Tag Archives: dean koontz

The Darkest Evening of the Year by Dean Koontz

The Darkest Evening of the Year by Dean Koontz: Koontz books are many things – exciting, amusing, preachy, absurd, creepy, fun – but never boring. This book, alas, is boring. The Koontz staples are there – magical dogs, blameless Catholics, bad people with no motive other than being Pure Evil – but they’re all just a bit too yawn-worthy in this story. The baddies spend too much of their time demonstrating how bad they are, from killing strangers for sport to abusing a child with Down’s Syndrome, and very little time having distinguishable personalities. The only time I felt any emotional connection to the story whatsoever was when a dog died, but I always cry when animals die, so that’s not saying much. I’m starting to think Mr. Koontz and I need to break up. Or maybe I should just stick with his older stuff.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

The Taking by Dean Koontz

The Taking by Dean Koontz: Um, wow. This was really terrible. I have no idea why I finished it. Basically, there’s a bunch of sparkling rain and people start seeing weird stuff in mirrors, and everybody immediately assumes that it signals an alien invasion. They’re right, which saves a bunch of time, but I’m still not sure how they knew. The prose is a solid shade of purple, people suspiciously quote T.S. Eliot, and dolls get possessed. And because this is a Koontz novel, there are magical dogs, questionable science, preachy theology, and a serial killer. I saw the “twist” ending a mile away, but thought “No, that would be too silly, even for Koontz” – and was of course completely wrong. Clearly nothing is too silly for Koontz. I’ve liked several of his other books, but this was simply awful.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

In Odd We Trust by Dean Koontz and Queenie Chan

In Odd We Trust by Dean Koontz and Queenie Chan: I’ve read the first three Odd Thomas novels. I really enjoyed the first one (Odd’s a pretty nifty character) but the second two, not so much. So when I heard the new graphic novel was actually a prequel to the first book, I got interested. And you know, it was pretty okay. The art wasn’t stellar but it was actually pretty fantastic to actually get to see Pico Mundo, Stormy, and the rest. And since it was just pictures and dialogue, most of Koontz’s purple prose was left out, making it a much tighter story. If other Odd Thomas comics come out I’ll probably look them up.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

Seize the Night by Dean Koontz

Seize the Night by Dean Koontz: This is the second Chris Snow book, after Fear Nothing, and the character has finally found his own voice. One of my complaints in the previous novel was Chris’s lack of a personality: he acted differently depending on who he was talking to. This time, however, he’s far more consistent, as are the other characters. Unfortunately, the plot surrounding him is far weaker. Koontz can’t decide what to use as the Big Bad, so he throws in a little bit of everything: sociopathic serial killer, genetic engineering, time travel, evil government/military types, etc. It gets a little silly after a while. Chris’s XP (a genetic disorder which means he can’t handle UV light) is almost forgotten for most of the story, which is a little strange considering how many times there are talks about fluorescent lights blinking on and, more importantly, the infrared goggles. Perhaps Koontz doesn’t know this, but IR goggles require a digital screen, meaning that Chris basically put a small computer monitor against his eyeballs which are supposedly so sensitive he can’t sit too close to a television. But oh well, that’s certainly the least of the inconsistencies in these books. Chris Snow is a great character, as are his buddies (Sasha, Bobby, Roosevelt, Doogie, Orson); I just wish they’d been given a better plot to play in.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

Fear Nothing by Dean Koontz

Fear Nothing by Dean Koontz: Chris Snow has a genetic disorder which causes UV light to inflict permanent and cumulative damage. Thus his life is necessarily lived between dusk and dawn. Soon after his father dies from cancer, Chris starts running into a bunch of weirdness and people not telling him things. There’s a lot of vague talk of the end of the world, of people “becoming,” and not a whole lot of straight answers. Chris spends his time running from suspicious-acting friend to suspicious-acting friend to find out The Truth. I remember really liking this book when I first read it a few years ago, but this time I felt more lukewarm. Chris didn’t have a whole lot of personality, flipping from surf bum to intellectual to philosopher, depending on who he was talking to. This would be a good book for someone new to bio-thrillers. As for me, well, it was a decent way to spend the commute, but I won’t be reading it again.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

