Children of the Night
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Children of the Night (Summer of Night)

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  3,478 ratings  ·  156 reviews
“Simmons writes like a hot-rodding angel.” –Stephen King

An evil legacy comes to life in this classic and ultimately human novel about believable vampires, featuring a brand-new introduction by Dan Simmons. Children of the Night will take you to a place that no one knows—yet all of us fear.

In a desolate orphanage in post-Communist Romania, a desperately ill infant is given...more
Mass Market Paperback, 406 pages
Published 1993 by Headline (first published 1992)
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Stephen
A heartfelt bravo and a cap tip to Danny Simmons for breathing fresh air into the crowded, stale world of the vampire.

Overall I am giving this one a solid 4 stars, but there are aspects here that are easily 5 star (or even 6 star) worthy making this a must read for fans of "classic" vampire fiction. The basic plot involves an American research team that travels to post-Ceaucescu Romania to investigate AIDS cases in orphanages and discovers a child whose unique blood chemistry may hold the cure...more
Charlene
I have had an issue over the years remembering which Dan Simmons book I liked and which one I didn't. Summer of Night or Children of the Night? I had a chance to download a free audiobook, and I chose Children. I wish I hadn't.

I first read both of these books as a teen, after ripping through the Hyperion series. A number of years has passed since then and because the titles are so similar I couldn't remember which book was which. Well, after about an hour of listening, I realized that this was...more
Gary
Simmons did a masterful job with the vampire legend. This novel has a hard sci-fi approach to horror. For the averag, non-lab, chemistry,blood analysis person some of the science can be tough as he establishes verisimilitude. I understood some of it, but I was able to get the idea.
Either you enjoy the technical aspect, and the authenticity therein, or you don't. If you don't, it is not a painfully long process to read through and is done early in the story. If you do, it makes this book work on...more
Evan
Simmons can write. No doubt. And the early chapters of this book are understated, chilling, well-paced, and rich in atmosphere. His riffs on the Dracula myth aren't easy to anticipate, and neither is the plot.

Then halfway through it turns into a Robert Ludlum novel and sort of careens into this huge sloppy ending. Still better than Kostova's The Historian, though.

But Simmons retains my loyalty, because he's so good when he wants to be. And even when he isn't at his best he's still more literate...more
Bandit
I don't really like vampire stories, most of them are cheesy and/or unoriginal and trite, but if one has to read a vampire novel, one really can't do much better than Children of the Night. Originally my intention was simply to find out what happened to one of the characters from the equally terrific Summer of Night. Nice to see that Mike O'Rourke grows up and has a very interesting and adventurous life. Dangerous too. But that's just one of the great things about this book and there are so many...more
Addy
The aspects i enjoyed from this book were the characters, hands down. For me, if the characters weren't so likeable, it would have taken me longer to finish. I enjoyed the beginning of the story most and learning about the old vampire. I didn't care much for the medical jargon or for the long, dragged out chase scenes. With that said, the story was enjoyable and entertaining.
Jon Recluse
Leave it to Dan Simmons to take the legend of the vampire back to it's roots, and restore the man/monster who was once known as Vlad the Impaler and will forever be the monster known as Dracula to his dark throne.
Robert
Here's a book about vampires, in fact, Dracula himself is wandering around, 500 years old and tired of life. It's only third vampire book I can remember reading and it's old enough to have been written before vampire literature had been reduced to a joke by Meyer et al. Like one of the other vampire books I've read, My Name is Legion, vampirism is treated as a disease - in this case a rare genetic disease - not contagious at all. The details are carefully worked out and plausible to this not ove...more
Tressa
What is up with some of the low ratings for this book? I'm not necessarily an avid vampire fan, but this book is a doozy of a page turner.

Romania, AIDS, and an adopted baby update the vampire legend in a very satisfying way. I read this book years ago--half of it lying in a hammock on a warm summer day--so sorry I can't remember the specifics. Read the other reviews for those. I just remember that I really dug this book!
Kristen
This was my introduction to Dan Simmons. After being told what an excellent writer he is, I picked up the first book I could find by him. Normally I do not like Vampire novels (Other than Bram Stoker of course) mainly because they tend to drag, be self indulgent, and overly sexual. This novel grabbed me... grabbed me and wouldn't let go. I won't go into a great synopsis since it has already been done to death on here.

