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Children of the Night

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  6,276 ratings  ·  327 reviews
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 the wrong blood transfusion—and flourishes rather than d
Paperback, 464 pages
Published June 1st 1993 by Warner Books (first published 1992)
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3.71  · 
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 ·  6,276 ratings  ·  327 reviews

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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
David Brian
Feb 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars.
I keep fluctuating between a score of either 4-or-5, because this is a tough cookie to rank accurately.

Children of the Night presents an interesting take on vampires (and to be honest it is one worthy of its own mythos). It also features an excellent introduction by Simmons himself, in which he recounts a visit to post-Ceauşescu Romania in search of the real Dracula (Vlad Tepes). During this same visit he comes to understand the true plight facing the Romanian people - and none are im
Nov 01, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-book
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
Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror
I quit. Almost 200 pages in and I just can’t with this one anymore. Too boring. Too much science and medical jargon. I’m sure lab rats and science junkies would get off on all the research Dan Simmons did for this one but I’m in the back of the room like, NO MORE! I quit. Bye.
No. Just no. The story didn’t do it for me, the characters didn’t. I give Dan Simmons 1 Star for his take on vampires. Good for you for something new. (To me) but it wasn’t enough.
Jon Recluse
Nov 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
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.
Oct 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
When I read the introduction to this book, I was really excited. And when I read the first handful of chapters, I was horrified and intrigued. But from there, it went downhill pretty quickly.

The characterization in this book is awful. Just bad. I didn't care at all about any of the characters. Kate was written so badly I was cringing almost the whole time. Mike wasn't much better. It was also too long. So much of the middle was dull. And it's a shame, because the premise of this book is great. A
Well I started out reading this with a group, and the medical jargon was just too heavy to follow. I was going to leave it at that, but the "completist" in me decided to stay up until 3 am to finish it.

The story itself--that is, the part I wished the entire book were about--was an interesting take on the Dracula legend. Unfortunately, it was so "heavy" in terms of the scientific descriptions, labs, etc., that this completely took me out of the story. It was like a sudden jolt to find the actual
Jan 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 31, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
Not Dan's best work, it was a bit too 'thriller-y' for me. I liked that he tried to do something different with vamps and give us a medical explanation, but I'm actually pretty happy with vamps just being bad-arsed blood suckers.
May 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: vampires
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!
Dec 13, 2013 rated it liked it
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.
Sep 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
The vampire myth is updated to the 1990's in this horror novel. A female doctor goes to Romania and adopts one of the lost children of the communist regime. It seems like the baby is allergic to sunlight, and can't eat regular food, but somehow blood makes it stronger, and cures all of its illnesses.

The doctor believes the baby might lead to the cure for AIDS, while others believe...darker theories. They both might be right.
Apr 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow! This is such a great book!

Dan has taken everything you expect from a typical vampire novel and turned it upside down, and that's what made me love this book! In Children of the Night, the vampires feel real and that they are vampires because of a scientific reason and not just because someone bit your neck.

Throughout this novel we are constantly been given facts about everything from the description of Romania to scientific formulas and diseases. One of the main plots in this book is about
The book is basically a thriller that blends elements of recent Romanian history shortly after the fall of Nicolae Ceaușescu and the history and legends of Vlad the Impaler - Dracula. Dan Simmons has obviously researched both extremely well.
The harsh reality of life in Romania just after the revolution is painted in a believable way and I was able to immerse myself in the world he describes. I 'experienced' and learned a lot. Dracula's cruel and bloodthirsty flashbacks were an integral part of
Andrea ❤Ninja Bunneh❤
Very interesting take on the whole vampy idea.

Full review to come - soonish.

4 Ninja-Bunnehs-Slurpin'-Blood
Another book with great potential in the beginning that turns out to be extremely outlandish and boring, towards the end.
This one deals with the Dracula family, and the reason behind their blood sucking.
In my undergraduate days, my Biochem professor had mentioned the Dracula family of Transylvania while teaching us about Porphyrias, the rare group of inherited Heme disorders, wherein there is photosensitivity , red teeth, hirsuitism , and the deformed people avoid sunlight and cover themselves
Luke Kondor
Jul 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well great! Now I believe in vampires!

Thanks, Dan.

Simmons lays out all the evidence. He doesn't just make it sound plausible but makes it sound 100% true. The way he mixes the science with the historical accounts of the true Dracula is masterful. And the atmosphere he creates within the first 60 pages of a sooty gothic Romania with creepy diseased children all in need of your blood will stay in my mind for years to come.

But boy does it get a little bogged down in the details. There were whole p
Apr 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
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
Mark Tallen
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really good original take on the Vampire novel. Dan Simmons uses some historical facts and blends them into a fictional account that I found to be quite ingenious. The book starts strongly and the descriptions of towns and villages etc were first rate. I liked the characters and the parts of the novel that featured Vlad Tepes were really well done. The novel doesn't overstay its welcome, the length is spot on. I think effective horror doesn't need to be 700 - 1000 pages long. The bottom line i ...more
Shelby *trains 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.
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks, owned, 2018
George Ralph was the narrator. His abilities to use Eastern European accents such as Romanian, Budapest, etc., were very good, but he would forget during long passages to keep his accent going, and sometimes it would slip away and then come back. Otherwise he was very good.

I’m not exactly sure how this novel works in the three-book series Seasons of Horror, and I was terribly confused at the beginning of this novel because it had nothing to do with the third novel in the series, which I had acci
Maxine Marsh
Jul 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars.
Apr 17, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed, a-let-down
I don't even know what rating to give this book. On one hand you got vampires who don't do much besides meet up and run the show behind the scenes, but at least they don't sparkle. On the other you got a doctor who is all over the map with her feelings and/or goals that does not see how a death of one person can be a necessary sacrifice when it comes to saving millions of others.

On top of this you got a priest who is not much of a priest but more of an informational character that is always the
Aug 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ok so here it is, this is a vampire book with a twist. The twist being they arent really vampires as such just genetic freaks who like power.

The story was intriguing at the beginning but quite quickly lost its appeal and started to drag along, Kate is a generally unlikable character who muddles through missing the bleeding obvious and getting into situations she has no real control over. When things returned to Romania I think it just got plain odd, her relationship with the priest just didn't f
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
An interesting and fresh take on the vampire mythos. Simmons tries to marry legend with science in order to create a more plausible explanation on the origin and evolution of vampires. I did miss some of the more traditional traits of clasic vampiric stories but Simmons' excellent description of the beautiful but dark and troubled post-Ceausescu Romania is very atmospheric and set an ominous tone that elevated the story. Certainly worth a read.
"Listen to them, the children of the night. What mus
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Dan Simmons 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 Master