Darkfall
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Darkfall

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3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  11,833 ratings  ·  237 reviews
They found four corpses in four days. Each more hideously disfigured than the last, the bodies punctured with dozens of tiny wounds.At first they thought it was a savage psychopath. Then they thought it was a vicious gangland war. Then they thought packs of demonic rats were escaping through the ventilation system.

Then they saw the nightmare itself, in all its mottled, sl...more
Paperback, 371 pages
Published February 6th 2007 by Berkley (first published 1984)
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Community Reviews

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Dirk Grobbelaar

Penny Dawson woke and heard something moving furtively in the dark bedroom.

Darkfall has one of the spookiest opening sequences ever to grace the pages of a horror novel. Or at least, in my humble opinion.
It would have been nice if it could have kept that momentum going.

Fear brought a watery looseness to his joints.

I am of the opinion that this is the kind of thing DK does best. Way back, my first real introduction to supernatural Horror stories was Phantoms. It scared the dickens out of me, but...more
Lisa
One of Koontz’s earliest novels that was originally titled “The Pit” by his persona Owen West, has been retitled “Darkfall” and is now published along with other Koontz titles. I picked up this paperback after reading and enjoying Koontz’s “Odd Thomas” series. The writing of “Darkfall” is just as dark and evil as I had expected.

Koontz’s use of imagery throughout the novel is outstanding. I was able to (unwillingly) step into the novel and be part of the action. I truly felt as if I was traveling...more
Maciek
Darkness comes/Darkfall - 1984. This is propably the most "Mastertonian" book written by Koontz, as it deals with voodoo.
Baba Lavelle is a newcomer in town, and he's planning to take over the drug business. However, he's not your average thug - he's a Bocor, which basically means he can conjure the most wicked demons and send them after his enemies.

Koontz's use of visual imagery is outstanding. That's one of the fact I miss in his recent works. The demons, the chases are all beautifuly rendered....more
Becky
2.5 Stars
Starting this book I actually had pretty high hopes for it. A voodoo priest comes to New York for revenge and calls upon dark spirits and forces of evil to do his bidding... and all over town, people are found dead and mutilated. It starts out with some pretty creepy scenes, and the action doesn't really let up after that. If I was just judging this book on concept, action, and pace, it would be a 4 star book at least. But unfortunately, this is Dean Koontz, who manages to take a good c...more
Mike (the Paladin)
If you have read much Koontz and have read the forwards, notes etc. you may have run across the fact that Mr. Koontz (at least for a while) was (and for all I know may still be) very...."disillusioned" with Hollywood. They did some adaptions of his work that left, quite a bit to be desired. Still there was also a period (probably before this) when many of Mr. Koontz'z novels read (to me at least) as if they were outlines for screen plays.

This is one of those.

My wife and both my kids read this o...more
Graceann
Jul 29, 2010 Graceann rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Koontz fans, horror fans
Shelves: suspense
This 1984 effort, released as Darkfall in the US, went beyond what I was expecting from Koontz - he shot right past suspense and into horror territory.

The novel begins with every little kid's nightmare; the monster under the bed. Penny Dawson doesn't want to tell any of the grown-ups what she's heard scrabbling away in her room, because she doesn't want them to think she's crazy. Meanwhile, her Dad is trying to solve a very strange series of "locked room mysteries."

Bringing the two threads tog...more
Jessica
I found this book at Goodwill and thought it sounded like a great thriller. Then I got to the first scene with Jack and Rebecca and right then and there it started getting the same feeling that Phantoms gave me. Things just ended to damn conveniently for the characters. I mean, Jack can fight demons from hell summoned by voodoo because he's basically a nice guy? Really? I've only read 3 of Dean Koontz's books, but already, I'm not a fan. The Taking is an incredible book and I loved every second...more
Brett Tompkins
It is interesting to read a book this old because of the lack of modern technology in the story. No cell phones or internet. You catch yourself yelling at the main character to "call and tell them the new info!!!!", and then realize that they can't, unless they hit up a pay phone. A pay phone?!! What the heck is that?!!!
If you get the newest paperback version, there is an entry by Koontz that tells about how this book was supposed to be released under a pen name because editors at the time were...more
Monica
Feb 03, 2008 Monica rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who likes a damn good novel
Recommended to Monica by: Suzy
Suspenseful. Heart-pounding. The story is about two detectives, Jack and Rebecca, who are investigating a series of crimes where the victims have been chewed, although not by any kind of animal that can be recognized by medical doctors. What can it be? Knives? No. Too small. Penpricks? Well, how does a vicious body-building bodyguard not be able to fend those off? Voodoo? No. It's not real. Or is it? With the mind games that Baba Lavelle plays with Jack Dawson, Jack soon begins to believe. But n...more
D. Jason
As I was reading this book (which is interesting in view of Koontz's larger career, as it goes against something I had previously believed about his evolution as a writer), something clicked for me. I finally realized why I can only take Koontz in small doses.

