Dean Koontz

Dean Koontz- from 1997-1999 I read nothing but Dean Koontz books.  I don’t know how many of them I read but I think it had to be well over 30.  I actually have a large collection of books by Koontz published before the year 2000. However, I had the misfortune of reading “Watchers” first and since then I have been searching for a book that is as good as “Watchers”.  “Watchers” is a fantastic novel about supper intelligent Golden Retriever and a terrifying creature, who both escaped from a secret government lab. This book is one of my favorites, I read this cover to cover in two days and wished I could read more.  After “Watchers” , I could not find any other books by Koontz that would keep me so captivated  ( with “Hideaway” being a close second).
After two years of reading Koontz, I did not pick up any of his books until late 2011, when I met a fellow reader in a local library. The man was renting several books by Koontz, and I said to him that I read many of his books, but after while I have lost interest. All his books seem to be similar and I could not distinguish one from the other. The man agreed with me, but said that I should read the Frankenstein series by Dean Koontz. He said they were different and that I should give them a try,  so I did. This is a four book series that is truly great. I always knew that Koontz was a very talented writer but as I said earlier, after reading so many of his books,  it  got boring reading the same stories over and over. The Frankenstein books are different. Koontz created that horrifying character and named him Frankenstein , so my natural reaction should be fear or maybe even hate, but from the first moment I felt drawn to him, I felt sorry for him, liked him and was hoping he would survive his struggles. I think the partial intention of the author was to convey a message that Frankenstein was a life, and had the right to his life and freedom. He was created, not born but this wasn’t his choice, he was a living creature with the same rights we all have ( I have seen Frankenstein performed by London Theater and if anyone would be interested in a very different take on the old story we know check this site: http://ntlive.nationaltheatre.org.uk/productions/16546-frankenstein ). Koontz did a great job writing this series, it was fast action, and the books were connected, the characters had strong outlines on who they were, and above it all, event though this is science fiction , it felt to me somewhat real and very engaging.
After reading Frankenstein , I had my interests in Koontz renewed, so I reach out for another series by the author, the Odd Thomas books. Odd Thomas is a short order cook with the ability to see dead people, but is limited in the way of communicating with them. He also can see shadowy figures that are signs of danger before the actual events would occur.
Odd Thomas books are fun to read, the main character is a simple cook ( his own words), but has a good heart and is driven to make good deeds, that include preventing major catastrophic events but also helping “the lost souls” that are trapped on earth without moving on ( where I am not sure, I guess heaven).
Odd is a funny character, he has a simple way of approaching life , he is not concerned about materialistic issues ( his goal is to be a tire salesman) , and would like nothing more than to spend time with his friends and helping others. However, faith has different plans for him. Koontz takes us thru all kinds of adventures and Odd Thomas must fight not only the living but also the dead ones.
I did not read all Odd Thomas books, but I am planning to read the Saint Odd soon and I will write about it on my website.

The City  was pretty good book and kept me interested to the end. Jonah Kirk a super talented musician is recalling his childhood. When he was a 9 yr. old African American boy living in late 60s with his beautiful and talented mother, without his father but surrounded by his loving grandparents and friends. Jonah gets involved in the world of domestic terrorism and crime. Of course we are talking about Dean Koontz, so the book has a supernatural twist, when Jonah is visited by Miss. Pearl who calls herself The City. I am not sure who is she supposed to be?  Was she some kind of reflection of the actual City with mysterious handbag where you could see into the future?  Weird, even for Koontz. Also, I am a father of 9 yr old child , and I felt like Koontz was trying to create normal fourth grader ( with supper musical talent), so sometimes I would get irritated with the author when Jonah was acting way too much old for a 9 yr. old kid, especially with the language and vocabulary he had. I know he is supposed to be a special child but, for example listening to his conversations with his Japanese neighbor made me laugh, it was just way above 9yr old kids ability. I liked the ending, it was emotional and little unexpected. Overall OK book by Koontz but not even close to his “masterpiece” Watchers.
Overall Dean Koontz is not for everyone. I have friends who I have recommended his books to and they hate it, but if you like science fiction, with a touch of reality, suspense, good humor, fast action and dogs (yes dogs read his books and you know why), you should give Koontz a chance – millions of other did.

Acknowledged as “America’s most popular suspense novelist” (Rolling Stone) and as one of today’s most celebrated and successful writers, Dean Ray Koontz has earned the devotion of millions of readers around the world and the praise of critics everywhere for tales of character, mystery, and adventure that strike to the core of what it means to be human.

I have read many books by Dean Koontz , some of them were excellent and some were not very good. “Ashely Bell” is in the latter category. It started very strong, Bibi Blair a young inspiring writer is stricken with a nasty cancer, she is determine to beat it ( against all odds), her family and friends are in shock – I got hooked. Unfortunately , Koontz reverted back to some of his “old tricks”. Long, boring monologs, descriptions of events that barely connected to the story, pages of “thinking a loud”.  I think 50 pages shorter would of worked nice. The concept was good and intriguing but the big twist in the middle ( I don’t want to spoil the book) was not very exciting. From that moment, the novel becomes juvenile.  Dean Koontz has really written some really great horror / thrillers but he missed this one badly. The ending was the worst, I started to skip pages to get to the end and was a truly relief then I was done.

 

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