Suffer the Children - Craig DiLouie

One day, out of the blue, all the pre-pubescent children in the world drop dead. Three days later, they come back to life — and the only thing that can keep them alive is blood. Desperate to keep their young ones, parents and family friends and relatives donate as much blood as possible . . . but soon enough, civilization breaks down, for this is a vicious cycle. A pint of blood is good for only an hour or so of life. And in the meantime, the children’s bodies are decomposing, despite the fact that they are, in some form, alive.


Okay, this book is pulpy as hell. But I had fun. It’s an interesting take on the zombie apocalypse genre for sure, and I could not put it down. This one is tense from the first page (the reader can almost hear the clock ticking toward the inevitable). It is more than a little cheesy, but it also packs some punches.


What kept me turning the pages was the shifting perspectives. We get bits of the story from Joan and Doug, parents of two young kids affected by what is known as Herod’s Disease; Ramona, a single mother and career woman; David, a local pediatrician; and, from time to time, a couple of the children in their resurrected state. The story unfolds at a brisk clip, and I was never uninvolved. However, I really did not care for Doug. He was just obnoxious and bitchy. And the author pounds the reader over the head with the idea that Doug is sure everyone is out to get him, always has been — but we never really see why. I just didn’t care about him. He oozed with toxic masculinity and I found myself sighing when the book shifted to his perspective. Blah.


This is a really fun, creepy read. I do feel the story’s potential was not fully realized (it could have been much gorier and scarier, in my opinion) and Doug drove me batty! But I had a nice time.


Read for ‘The Dead Will Walk’ in Halloween Bingo.