When I saw such mixed reviews of praise, ridicule, "so-so", and most quotes on the cover by no mainstream critics, I knew it would probably be a disapWhen I saw such mixed reviews of praise, ridicule, "so-so", and most quotes on the cover by no mainstream critics, I knew it would probably be a disappointment. But this also meant that if it was not, it would be a favorite. All I can say now...Thank you, Mr. Koontz!
In this book Koontz takes the stories of several different characters dealing with, or avoiding, their pasts, futures, or both and interweaves them in a way that is too significant to ignore, yet not too extreme to accept. But this description is not only applicable to how all the plots work together. The characters themselves have fears, hopes, and memories that twist around each other...the beliefs and/or morals of each character constantly conflict with those of the next...even the humor can come from some of the most disturbing concepts.... But, most importantly, even though the answers we get at the end seem complete at first, they still leave more mysteries for us to ponder. This drives the novel's purpose home, and made it one that will definitely be in the back of my mind of a long, long time.
This book may not be the full-on suspense novel the covers make it out to be, but with characters this simple and complex, a plot so multi-layered in both storylines and allegory, and a meaning so important in our time that it could send most screaming in retaliation, it grabbed me better than any cliffhanger could even dream....more
To make it clear, I only give this above 3 stars because of how enjoyable the majority of the story was. As many others have mentioned, I loved readinTo make it clear, I only give this above 3 stars because of how enjoyable the majority of the story was. As many others have mentioned, I loved reading it until it was reaching its conclusion (to be honest I will read it again because I feel I must have missed something). Mainly two things bugged me at the end...
First, what I enjoyed most came to be the novel's final reconing in my list. I was thrilled as soon as I saw the cover because I knew Koontz was going in a direction much different than his norm. It gave the setting and the story a way of pulling me in. And it went beyond my expections. Then, near the end, everything takes a quick 180 and goes back to what I've read so many times before. It then spends far more time in it than necessary as though a weak editor is only making it a crowd pleaser.
Then comes the true problem: the twist. For me, it was not much of a twist. Koontz only answers the "what" and "who" questions (which I had a general idea about from about a quarter of the way through the story). What he only hints at there being an answer to (an answer he never even starts to explain) are the "how" and "why" which are much more important given what the "twist" is. It makes any purpose the story had hollow. The tone and story needed to give those answers, or end as a complete tragedy. instead, it ends in what I see as a camouflaged tragedy, with a message that no one in our world is meant to hear or able to apply.
I know I'll read it again, but, unless I somehow skipped five or more pages, this is one of those fun books I will always feel should have been among my favorites. ...more
Though I am giving this 4 stars, on a more personal level, it is definitely a 5 star on my list. At too many times, I felt as though I was reading myThough I am giving this 4 stars, on a more personal level, it is definitely a 5 star on my list. At too many times, I felt as though I was reading my own journal.
I could rave about how clever the story is, how interesting some of the characters are, the perfect pace of the revelations and extra mysteries, etc... but I feel the only way I can give any good advice is to simply mention a few things I was not as pleased with. First, though there are great characters, there are not enough scenes with any characters (aside from Christopher Snow and his dog)to really have them developed as fully as they could be. This is partly due to the fact that the book was much shorter than it could have been.
Another problem that might bother some, but I felt sometimes fits the story and its themes, is that the ending leaves most of it wide open. A lot of questions are unanswered. Only one problem is solved (though not necessarily completely solved). Some of the thematic elements seem to be left unsettled.
Lastly, because of the concept of the story, in the end there is room for doubt as to who can be trusted (this goes for every single character). This does seem to fit and could lead down some interesting roads, but I felt that it went slightly too extreme.
If these things don't sound like a real problem to you, I would definitely suggest it. However, with a book of this nature, its hard to make a final decision on where I would rank it until I read more of Snow's story....more
2/5 stars: The first rating is a more "objective" critique of the novel. And that is the first problem. The boI put 3 stars for two different ratings.
2/5 stars: The first rating is a more "objective" critique of the novel. And that is the first problem. The book says that it is a novelory. However, the chapters do not all work well as individual stories. It's simply a novel with a few places that have large gaps in time. In this, it is not the kind of book that will really pull into the story. Also, many of the themes, and what the story seems to say about them, often appear to contradict, and in the end remain hollow without anything to motivate the reader to consider it more closely. This makes it feel like a novel that can't decide what to say or what story to tell.
4/5 stars: The second rating is a much more about my personal opinion. The only reason I don't give it five is simply all the politics (possibly my least favorite subject). Other than that, it is a wonderful look at epilepsy and its affects on who we are. I have had temporal lobe seizures since I was 6 or 7. However, unlike the character in the novel, I have had very few (less than ten out of hundreds/thousands...?) that went beyond the temporal lobe. So mine rarely caused convulsions. For me it was amazing to feel the connection between the character's views of her epilepsy and my own despite the differences in their form. It was encouraging to find that I was not the only one who could not determine if it was friend or foe.
