Suffer the Children

Posted June 10, 2014 by Paul (Audiobook Reviewer) in Reviews / 9 Comments

Suffer the ChildrenSuffer the Children by Craig DiLouie
Narrator: R. C. Bray
Published by Tantor Audio on 2014
Length: 11 hrs and 26 mins
Genres: Horror, Paranormal, Vampire
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Rating Report
Story (Plot)
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Performance
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Production Quality
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Attention Holding
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Overall: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Suffer the Children presents a terrifying tale of apocalyptic fiction, as listeners are introduced to Herod's Syndrome, a devastating illness that suddenly and swiftly kills all young children across the globe. Soon, they return from the grave, and ask for blood. And with blood, they stop being dead. They continue to remain the children they once were, but only for a short time, as they need more blood to live. The average human body holds 10 pints of blood, so the inevitable question for parents everywhere becomes: How far would you go to bring your child back?

©2014 Craig DiLouie (P)2014 Tantor


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It is difficult to define what I am expecting other than a horrific apocalyptic tale. Craig DiLouie is known to write stories that are not quite in your face disturbing, but only after you think about it for a while do you fully realize what he has crafted.

Judging by the cover, again I am not sure what to expect. With the decapitated doll head laying on a nest of some sort. Is this going to be about zombie or vampiric children? I am pretty sure some undead creature will be involved, yet again not sure what.

First we are introduced to several families and how happy and content they are together. Painting a picture of true love and contentment. Until it isn’t. Suffer the Children is a tale of extreme loss and heartbreak. As every child that has yet to reach puberty dies almost instantly, for no good reason and no warning signs.

We then get to watch how the parents, that have lost their young ones, get sucked into depression and angst. Especially with those that are forced to clean up the communities of the plethora of small dead bodies. As the world starts to finally make so sense of what happen to all the children, something no one expected happens. Some of the kids return home.

Everything is gumdrops and popsicles again until again the children appear to die and reawaken. Until one mother figures out what they need to survive, her blood. What if a pint of blood would only guarantee another hour of time with your little one? How far would you go? If I was a parent I can only imagine that I would be happy to do anything for my child survival, would you?

DiLouie masterfully crafts a twisted take on the typical vampire story. Making the listener ask themselves those very questions. While tearing your heart out with anticipation only to forcefully shove it back in so the adrenaline can pump. Until it is ripped out again. I was glued to my earbuds, wanting more. I devoured this audiobook in less that two sittings. If you want a uniquely terrifying, that questions your morals, you need this audiobook.

It has been fun to follow R.C. Bray’s growth as an audiobook narrator that past year or so. Suffer the Children is clearly his most bone chilling performance yet. Bray is really coming through in his characterizations for the more soft spoken individuals, women and children specifically here.

I often wonder if living and breath stories like this effect the narrator personally. When they immerse themselves to truly become a person in the mix of total horror, does it take a toll on them? If Bray did he didn’t show it at all. Delivering every once of this production to perfection, characterizations, emotional impact, surprise, horror, depravity, it was all there and more.

About R. C. Bray

Read the ABR narrator interview

With over 125 titles to his credit, Audie-nominated and Earphones Award-winning narrator R.C. Bray has performed Off-Broadway in NYC, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, and many stages in between. An accomplished producer and voice actor, R.C. can also be heard in countless TV and radio commercials. He lives with his gorgeous wife and two beautiful daughters in New England.

About Craig DiLouie

Craig DiLouie is the author of zombie favorites THE INFECTION and TOOTH AND NAIL, as well as THE GREAT PLANET ROBBERY, a science fiction novel, and PARANOIA, a psychological thriller. THE KILLING FLOOR, the sequel to THE INFECTION, was published in April 2012.

About Paul (Audiobook Reviewer)

Paul is a quiet man who shares his passion of books through reviews assisting others select books through honest and professional reviews. Having built a team of professional reviewers, Audiobookreviewer (ABR) is the result of his passion of reading/listening of books. His family consists of a wife, 2 cats, and 2 African Grey parrots (https://www.facebook.com/tuckertheafricangrey). More frequently than not, you will see Paul plugged into the audio of his technology listening to books while riding his bike 100+ miles, tending to a huge fruit and vegetable garden, growing bonsai trees and operating his own largest online bonsai magazine (http://ofbonsai.org).

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9 responses to “Suffer the Children

  1. Thanks so much for a wonderful review once again, Paul. I’ll put an answer to your question here for your readers if that’s alright. To be blunt – yes – it absolutely did take a toll. I have two small children, ages 4 and 6, and this was a nightmare for me. I even joked with Tantor (the publisher) about all of them sitting in a circle trying to outdo each other with which narrator – who has small children – they could cast and screw up most! LOL!

    Seriously though it was a rough one. But Craig DiLouie is in my opinion Brilliant (notice the capital “B”). And as gut-wrenching and head-spinning Suffer the Children is, it is without question in my top two favorites to have narrated and I could not recommend it more. Put it this way: if a HORROR story can make you weep, I mean really grips your heart strings and tugs and yanks and rips…. then it’s a masterpiece that in my opinion should not be missed. Thanks again, Paul! All the best, Bob

    • Paul (AudioBook Reviewer)

      I knew it had to effect you guys. And I couldn’t agree more about

      “if a HORROR story can make you weep, I mean really grips your heart strings and tugs and yanks and rips…. then it’s a masterpiece that in my opinion should not be missed.”

      Looking forward to more from both of you!

  2. Thanks for the question, Charles!
    Although I don’t know if you’ll be happy with the answer LOL!

    I like to keep the “other” in my top two open. The reason is because I find myself floored by almost every title I’m lucky to work on. In other words, one minute it could be this one, the next minute it could be that one.

    I will, however, share with you several of the ones that pop to mind when I temporarily fill that second slot: (in random order) The Hospital and Mountain Man by Keith C. Blackmore, A Cold Night for Alligators by Nick Crowe (one of my first narration gigs which I’m sure I didn’t do as well as I could now and would LOVE to do over), The Martian by Andy Weir, Huntress Moon by Alexandra Sokoloff, Buying Time by Pamela Samuels-Young, Bar-20 by Clarence E. Mulford, and a short story entitled Catastrophe Baker and a Canticle for Leibowitz by Mike Resnick (can be found on The New Space Opera 2; collection of sci-fi shorts). I’m also rather enjoying the one I’m working on now, Arisen: Genesis by Michael Stephen Fuchs. See what I mean?

    Although I will give you that Catastrophe Baker… is the most fun I ever had narrating.

    So there you are. The biggest dance around probably the most simple and honest question ever. LOL!

    Thanks again, Charles – keep listening to those audiobooks!!!!
    Bob

    • Paul (AudioBook Reviewer)

      Great answer Bob! I know I wish there was a “real” top two. However it is a lot like me in my top 10 audiobooks is constantly changing as is my top narrators, authors etc.

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