on June 1, 2004
I have been a fan of Dean Koontz for a long time. Ever since I found a copy of "Watchers" in a second hand shop and bought it on a whim. I loved it straight away and couldnâ€™t put it down.
But this is not Watchers. Not by a long shot. I found myself struggling to get to the end, and when I got there I was sorely disappointed -it reminded me of X-men, in the not so good way.
The story revolves around Dylan O'Connor and his autistic brother, Step. Who are staying at a motel when a crazed doctor injects them with a strange liquid. From there things only get weirder. The pair meet up with Jillian Jackson, a woman who has also been injected. That's when the strange substance kicks in, giving them all special powers. Dylan gets the urge to help people, Jillian gets strange hallucinations and Step becomes able to teleport through space and time. Together the three of them run around trying to escape from the evil government agencies that are, for some reason, trying to kill them...sounds better than it actually is.
If this is your first Dean Koontz novel, I suggest you put it down and go find yourself a copy of "Watchers" or "Lightening." Something worth reading.
on May 30, 2004
I love Dean's novels, with "Watchers" and "Lightning" as my all-time favs. But, this one was so juvenile I had to force myself to finish it. A good novel traps and holds your attention; a great novel puts you there with the characters - this was neither good nor great. In fact, it was downright terrible. The writing is stilted, the characters are 2-dimensional, the main characters are outright rip-offs from previous books, the plot doesn't thicken - it coagulates. Ughh - I felt like I was knee-deep and sinking. And the tone of the book was so pious, I kept waiting for references to the 700 Club to appear. I wanted to believe what was happening to the main characters could actually happen, but the whole book, from start to finish, was so implausible as to make believeing impossible. The ending was over-the-top and way too influenced by the recent influx on the big screen of comic-book characters turned SuperStars. I think Trixie actually wrote this one (sorry, Trix, but you suck); please, Mr. Koontz, make the dog step away from the typewriter!
on August 15, 2006
Dylan O'Connor and his autistic brother Shep are on a road trip when they are ambushed by a stranger. Dylan is injected with something that is supposed to change him, something wonderful...if he doesn't die first.
Jilly and her plant Fred are also traveling the same route and she discovers that she too is a "carrier" like Dylan. She joins forces with the brothers, and their race for survival relies on their quick wit in evading those who follow them and Shep's ability to remember the man who injected them.
The story has a "Rain Man" mood, laced with Dean Koontz' expert ability to create suspense and mystery. What is the purpose of the injection? Is it for the good of mankind or is it pure evil? For years, I've read Koontz, back when he was Dean R. Koontz, and for years I wondered whether he was a pseudonym of Stephen King's, like Richard Bachman. Regardless of who Koontz is, he rates as one of the true masters of suspense and horror. Sometimes the scariest things are those based on fact rather than fiction. And Koontz has a way of making us believe anything is possible. A great read!
By the Light of the Moon should be read with ALL lights on! I salute you, Mr. Koontz!
~Cheryl Kaye Tardif, [...]
on March 25, 2005
Turn on your fans and get out the air freshener, folks! This one is truly a stinker!
I didn't like this book at all. That stupidly unappealing Jillian character made a bad story even worse. I did not like her AT ALL. She was truly demented! I wish I could warn people about just how poor this work is. In some ways it reminds me of the movie "Minority Report," that is the part about anticipating crimes before they occur. I didn't like that movie either, but even it was better than this book.
Shepherd may have had autism, but that stupid Jillian made him look neurotypical and socially savvy by a long shot. At least Shepherd didn't bestow an identity to some plant and pretend it was something one could have conversations with. At least he was polite and not looking for ways to insert verbal daggers like Jillian did. For Pete's Sake! And people criticize folks with AUTISM for having poor judgment and a general lack of social skills!