In the end, if you are epileptic or trying to understand someone who is, this is a great book to read. If you have no connection to epilepsy or an epileptic and only want a well-crafted, original story, it probably won't have the same effect....more
The best way to describe this book is average. There is nothing very disappointing about it and nothing exceptional as well. Just an interesting storyThe best way to describe this book is average. There is nothing very disappointing about it and nothing exceptional as well. Just an interesting story done in the usual way....more
Ironically, just as King calls it the 4.5 book in the series, I feel like that is the rating it deserves. It is a collection of two weaker stories andIronically, just as King calls it the 4.5 book in the series, I feel like that is the rating it deserves. It is a collection of two weaker stories and one that is good which fit together to build a wonderful book.
Everyone says it is a story within a story within a story. However, the first "layer" does not have a real story to it, the second layer is almost too short, and the third is the real story. I would put it differently. It was more of a story within a theme within a setting, and the real story had hardly anything to do with the characters of the series.
What I truly loved about this book was that though each "story" seemed to be completely different from each other, they all fit together in the title and the theme. As it is described in the book, each story was a keyhole, and the next story was the wind of time blowing through. Just as the book is centered around forgiveness, each "keyhole" opens another door to making it complete: correcting your mistakes, asking forgivenss, and granting your own forgiveness to others and yourself.
Whether or not these were well crafted stories is debatable. However, when I find it pulls me in to the point that I forget what's around me, and it gives me something truly important to think about afterward, I cannot deny that it accomplishes something much more important....more
Too many times I hear people complain that an author they are reading needs to stop doing the same thing again and again. Then, I will read reviews whToo many times I hear people complain that an author they are reading needs to stop doing the same thing again and again. Then, I will read reviews where someone tried something new, and too many people complain that they should stick with what they are good at.
I have only read one author so far where almost every story is not only similar, but the same basic storyline with different characters. All authors will have similarities between their books, otherwise we would have no way to choose a favorite author.
"Dragon Tears" is the best example I've found of how this can really work for the better. If you have ever read "Darkfall" and enjoyed some aspects but felt it could have been much better, this is a must. Two of the primary characters are very similar, and the antagonists also have similarities. However, everything I did not like in "Darkfall" is taken out, and the best aspects are made even better.
The part of "Dragon Tears" that stands out from most of the other Koontz novels I have read so far is that it has more too it than just a fun story, or interesting characters. It has a great way of making its statement, and showing how we have the wrong perspective so embedded in our minds.
The end of Koontz's novels (the earlier ones in particular) are ones that I often feel are a little too cheesy in how they try to be more pleasant. This one has a clever way of making us used to a cheesy perspective that takes a little bit of that away from the ending.
In my opinion, from what I've read, this is a much more well done book than the usual "fun read" that Koontz wrote earlier on.
This book has its positives and its negatives. With the plot, one would expect a sort of "B-movie". However Koontz did a great job at making the bookThis book has its positives and its negatives. With the plot, one would expect a sort of "B-movie". However Koontz did a great job at making the book work despite its premise being so far out there.
The characters were the best I have seen from Koontz so far. Though many of his characters have been intriguing, these were multi-layered and at times were interesting mirror images of one another. It gave it an interesting way of combining "Frankenstein" with "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde".
The first problem I had (which is my personal opinion) was in the dog. (possible spoiler alert) It was constantly trying to communicate with the main character, and at one point drew a question mark. Yet, for some reason, though it knew how that worked, it knew nothing else about grammar and could not even think of the concept of nodding, or shaking its head. Even when the characters later start to communicate with it they try to use something dogs always do. It simply made it personally frustrating at times when I wanted to yell at them to tell it to nod for "yes" and shake its head for "no".
The other draw back was in the second half of the book. Until the last 30-40 pages, the second half slows down and most of the suspense leaves the story as we are told that the danger is far away. At the same time as this starts happening it becomes a little too melodramatic.
Then, the last positive side also becomes a negative. Of all novels I have read this could have the best humor of all...but also the worst. For the first half of the book it's funny to see the dog almost smarter than our main character. Yet, as we get to the second half of the book, the humor starts to take front stage, and all of the tension is hidden even further because of it.
Is it a fun read?... Definitely! Is it a great piece of literature?... Definitely not! Is it one of his best?... That's up to you....more
**spoiler alert** This book became a great disappointment to me the further through it I read. It has an interesting format to it that makes one more**spoiler alert** This book became a great disappointment to me the further through it I read. It has an interesting format to it that makes one more curious and frustrated at once (there's simply too much to remember).
