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Showing 1-10 of 19 reviews(2 star). Show all reviews
on June 30, 2004
I'll keep it short, but definitely not sweet. I was very dissapointed with the latest Koontz book. Yes, I read it in 2 days but that was just due to the fact that it was written by my favorite author. I have read every book Koontz has published (yes, even the 2 written for kids). I have really liked or loved all his books until this one.
Koontz usually adds so much suspense to his novels. They keep you guessing. You're eager to turn the page. The novels written by Dean Koontz which have kept me up at night have been numerous. However, until now, he never had to resort to the gruesome. Most of the time, the scariest element is that of the human mind (who needs more???). But this one did nothing for me. If it kept me up it was definitely not due to the severed heads, the animated dead corpses, the ever-present malignant fungi. I kept wondering how the literary work could have been salvaged. In the end, I realized that it was a lost cause from the very beginning.
The endings are usually the best part of a Koontz book (even though they mean a 6 month wait for his next book). However, in this instance, there was no surprise. The ending was obvious half way through the book.
If you haven't read any of the latest Koontz book, read Odd Thomas or By the Light of the Moon. Don't waste your time with this one.
Yes, I will still eagerly await his next novel which should be out around Christmas =)
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on June 13, 2004
Although it shows flashes of the compelling Koontz of old, this novel is ultimately a rough read and a bit unsatisfying. Many of the chapters are only a page or two long, many of the paragraphs are only two sentences in length, and the flow of the novel reflects that choppiness. I'd often find myself involved in the intro to a particular chapter, only to find that the narrative veers off to the middle of nowhere and the first chunk of the chapter was nothing more than a broad allusion: "Thats how depressing things were".
The charatcters were poorly developed - generating little empathy and often suddenly exhibiting convenient abilities ("oh, BTW, Molly has this ability to remember gibberish phrases") or Neil, as some sort of retired preist guy is suddenly handly with weapons. Even after reading the entire novel, I don't really know much about any of the characters.
Lacking the wit of earlier efforts and trying too hard to be creepy, this is certainly not up to Koontz's normal standards.
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on June 3, 2004
i began reading this book a few days ago and was completly enthralled, i could not stop reading it, the plot was extremly suspenseful and terrifying. Koontzs vocabulary is excelent and every scentence is well worded. However, there is much more to a book than scentences and words. He you were to read the first 50 or so chapters to this book, you would probabaly love it, it shows a horrific glimpse of a devistated world which bizzare ideas and wonderful characters, until you get to deep in their lives that is. These characters are so perfect its annoying, they have over come every obstacle that has come their way with ease. As mentioned by someone else Koontz's books are mass with some flare and excitement. Everything comes down to God and having faith. although this may be true, i dont want to read a mystery adventure book that in the end talks about god, it snot my thing. another theme i am sick of is Koontz's obsession with dogs that theme was killed after the 3rd story he wrote where dogs are the saviors its just lame.
if it comes down to wether or not you buy this book base it on what you want, if you want somethign with an excelent begining and the most dissapointing ending, by all means get this book, although it has originality the underlying messages are ones you have heard many times before. if you want a good action adventure story i suggest Steven Kings The dark tower series.
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on May 25, 2004
I have loved Dean Koontz for many years. Even in recent years, when others have complained that his stories are too rambling and less exciting, I have still enjoyed his work. This is the first book he has written that I was completely disappointed with.
I get the distinct feeling that this book was seriously rushed. There is very little character motivation, and the only character that isn't completely two-dimensional is the main character, Molly. Her husband Neil might as well have been a potted plant with a shotgun. And maybe it's just me, and the fact that I've read all his books, but the "twists" were not only highly predictable, but also depressingly lame.
As far as theme, he could not have shoved it down the reader's throat any more forcefully. It became highly annoying, and the book would have greatly benefited from a far more subtle approach.
Nothing in the book makes any sort of sense at all because the main character keeps taking up these false explanations (which are far too simplistic), and so you must wait until the final chapter to figure out what at least some of it meant. The ending, sadly, was the most frustratingly sophomoric ending he has ever written.
Add to that the little-girl voice of the narrator who pronounced at least a handful of words wrong, and you have a sad mixture.