If you want to read about "folding into time," read L'Engle's 1962 classic "A Wrinkle in Time" instead. That is vastly superior to this and is an excellent read for all ages. If you want a GOOD story with some supernatural elements, read Duane's "Wizard Alone." Duane's book portrays a wizard with autism in a sympathetic and interesting way and does not rely on heavy-handed cliches as this book does. Autism is explained in an intelligent, forthright manner in "Wizard Alone." Although Duane's book is geared for the young adult audience, it is still an excellent and unique look at autism and is well written with delightful characters. If you want to read an excellent book about realistic characters with autism, read Elizabeth Moon's book and Mark Haddon's "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time." Those are outstanding works that speak volumes.
Be warned about this book. There is a plethora of better selections.
on July 6, 2004
Well, Koontz finally has written a book without a dog in it. Though they do show up in a puzzle. :) This book shows that the author has a command with the english language. His descriptions are beautifully crafted. Even so this book is a very fast read. But the end of the book leaves you wanting more. It is as if he did not finsh it, or their is a sequel in mind.
By the Light of the Moon follows the tried and true formula, normal people who are unwillingly brought into a government conspiracy. This time the bad guy is a mad-scientist. While the good guys are a sensitive he-man, his impaird brother and a man hating heroine. Our trio ends up on the run from ex-special forces teams.
Our trio are injected with a serum by a doctor who claims that the substance will either kill them, or drastically change them for the better. But now that they are injected, the men who are looking to kill him, will want to kill them as well. And so the three begin their flight from danger. But their flight takes on various directions as they are lead by Dylan's new ability of precognition.
Our heros are Dylan O'Conner, who is an artist and guardian of his autistic brother, Shep. Dylan is a man who has sacrificed everything to take care of his brother. Then their is Shep, Dylan's autistic brother. Who is a walking thesarus. His episodes may seem redundent, but imagine what it is really like. I think that Koontz did a good job of writting this character. And finally our heroine, Jillian Jackson. Jillian is a commedienne that is just filled with angst. She verbally vents her anger on anything that she perceives as a slight.
on May 27, 2004
One night in an Arizona motel, he-man artist Dylan O'Conner and stand-up comic Jilly Jackson are forcibly injected with "stuff" by a guy who looks like a mild-mannered doctor or salesman. The assailant tells each of them that guys in black SUVs aim to snuff him and the stuff, and they will kill Dylan and Jilly, too, so they better hit the road in 20 minutes. Since Dylan's autistic brother, Shep, goes wherever Dylan goes, it takes a little pushing, but they hit the asphalt just as Jilly's beloved Coupe de Ville--just stolen--blows up, immolating a driver whom they think is Frankenstein, as Dylan has dubbed the doctor-salesman-whatever. On the lam, Dylan and Jilly discover they have fantastic new powers. He is psychically compelled to track down evildoers, and she can make psychically powered leaps in space. And golly, Shep can leap around in space and time! Seems Frankenstein stuck him, too. Koontz's latest is mostly a chase, with all the principals, including Frankenstein (a stooge was in Jilly's Caddy) and Jilly's favorite broadcaster, a psychic who has also been injected, eventually gathering for a Mexican showdown. The only really startling thing in it is the remark, made of Dylan and Jilly's downtime chitchat about movies, "as though Hollywood-produced entertainments could possibly have serious relevance to them now." Maybe Hollywood isn't relevant to characters in a story, but this story--a real load of laffs, action, schtick, and product placement ops--isn't seriously relevant to anything else.
on May 24, 2004
With his previous successful string of novels such as "False Memory", "From the Corner of His Eye", and "One Door Away From Heaven", Dean Koontz is writing on a high that all of his reading fans hope he never comes down from. "By the Light of the Moon" is no exception; with his gleaming and terrorizing elucidation of how the increase of technology and science can ultimately lead to our civilization's doom. Koontz has the great aptitude for knowing what truly scares people and develops complex, decipherable pieces of work that illuminate the mind and often move the soul.
