Lucbechard's Reviews > Phantoms

Phantoms by Dean Koontz
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U 50x66
's review
Jan 23, 2011

really liked it

** spoiler alert ** Spoilers, I guess.

Two sisters, Jenny and Lisa Paige, return to their hometown of Snowfield after their parents die. When they arrive in the small ski-resort village, everything seems normal, but as they take a look around, it becomes increasingly clear that something is terribly wrong.
They can’t find any of the town’s five hundred residents, and when they do, all they find is bodies. Each person seems to have died in either strange or brutal ways. They find bodies that are swollen and bruised all over their bodies, but are only a few hours’ dead. They find limbs of other people arranged in strange ways. All of this is made worse because Jenny knows most of the victims of this massacre.
All of this is disturbing to the sisters, but it is made even more terrifying when they start getting hunted by an unseen, unknown enemy that can target them where ever they go. When she tries to use the phones to contact the police, the lines are either dead, or she hears an eerie silence, like someone is sitting on the other end, just listening to her. After a few failed attempts to contact the police or any kind of authority at all, she finally gets in contact with the police force a larger neighboring town. They finally arrive, but they can’t really do anything about this phenomenon either.
Among the police are Deputy Bryce Hammond, Jake Johnson, Tal Whitman, Stu Wargle, Frank Autry, Gordy Brogan and a few others. They end up trying to barricade themselves from the threat, while they try desperately to signal the Army’s Biological Investigations Unit. As they explore the desolate town and try to stay safe, something starts picking them off one by one.
They try to hold out in a hotel, but even though they have people watching all the entrances and exits, another person falls victim to the unknown evil, right under their noses. After that, they know that nowhere is safe, and even though the Army Biological Unit enters snowfield with more men and equipment, more and more horrifying things start happening. The group is attacked by a giant moth. Jenny hears the voices of dead men over the phone. Body parts appear out of nowhere. It becomes clear that whatever happened in Snowfield is far from over.
This book was very readable. Once I started it I couldn’t put it down. The suspense and the horror keep you reading. You really want to know if your favorite character survives or not. There are many characters in the book, and many of them have different personalities that you may like or not like, or you may be able to relate them to yourself or someone you know. For me, one of the characters acted a lot like my cousin Justin, so I had someone to relate him to. I always kept an eye on that specific character, and when that character died (not mentioning any names), it seemed a little bit more serious just because he seemed like someone I knew. It was pretty cool how that worked, because I have never had that connection with a book before.
Another thing that will keep you reading is the mystery part of the book. I really needed to find out what actually happened to all of the people in Snowfield. At first, you come up with your own ideas as to what happened. But, as the story goes on, more and more strange, scary, and downright impossible things have to get factored in, and for a while, your left with something that makes absolutely no sense. Figuring it out is half the fun, and when the book finally explains it, it wraps it up nicely, and very terrifyingly.
The characters were very well written, and very deep. Each person had their own motives, besides the obvious one to survive. The author delves deeply into each character’s past and shows the reader detailed glimpses of their lives and problems. The characters interact very realistically as well. They don’t always agree with each other when they try to decide plans and such. Certain people start to develop different kind of relationships with other people, and it just seems like that’s how it would be in a stressful situation like that. The main characters are very likable. They are written like genuine good guys. It’s not written unrealistically, but they seem to always do the right thing, or at least what they think is the right thing. On the contrary, the bad guys are genuine bad guys. Not only does the group have to deal with the deadly unknown monster, but they also have to deal with a few characters that are genuinely evil. They commit horrible murders and they feel no remorse. They are very well written, and they are also very horrifying.
You would enjoy this book if you read Stephen King books, horror stories, mystery stories, or science fiction stories. It is written in pretty much the same fashion as other Dean Koontz books, so if you enjoy his writing, then you will like this book as well.

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