Dean Koontz’s The Forbidden Door-Jane Hawk 4

I received this book courtesy of Random House/Bantam for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Jane is in an even bigger mess than she feared. The Techno-Arcadians seem to have somehow weaseled out just who was taking care of Travis. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the boy has to be rather close as well. Jane’s fight to bring the Arcadians down is going to have to take a back seat for a little while. How exactly is she going to the to the most precious gift that she has left?

Story Telling: We have the fourth book in a technological horror series. With this one, it also leans towards a rescue story.

Dislikes: The Arcadians’ lack of empathy, common decency, or whatever you wish to call it, makes them people to never want at your back. It’s the height of arrogance to determine that those who have the slightest disability–mental or physical–somehow have lost the ability to live a full and satisfying life. Here’s the thing, God isn’t stepping aside for these morally disabled individuals.

There were a couple of chapters that were unsettling for me. Yes, this means that they were well written, but still, unsettling.

Likes: Cornell Jasperson was brave. Anyone who is willing to face his/her biggest fear, has to be considered such.

Bernie and Luther are back. These guys were fun the first time around.

Oh, the whole entire Texas side story was fun.

Favorite Character: This isn’t fair. There are just too many good people here. Let’s see…Luther?…no Bernie…no it’s the Longrin family…maybe Cornell? Like I said, way too many.

Favorite Quote: Random House/Bantam has asked that we not use any quotes until “The Forbidden Door” has been released.

Favorite Scene: It’s when Travis asked Cornell to read to him.

Conclusion: This was a terrific story. Now it’s time to wait for “The Night Window.” Enjoy the story.


Dean Koontz’s The Crooked Staircase-Jane Hawk 3

I received this book courtesy of Random House for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: Jane has been on her run, both from the Techno-Arcadians as well as her quest to bring the entire conspiracy to justice, for two months now. She has a new target of the conspiracy in her sights. It seems like her enemies have doubled down on their resources as well, all in order to bring her to heel. Will Jane manage to keep up her momentum? And is Travis as safe as she hopes?

Story Telling: We’re in the middle of Jane’s fight in this techno-thriller.

Dislikes: This book is one of the darkest that I’ve come across from Mr. Koontz in a while. Part of this is the fact that we’re in the middle of the Arcadian war. The rest of it involves the Shukla twins side story. That aspect seemed like it was added for the dark-factor, though it did bring up some aspects of the nanoweb enslavement.

Likes: Gavin and Jessica Washington work so hard to keep Travis safe.

Cornell is something else. He is willing to help his cousin, but the guy is definitely a loner.

Favorite Character: It’s Gavin and Jessica.

Favorite Scene: This time it would be the horseback ride that Gavin took Travis on.

Favorite Quote: I really couldn’t find one. That’s not very common in a Dean Koontz book.

Conclusion: This is a difficult book to get through, though it is necessary to read if you are interested in seeing Jane’s war to the end.

Dean Koontz’s The Whispering Room-Jane Hawk 2

I received this book courtesy of Random House/Bantam Books for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Overview: It’s been three days since the showdown at Bertold Shenneck’s Napa Valley ranch. Three days since Jane’s dear friend and mentor, Nathan, was killed out of mercy. Now Jane is looking for a way to put an end to David James Michael’s plans. But that one be easy. There’s no way of knowing who all are associated with his vision of a new world. And if Jane doesn’t wish to be a remote-controlled kamikaze bent on destruction, or, even worse, an Aspasia Girl, then she is going to have to keep both eyes open as well as a healthy sense of paranoia.

Story Telling: This is a technological thriller, though you could easily call it a technological horror story as well. It’s also the middle of–as of last count–a quadrilogy. So expect it to be slightly darker, but in the Dean Koontz method.

Dislikes: Booth Hendrickson, as well as all the other named Arcadians, needs a taste of his own medicine. Now, don’t take this to mean that I would rob him of his freewill. A little vial of colored sugar water, ice cold, would do the trick. Does that make me cold-blooded?

Likes: I’m not sure if you would call Jane’s fortune luck, or more like Providence. It was great to see so many good people in this book. As well, Mr. Koontz kept this story contained to the book. There is still enough of a conspiracy to fill two more books.

Favorite Character: Now this is a hard call. There’s Luther Tillman, a sheriff that wasn’t born yesterday. Ancel and Clare Hawk, Nadine and Leland Sacket, a couple who seeks to give all children the best chance they can get. Grandpa, and eighty-year-old with a great attitude. And of course, there’s Porter Walkins. Let’s not forget Gavin and Jessica Washington. So, who to pick? Who to pick? It’s got to be Luther. Don’t expect him to just take you at your word.

