Cover Image: The Children God Forgot

The Children God Forgot

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Member Reviews

What if aborted children where brought back to life by witchcraft and hiding in the sewer system? When a sewer tunnel maintenance crew experiences horrifying events and is even attacked, the police sends a pair of investigators that have dealt with some unusual cases before. But even to DC Jerry Pardoe and DS Jamila Patel encountering very real supernatural forces is new terrain. At the same time, a deformed child is born by a woman who claims she couldn't have been pregnant, and another woman is attacked by a horrid human-faced spider-like creature. Step by step, the connection between these strange events is revealed, behind which stands a very powerful and ancient evil.

Despite the obvious ethical question raised and also ethnic conflicts addressed in the book, the basic idea behind the story was very unique and quite unsettling. Suspense was stalled a couple of times by some slow, lengthy, even repetitive chapters, but nowadays old-school-type books (both old ones and new) seem to have this effect on readers (me included, I have to admit with mixed feelings). On the other hand, a lot of detail was put into character-building, overall setting and creating a very creepy atmosphere, which made it easy to visualize the story in my imagination. On the whole, this book presented a fascinating read.
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I did not read this. I’m only just getting round to it and I realise that a) it’s just not for me and b) multiple people have been complaining about the racist and anti-abortion themes.
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I enjoyed this book a lot. The plot was well constructed and it was an easy read. It was creepy in all the right ways. You've got to be a die-hard fan of body horror and not mind some of the more upsetting elements in a book like this, but overall it was worth reading.
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It's been a long time since a book has gotten under my skin but reading The Children God Forgot, I truly had a moment where I thought "This book is going to give me nightmares." This was a very strange book: deformed fetuses roaming for new wombs to call home, a fatberg blocking the sewer with glowing malformed children taking replacement body parts, and last, but certainly not least, a reanimated witch formed of smoke and vengeance. All of those things individually would be enough of a plotline to carry any horror novel, but together are the things that nightmares are made of. 

Told in varying points of view, the plot on this one jumps around. You get just enough action to draw you in and wonder exactly what the hell is going on when it switches to another POV to pick up where it left off before. Typically, I hate this style of writing, but I will say in spite of that it kept my interest, especially when you have the scenes set as they are. There are occult vibes, police procedural, heavy body horror, and of course, the paranormal. 

I do have to wonder though, as a woman, if this book weighs as heavily on male readers. I would imagine it doesn't. There's a particular horror in simply being a woman and having fears that are unique to the female persuasion alone. The fear of reproduction, of growing a life that is abominable instead of the perfect being it should be, and the fear of being violated. I struggle with that last word because what truly happens here, under other descriptions is rape. Not in the usual sense, but by one of the aborted creatures crawling or attempting to crawl inside another woman's uterus to continue to incubate. See what I mean by horrifying?  

There are also some sociopolitical themes here that are played a bit heavy-handed. The entire novel could be a statement on abortion. Not only do you have the many-limbed but cherub-faced fetus being terminated before term, but there's the woman showing up to punish those who participated in the terminations stating that all life is sacred. I feel like this book should have been written decades ago when racism and homophobia were casual and women were written based on the size of their breasts.

I ended up very conflicted about this novel. In the beginning, it was extremely effective horror. It's definitely a horror that relies on the reader's revulsion over  Somewhere in the middle, the momentum of the plot starting lagging. From that point on, it was a rush to the ending, curt and to the point, without a lot of explanation. This is one of those novels that is either going to leave you checking the sheets before getting in the bed or leave you apathetic but one thing is for certain, some of these scenes will continue to play in your head long after you've closed the book.
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This has to be one of the weirdest (if not the weirdest) books I've read in 2021... but I'm not complaining! The Children God Forgot follows a set of disturbing incidents of mysterious pregnancies and disappearances.

I'm not going to lie, this book took me a little bit until I was fully "into it". But I think the changing perspectives really keeps the pace moving, and some of the body horror made me cringe while reading it. The horror itself was great, the last time I've revisited the sewer setting in a horror novel was It by Stephen King, and these ones are just as creepy!

