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Children of the Night Mass Market Paperback


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (June 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446364754
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446364751
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #954,729 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Count Dracula kicks off the coffin lid again in this updated vampire tale, ready to stalk through the rubble of post-Communist Europe. This time, however, the count's sanguinary tippling habits may hold the cure for both AIDS and cancer. The key lies with a Romanian orphan adopted by American hematologist Kate Neuman; the infant, Joshua, has a series of rare diseases, and can survive only because his body extracts and processes genetic material from blood transfusions. If the virus in his system responsible for this ability can be isolated, his diseases could be remedied and medical marvels would be within Kate's grasp. The drawback is that Joshua has inherited his talents from the decrepit but murderous Vlad Dracula, and this patriarch of an accursed clan of blood-drinkers is more interested in perpetuating his power than in providing miracle cures for the masses. Simmons ( Song of Kali ) makes Children 's fantastical scientific claims easy to swallow, although the medical jargon in some of the American scenes is thicker than Bela Lugosi's accent (try out "hypogammaglobulinemia"). Still, the book offers a mesmerizing tour through the ghostly, gray tatters of Romania.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

While studying diseases of the blood in present-day Romania, hematologist Kate Neuman adopts an orphaned infant with an unusual immune system. Upon her return to the States, the baby is kidnapped and returned to its homeland. Aided by an American priest and a Romanian medical student, each with his own interest in the child, Kate traces it to a mysterious group linked to the legendary Dracula. Her attempts to discover the motive behind the kidnapping and to reclaim the baby form the heart of this thrilling and wonderfully diverting novel. Simmons ( Summer of the Night , LJ 1/91) gives a chilling description of post-Ceausescu Romania and neatly ties the vampire legend into political history to create a new and clever twist to the idea of the vampire's craving for blood. The ending seems a bit too Indiana Jones-like, but the overall result is satisfying. An excellent choice for popular fiction collections. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 2/1/92.
- Eric W. Johnson, Teikyo Post Univ. Lib., Waterbury, Ct.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Dan Simmons was born in Peoria, Illinois, in 1948, and grew up in various cities and small towns in the Midwest, including Brimfield, Illinois, which was the source of his fictional "Elm Haven" in 1991's SUMMER OF NIGHT and 2002's A WINTER HAUNTING. Dan received a B.A. in English from Wabash College in 1970, winning a national Phi Beta Kappa Award during his senior year for excellence in fiction, journalism and art.
Dan received his Masters in Education from Washington University in St. Louis in 1971. He then worked in elementary education for 18 years -- 2 years in Missouri, 2 years in Buffalo, New York -- one year as a specially trained BOCES "resource teacher" and another as a sixth-grade teacher -- and 14 years in Colorado.

His last four years in teaching were spent creating, coordinating, and teaching in APEX, an extensive gifted/talented program serving 19 elementary schools and some 15,000 potential students. During his years of teaching, he won awards from the Colorado Education Association and was a finalist for the Colorado Teacher of the Year. He also worked as a national language-arts consultant, sharing his own "Writing Well" curriculum which he had created for his own classroom. Eleven and twelve-year-old students in Simmons' regular 6th-grade class averaged junior-year in high school writing ability according to annual standardized and holistic writing assessments. Whenever someone says "writing can't be taught," Dan begs to differ and has the track record to prove it. Since becoming a full-time writer, Dan likes to visit college writing classes, has taught in New Hampshire's Odyssey writing program for adults, and is considering hosting his own Windwalker Writers' Workshop.
Dan's first published story appeared on Feb. 15, 1982, the day his daughter, Jane Kathryn, was born. He's always attributed that coincidence to "helping in keeping things in perspective when it comes to the relative importance of writing and life."
Dan has been a full-time writer since 1987 and lives along the Front Range of Colorado -- in the same town where he taught for 14 years -- with his wife, Karen. He sometimes writes at Windwalker -- their mountain property and cabin at 8,400 feet of altitude at the base of the Continental Divide, just south of Rocky Mountain National Park. An 8-ft.-tall sculpture of the Shrike -- a thorned and frightening character from the four Hyperion/Endymion novels -- was sculpted by an ex-student and friend, Clee Richeson, and the sculpture now stands guard near the isolated cabin.
Dan is one of the few novelists whose work spans the genres of fantasy, science fiction, horror, suspense, historical fiction, noir crime fiction, and mainstream literary fiction . His books are published in 27 foreign counties as well as the U.S. and Canada.
Many of Dan's books and stories have been optioned for film, including SONG OF KALI, DROOD, THE CROOK FACTORY, and others. Some, such as the four HYPERION novels and single Hyperion-universe novella "Orphans of the Helix", and CARRION COMFORT have been purchased (the Hyperion books by Warner Brothers and Graham King Films, CARRION COMFORT by European filmmaker Casta Gavras's company) and are in pre-production. Director Scott Derrickson ("The Day the Earth Stood Stood Still") has been announced as the director for the Hyperion movie and Casta Gavras's son has been put at the helm of the French production of Carrion Comfort. Current discussions for other possible options include THE TERROR. Dan's hardboiled Joe Kurtz novels are currently being looked as the basis for a possible cable TV series.
In 1995, Dan's alma mater, Wabash College, awarded him an honorary doctorate for his contributions in education and writing.