Favorite Quote: As Random House/Bantam Books requests that all quotes are to be compared to a release day copy of “The Whispering Room” and there’s a good chance that I’ll forget to return to this review, there isn’t one this time around.

Favorite Scene: Oh. Travis has his pony. He’s just a cute little cowboy. Grandpa was fun to travel with. And then there was Nadine’s meeting with Jolie.

Conclusion: This was a fun read. Let’s hope that Jane can find a way to defeat the Arcadians. Remember that the middle books of trilogies and quadrilogies tend to be similar to the middle of a regular novel. That’ll be where a lot of the struggle and conflict, the worries of failure will show up. Enjoy this one.

Dean Koontz’s Deeply Odd–Odd Thomas 6

Overview: Odd just needs some new clothes. Is that really too much to ask? Well someone, who wishes to supplant Glenn Campbell as the rhinestone cowboy, seems to think so. He has a nasty surprise. It’s a surprise that involves fire, but no birthday cake. Good thing that Annamaria is okay with Odd not coming back to the cottage for quite a while.

Story Telling: The Odd Thomas series is written in the style of memoirs, but there is also quite a bit of paranormal activity involved as well. Please don’t think that I’m referring to the movie, as I have never seen the Paranormal Activity series.

Dislikes: The would-be cowboy deserved a whole lot worse. With the crime being so unthinkable, I might be a little bit biased.

Likes: Mrs. Fischer was a fun little woman. She held more than enough courage to do what had to be done. Yet she always had a ready smile for those around her.

I’m pretty sure that I know what Annamaria is. Word of warning: whenever Mr. Koontz has the afterlife referenced in his books, he also includes a heavily religious theme. And the Odd Thomas series has more than just referenced the afterlife. By this book, you really ought to expect that from Mr. Koontz.

Favorite Character: It’s Edie Fischer.

Favorite Quote: There are two of them this time. Here’s one for the activists out there today: “The world howls for social justice, but when it comes to social responsibility, you sometimes can’t even hear crickets chirruping.”

This probably would never fit a motivational calendar, but it’s important advice. “The thing to understand is that you have to do what you have to do, always and without complaint.”

Favorite Scene: Once again, there are two. One was the house that Odd and Mrs. Fischer took the survivors.

And the other was the discussion that Odd held with the Kens concerning the Baptist preacher and his wife conceal carrying. There was no self-awareness with those two.

Conclusion: This was a decent story. Though, I suspect that it would have been more enjoyable if I had read books four and five. And no, you cannot talk too much about “The Lord of the Rings,” unless you’re talking about the…movies.

Dean Koontz’s The Silent Corner-Jane Hawk 1

Overview: Going off-grid isn’t as easy as anyone might think. Most of the newest technology, if not all of it, is easily tracked. You have to be dedicated to shunning it. Jane Hawk has that dedication. She has to. Two months ago, her happy, optimistic husband, Nick, committed suicide in their bathroom. The thing is, his note was weird to those who read it. And like any good investigator working in law enforcement, Jane digs into it. Maybe ‘They’ shouldn’t have threatened her.

Story Telling: We have a ‘dark government’ type of thriller this time. Too bad it’s the beginning of a series.

Dislikes: The ‘They’ in this book needs a clear cut case of karma. No member of humankind deserves, is owed, or has the right to play ‘god.’ I don’t always like the results of God’s ordering of the world, but at least we actually have choices.

Likes: Jane has a drive to stop evil that is very much admirable. As well, she was able to find friends in the most unlikely of places.

Nathan Silverman seemed to have a strong sense of right and wrong. That and his drive for justice, made him a great man.

Favorite Character: Now this is a toss-up between Nathan and Dougal. Nathan was willing to give a friend the benefit of the doubt. And Dougal has yet to find a good cause that he doesn’t like.

Favorite Quote: Here’s one for those who wish to twist Scripture as a reason to hate the rich. “Wealth had not corrupted him. What he’d chosen to do with his wealth corrupted him.”

Favorite Scene: It’s the time that Jane spent with Travis. The little guy wasn’t sure of what he wanted more, riding or Mommy.

Conclusion: Keep in mind that this is the beginning of a series. So, it will be a slow start. If you can get by that, it’s a great book.

Dean Koontz’s Winter Moon

Overview: Jack and Heather McGarvey have had a very interesting year. But it’s beginning to look up.. The father to one of Jack’s closest friends and former partner has left them a major windfall. Say goodbye to the violence of the city life. No more hour-long commutes to the closest store. Hello snow, quietness, good clean mountain air. What could possibly go wrong? Um, should we tell them that they are in a Dean Koontz book?

