Friday, May 16, 2014

Suffer the Children by Craig DiLouie

Release Date: May 20, 2014
Publisher: Permuted Press

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

The days leading up to Christmas are always hectic for adults. For children, it's a magical time and full of wonder and amusement. There always seemed to be time to put off playing with kids because there was always tomorrow. That was until Herod's Syndrome came upon the world.

The syndrome swept across the world, taking each and every child in its path. Families grieved, overwhelmed with the sudden, shocking losses. As they tried to pick up the pieces and find a way to move on, another horror washes over them. The children came back but they came back changed.  How long will the parents have with their children now? How far would they go in order to keep them?

I was invited to read this title from NetGalley. Right away, I knew it was going to be up my alley. It was creepy and filled with subjects that many wouldn't want to even contemplate. While the subject was a familiar one, there enough twists and turns to keep me reading until the very last page to see what happened. I'll admit, I wasn't sure how this was going to play out and was leery because of the saturation of vampire-like stories as of late. In the end I was glad to have given it a chance.

The story was told from the point-of-view of the adult characters. Most were parents but there was also a doctor and nurse who played big roles throughout the book. I felt that much of the dialogue between adults and children were appropriate for the ages of the children. None of the little ones sounded like miniature adults. There were the typical parent/child interactions that made me laugh but also made me feel the deepness of the pain when the children began their journey to become something other. As the world devolved from community into self-preservation, the behavior exhibited by the adults met my expectations and left me shaking my head at many points.

With shifting points-of-view by at least four characters, I feared getting lost or the story losing its momentum after the action began. The fear was unfounded for a large portion of the book as the world lost so many in such a short amount of time and then had a second wave of terror wash over it. In the middle was a sense of calm that left me feeling uneasy. When last act began, I knew there was no turning back for the adults, or the children for that matter. It was all much too late for anything to change the course.

Overall, I was drawn into the book's world and entertained. It was a quick read for me because I kept wanting to know how things were going to end. Although a lot of the information given and some of the actions were predictable, it all worked together to create a story that takes a parent's worst fear and turns it into the mother of all "what if" questions. The themes and ethical questions brought up by author leaving a person wondering what they might do if they found themselves in a similar situation. This book is definitely one of the creepiest ones I have read so far this year. If you're looking for something with a great creep and ick factor, then this is the book for you.

Suffer the Children by Craig DiLouie will be available at retailers on May 20, 2014. It can currently be pre-ordered in various formats including paperback, Kindle, and audiobook. Click the link below to reserve your copy from Amazon today.
Suffer the Children by Craig DiLouie

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