The only good things I can say about this book are that Koontz still has a way with metaphors and his descriptions are vivid.
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on June 24, 2004
I find it interesting that the opening review here smites King for Koontz. The two couldn't be more different, true, but King of late fills his books with compelling characters and a certain humanity the horror genre often lacks.
Koontz also takes a different approach than most horror, ignoring the endless repetition of gory descriptions, but his characters never feel fully fleshed out. They never quite seem human, and always read like characters in a book. For this Koontz is rarely amongst my reads, despite friends in the publishing business that seem to give me every release gratis.
The preachiness in this book mentioned by others is clear. It's there, and it will grate on you. For once, though, the characters seem to have some life in them outside of simple words on a page.
Koontz seems to be trying something new, and rising as more than a mere RL Stine for adults. This story is more novel and less cookie-cutter, but still has ways to go.
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on June 22, 2004
At one time I was a huge fan of DK. After reading many of his tomes and enjoying most of them, it seemed his quality of story-telling dropped off. But every now and then I like to pick up a new DK offering just to see if things have returned to a readable level. The last Koontz book I really enjoyed was "False Memories." I had hoped "Taken" would suprise me and prove to be up to my standards. The surprise was how bad it was. Or a least how bad it turned out to be. That's the key to my low rating: how bad it turned out to be. For a while it was, if not compelling, interesting reading. I spent a good bit of time wondering where it was going and for me, that's a good thing. But it went nowhere. Somewhere between the platitudes and metaphors, finishing the book was not easy. And then came the totally disappointing denouement. Dean Koontz has "taken" his talent to a new low you'd have to dig up to bury it.
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on June 12, 2004
I always look forward to Koontz' new releases. This one looked interesting from the jacket summary. The idea of aliens that think of us as gnats, terraforming our world and how they were going about it was a great idea to be explored. But it wasn't. It turned into yet more dogs again help save the humans from the minions of hell (literally). If the last few chapters w/the in-your-face religious moralizing were removed the book would be better. If ANY other ending was put in their place this would be MUCH better. As others have said, don't waste your money...this will soon be on the Borders bargain rack. The text is also off-putting. At times it seemed that he was trying to see how many archaic, poly-syllabic words he could fit into a sentence. If you want to read some good Koontz, grab Odd Thomas, From the Corner of His Eye, The Face, Phantoms, or just about anything else. This is one of his worst. Right there w/False Memory in my book.
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on June 30, 2004
WOW. I feel good. There really are people here that find something redeeming in this forgottable effort.
Don't misunderstand me. I love Koontz. I have read 20 books of him, but he has recently somehow changed: he started to make a list of unknown words set side by side, resulting in what? Nothing! The Taking is the zenith of his love with these non-used words, and his willingness to show us how he is in command of language; but he simply forgot something: To tell a story with strong characters.
Now two stars for the great beginning (which disturbingly reminds the Mist, though just like Mr. Murder reminded Dark Half and the Door to December reminded Firestarter) and my respect for Mr. Koontz
I'll tell you: Two more offers like this and I am done with Mr. Koontz, no matter how his themes and language may be evalated because if this book was by another author, I would crush it under my feet.
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on July 2, 2004
This book is an unintended paradox. It contains perhaps the best beginning of any of Koontz's books, yet probably the worst ending. That's not the whole problem--the middle isn't much good either. The minute descriptions of fungi are needlessly detailed, literally nauseating, and serve no purpose. And they go on and on and on. Did I mention the descriptions of fungi?
As you read through the book, you keep wondering how certain issues will be resolved--the simple answer is: they aren't.
Koontz is still one of the most talented writers in America. I've heard that Mr. Koontz has gone back to rewrite some of his previous books. I'd like to see him do that with this one--keep the first 1/4 of the book, and do something completely different with the rest.
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on July 17, 2004
After Odd Thomas and The Face I was really looking forward to reading The Taking. Man, was I disappointed. It was so boring, I would skip whole pages just so I could get to the end. Mr. Koontz must have been in a drugged state to think that this book was anything up to his usual standards. I have always enjoyed his books and will continue to read them unless the next one is like this one and then, I"m afraid, I'll have to pass him by. It seems like he has gone the way of Stephen King in the last years when Mr. King's books got way too weird and boring.
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