Story Telling: Mr. Koontz has a few different storylines. This one is a monster book.

Dislikes: This is kind of hard to explain. Perhaps, it’s because I’ve started with Mr. Koontz’s later books, but this one seemed to be missing something. Even the ending left something to be desired.

Likes: Eduardo was a neat old man. He may have preferred the more, down-to-earth stories, but he was willing to shift his thinking to fit the facts as presented.

Eagle’s Roost seems like a nice place to live, if the snow wasn’t such a threat.

Favorite Character: Harlan Moffit. I can’t tell you much about him, but this is the guy who is good for a party.

Favorite Quote: This one is pretty strong, you might want to read the whole thing in context. “Luther saw it coming years ago. Said politicians were tearing down a thousand years of civilization brick by brick but weren’t building anything to replace it.”

Favorite Scene: It would be when Toby got his dog. As well as when Paul was playing word games with Toby.

Conclusion: There is a lot of hope in this book, but it isn’t one of Mr. Koontz’s best. If you don’t mind a little uncertainty, give this one a shot.

Dean Koontz’s The Servants of Twilight

Overview: Single mother Christine Scavello has had a bit of luck after years of an oppressed childhood. Unfortunately, nothing in her life has prepared her for this. Her son, Joey, for all of his sweetness, has run afoul of an old woman. There’s something about her that seems unnatural. She seems to have latched onto the idea that Joey must die. Who can Christine turn to in order to save her son?

Story Telling: This is a supernatural thriller. And please, don’t start thinking werewolves and vampires. I have yet to see Mr. Koontz write about those.

Dislikes: Mother Grace may have claimed to be working for God, but–truly–you only have to look at her fruit. Outside of putting an entire city ‘under the ban,’ has God ever demanded the death of a child?

Also I expected little more from the ending. This disconnect could be because this book was one of Mr. Koontz’s earlier novels.

Likes: Charlie was very determined to do the right thing by Christine and Joey.

Denton Boothe was the biggest help Charlie or Christine could have had.

Favorite Character: It would be either Denton Boothe or Kyle Barlowe.

Favorite Quote: Here’s something you might want to remember. “The thought is father to the deed, right?”

Favorite Scene: It would be when Henry and Charlie went to see Denton Boothe.

Conclusion: Like I said earlier, the ending is where I felt disappointment in the story. Other than that, we had quite the interesting ride.

Dean Koontz’s The Dead Town-Frankenstein 5

Overview: It’s finally time for the final showdown between the creation and his cruel creator, by proxy so to speak. Victor Immaculate thinks that his plans, for the annihilation of the world, are coming into fruition. The residents of Rainbow Falls and Deucalion’s team have a few arguments against that plan. Who will win the fight for life itself?

Story Telling: Once again, we step into the world of the mad-scientist. I wonder who inspired this vision.

Likes: You have to give the regular people in this book credit. Their situations weren’t the most hopeful, but they didn’t roll over and give up. They resisted to the best of their abilities, even if a few of them needed some external influence to do so.

Xerox-Bozeman was sad, yet in a way, hopeful. I saw him as proof, at least in Mr. Koontz’s world, that God can reach anyone.

And of course, Jocko is back, along with Erika.

Dislikes: You know, if Victor’s clone wasn’t actually trying to destroy humanity, I’d have found his arrogance hilarious. Oh, he’s so perfect, therefore his creations are perfect. Maybe he should ask God His opinion on that one.

And the ‘Builders’ are just gross.

Favorite Character: This might be a list. There was the Riders in the Sky congregation, Rudy, Sammy, Sully, Grace, Bryce, um…maybe I should wrap this up, Jocko and Erika.

Favorite Quote: We have two this time around. First off we get Mr. Koontz’s view on Hollywood’s view on the middle-class. “ It was the kind of modest, but well-detailed house that, back in the day, Hollywood routinely portrayed as the home of any reputable middle-class family like Andy Hardy and his dad the judge, before moviemakers decided that the middle-class was nothing but a dangerous conspiracy of dim-witted, grasping, bigoted know-nothings whose residences in films should reveal their stupidity, ignorance, boring conformity, greed, racism, fundamental festering evil.”

And now we see the people themselves. ““Most of them are not that way,” the giant says. “But among them are enough like you, Victor, to lead them astray again and again, to be their conniving politicians and their self-sickened intellectuals, their self-satisfied elites who seduce them away from their better natures. There is a serpent in the world, and having signed a pledge with it, you spent your life–your lives–spreading its venom.””

