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Lightning [Mass Market Paperback]

Dean R. Koontz
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (214 customer reviews)

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Book Description

December 1988
A storm struck on the night Laura Shane was born, and there was a strangeness about the weather that people would remember for years. But even more mysterious was the blond-haired stranger who appeared out of nowhere – the man who saved Laura from a fatal delivery. Years later – another bolt of lightning – and the stranger returned, again to save Laura from tragedy. Was he the guardian angel he seemed? The devil in disguise? Or the master of a haunting destiny beyond time and space?
--This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Laura Shane leads a troubled life: she is orphaned, nearly molested twice and loses one of her closest friends in a tragic accident, all before her 13th birthday. Even worse events would have befallen Laura if not for the mysterious guardian angel who periodically appears with a bolt of lightning to miraculously rescue her. The "angel," Stefan, is in fact a time traveler who rides the "lightning road" through time to follow Laura throughout her adult life; unfortunately, Stefan himself is being chased through time by a pack of equally mysterious villains, and their pursuit of Stefan and Laura spans the second half of the novel. The secret of the lightning road provides an intriguing mystery early on, but once it is revealed midway through the book as a complicated hybrid of borrowed science-fiction and political-thriller conceits, the narrative runs out of ideas. In the lightning road, Koontz has created the kind of sci-fi puzzle whose convoluted logic must be explained at every turn, and the momentum of the central, fairly standard chase suffers thereby. The drama of an innocent bystander forced by events to run for his or her life is familiar to Koontz readers, but this time he leaves out a vital ingredient; while his evil predators are often his most interesting characters (as in this year's Watchers, or the earlier Whispers), the villains of Lightning tend toward cliches. The reader senses that the author got too caught up in the trick of the lightning, and inadvertently stole the thunder from the rest of this potentially intriguing tale.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

On the night of Laura Shane's birth, a stranger appears from the lightning to prevent her delivery's being botched by an alcoholic physician. Throughout Laura's childhood the stranger reappears at times of danger. He protects rather than threatens, yet menace seems to follow him. Thirty years later another storm flashes and the stranger collapses, shot, at Laura's door. Now Laura protects her erstwhile guardian from mysterious hunters. He reveals that he and the hunters are time travelers. Laura, quick-witted and brave, leads the way to a bloody showdown. The paradox in time travel's tampering with history provides an interesting twist in this gripping thriller by a popular writer. Literary Guild selection.A.M.B. Amantia, Population Crisis Committee Lib., Washington,
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A surprising disappointment Aug. 24 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This was my first Dean Koontz book--and will probably be my last. It was recommended to me by one of his millions of fans. I was mildly curious at first, but the book quickly became childish. The only thing that kept a tiny bit of my interest was the main character's evolving writing career. The whole time-travel debacle wasn't worthy of print. I found Koontz's characters shallow attempts to imitate the interesting and believable people you find in a better horror story--like any of Stephen King's.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good start, then downhill Jan. 9 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"Lighting" starts out with a bang, and then fades like diminishing thunder. The book is riddled with cliches, stereotypical characters, non sequiturs, and an astonishingly embarassing number of product placements: Smith & Wesson, Disney, McDonald's, Ralph's, Goodwill, Mark Cross, Ray Ban, IBM, etc. etc. Parts of the book are laughable; Laura becoming upset at Chris's use of profanity after Laura has "blown away" several of the assassins, Laura's concern about the nutritional value of the food Chris is eating.
However, if television shows like "Survivor", "Oprah", and "One Life To Live" appeal to you, this may be the book for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Dark Half March 30 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book started out as an unbelievable, cryptic recounting of a wayfarer-like time traveller destined to protect a wonder-child. The first 125 pages were wonderful and engrossing, but soon after Koontz blunders badly. He takes a very unique character in Laura and waters her down by having her married and turning herself into a world-famous, rich author, which kills the book. The most compelling aspect about Laura was her fierce devotion to her father's ways; that is, she was a sole survivor, not an award winning author. I don't know why Koontz did this. He happily marries her off and then gives her an utterly annoying nitwit kid who talks like he's an omnipotent soldier from another dimension. Add to that Laura's friend Thelma, and you have the recipe for something TRULY annoying. The exchanged repartee of these two characters is not only aggravating, but unrealistic. They're in the midst of being hunted down by nefarious time travellers and all they can resort to are wisecracks? Please! I spend the second half of the book wishing Thelma dead because she so grated my nerves (along with the kid). If you consider Stephan's interchange with Hitler and Mussolini, it's obvious that a promising book has taken a long, meaningless detour.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Really suspensful April 5 2014
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
A great read from start to finish. Mr. Koontz captures your attention from the very first page. The characters are easy to relate to.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent March 11 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Absolutely riveting. I could not put it down! The story captured me right from the first page. Just love all his books.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great reading Nov. 5 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I always find Koontz's books to be very familiar, yet different enough to keep my interest. This is no exception and proves hard to put down until finished.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Childish July 13 2013
By Jabba
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I read this book in grade 5 when I was 9 or 10 years old. It was probably the first adult book I ever read and I remember thinking it was awesome as I grew up. Although I had mostly forgotten the story through adulthood, I still regarded it as a great book, so I decided to reread it some 20 years after my first time through.