He has many flaws, most of which I already knew. He's not nearly as funny as he thinks he is. He's nowhere near as deep and insightful as he seems to believe. He is incapable of subtlety, yet seems convinced that he is uncommonly subtle. H...more
Erin (Paperback Stash)
Darkfall, as an early Koontz novel, is chocked full of horror, straight arrow chills, and all the things that make us look under the bed at night. The theme itself (demonic creatures?) drew me immediately and I stuck to these pages like dirt on a bar of used soap.

The plot itself isn’t overly complicated but it’s laid out in a way that allows it to come off as a semi-mystery wannabe. The ending isn’t shocking once it’s unraveled, but there’s no way in hell I could have guessed it the first few ch...more
Brittany
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jeb
This seems to be a pretty typical Koontz book. His chase and discovery descriptions are probably the best I've read of any author. He completely draws you in to the story line of horror discover:
The template is pretty straightforward:
1. seeing the gruesome facts,
2. applying conventional explanations
3. discarding the conventional explanations,
4. accepting the supernatural,
5. discovering the nature of the supernatural,
6. supernatural discover that it's now being hunted,
7. short meeting of goo...more
Brett
Darkfall by Dean Koontz. I had no idea what this book was about when I started it, and declined to read the synopsis so I could have the "joy" of nosing the plot out for myself. Well, I'll spoil it for you: it's about a voodoo practitioner that opens the gates of hell a bit and lets out some weird stuff that terrorizes the family of a policeman that is trying to catch said voodoo practitioner for his connection to some murders. Now, this sounds like exactly that kind of thing that I might get so...more
Parajunkee
This book scared me silly and stuck with me ever since. If you are looking for a spine-chilling horror novel - go for this one.

Koontz is by far one of the best writers that I have had the privileged of reading, I started reading horror with King, but Koontz sealed my love of the genre.

The book covers the story of a blizzard that closes down a town completely and as the residents deal with being cut off completely - they also have to face something evil that is lurking in the ventilation systems,...more
The Muser
My Review:

Characters: I am always surprised by how well Koontz writes from the viewpoint of a child. Always. I loved his child characters in this book, Penny especially. I’ve written a few short stories before, and have always struggled with writing from the viewpoint of a child, so my imaginary hat of awesomeness gets tipped to Koontz.

His adult characters are also well done, as always. I like that he can portray a person in a few simple sentences, and allows the dialogue to portray even more wi...more
Thomas Bruso
Dean Koontz considered his novel "Darkfall" not one of his best works. In this reader's eye, he is partly right.