In late 1980's early 90's Romania, people are poor, medical attention is lacki...more
Jamie
Not a bad read for an old school horror novel. An American doctor adopts a sick baby boy from an appalling Romanian orphanage, and discovers that a) he has an odd medical condition that may contribute to a cure for AIDS and cancer, and b) evil forces in Romania want the baby back.

I liked the protagonists: the doctor teams up with a resourceful priest and they spend a lot of time traveling around Europe, which was surprisingly interesting. I was disappointed by the vampire bad guys, who were most...more
Carol
Be forewarned that Children of the Night starts out with a brutally realistic description of post Communist Romania and the inhumane treatment of thousands of babies that is quite disturbing. Once beyond that, beware of the sections interspersed throughout the book written with the voice of "Vlad the Impaler" (the original Dracula) as they are gruesome, gory and scary as hell. A few parts of the book, including the ending, was a bit James Bondish, but overall, a fast-moving and entertaining read...more
Bibliophile
An entertaining take on the good old vampire legend, with some modern twists and a bit of historical fact. American scientist Kate adopts a baby from a Romanian orphanage, but the child turns out to be the next Dracula and his concerned vampire relatives are eager to retrieve him. With the aid of a sexy, one-legged Catholic priest Kate treks through the Transsylvanian countryside trying to save baby Drac and humanity. The info dumps and over-the-top action movie ending were tiring, but then that...more
Cameron
Dan Simmons has recently become one of my favorite horror novelists! Children of the Night is another one of his Horror/Fiction novels and even includes a recurring character, Micheal O'Rourke, who was also in Summer of Night. This book starts off in Romania during the Romanian Revolution and follows a group of U.S. peace keepers sent to help starving and impoverished people left in a war torn country. The book quickly takes a massive turn around when the characters enter the Transylvanian cast...more
Scott Rhee
While the vampire genre has become oversaturated and tired recently, it's good to go back and read writers who know what they're doing. Dan Simmons's "Children of the Night" has a unique and fascinating take on vampirism.

Written and published in the early-'90s, "COTN" is based on the premise that what we have historically called "vampires" are simply a very small segment of the population that have a genetic mutation. Much like AIDS, a disease which weakens our immune system, the genetic mutati...more
Chris
When I bought this book, way back when it was first published in paperback 20-ish years ago, there was already a quote from a reviewer at Locus calling it his "best book ever". I've always felt that was a little premature. Until he dies or swears off writing for good then there's alway a chance he'll write something better. But he hasn't yet in my opinion. It's not a perfect book, sometimes I feel he's trying a little too hard to explain a lot of the science in it and there are a couple of bits...more
David
I've recently gotten to a point in my life, where I feel that I am getting sick of Vampire novels. In high school, a new Anne Rice was just about the coolest things ever. Of course, when I decided I was getting tired of vampires, there were two more vamp books in my to read pile.

Ultimately, I am happy this made it into the pile.

It is a vampire novel that happens to take some of the earliest conventions of vampires, taking on Vlad Dracula himself, and actually producing something completely diffe...more
Mikayla Hunter
This is the first book I've read by Dan Simmons, and I fully intend on reading more of his work. The book itself was written beautifully. As a Communications major, I can appreciate the beauty of a finely crafted paragraph. The word choices are phenomenal and I feel like I can picture myself in Romania alongside Kate, seeing all that she sees with such detail. I spent many nights staying awake to read this book, just dying to see what happened next. The plot twists were sudden and unexpected and...more
Timothy Ward
REVIEW SUMMARY: A technically well-written story about vampires and the quest to stop AIDS, but over-description and a disappointing plot twist stole interest.

BRIEF SYNOPSIS: A doctor adopts a Romanian orphan baby and discovers a secret that makes her enemy number one for a Mafioso band of vampires.

MY RATING: 2.5 stars

MY REVIEW:

PROS: Well-researched in science, location, and vampire lore; visceral action.