I definitely wouldn't say this is a book for everyone, but it will really appeal to the certain few who ready to read something all out bloody and suspenseful.
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This book was strange, odd, creepy, thrilling, and intriguing. Strange, creepy, and unexplainable supernatural thing are going on in this novel and it is enough to suck you in and keeping you flipping the pages to try to figure out what the heck is going on in this town. I loved the eerie, creepy vibes of this book. A good read that I recommend.
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Enjoyed this one. I felt like there was something missing though, something I needed to love it. Well thought out plot and easy to read.
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Horror is a curious thing. Horror is not really gore, at least not for me. Horror is the slow build of the uncanny, changing into pure dread. Real horror starts psychologically. Then pour over some gore, and everything's on fire (in a good way).

Women are becoming pregnant without having had any sex, and their foetuses are extremely malformed. What follows is a story about abortions that have somehow survived, and are living in London's sewers.

I'm a Masterton novice, really - I read his infamous 80s novel Ritual (a.k.a. Feast) a couple of months ago, but I can see the same structure in this, his newest novel. A lot of visceral gore, which a lot of readers seem to be shocked by, and it just doesn't have that effect on me. It makes me wince, at best, but it doesn't translate into horror or dread.

I need the slow pulse of building dread, and it just isn't here. Masterton sprinkles his story with violent encounters, but they never build, they just become very repetitious. No real new information or experience is added.

Whether the book is pro-choice or against abortions, is not an easy question to answer. On the one hand you have aborted foetuses presented as monsters, on the other hand the force that tries to control these children is pretty horrific, what does that say about pro-life..? Personally I think Masterton doesn't care one way or the other, and he isn't trying to make such a point with this book.

The characters are quite flat, bordering on the cartoonish. I've seen some readers saying the book is racist, sexist, misogynistic - I think this is part of the cartoonishness, it's all rather broad. The cockney character constantly uses cockney rhyming slang, so much that it becomes a bit ridiculous. When muslim characters are mentioned, there's a lot of focus on muslim men trying to control their wives and daughters. It wouldn't say it's outright racist or sexist, but there is some friction there.

All of that said, the book really fails in its ending - the ending is not only rushed, which it is, there isn't really an ending. The book just sort of.. stops. It's one of the biggest anticlimaxes I've read in a long time.

There's some schlocky fun to be had here (and I use schlocky in a positive context), but the ending ruins everything.
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I really wanted to love this book, however it was very problematic from the get go, between racism, misogny, and not great writing, I just couldn't keep on reading to wait for the horror to arrive. Major pass.
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This is a tough one. There are some wildly imaginative and risk-taking elements here, but it's hard to say I'd recommend this book to many people. There's a lot going on in this book, including some pretty gnarly body horror, and while I appreciated the ambition, I think this one's just for the die hard horror reader.
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Oh god this was such a creepy and scary book! Seriously now I read a lot of books and this was just nuts....! Loved it, cant say too much as it’s not out yet but honestly if you want a fright fest then get the book!!!!!
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I really enjoyed the plot and story ARC. This is one of those can't-put-it-down books that are quick,  satisfying reads. It was well written, creepy, and suspenseful. What's not to like?  The only issue for me was the ending because it was rushed and could have been developed to heighten the last suspense and imagery. The characters were well-developed and I got a sense of their personalities as the story evolved. 

Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for providing a copy of this book to read and review. The opinions expressed here are my own honest opinions written voluntarily.
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I have to admit that I am a bit conflicted about this book. I really enjoyed the storyline and the idea of a horror series. On the other hand, I found something that lessened my enjoyment and made me a bit uncomfortable. I found some of the dialogue a bit racist and sexist towards minorities and to women in general. I am sure it was not intended to come across that way but it definitely did to me.
The story itself is interesting and original. I do like the idea of a horror series that continues with the same investigators.
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My thanks to Head of Zeus, Graham.Masterton and Netgalley.
It was nice to see my two favorite coppers back. 
And, yes! That's it. That's the only nice thing I can say about this crapfest.
Just a wee bit too political for me, and really kind of racist. I can usually take things in stride, but racist anti abortionists will always send me of the deep end.
I'm finally done with this author. I would love to re-read all my faves from him, but I'm afraid of what I might find!
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Weird things I researched whilst reading this book:
1. Fatbergs
2. The Bhopal disaster
3. Foetus viability legislation
4. Folie a Deux (shared psychosis)

