lighthearted, this one isn’t for you. If you want something that will make you think and show some of the worst aspects of humanity in a new light, this one could be worth checking out!