CONS: Technical jargon slowed the story; weak characters; the turn halfway through removed...more
Bill
Ever since learning that the legend of Dracula was based on Vlad the Impaler, and that this novel was based on that, it had been on my list. Well, I finally got in the mood for it and dove in...Well, all in all, a bit of a disappointment here. No, wait. A huge disappointment! I've been a Dan Simmons fan for years and I was really expecting something exceptional. I mean, here is one of the best writers around, we've got vampires, we've got Vlad the Impaler, and we end up with a regular
run-of-the-...more
Justin
id give it a 2.6 since it is one of those two and a half stars that I decided to round up. This book starts out good and I enjoyed the medical part of it but then the pace slows way down to the point it is almost to boring to finish and the end seems like he tried to make up for that by being way over the top and made me think of some ridiculous (my auto correct just changed "some ridiculous" into "sore testicles" lol sorry for the interruption I had to share) last action hero type of movie. Whe...more
Victoria
What a fun twist on the Dracula story! Though a bit slow to start, and rather predictable, I enjoyed this book. The medical vampirism made for a unique and interesting twist. And Dracula, or Vlad, himself was a fascinating counterpoint to the modern action. By the end, the pacing picked up and it was over all together too quickly.
I would hardly count this as being a sequel to Summer of Night, though it was nice to see a grown up Mike O'Rourke. Unfortunately, he hardly seemed reminiscent of that...more
Sue
If you like thrillers at all -- and you are open to reading a book that doesn't neatly fit into any genre, including that one -- then read Dan Simmons. He is a master at taking historical fact (in this case, the life of the Romanian noble, Vlad Tepes, aka Count Dracula), real science (AIDS research re the human immune system), current events (the fall of the Romanian dictator Ceaucescu, which was recent news when this book was written), and a WHOPPING dose of imagination and creating a tale that...more
Paul Jr.
One of the most scientific explanations of vampirism I've ever read. The story is exciting and tension filled, traveling from the Americas to Buda-Pest, with suspense and blessedly free of vampire cliches. The characters are vivid and humanly flawed, and Simmons' turns with Lucian will keep you wondering if he's a good guy or a bad guy up until the very end. Frankly, I'm surprised this never got picked up for movie rights. It would have been a spectacular vehicle for Sigourney Weaver who could h...more
Stef
Competently narrated. Entertaining. Possibly somewhat educational -- set in just-post-Ceausescu Romania; the historical details and sense of place seem plausible. The historical details about the career of Vlad the Impaler seem less plausible but an afterword insists they are meticulously researched and true. Hm.

Vampire theme of the "vampirism is due to virus/genetic condition" variety.

I wasn't crazy about the author's habit of deliberately pre-describing key plot details. ("Little did she kno...more
Baal Of
I'm not much fond of vampires. I got tired of them a long time ago, but occasionally I read something like this that reminds me that vampires, like any other trope, can be done well and with a new perspective or idea, to keep it from being yet another tired rehash of Dracula. In this case, his blending of vampire legend with genetics, AIDS, and as a potential cure for cancer (which does bug me a bit, since cancer is not a single disease, biology is just not that simple, and there probably won't...more
Shelby *wants some flying monkeys*
It's October so I've got to get in some horror stories. The thing is this book wasn't typical horror. It was exciting in a way that the science nerd in me was very happy. I did have moments when I didn't want to go outside in the dark. Good book.
Peter Greenwell
Quite frankly, it was a drag reading this. This book would've been a whole lot better had Simmons dispensed with the in-depth research on blood and Romania and simply let his storytelling skills shine through. As it stands, what we have here is a knotty and involving tale, though frequently there are stretches where it becomes tiresome.

What made Summer of Night such a wonder is missing here. The fine art of solid characterisation blended with flowing storytelling.

So yes, it's a let down if you'r...more
Saliotthomas
Dan Simmons at is worst.Nearly as bad as Darwin blade
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paced reading hor...: Children of the night 100% spoilers 231 31 Jan 31, 2014 07:59AM  
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Dan Simmons Fans: Children of the Night reissue 14 25 Nov 29, 2012 06:51AM  
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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,...more
More about Dan Simmons...
Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos, #1) The Fall of Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos, #2) The Rise of Endymion (Hyperion Cantos, #4) Endymion (Hyperion Cantos, #3) Ilium (Ilium, #1)

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