Customer Reviews

I had not felt such tension reading a book in a long time.
Stephen Scott
Simmons makes the book work on two levels here, trying to tell a thrilling suspense story while at the same time turning the vampire myth completely inside out.
Michael Battaglia
It has a well thought-out mystery for its characters to solve, and a 'medical-thriller' aspect that only just uses too much jargon.
James Ujda

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Michael Battaglia on April 11, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A while ago I wrote a review of "Summer of Night" and without realizing what I was doing, called this book a sequel to that book . . . I wasn't completely wrong, this is a spiritual successor to that book, one of the characters from "Summer" plays a big role in events and some of the other characters get at least one mention. The theme couldn't be any more different though. Simmons makes the book work on two levels here, trying to tell a thrilling suspense story while at the same time turning the vampire myth completely inside out. That's right, what he does here is propose a scientific mechanism (based on a recessive mutation) why they have to drink blood and what that means. This all comes about when the original Vlad Dracula decides that it's time to die and decrees that a new heir must be invested. Unfortunately the heir gets adopted by an American doctor, who tries to figure out why the baby can go from almost dead to perfectly healthy just be a blood transfusion. The science part of all of this is fascinating, some of it might be a little more science than people will want to read and if you're not well versed in biology or genetics a good part of it you're just going to have to take on faith and assume he did his research well. As far as I can tell, everything checks out so hats off to Simmons for taking the time. So all goes well until the vampires figure out where the kid went and go to get him back.Read more ›
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By James Ujda on October 18, 2001
Format: Audio Cassette
This book flies off the shelf both in its promise of vampire fiction (good genre, strong following) and the Hugo award winning author's name in large print. It has a well thought-out mystery for its characters to solve, and a 'medical-thriller' aspect that only just uses too much jargon. However- the development is slow, the story does get boring, and the characters get very introspective without really developing into persons a reader can relate to. This leads to those long, dull interludes of an author struggling to describe a character's thoughts and feelings with only minimal success. Simmons does better when characters' actions define their personality (not thoughts) and when his sci-fi is explained through demonstration (not syntax-laden description). Both of these he does with professional quality in the Hyperion series, which are a must read for any sf fan.
Children of the Night drags, has dull characters and a somewhat corny background and one of the most cliche, predictable endings an author could crank out outside of a King/Koontz thriller. Stick to the sci-fi; that's where Simmons' truly stunning ability lies.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 24, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Let me begin by saying that I love Dan Simmons' books and I've read all of them I can get my hands on. I loved the Hyperion and Endymion Books and I've loved most of his stuff that's closer to horror. I even enjoyed Phases of Gravity, his foray into non-action, mainstream fiction. But I only LIKED this book.
It has all of the typical Simmons strengths: strong characters, lots of action and suspense, intelligence, complexity and lots of research. In fact, it offers one of the more convincing scientific answers for vampires I've ever seen.
The thing that hurt this book for me was its ending. It rested on too many implausible coincidences. After being great all of the way through, it suddenly reminded me of one of those bad movies where the bad guy who has had perfect aim throughout suddenly starts missing when he shoots at the hero.
Still, it's not a bad read and much better than most of the tripe that's available these days.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 12, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Dan Simmons is a wonderful, talented writer who doesn't write on a 12 year old level. This book is more than just a quick thrill, but a wonderfully researched and realized novel with wonderful development, plot, suspense and characters. If you're looking for a cheap thrill, don't read this novel - if you're looking for a mature, realized vision of a vampirism, this is the book for you! A wonderful read even if you're not into vampires and 'horror' stories.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 27, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This action packed thriller clips right along, to its well-crafted ending, keeping you guessing page after page. Simmons is the exception among horror authors, standing head and shoulders above almost all the rest: he can actually write a plot, believable characters that you care about, AND creepy, teeth-jarring scenes. I enjoyed "Summer of Night" more than this book, but this was well worth the read (and has an interesting connection to "Summer of Night" which you'll get if you've read the earlier novel). Slam bang good! If you like tense, dark horror, and a character driven story, you'll get a kick out of this one.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin K. Potter on January 18, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This pseudo-sequel to SUMMER OF NIGHT (Father O'Roarke and several minor characters loosely tie into the other book) is a fine example of what a suspense-slash-horror writer can be capable of. Ever since the magnificant CARRION COMFORT, Mr. Simmons has not disappointed me yet!
This has all of the markings of a great book - well developed characters, interesting plot (you'll also get a lesson or two on Romanian culture), twisted villians (corrupt politicians, lurking men dressed in black, etc.) and excellent stylings told through Kate (the heroine) and a series of dreams/flashbacks from Vlad Dracula himself!
The story is a hard-nosed, quick read about a hematologist (re: blood doctor) wrestling with the cure for AIDS as she also seeks to unravel the "myth" of vampirism from medically. It is an excellent idea, executed beautifully, and although it crumbles in a few places, the story will open up the imagination and stick with you long after you've turned the final page.
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