Brother Odd by Dean Koontz

Brother Odd by Dean Koontz: The third of the books about Odd Thomas, a man who sees the lingering dead, witnesses demon-like creatures that thrive on violence, and can find anyone via “psychic magnetism.” Here, Odd is on sabbatical at a local monastery, figuring there shouldn’t be much death or violence in the area. Of course he’s wrong, or we wouldn’t have a story. But he’s wrong in a terribly contrived and unconvincing way. I guess I probably should have stuck with the first book and not bothered with the others, but Koontz does occasionally churn out a real gem (like, for instance, the first Odd Thomas book) and hope springs eternal. But the characters were flimsy, not to mention the preachy theology mixed with the obnoxiously earnest pseudoscience really got on my nerves. The whole thing felt really forced.

I know I shouldn’t get irritated with an author for using quack science to further the plot of a novel that already starts with a pretty outrageous premise, but it still annoys me because so many people think it’s true. Say it with me now: human will does not alter reality, even on a subatomic scale. Sure, it makes for an easy out in fiction, but I’d much rather people gave it up entirely.

All in all, I think I’ll skip any further Odd Thomas books, as there are sure to be more, unless someone recommends it highly. I’m tired of being disappointed.

From the Corner of His Eye by Dean Koontz

From the Corner of His Eye by Dean Koontz: First and foremost, this was a refreshing change from your Standard Koontz Novel (that is, one long chase scene as the main character desperately tries to figure out what’s going on). The story revolves around three groups of people: Agnes, her amazing son Barty, and her two eccentric brothers; Celestina and the charming child Angel; and the psychotic Junior and his pursuer, Detective Vinadium. The connection between all the characters is not clear at first, but everything does get tied up in the end. Some of the pseudoscience was a touch painful, and the last couple chapters felt really rushed and more than a little bit contrived, but all in all I liked it. The characters were delightful. It’s these sorts of books that keep me coming back to Koontz time after time. I just wish he was a bit more consistent in quality.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

Ticktock by Dean Koontz

Your typical Dean Koontz story: Ordinary Man finds ordinary life turned upside down out of nowhere by Pure Evil, in an event that is usually inexplicable and/or random. Most of book involves Ordinary Man being chased by Pure Evil. Along the way he finds or confirms his True Love. In the end, Pure Evil is destroyed, Ordinary Man is (re)united with his True Love, and everything ends happily.

In Ticktock, Vietnamese-American Tommy Phan discovers a strange ragdoll on his doorstep which turns into a demon trying to kill him. Most of the book is spent on Tommy and his newfound love Del fleeing from said demon. Del is extremely mysterious in what I suppose was meant to be an amusing way, but I thought she was really obnoxious, and I couldn’t figure out what Tommy saw in her. On the other hand, I loved Tommy’s mother.

Yes, the story is a tad silly (Del’s secrets, when finally revealed, are even sillier), but it’s Koontz. If you like Koontz, you’ll like this one. It’s a fun, light read.

The Good Guy by Dean Koontz

The Good Guy by Dean Koontz: It’s a good thing I don’t expect more from Koontz than one long chase scene with all the loose ends rather sloppily tied up at the end. It’s not all bad, of course. The dialogue had some funny bits and the miscommunication that starts off the book was cleverly done. Unfortunately, the villain wasn’t especially convincing and the ending seemed thrown together at the last minute. In short, this was a nice diversion while recovering from surgery but I’m glad I didn’t spend any money on it.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

The Husband by Dean Koontz

The Husband by Dean Koontz: I have remarkably little to say about this one. As it says on the cover, this is about a gardener who gets a phonecall from his wife’s kidnappers, demanding two million dollars in sixty hours. It’s got a lot of good suspense, though the ending is so tidy as to be unbelievable. I like Koontz, but I’m glad I only paid a dollar for this one.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

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