While staying the night at an innocent-looking motel, Dylan O'Connor and his autistic brother Step are mysteriously injected with a strange substance by a crazed, maniacal doctor. Proclaiming that introducing the weird potion is his last resort and cautioning them that they need to run for their lives from the evil, governmental men that will want to get to them; the scientist is brutally gunned down by a group of agents. Teaming with the frazzled comedian Jillian Jackson, the three set out together in a cat-and-mouse chase from the evil henchmen who want to do more than just chat. As the hunt persists, the effects of the potion kick in, causing Dylan to have an incredible urge to help people, Jillian to have horrific hallucinations, and Step to have the brilliant power that allows him to teleport himself and others throughout space and time. As the government agents get closer and closer to their prey, the trio must learn what their qualities mean, how they use them to survive, and ultimately why fate chose them as the recipients.
Much faster paced compared to his two previous novels (which were both well over 600-pages in length), "By the Light of the Moon" explodes from the first page and never stops running. Koontz skillfully depicts the autistic Step in a very honest fashion; using the frustrated Dylan to portray exactly the difficulties of dealing with someone that has such a challenging psychological disorder, but also the love and triumph that comes from the way the two sacrifice for each other. With a middling conclusion that seems slightly rushed (sometimes a common theme with Koontz novels that are so well-written from the initial chapter; it appears as though any conclusion does not fit the bill), "By the Light of the Moon" is not one of his absolute bests, but will certainly thrill his fans and perhaps even draw in a few who have never read his immaculate work.
on April 16, 2004
I was almost afraid to read this book. After enjoying Koontz's books for so many years, I have been rather disappointed with the last three or four offerings.
This one, while not quite up to the old standard Koontz set for himself (when he included his middle initial "R" as a necessary part of his name) was enormously better that its recent predecessors.
The autustic character was just a bit too much like "Thomas" in "The Bad Place" but the two "good guys" were much more "normal" people than he has populated in other recent books.
The "bad guy" could have been fleshed out a lot more, I feel. And the last few pages were anti-climatic and on the verge of being silly.
And, to complete what I did not like about the book, I found myself skimming or skipping over paragraphs and even pages of tedious writing.
Saying that, though, leaves A LOT of great reading. If you have given up on Koontz in the past few years, give this on a try. If you hated "Corner of the Eye" (which I rather did) you just might find this book better.
And we can all hope for the return of the writing that Dean R. Koontz has done so well.
Oh yes--he just had to get a lab retriever in the book. But this time it was only a picture on a jigsaw puzzle!
on April 13, 2004
Dylan O'Connor, his autistic brother Shepherd, and comedian Jillian Jackson have something in common -- a stranger overpowers them to inject them with what he calls his life's work. He informs Dylan that the substance does something different to everyone, adding that "the effect is [...] interesting, frequently astonishing, and sometimes positive." However, the surprising effects of the unknown substance aren't the only problems Dylan, Shepherd, and their newfound friend Jillian have to deal with -- now they are also on the run from people who fear who and what they might ultimately become.
"By The Light Of The Moon" is an entertaining and thrilling novel as well as a quick read. Lively and highly amusing dialogues alternate with action-packed scenes, thus keeping the reader's interest until the very last page. Dean Koontz's strength of creating likeable characters is evident in this book. As the author also addresses problems of our time and days, his story becomes even more realistic. He never fails though to keep an underlying optimistic tone, thus adding an uplifting dimension to the novel.
on April 6, 2004
"By the Light of the Moon" was the 2nd Koontz novel I read in 17 years. The first "Midnight" scared me so much as a 12 year old that it took 17 years to overcome the stigma. ;)
In hindsight, "By the Light of the Moon" was probably not the best choice of books to reacquaint myself. While not spooky, the plot was at times trite, and the ending rushed and almost comic.
The main characters have become unwilling guinea pigs to an egocentric brilliant scientist. The "stuff" that he injects affects each person differently, and you best hope it is for the good. Fortunately for the sake of the novel, all 3 of the victims use their newfound powers to right wrongs before they can occur, and escape the bad men in dark Suburbans.
The conclusion that includes the confrontation of evil-scientist Proctor, and the formation of the "Moonlight Club" is almost a true comic book without the nifty illustrations. I've heard wonderful things about this author and am eager to try other books, but if this is your first time, or first time in awhile, this novel may not be the best pick of the litter.