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Darkness Under the Sun (Novella): A Tale of Suspense [Kindle Edition]

Dean Koontz
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: CDN$ 1.99 includes free international wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
Sold by: Random House Canada, Incorp.
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Product Description

Product Description

The chilling account of a pivotal encounter between innocence and ultimate malice, Darkness Under the Sun is the perfect read for Halloween—or for any haunted night—and reveals a secret, fateful turning point in the career of Alton Turner Blackwood, the killer at the dark heart of What the Night Knows, the forthcoming novel by #1 New York Times bestselling author Dean Koontz.
There once was a killer who knew the night, its secrets and rhythms. How to hide within its shadows. When to hunt.
         He roamed from town to town, city to city, choosing his prey for their beauty and innocence. His cruelties were infinite, his humanity long since forfeit. But still . . . he had not yet discovered how to make his special mark among monsters, how to come fully alive as Death.
         This is the story of how he learned those things, and of what we might do to ensure that he does not visit us. 

About the Author

The books of Dean Koontz are published in 38 languages, and worldwide sales top 400 million copies. Eleven of his novels have risen to number one on the New York Times hardcover bestseller list, and several have been adapted into feature films and TV miniseries. Dean and Gerda Koontz live in southern California with their golden retriever, Anna, grand-niece of the famous and beloved Trixie.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2739 KB
  • Print Length: 62 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (Oct. 25 2010)
  • Sold by: Random House Canada, Incorp.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0042JSMS2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #83,291 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
3.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Kept me going Jan. 31 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Call it a short story, a novella or a teaser, it is good. Koontz did a good job putting the characters, plot, and setting together. I read it for free, which is one thing that is good about kindle and the ebook trend at the moment. So much is for free. Like the Usurper and Other stories, the dialogue is smooth flowing and the narrative comes out strong. The pace reminds me of another I read last week. Flash of the Sun, that is. Koontz's other novels are my future buys. He is a great storyteller.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Goodish when free Dec 28 2013
By Bob
Format:Kindle Edition
Not my type of book I am afraid, however it is well written and descriptive with Howie the centre to the story and Blackwood the evil character being very believable. For a short story it is OK but covers so much time span that there is little detail of the later events. I believe, but could be wrong, that it is a summary or teaser of a forthcoming book by Dean Koontz and as such should have remained as a free download.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars Sept. 28 2014
By davey
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Ok but too short and not like the Koontz I know...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars  470 reviews
338 of 348 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Back to Form? Nov. 13 2010
By Bruboy1969 - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
During the 80's and early 90's, Dean Koontz was one of my favorite authors. I loved the twists in the original plots, the violence with a purpose, and the characters that just crawled in to your psyche and took up residence. I even named one of my sons after the sheriff in Intensity (Ethan!). Then something changed. He started to write in this self-amusing sing-song prose that he obviously thought was clever and that I found annoying. Annoyed so much so that I stopped reading him PERIOD. I would still glance at the releases, read the reviews, and, being unimpressed by the write up or the subjects (Frankenstein, Really?), I would move on without another thought of reading another Koontz book yet again.

But that all changed recently. I saw this intriguing little novella for my kindle, and after reading the sample, quickly bought the rest of the story. I do mean that I BOUGHT it. Everything, hook, line, and sinker. Trust me, this is the best Koontz in 15 years. I so much enjoyed it, I pre-ordered the new novel based just on this prequel! That is how impressive this story is. I won't ruin it by hashing out the plot and the characters, even as deliciously evil as it is and they are, but I will tell you that you will not be disappointed. Also, I read in a recent interview with Koontz that his villain came to him in a dream, and was so terrifying that he had to write it down and use him in these tales. Talk about inspiration...Fantastic! So will this story have me digging thru the back catalogue and picking up some of those for a second chance? No, but I can see a time again when I will eagerly await the new novel from Dean Koontz and the possibilities it holds.
129 of 137 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Genuinely Eerie Oct. 25 2010
By Michelle R - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
"Darkness Under The Sun" is a novella which can stand alone, but is related to an upcoming Koontz novel, "What The Night Knows." Included is the first chapter of the novel -- and I'll comment on that as well.

I selected this because I like Koontz. Some novels I like more than others, but I'm a fan. I also think he seems like a great guy in real life, and we both have an affinity for dogs, so I'll always lean toward buying his stuff. The other reason I selected this, about as important as the first, is I love novellas and short stories -- particularly ones with horror or suspense - and I cannot get enough. So, an author I like publishing the type of read I enjoy the most.

