Another first-time read of a new author for my holiday reading. I've been told I'd like Koontz by a bunch of different people, but if this is any indi...moreAnother first-time read of a new author for my holiday reading. I've been told I'd like Koontz by a bunch of different people, but if this is any indication of the rest of his writing I'm not going to be reading any others any time soon.
I'm not entirely sure what Koontz was trying to do with this, but whatever it was I don't think it's quite worked. The central thread of the novel is to do with a pair of completely new creatures being found by a furniture-maker out in a woods in what I understand is rural America.
The thing that baffles me most about this novel is the way that Koontz has devoted a good proportion of the novel to characters that have very little to do with this central plot. There are at least three or four stories told of characters that only have the briefest contact with the characters that are directly involved with the discovery of the mysterious creatures. Did he think that by making the crossing over of threads so brief and superficial that they would make them seem more significant? Instead, it merely reads as if Koontz had a couple of stories and characters in the bottom-drawer that he hadn't managed to find a home for, and shoehorned into this completely unrelated story. The number of plot holes and unfinished threads left dangling at the end of the book is similarly frustrating.
As a scientist, the info dump near the end of the book that contains the refutation of Darwinian evolution that the central premise rests on is just ridiculous. It wasn't book-throwingly annoying, but it was pretty close. Really hoping someone can point me in the direction of a better example of Koontz's work, otherwise I'm ready to dismiss him as just another grindstone in the blockbuster mill. (less)
Really great example of a large cast, intense sci-fi hybrid thriller. If you want my full impressions, check out my podcast review of this book at my...moreReally great example of a large cast, intense sci-fi hybrid thriller. If you want my full impressions, check out my podcast review of this book at my website. I'm looking forward to more from D'Aleo!(less)
A world where telepaths and telekinetics exist, but are forced to live in hiding or on special, contained islands. A not-quite-utopia where...more3.5/5 Stars
A world where telepaths and telekinetics exist, but are forced to live in hiding or on special, contained islands. A not-quite-utopia where a somewhat socialist society can completely tear down the government and rebuild it based on their moment-to-moment fears and desires (the capitalised 'Will' of the people). A dense information network called the Weave where people can be immersed in data with the aid of bioengineered, symbiotic creatures.
This is the world where Pierre, a deformed 8-year-old boy with extraordinary powers, manifests and starts messing with the established order of things. The hunt referred to in the title is that enacted by Services, a government agency akin to the FBI, but far more intrinsic and powerful. They recruit Peter Lazarus, a telepath who wants to stop Pierre from doing to humankind what he did to Peter's sister. From then on it's a race to see whether Peter and Services can stop Pierre befor ePierre compromises every part of their operation.
Most of the enjoyment I got out of this book was the exploration of the future world that Henley has created within its pages. Creating a society where some of the population having psionic powers doesn't automatically result in them being dominant is a tricky one, but I was convinced by Henley's explanations. I also enjoyed Henley's playing with the reader with regards to who might have been turned double-agent by Pierre's telepathic charms. You're never quite sure who is telling the truth, which is a great attribute for a sci-fi thriller to have.
If I had criticisms it would be that the characters can seem a little wooden at times. Also, the conversations involving the characters that are working the political gap in the aftermath of Pierre's activities can be a little too drawn out. But that might just be me being bored by politics.
Overall it's a solid first entry in what I imagine will be a trilogy of novels set in this world. I'm keen to see where Henley will go next with this misshapen-headed antagonist. :)(less)