Favorite Scene: I loved the code name that the Riders gave Deucalion. It was perfect. And Victor’s punishment fit his crimes. Oh! The way that Carson and Michael met the Riders was fun.

Conclusion: This is a great story. Unfortunately, it is now over. The only people who might have a problem with this series, are those who have a problem with God showing up in books, but if that’s a pet-peeve of yours, then why are you reading a Dean Koontz novel anyway.

Dean Koontz’s Lost Souls-Frankenstein 4

Overview: And it only gets better. Erika Swedenborg, formerly Erika Five, has just had the shock of her life. She just saw a dead man walking. Victor Frankenstein died in New Orleans, Louisiana, so how is he still walking around in Rainbow Falls, Montana? And why? One thing is for certain. It’s time to call in the re-enforcements. Luckily for all involved, er most of time anyway, Deucalion has also started having suspicions that Victor has returned. Will killing him twice end his reign of terror? Or is this Victor Frankenstein worse than the original?

Story Telling: Once again, we’ve gotten a science-fiction tale, complete with robots this time.

Likes: Oh, how cute. Erika got flirted with. Even cuter? She’s not even aware of it.

Jocko has become the world’s greatest hacker. I call it cheating. He uses all four limbs.

Carson needs help. Her mommy instincts are getting in the way of her nerve. It was kind of cute when she used her instincts to get information out of the editor.

Dislikes: I just thought that the original Victor Frankenstein was egotistical. I was wrong. His clone is much worse. But, you have to give him credit. He is dedicated enough to soprano-ize himself. Poor deluded idiot.

The Builders are gross. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

Oh, I had a problem with how Carson and Michael dealt with Chrissy. I don’t know how to handle that situation, but there had to be a better way than lying.

Nummy’s Grandmama didn’t do him any favors. Yes, according to the world, Nummy was incapable of thinking clearly, but that doesn’t make him stupid. Everyone can learn. Nummy can have some responsibility. It’s my belief, I guess. Everyone is a genius in his or her field, and an idiot in another’s field.

Favorite Character: So many of the townspeople had good hearts. Also Erika has proven herself to be a good mother.

Favorite Quote: Deucalion would make a wonderful mystic. ““Like life everywhere,” Deucalion replied. “Meaningful from top to bottom, but mysterious in every direction.””

Favorite Scene: This one is a little tricky. Mainly because there were two…chapters. And you get the best effect by reading the whole chapter.

The first one was when Erika returns home with the Jim James Bakery cinnamon rolls. To put it mildly, it’s Jocko’s antics that make the chapter.

The second is when the Builders tried to crash The Riders in the Sky Church Social. Tried being the operative word. That’s all you’re getting. Just remember, this is small town Montana. The only thing worse for the Builders would have been small town Texas.

Conclusion: This one kind of ended on a cliffhanger. But I liked it. Come on book five.

Dean Koontz’s Dead and Alive-Frankenstein 3

Overview: A storm is threatening New Orleans, and it’s not the one being brewed by Mother Nature. Well, she does help. Victor Helios doesn’t seem to see that his creations are inherently flawed. Deucalion and his all too human partners, Carson and Michael, are determined to put an end to the madman once and for all.

Story Telling: You cannot have a book about a mad scientist without it being a science-fiction novel. Yes, there’s a lot of action, but Victor makes it science-fiction.

Likes: Erika Five and Jocko were great. Victor may have hated love, but both of them were able to prove Jesus’ point of the greatest love of all.

Michael and Carson still have a fun relationship.

There are some nifty surprises in Victor’s landfill.

Dislikes: There for a bit, I was sure that Victor was going to drown when the hurricane hit. He is so full of himself, that he forgot one key of creation. The created cannot be more than the creator. It just doesn’t happen that way.

Some of Bucky and Janet’s scenes seemed to be too much for my tastes.

Favorite Character: Other than Deucalion, it would be Jocko and Erika.

Favorite Quote: We have two, again. First, from Erika Five: “And if the universe was not, as Victor said, a meaningless chaos, if it were possible for anything to be sacred, surely humble items, worn by martyred innocents, were hallowed and might provide her friend not only with a disguise but also with protection of a higher kind.”

And the second from Jocko: “Jocko could know what it’s like to have a mother. And you could know what it’s like to be one. It would be a little family, but still a family.

Favorite Scene: It was perfect when Erika and Jocko were surrounded by the lightning.

Conclusion: This was a terrific story. You can’t say that he middle book of the series fell flat. Onto the fourth book.