Wow. I am shocked that anyone could say this many positive things about this awful book. The genetic/medical discussions were so dry, excessively detailed and downright boring as to be nothing more than the author showing off the fact that he read a few works on DNA and HIV and maybe is friends with or married to a bioscience researcher. He also engaged in more showing off with regard to the constant references to every street, road and highway in Romania - gee, the author bought some maps when he visited the country, so he can use them to add an extra 50 sentences to this novel.
There were so many plot flaws it was incredible - there were holes in this book's plot big enough to drive a truck through, such as the entire characters of Lucian and Vlad, how the baby came to be born and then taken to the orphanage, how anyone knew to set timers on the bombs for the precise correct date and time for an unspecified, not-yet-planned event several years in the future. Not to mention the numerous implausible escapes from seemingly impossible situations. Oh, yeah, how about why Ion can get shot in the head and chest point-blank with a shotgun (blowing large holes in his body and skull) at the beginning of the book, yet be fully functional in a matter of a few seconds, yet Lucien can completely immobilize him and two other vampires with a few pistol shots at the end of the book? And to praise the author's ability to craft a sentence??? I cannot recall a single memorable or well-crafted sentence in the entire book. This novel was churned out at high speed by an already-established author seeking to make money, not meet any sort of literary standards.
Oh, and by the way, I don't hate Dan Simmons - I loved his Hyperion science fiction series and thought that, with the exception of a few too many canned resolutions to difficult dilemmas, they were exceedingly well-written.