Johnny's Reviews > Twilight Eyes

Twilight Eyes by Dean Koontz
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's review
Nov 19, 10

bookshelves: own-it
I own a copy

** spoiler alert ** Long before he gave life to Christopher Snow and Odd Thomas, Koontz introduced another character who tells about his adventures from the first person perspective. His name is Slim MacKenzie and his story means a departure from the more scientifically oriented paranormal experiences Koontz usually writes about and instead brings us some kind of fantasy version of our own world.

And it’s a world which feels so real due to perfect yet not too elaborate descriptions. It’s a world you can almost feel, smell, see, hear and taste through the pages. It’s a more complete fictional experience than anything Koontz has written before.

Is it obvious I’m a fan?

Unbeknowst to the majority of humanity, creatures known as goblins hide among us, thriving on human pain and suffering. Clad in human disguises, they are indistinguishable from the rest of us, devising all kinds of major accidents with high body counts. But somehow, Slim MacKenzie can see through their human veil and recognizes them for the beasts they are. Also a bit of a precog, Slim feels something terrible is going to happen at the Sombra Brothers’ carnival. He joins the carnies and continues his battle against this force of evil, soon getting help from an unlikely corner.

The goblins bear an eerie resemblance, both to the bodachs of “Odd Thomas” fame, as to the Outsider from “Watchers”; the goblins are drawn to places of human misery, as are the bodachs, and the goblins are a genetic science experiment gone wrong, like the Outsider.

I’m sure “Twilight Eyes” wouldn’t have been written if Koontz hadn’t first undertaken the novelization of “The Funhouse”. Some background information on carny life seems to’ve been copied and pasted, and there’s even another albino named Ghost! The carnival becomes a very romantic setting, almost an affirmation of the dreams of every little boy who wanted to run away and join them. We meet a variety of characters, all so very real and lovable, all so different from the normal Koontz heroes and heroines.

The most lovable of all must be Slim’s female counterpart, Rya Raines. She’s strong, yet fragile. She’s beautiful, but not in the way of models, movie stars, beauty queens. Even though Slim describes her as the most beautiful girl he’s ever seen, I’ve always pictured her more like the perfect girl next door who you want to hold and cuddle and tell that everything’s going to turn out all right. She knows how to take charge, yet at the same time still needs that human companion to fall back on.

Oh, who am I kidding? This paragraph doesn’t do her justice. Every time I read the book, I fall in love with her all over again.

The first person perspective also helps when Koontz refers to events which came to pass a long time ago. When he does this in his regular, third person perspective books, the story is very much disrupted. However, in “Twilight Eyes”, it’s always Slim MacKenzie who’s telling the story and when he jumps back and forth, it’s far more natural.

The book is clearly made up of two parts. The first part is most of the original story – the second part Koontz added some time later, during a major revision of the first part. There’s a difference which isn’t easily pinpointed. The second part reads more as a redundant sequel. It no longer takes place at a carnival but instead recounts of a first mission of an active war against the goblins. The mystery is gone and instead we go in search of a concrete reason for the goblins’ existence. In fact, it would be a similar story to the hypothetical tale of Odd Thomas going to find the truth behind the bodachs and then trying to stop them. Something which sounds very interesting, but would most likely disappoint many readers.

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