"Twilight Eyes" was originally published as a limited edition in 1985. In 1987 Koontz expanded the story by writing the second part and published it again...which unfortunately shows.
Part 1 is interesting: Slim McKenzie, A 17-year old boy who sees monsters he names "goblins" wanders into a carnival to find peace. These Goblins aren't your ordinary monsters - they hide under a human guise. But Slim has Twilight Eyes, a powr which allows him to see through the curtain and kill the wicked creature beneath.
I usually don't care for Koontz's characters, but this book is a bit different that his others. Slim sounds like someone I could possibly believe is 17, and his love interest is interesting and mysterious. There are cheesy love scenes and corny dialogues between the two (the girl climbs a stairway of climaxes. Get it ? A stairway of climaxes. Shame on you Led Zep) but overall the atmosphere is engrossing enough to make you turn the page.
I liked the fact that Slim was presented as unreliable, and it all could have happened inside his head - making him a bloody murderer. However, since this is a Koontz book it's obviously not the case and we have a god guy battling the evil monsters. Part 1 ends in an extremely anticlimatic way, but still the ride is interesting enough to guarantee at least some degree of satisfaction.
Part 2 sucks balls. Koontz strips his characters from the shreds of personality he gave them, takes away their voices and insserts his own political mumbo jumbo. Obviously some writers use express their views in their novels, but he is so obvious that it hurts. An example follows:
"As the news ended, Rya switched off the radio and said, "Not all the
evil in the world comes from the goblins."
"We're capable of our own atrocities."
"Very capable," I agreed.
She was silent for a moment, listening to distant cries of sea gulls
and to the gentle waves breaking softly on the shore.
At last she said, "Year by year, through the death and suffering and
cruelty that the goblins produce, they force goodness and honesty and
truth into an ever smaller corner.
We live in a world that grows colder and meaner all the time, Mostly though not entirely-because of them, a world in which most of the examples of behavior for younger generations are increasingly bad examples. Which guarantees that each new generation will be less compassionate than the one before it. Each new generation will have a greater tolerance for lies and murder and cruelty. We're less than twenty years removed from Hitler's mass murders, but do most people seem to remember or care what happened? Stalin killed at least three times as many as Hitler, but no one speaks of it.
Now, in China, Mao Tse-tung is killing millions and grinding millions more to dust in slave-labor camps, but do you hear many cries of outrage? The trend won't be reversed until
"Until we do something about the goblins.""
Amd other stuff like this, including the emphasis of love and friendship, something hedoes all the time in most blalant ways. Part 2 is long, drawn out, boring as hell with another anticlimatic ending which is forced and unsatysfying.
When you can tell that the author speaks through his puppet, it means it's a bad book. But I have a soft spot for most of Koontz's books, so I give this one three stars. If you want to read it, you can safely skip part two - it took me three days to get through part one and seven to finish the second.