Any book that has me so intrigued that I end up down a YouTube rabbit hole at 2am (several times) is gonna be highly rated. The Children God Forgot grabbed me from page 1 and took me on one wild ride! Across London several women unexpectedly become pregnant and the scans show that the foetuses are severely deformed, there are weird, violent attacks and deaths occuring in the sewers below the city, there are sightings of strange deformed children glowing green, and 2 police detectives trying to figure out what the hell is going on. Seriously, the amount of times I muttered WTF whilst reading this book was insane. It was gruesome, messed up and creepy....... basically, just what I wanted ha ha ha...  It takes a lot to freak me out but there were scenes in this that had me terrified. In fact, there's one scene that will be forever burned onto my memory and just the brief thought of it sends shivers down my spine and makes me gag! Damn my ability to visualize books like films! Bleurgh
And that dear readers, is why I'm giving this book 5 stars. I loved the plot, I loved the characters, I loved the gore, and I loved that it made me feel things (even if they were terrible things ha ha ha...)
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for a copy of this book in return for an honest opinion.
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I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I am a fan of Graham Masterton since reading his Katie Maguire series, and this book did not disappoint. This book was creepy and dark. I love the different perspectives, it made the book move fast. I love a good horror book and this was perfect for a cold night in.

Would definitely recommend to horror fans, especially supernatural horror fans.
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A woman is driving when she has a car accident.  She has terrible pain in her stomach.  When she wakes up, she finds out she had a baby.  A monster baby as it is very malformed.  What does it look like?  The doctors agree that the baby won’t live long.  The mother can’t believe. It as she knows there is no way she was or could be pregnant.  Engineer Gemma is in the sewers checking on a spot where it appears to be almost blocked.  When she goes down again with her boss and other engineers, she sees the lights turn green and ghost children.  The lights go out and her boss is taken away as they go back toward the opening.  Will her boss be found?  The police of Tooting  are called.  The police chief sends detectives Jerry Pardoe and Jamila Patel who have had experience with the supernatural.  Will they experience what Gemma did?  How will they solved this horrible mystery?

The novel is horror and a mystery.  It is so creepy that I can’t imagine what will happen next.  It’s riveting with the terror of seeing and not seeing.  It has the perfect amount of intrigue and suspense.  The book kept me enthralled to the vey end of it.
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This is going to be a short review why this became a DNF after reading one third of the book I found this book’s approach to race concerning and stereotyped plus the dialogue for a novel printed in 2020 feels around forty years out of date.

I was intrigued by the premise of women mysteriously giving birth to strange demonic monsters and something lurking in the sewers of London. What I found hugely unimpressive though was the treatment of women. A Nigerian woman about to give birth unexpectedly gets her name mangled up by the Doctor and it felt done more for humour than for highlighting racism. A homophobic slur is dropped in for a character vaping. Police officers are told someone is planning a secret arranged marriage for a daughter and don’t do anything. A police officer asks a witness was her ex good in bed.  This novel was published in 2021

I’m slightly stunned how poor this book is. It feels like re-heated leftovers from the 1980s the pace is also glacial and the dialogue clunky and I will not be reading this author again. Horror can be unpleasant and should be able to shock but this felt like it was enjoying it too much without taking any responsibility and a third of the way through I saw no evidence that this was being challenged - just because an author has a more diverse cast of characters doesn’t automatically mean it gets to ignore racism being an issue. 

Not recommended
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Classic Masterton horror story. Death in dark places namely the sewers, deformed and aborted foetuses brought back to life and implanted in unsuspecting women. What’s not to like about the book. It’s creepy, chilling and full of stomach churning descriptions of the children fill the book and keep you turning the pages. Brilliant and would make for a great movie
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I wasted two weeks of my life on this book. The most ridiculous story I've read in a long time.

Thank you Netgalley for my copy. All opinions are my own.
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