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Children of the Night

Children of the Night

Written by Dan Simmons

Narrated by George Ralph


Children of the Night

Written by Dan Simmons

Narrated by George Ralph

ratings:
3.5/5 (24 ratings)
Length:
14 hours
Released:
Feb 22, 2008
ISBN:
9781423353171
Format:
Audiobook

Description

In a desolate orphanage in what remains of post-Communist Romania, a desperately ill infant is given the wrong blood transfusion - and flourishes when he's supposed to die. The discovery of his unique immune system may hold the key to the long-awaited cure for cancer and AIDS. For a dedicated American doctor, he promises the medical breakthrough of a lifetime, as well as a very special love she's never been able to find. But he also conceals a shockingly intimate link to a clan of vampires and their legendary leader - the fiend the world calls Vlad Dracula, who, for centuries, has triumphed over countless rival tyrants, including death itself...
Released:
Feb 22, 2008
ISBN:
9781423353171
Format:
Audiobook


About the author

Dan Simmons, a full-time public school teacher until 1987, is one of the few writers who consistently work across genres, and perhaps the only one to have won major awards in all of them. He has produced science fiction, horror, fantasy, and mainstream fiction, and is now launching stunning works in the thriller category. His first novel, Song of Kali, won the World Fantasy Award; his first science fiction novel, Hyperion, won the Hugo Award. His other novels and short fiction have been honored with numerous accolades, including nine Locus Awards, four Bram Stoker Awards, the French Prix Cosmos 2000, the British SF Association Award, and the Theodore Sturgeon Award. In 1995, Wabash College presented Simmons with an honorary doctorate in humane letters for his work in fiction and education. He lives in Colorado along the Front Range of the Rockies.