The beginning of Darkfall feels like a horror novel. And for the most part it is. Until the silver-white eyes of whatever skitters and growls and hisses in the dark is revealed later on in the book. Midway, we discover that the rat-like creatures popping up in the coiling shadows across New York: in bedrooms, a school's basement, storm drains, and in a hotel heating vent, are the inner...more
Nicholas Beck
Darkfall was a great example of how Koontz can write an amazing horror story. This one had some fantastic elements with the voodoo angle that Koontz was writing. Some of the scenes were so startling and terrifying that I couldn't put down the books until I knew the characters were safe. The thrilling tale was a non-stop paced story that didn't slow till the very last page. This also contained some of the most thrilling chase scenes that I have ever read in a Koontz book.
Lee
This earlier Koontz tale is about voodoo, and opening the Gates to Hell. A NY detective, trying to convince his partner, that the killings might have something to do with black magic. His 12 year old daughter had seen the "goblins", but keeps quiet, afraid that everyone will think she's just a baby. She should have said somehting earlier.:)
It was an OK read.
Andrew
Dean Koontz is a conundrum to me. His work is commercial and accessible and very easy to find - however there are many many critics of his style and criticisms of his work and his imagination.
He is hugely successful and his creations are so addictive and I just cannot put his books down once I start them. I first found his work while I was at university. The publisher Headline had just launched a number of his books with new covers and they had a huge window display at a local bookshop. The cov...more
Jasey
The overarching premise of this book is interesting, with a Voodoo practitioner wreaking havoc upon a New York crime family and then turning his attention to the policeman who targets him. Koontz does an admirable job in creating an evil horde and unleashing them, but fails in creating characters that we want to escape them. The good guys are so outrageously perfect that they could come from a magazine. Both are tough, honest, good looking cops. Both have come through tragedy. The main hero even...more
Julie Powell
I enjoyed the philosophical aspects of the story regarding the concepts of heaven and hell and how we choose to live our lives, although the gooey bits were less so, I realised the necessity due to the subject matter.

A good read with great characters.
Liz
O.K. I have said this before,Don't read this novel if Koontz can get into your head.I often read this as I walked and rode the bus to work IN THE DARK. It freaked me out,alot.
B.L. Hewitt

Darkfall is a rerelease of the previous novel Koontz wrote under the pen name of Owen West called The Pit. Koontz wrote several other novels under the name of Owen West including The Mask and The Funhouse, which was subsequently made into a really bad horror film. At the time he wrote The Pit, Koontz was trying his hand at a cross genre piece, blending a horror with police procedural, a little love story with some comic dialogue. That’s really crossing the genre lines.

The Pit, later released as...more
Maicie
Library. BOM for Koontzland Group.

Koontz wrote in the afterward that this wasn't his best story. It entertained well enough, though.
Mama
I've read 3 Dean Koontz so far and this is the one that has me looking for more. Very fun, scary and easy to read!
Catherine Gordon
This is the type of horror story that I prefer with a supernatural component rather than just human evil. However there are a number of issues with this, first of all it is a bit heavy on the regiious theme of purity and a righteous man. The background story of the main female character reminded me of Gremlins. Vicious criminals were torn apart unable to defend themselves yet somehow our noble protagonist is able to get away for a final show down. The ending is far too simplistic. A horror book...more
Jackie
This may be the scariest yet! Don't read in the dark!
Jane Stewart
3 ½ stars. Above average entertainment for fearing and fleeing demonic creatures. Not much character development.

Black magic voodoo sorcerer conjures demonic creatures to kill humans. His initial victims are connected to a mafia/mob family. Jack is a homicide detective on the case. The sorcerer is now targeting Jack’s children. The last third or so is running, escaping, and fighting the creatures and the sorcerer.

I was annoyed with Jack’s partner Rebecca. She was negative about everything, not o...more
Johnny
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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One of his earlier books - I prefer his newer novels 4 18 Apr 02, 2014 12:34PM  
  • Shadow Fires
  • The Funhouse
  • Nightmare Journey
  • Blood Risk (Tucker Series, #1)
  • Dragonfly
  • Brain Child
  • Predators
  • The Dean Koontz Companion
  • In the Flesh (Books of Blood, #5)
  • The Hellfire Club
9355
Acknowledged as "America's most popular suspense novelist" (Rolling Stone) and as one of today's most celebrated and successful writers, Dean Ray Koontz has earned the devotion of millions of readers around the world and the praise of critics everywhere for tales of character, mystery, and adventure that strike to the core of what it means to be human.

Dean R. Koontz has also published under the na...more
More about Dean Koontz...
Odd Thomas (Odd Thomas, #1) Watchers Intensity Phantoms Forever Odd (Odd Thomas, #2)

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“Holy men tell us life is a mystery.
They embrace that concept happily.
But some mysteries bite and bark
and come to get you in the dark.”
9 likes
“I realized that loving people, depending on them, NEEDING them, is just too dangerous. Love is just a way to set you up for a bad fall. It's the rug they pull out from under you at the very moment you decide that everything's going to be fine. We're all so ephemeral. So fragile. And life's so unpredictable.” 5 likes
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