I was disturbed (to put it lightly) by some of the scenes and content, however they were not too central to the story for me be unable to keep going. They still felt very out of place. Considering how it is written and the kind of story, I would expect this to be something that was less significant than his other books. Yet, I found this one bothered me more than any of the others I've read by Palahniuk. When people are being interviewed for information they probably will not go into things so personal (and in some of the cases embarrassing) with so much detail.
It got worse as the secrets were revealed. When reading explanations of them, time travel in particular, I realized that I should have obviously known what was going on, but had not caught it solely because of those disturbing aspects of the book that distracted me. It got even more frustrating as Palahniuk goes into the explanation of how the characters are able to travel through time and turn themselves into gods. He tries to go into an answer to the questions, and then takes an easy way out that only confuses the answers and questions.
What really got to me as I got to the end was how great of a story Palahniuk had, yet how little he used In its most questionable themes (suicide...men as gods...etc.), it held potential for many redeeming aspects, and it used none of them....more
It is difficult for me to rate this one. I never cared for stories that get "too" strange. This one went to the extreme. However, since that is a prefIt is difficult for me to rate this one. I never cared for stories that get "too" strange. This one went to the extreme. However, since that is a preference, I'll set it aside for now.
What I felt should have been done much different was the start of the book. It begins when the two first murders have already been found and investigated. Where it starts a few different aspects of the story are revealed immediately. This made it so that reading the scenes about the investigations felt pointless when one already knew more than the cops about what was happening. IF Koontz had started where the investigations began he could have revealed things much more gradually. In the same way, the end of the book is very sudden.
The very middle of the book was much more interesting, and helped me get into the story enough that when the strangest parts started, I did not want to quit.
It is definitely not as good as the other books I've read so far by Koontz, but it is interesting enough if one is simply looking for a quick, fun read....more
This book is shallow...empty...gross...ridiculous...and completely BRILLIANT!!! Sadly enough, I cannot explain why I feel this way without telling tooThis book is shallow...empty...gross...ridiculous...and completely BRILLIANT!!! Sadly enough, I cannot explain why I feel this way without telling too much. All I can do is explain the "weaknesses" and let you hope that it will still hold together.
The first thing that people will notice is that the story builds slowly (though constantly). The tension is always there, the mysteriousness almost builds, and it keeps you going. Yet, some will be disappointed, because the action is kept to a minimum because of the mysteries. But this made the book feel as though it had no third act, which I found to be a fun change.
The second "problem" is that, though we get to know the main character very well, we are practically "separated" from the others in the book.
One problem that could have made me stop reading the book, if it had gone any futher, was how suddenly what was happening went too far out there. You might want to read this prepared for the most extreme combination of a pure horror movie and a sci-fi novel. Otherwise it may be hard to go through enough of it.
The last problem that bothered me was that many of the themes that came up seemed to not be developed too far.
However, all of these things listed ended up making this novel work at doing something I would have never expected. It may not be one of the best, but I found it too rewarding to only give it four stars. If you like those movies or books that you have to go through more than once, try it. I still have to read it again before I can even be sure of what I'm telling myself. ...more
This is a hard book to give a rating. Having not been ready to publish this book, it is obvious that Crichton had more work he wanted to do. Some partThis is a hard book to give a rating. Having not been ready to publish this book, it is obvious that Crichton had more work he wanted to do. Some parts do not have any detail (sometimes even to short to fully know what is happening), one is a little "out there", yet others are wonderfully done. Overall the story is very interesting and exciting at times, but some of the character development had not been refined enough and too many significant parts are less than a couple pages. In the end, it may be very weak, but if one keeps in mind that Crichton had not been ready to send it to publishers, it is still enjoyable....more
It is hard to rank this as high as three, but because of how I enjoyed much of it, I can't go as low as two.
The way things are described in this bookIt is hard to rank this as high as three, but because of how I enjoyed much of it, I can't go as low as two.
The way things are described in this book are sometimes too cliche, and other times very clever. The writing is weak at times, but also has its strong points. This makes me unwilling to judge it by the writing. In the end I see reasons for enjoying the writing and a few reasons for being displeased with it as well.
In the end the story's strongest point is the plot around which the spiritual warfare takes place. The pace at which mystery of it is revealed is perfect (slow enough to spread through the book, but fast enough to keep the reader interested). However, the spiritual part of the story, which stands out, was not as well done. It almost felt to me like Grisham trying to write a Clancy novel. Also the way that part of the story works weakened the thematic elements for me.
It is worth reading if you are interested in the story, but I would highly suggest reading Peretti's "The Oath" instead....more