Suffer the Children

Gallery. May 2014. 352p. ISBN 9781476739632. pap. $16; ebk. ISBN 9781476739649. HORROR
The premise of this chilling horror novel by the author of The Killing Floor is a parent's worst nightmare: one day, every child who has not gone through puberty simply dies. One moment a child might be playing, and the next—gone. The world is grieving beyond measure, and the press calls the phenomenon Herod's Syndrome. But then, days later, the children return to life, merely climbing out of their mass graves. The joy of the parents rapidly turns to confusion when the children become sluggish and unresponsive, and then to horror when they realize that the only thing that brings their kids fully to life is for them to ingest human blood.
VERDICT The ghoulish premise is given nuance by focusing on the reaction of ordinary parents both immediately pre-Herod's Syndrome and after the children return changed. This vampire variation of recent resurrection fiction (Jason Mott's The Returned) will be especially terrifying for any guardian, as they ponder what lengths they might go to for their children's sake.
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