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Children of the Night Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 1993

3.7 out of 5 stars 78 customer reviews

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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.
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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: 4.2 x 1.1 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,255,431 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Does the world need another vampire novel? I would say, yes, of course, especially if that novel is well written and adds something new or compelling to the literary conversation about vampires, a conversation that authors and readers have been having since 1872 with Sheridan Le Fanu's "Carmilla." In Children of the Night, Hugo award-winning author Dan Simmons makes a solid contribution to the ongoing vampire mythology by giving us not only a believable scientific explanation for vampirism, but also by adding to the history of Vlad Dracula himself.

Winner of the 1993 Locus Award for Best Horror/Dark Fantasy Novel, Children of the Night reflects Simmons's experiences in the horror, science fiction, and fantasy genres by weaving a compelling horror tale in a thriller format. The tale focuses on an American hematologist Kate Neuman, a dying baby she adopts during a visit to Romania, and a priest named Mike O'Rourke, who helps her get out of that post-Communist country.

But her adventures do not stop there. The baby, which she names Joshua, suffers from several genetic diseases and is doomed to an early death, until Kate discovers that Joshua can gain temporary relief from the disease symptoms when it receives whole blood transfusions. This genetic defect, Kate discovers, holds the key to a cure for many common diseases, including AIDS and cancer. One rather large problem however is that the baby turns out to be the heir of Vlad Dracula himself, and Dracula disperses his shadowy family line, vampires all, to bring Joshua back.

During her multi-country struggles, Kate is assisted by the conflicted priest O'Rourke and a young, too-good-to-be-true Romanian medical student named Lucian.
Read more ›
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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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