Jerry's Reviews > By the Light of the Moon

By the Light of the Moon by Dean Koontz
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Jul 23, 2010

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Read in March, 2003

An exact cross of Creighton's "Prey" and King's "Dead Zone"...

We stopped reading Dean Koontz about 20 years ago as his plots and often very long stories were just a little too fantastic, in the supernatural sense, for our taste. We see in the two decades since, he has been a prolific publisher, with the now some 40 novels to his credit implying a bazillion fans.

"Moon" gets off to a fast start: Dylan O'Connor, a struggling artist and caretaker for his semi-autistic brother Shep, and a struggling comedienne, Jilly Jackson, heretofore strangers, are all accosted in a motel by a "mad" doctor-type guy who overwhelms each and injects them with some sort of "stuff" featuring his life's work. He also warns them his enemies will be seeking them out. It turns out the payload was a zillion nanotechnology machines that influence brain function (ala the nanotechnology cameras and such in Michael Creighton's latest "Prey"). Each of the recipients is affected with different supernatural powers: Shep can "fold" people (teleportation); Jilly has strange visions (and learns to fold), and Dylan has sightings based on touching things (ala King's lead character in Dead Zone). The action unfolds as the three run from the chasers while acting on Dylan's need to make things right from the visions he is getting off people and objects. A somewhat poorly crafted ending, almost in the Superman style of good over evil, brings the tale to a somewhat abrupt end.

Like King, Koontz has a vivid imagination and apparently can put his ideas into writing without difficulty. He seems to love to turn a good phrase, with at times prose better suited to poetry or some other genre. We thought that except for the fast start, much of the book dragged along until the second half when everybody, including us, has a better idea of what's going on and then the suspense really builds. The ending will probably disappoint most readers; we weren't at all sure it was a natural denouement of events. For our taste, we still think Koontz is a little too "fantastic", but note that in a not too crowded niche he seems to enjoy great success.


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