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Reviews

What people think about Children of the Night

3.7
24 ratings / 10 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (3/5)
    Not as good as the Terror and compared to Drood it was just plain flat. But overall it was a good story. The characters seemed a little cliche. But as I got deeper into the story I realzid that is probably what Simmons was going for. Currently on a Simmons binge. I know writers go through evolutionary stages and am willing to read between the lines. Not all of their books are going to be the same.
  • (3/5)
    I almost didn't read this book because I had trouble getting into it. It was only on my fourth and final try that I managed to read past the first few pages. I am glad that I persevered because it turned out to be a very good story. From a Romania suffering from the aftermath of revolution to America and back again, Simmons treats us to an interesting and frightening take on the Dracula legend.Set in the late eighties/early nineties, this modern vampire story retains some of the creepiness and foreboding of Bram Stoker's tale while acquiring an urgency that seems all too real. The first chapter of this book is dry and difficult to read but it is worth persisting because Simmons weaves a truly terrifying tale that will have you sleeping with the light on.
  • (2/5)
    really couldn't get into this. not into vampire romance books
  • (4/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    It was a good read. There were a couple lines that were awful, but the characterization more than made up for them. The plot was a bit obvious, at least to me. My roommate pointed out I tend to bring a problem-solving mindset to books, which is accurate. I learned to read on mystery stories, so figuring things out is part of the fun. The lead character is very well done, and doesn't fall prey to any of the common issues of a female lead written by a male author. Really, all the characters were very well done. Some of the relationships between characters were a little predictable, but without actually feeling trite. Even where the relationships and interactions were expected, they were well written and good reading.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (3/5)
    Dan Simmons is a great writer. Wonderful plots, with engaging characters. But he falls into that category of writer that really needs a stronger editor. His last several novels have all bulged at 700 pages or more, and with the exception of The Terror none of them should have been that long. I had hoped by going back to one of his earlier novels maybe I would get a less verbose and more streamlined book. I didn’t. Children of the Night was a fantastic idea, but one with a few flaws. Simmons crafts a interesting vampire tale set against the back drop of the fall of Ceausescu in Romania in the early 1990’s. He uses the plight of the orphanages (where Romanian children were abandoned in states of utter depravity) to propose two theories. First that Vlad Dracula was both still alive, and was somewhere between the historical person and Stoker’s fantasy. Secondly that the “disease” of vampirism is actually passed down as a defective mutation within the family and that its root mutation could actually give us a cure for HIV and other diseases. But again Simmons needs a stronger editor. There are entire chapters that are clearly not needed and a romantic subplot that is unnecessary and distracting. Simmons also follows that horrible trend that seems to say a heroine, no matter how intelligent and assured, must be a complete idiot about men and fall into bed with just about everyone she meets. And that she must be saved by a man at every peril.Unfortunately the strongest sections of the book are the chapters he dedicates to the memories of Vlad Dracula. Simmons there does a superb job blending the reality of Vlad with the fantasy of vampirism, offering a chilling yet very human monster. By the end I had wished he had written that book instead.
  • (2/5)
    I was so excited to read this book, but then, very disappointing. There are so many vampire novels out there that are much more interesting. Dan Simmons has written some great books, this is not one of them
  • (4/5)
    Set in post-Ceausescu Romania, this unique take on vampirism was most definitely a yummy read. I have an avid interest in genetics and an even more avid interest in Vampires (notice I capitalize the word, 'cause they're that important!)...unless they sparkle/dazzle. Then I don't love them so much. What I enjoyed most about the book, aside from the obvious - the Vampires - was that it seems Simmons actually did some research. This is the first book by him that I've read, so I'm not certain if he's this thorough in all of his writing, but I was pleased that he didn't just throw a bunch of tripe together and call it good. A scientific explanation, and a believable one at that, for vampirism? Awesome! The characters were incredibly strong, well thought out, and admirable. You can relate to them as people, and I always love a book that allows me to like a character, even if I don't -like- the character. That said, though, I feel the ending was just a bit weak. Not weak in a way that left me groaning and rolling my eyes, but certainly not as powerful as the rest of the book. That did not detract from my enjoyment of the novel, however. At any rate...There's orphans, scientists, explosions, love, despair, hope and just a thoroughly engaging plot. Definitely a must read.
  • (3/5)
    Please note: This review may contain spoilers! Read at your discretion.On a humanitarian mission to aid Romanian orphans in post-Ceaucescu Romania, Kate wants to do more, and adopts one of her young charges. But when she returns to the US, her new son is kidnapped, and she finds herself fighting a centuries old evil.Stuffed full of vampires and blood, defrocked priests and suitably heroic lady doctors, and loads of bullets and bombs, one can hardly call Children of the Night a boring read. But despite the blockbuster levels of violence and hunt-and-chases, and the inherent spookiness of evil villains with the power to rise from the dead, the most horrifying thing about this story for me was not the vampires. I mean, let’s face it, vampires are fictional constructs whereas the horrifying descriptions of living conditions in Romanian orphanages in the late eighties sound all too real.I vaguely recall watching TV shockumentaries about the appalling conditions in which Romanian orphans often found themselves living, locked in cribs and cots by the hundreds, or sitting in groups of ten or twenty in rooms packed only with dirty mattresses. It seemed almost unimaginable to me that kids could be living in such conditions, unnoticed and unreported for years before the story finally broke. In a lot of ways, the suffering of those kids at the hands of ordinary human beings makes the vampires in this story seem almost insignificant. Why add scary monsters when the people charged with the care of those children, from the wardens and nurses to the government officials in charge of them, seem like monsters in their own right? And what makes it more horrifying is that these people were just ordinary human beings.One thing I will say for this novel: it definitely made me want to learn more about life in Romania in the late eighties, shortly after Ceaucescu’s abrupt (and all-too-well-deserved, from the sounds of it) removal from office, if only to be able to sort fantasy from fact. Some story elements presented sound both heartless and all too pragmatic — like the refusal of entry to the United States for any adopted orphan/child infected with HIV. From a purely pragmatic standpoint, it sounds sensible: sick children require health care, which costs money. These kids were not born in the U.S. and therefore their health care costs should not the responsibility of the U.S. government. (And I’m using U.S. here because that’s the particular country with which Simmons’ heroine takes issue, not because I think any other relatively rich Western country would necessarily have behaved any better when it comes to the care of these orphans/children). The emotional argument, the fact that these kids are in desperate need of help, is completely overshadowed by the financial costs involved. This is horrifying in its own right, given that conventional wisdom has us mouthing off about how people cannot be valued in monetary terms. Apparently, this only holds true if you’re the right kind of people.In terms of the story, I did not like the final twist in the tale, which I thought seriously weakened what had gone before. To me, it felt like Simmons had run out of steam when it came to the final act, and realized he still hadn’t dealt fully with various plot elements…so he opted for the simplest twist that might allow him to wrap things up more quickly. In summary, then: Worth a read, but recommended only for those with strong stomachs and/or those who have an obsession with Dracula.
  • (5/5)
    Not your average vampire story, this fast paced story take you from the beautiful foothills of Boulder, Colorado to dark Transylvania. Alternating between the quest of a young doctor to save the child she has adopted and the first person memories of Vlad himself, Simmons, as always, leaves you with the feeling you have actually been to the places he takes you. Definitely a page turner (I stayed up to 4 am to finish it) that brings Dracula into the 20th century!
  • (1/5)
    Horrible, boring, too hard sci-fi, plus cheesy torture scenes. Didn't finish.