What has interested me about Koontz in recent years is the combination of something that's always been a part of his writing and the newer choice to become a little edgier. I think of Koontz as an optimistic writer. His characters, no matter what tragedy befalls them, tend to be hopeful. His protagonists are easy to root for because they believe in common decency and are simply good. That's something that's always been there and hasn't left, but Koontz seems to be willing to allow bad things to happen in a way he didn't used to. Bad things always happened to good people, yes, but there always seemed to be a safety net and, if needed, a full on deus ex machina. (Characters would be saved in ways that seemed a little bit like cheats, but you'd like them so much that you were just glad!) A handful of years ago he didn't save a character and I had to respect that and I think his writing needed that in order to be suspenseful -- the reader's belief that thinks could really do very wrong.

As to this novella, I think he met that burden he set for himself in making it tie into an upcoming book. That burden I believe is to make it stand on its own, have it be completely satisfying in its own right, instead of a gimmick to make more money and sell the book. If it had just been a cheap (in quality) and costly (in amount charged) excuse, it would have been inappropriate.

Instead, this is a pretty creepy tale. The narrator is a young boy who has suffered a lot and is about to come face to face with evil in the form of a charming psychopath. It was so easy to care about this child, Howie, to fear for him, to shiver as we pick up on the things this Bad Man says that he is unable to hear yet with adult ears. Howie is a Koontz protagonist in the sense mentioned above and that innate goodness and his loneliness and feeling that he -- like Alton, the bad guy -- is an outsider is what puts him (and others) in danger and is what perhaps will save him too. I think there was also a nice theme of what makes someone a hero and how it can be present even in a little boy.

A lot of the fear dissipated toward the end, but the eerie tone continued. I suppose that as much as I liked all of it, the ending allowed too much of the fear to subside, although there was still creepiness. I suppose that while I think Koontz met the aforementioned burden, the very last portion or two of the book began to be more about (successfully in my case) hooking the reader's interest in the unreleased novel. We see Howie in a figurative sense hand off the story to a detective character and then give up his own relevance. Still, the novella is complete and fully realized.

This is a quick read, ideal for a rainy afternoon or an evening when you can convince yourself that your trusting pet goofball could be a guard dog if need be, or at least give a bark or two, and you're sure the doors are all locked.


The first chapter of the novel is very nicely done and I'm really anticipating reading the rest. Honestly, from that brief portion there were moments I thought it seemed too much like Hannibal Lecter and "quid pro quo," but it was also chilling in its own right. And, of course, I wonder how the novella fits in, what puzzle piece it provides. Anyone reading that first chapter will have a theory on what's going on, many of us the same theory, but only a reading of the novel will answer that for sure -- which means it's almost the perfect hook.

4 stars for the novella, a little taken off for the ending. 4.5 stars or the teaser chapter, but there's no place to put that on the official scoreboard. :)

Edited to add that, unfortunately, What The Night Knows wasn't a successful read for me. I haven't finished it and so I don't want to officially review it, but my main issue was with the children sounding impossibly mature and perfect.
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Way to Whet Your Appetite for WHAT THE NIGHT KNOWS Oct. 30 2010
By Daniel Pyle - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm glad to see big-name writers like Koontz experimenting with digital-only content. While DARKNESS UNDER THE SUN is, to some extent, a teaser for WHAT THE NIGHT KNOWS and a marketing ploy, it's also a great standalone story. And for the price, you can't go wrong.

Think of this as something a step above DVD bonus content. It's not a chapter cut from the book or a behind-the-scenes look at the story, but rather an extension of the upcoming novel, a tale told from another perspective, more like an extra episode of a television show than a deleted scene from a movie. Whether or not you plan on buying WHAT THE NIGHT KNOWS, you'll be glad you picked up this novella. I know I am.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Goodish when free March 16 2011
By Bob - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Not my type of book I am afraid, however it is well written and descriptive with Howie the centre to the story and Blackwood the evil character being very believable. For a short story it is OK but covers so much time span that there is little detail of the later events. I believe, but could be wrong, that it is a summary or teaser of a forthcoming book by Dean Koontz and as such should have remained as a free download.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm rather backwards Jan. 6 2011
By Cheryl Stout - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I bought this for my Kindle and then forgot I had it since I still read actual hardcopy books,too. So then I got What the Night Knows in the mail and of course, since I am a huge Koontz fan, sat down and read it straight through. Loved it by the way (reviewed it also if you're interested).

It was only after I finished the novel and read a couple of other reviews that I remembered this novella. I don't think it mattered much in which order I read these. "Darkness Under The Sun" IS a prequel to the novel but it also has some later scenes in it. It was very well done, Whichever order you read it. You should be sure to read it, though, because it contains valuable information not included in the novel that helps you understand some of the background of the story.

To me, this novella was well worth the small price charged and I feel rewarded as a Kindle owner on being able to obtain it.
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