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review 2017-10-30 00:28
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.



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text 2017-10-29 21:21
Reading progress update: I've read 236 out of 342 pages.
Suffer the Children - Craig DiLouie

To use a cliche comparison, this book feels like a Big Mac meal—tasty and fun, albeit without much nutritional value. :) 


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text 2017-10-29 03:11
Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 342 pages.
Suffer the Children - Craig DiLouie

Reading for my ‘The Dead Will Walk’ square. 


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review 2015-12-20 16:25
Slaughterhouse: The Retreat 2 review
The Retreat #2: Slaughterhouse - Stephen Knight,Craig DiLouie,Joe McKinney

The follow-up to Pandemic sees Stephen Knight take the major reigns from Craig DiLouie and have to guide the reader through the often difficult second-book in a series.

Straight off, the best part of Slaughterhouse is how authentic it feels. Not the infected people who laugh like hyenas while they're trying to pull your larynx out through your ass, but rather the way in which the military characters in this book speak and behave screams believable. Not that I've ever been in the army, so I cannot accurately say, but compared to other books of this apocalyptic type, this one seems to be aiming to get it right.

Of course, that also works against Slaughterhouse insofar as making it a chore to read through the repetitive, technical nature of much of what is being described. But worse than that, is the way in which none of the characters - other than the single female POV character, Rawlings - seem to have any real depth to them. Instead they just felt like variations on military cliche. And as such, I cared barely at all when some of them died.

It's a shame, but this one just did not do it for me. I'm clearly in the minority looking at the other glowing reviews of Slaughterhouse online; which is a good thing because the third in the series is about to drop and I wish the authors every success with it.

I just won't be a part of it, because, sad to say, I'm going AWOL from this series.

2 Homicidal Maniacs Flying an Assault Helicopter for Slaughterhouse.

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/1422400710
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review 2015-10-12 17:08
The Retreat #1: Pandemic review
The Retreat #1: Pandemic - Craig DiLouie,Joe McKinney,Stephen Knight

Recently there was a series of graphic novels that totally emphasised the "graphic" part of that term entitled Crossed, Vol. 1. It was originally conceived and written by Garth Ennis and drawn by Jacen Borrows. In it, an infection did the rounds turning people into maniacs who killed and slaughtered indiscriminately, and who even seemed to enjoy being tortured, mutilated and killed themselves. The infected all had a wound which opened on their faces in the shape of a cross running both ways over their noses.

The Retreat #1: Pandemic by Craig DiLouie with assistance from Stephen Knight and Joe McKinney could have been set in the same world if the magically appearing face wounds had also been included. Because, otherwise, the people who have been turned in The Retreat, dubbed "Klowns" behave in exactly the same way as Ennis' Crossed maniacs.

So as well-written, engaging and tension-filled as DiLouie et al's first book in this series is, I could not help but feel I'd been there and done it all before. Sure, writing the book from the POV of various personal in the army who are fighting to keep the infected from overwhelming Boston was different. But not sufficiently so as to allow me to forget that every scene featuring the Klowns felt exactly like a scene lifted from Crossed.

With that major gripe out of the way, I thoroughly recommend picking up The Retreat #1: Pandemic. DiLouie keeps things moving at a breakneck pace, utilises short chapters to assist with this, and is not afraid to bump any number of major characters - all massive positives for me. Some may balk at the level of technical detail on display, but unlike say, his earlier work Tooth and Nail, The Retreat never gets bogged down in this, and the reader is simply able to accept the fact the author clearly knows his stuff, either having served himself or done a ludicrous amount of research into what soldiers experience in and around combat situations.

Entertaining, fast-paced and ruthless, DiLouie's introduction to The Retreat series is a must for fans of military horror and those who enjoy watching an apocalypse unfold. Just don't expect something entirely fresh and original.

3.5 Maniacs Laughing Manically for The Retreat #1: Pandemic.

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/789750316
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