"From the Hardcover edition.
Koontz (Watchers) introduces readers to a twentysomething trio consisting of artist Dylan O'Conner; his autistic younger brother, Shep; and a stand-up comedienne named Jilly Jackson. One momentous evening, these three unexpectedly find themselves coping with the bizarre effects of mysterious injections forced upon them by mad scientist Lincoln Proctor in an Arizona motel. With a generous helping of dark humor, Koontz quickly charges his characters with the task of harnessing their paranormal abilities as weapons against real-world violence and evil in a setting littered with present-day totems ranging from fast-food restaurants to sensation-mongering radio personalities. Religious images commingle with comic book-style action to present a tongue-in-cheek antidote to the brutality of today's society. As intriguing as this sounds, it's unclear what the author is trying to achieve. While die-hard fans might enjoy this experiment, it is not one of Koontz's best and certainly not a means to introduce new readers. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 9/1/02.]-Nancy McNicol, Whitneyville Branch Lib., Hamden, CT Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Perhaps more than any other author, Koontz writes fiction perfectly suited to the mood of America post-September 11: novels that acknowledge the reality and tenacity of evil but also the power of good; that celebrate the common man and woman; that at their best entertain vastly as they uplift. His latest is one of those best, exciting and deeply moving, shorter than usual and also less prone to the overwriting, the flood of similes and metaphors, that sometimes overwhelms his storytelling. As usual for Koontz, the novel opens at full throttle: a mad doctor invades a motel in Arizona, injects both itinerant artist Dylan O'Connor and struggling comic Jillian Jackson (strangers to one another) with an unknown substance that, he says, is his life's work and will have some unknown effect, then warns them to flee before his enemies kill them; soon after, the doctor is slain by heavily armed assailants. The rest of the story is an extended chase, as Dylan and Jillian, along with Dylan's high-functioning autistic brother, Shep, dart around the West, only steps ahead of the assassins. Within hours, the effects of the injections materialize: Jillian experiences portentous visions-a flock of birds, a woman in a church; Dylan is overcome by the need to rush to the aid of people in distress (among others, in an intensely poignant scene, an elderly man searching for his missing daughter); and Shep learns to teleport himself and others. (Interestingly, Koontz bases the science behind these developments on nanotechnology, the same mechanism used by Michael Crichton in his just published Prey, an object lesson in how two writers can take the same premise and generate two very different yet excellent novels). The novel's only flaw is its abrupt ending, contrived probably to allow sequels-a probability that Koontz fans, but also anyone else who reads this novel, a predestined bestseller and rightfully so, will applaud. (Dec. 24)
"Koontz seems to know us, our deepest foibles and fears." --"USA Today ""Surefire plotting and a roster of characters built out of painful tragedies make the pages move.... Koontz has a touching faith in the human spirit."--"People " "From the Hardcover edition." " Koontz seems to know us, our deepest foibles and fears." -- "USA Today "" Surefire plotting and a roster of characters built out of painful tragedies make the pages move... . Koontz has a touching faith in the human spirit." -- "People " "From the Hardcover edition."