Well, suffice it to say, this book is truly made for children. The characters themselves are weak, with some very generic dialogue throughout. But what makes this novel so cringe-worthy is the overall storyline of time traveling Nazi's who pop around in history, fighting each other, going to meet Winston Churchill and Hitler, or sending each other billions of years into the future. All the while falling in love with this bland woman from the future because of some poetry she may potentially write if all goes well. Give me strength! It is really embarrassing that this became such a popular novel.

My advice is to avoid Koontz at all costs. There are much better writers and novelists out there. This is serial trash at it's worst (best!).
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great idea, but hate the love story Feb. 20 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
OH!Come on. How can a great idea such as time traveling mix with a misterious guardian angel end up being a stupid and predictable love story. Why couldn't the guardian be a relative sent to save Shane because she would give birth to the greatest scientist ever who would cure whatever.

This book can be read 20 words per page and still no miss on think. I will definitely never by another Koontz book.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Koontz at his best
So you have just finished a recent Koontz novel and you are wondering what all the fuss and fandom is all about. Read more
Published on Jan. 18 2011 by David S
5.0 out of 5 stars My 100-word book review
Dean Koontz takes one of his trademark images, the ominous flash of lightning, and turns it into a chillingly imaginative plot device in a novel that has science fiction elements... Read more
Published on June 13 2007 by A. J. Cull
5.0 out of 5 stars My other favorite Dean Koontz book
Back in high school and early college, I was a ravenous Dean Koontz fan. Two of my all time favorite Koontz books were (and still are) "Night Chills" and... Read more
Published on June 3 2004 by Erica Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars A Clever Keeper
Dean Koontz has created a gripping novel that keeps the reader guessing. The story opens with the main character Laura Shane's birth, and it follows her throughout her life as she... Read more
Published on May 17 2004 by Amanda S
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Really Great....
The Book was very good in the beginning and then it got boring in the middle. Most of the book was unbelievable, the dialogue was just so fake. Read more
Published on May 15 2004 by "fantasticty"
5.0 out of 5 stars An AWESOME novel
What can I say about this novel that will be any different than the multitudes of other reviews. There is no doubt that this novel reigns as one his best. Read more
Published on April 28 2004 by dwieselq
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly Captivating...
I'm not going to sum up the book for you -giving you a synopsis that would not even come close to giving Koontz's story any justice- but I will tell you that I loved this book and... Read more
Published on April 7 2004 by Annie
5.0 out of 5 stars A different point of view...
There's nothing I can say in this review that hasn't been said already. Having said that, Dean Koontz has become my favorite author through the years. Read more
Published on April 4 2004 by Renee Scattolini
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