lisa's Reviews > Phantoms

Phantoms by Dean Koontz
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Jun 28, 2011

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Read in June, 2011

it's been a long time since i wandered into the horror aisle of the bookstore and perhaps even longer since i've read something from that very same aisle. i remember buying this book a few weeks ago, and what sent me into the horror aisle was that i wanted to read something that was different from what i had been reading. i wasn't in the mood for the usual mystery book, or sci-fi book, or romance. i didn't want something i would be teaching in the fall. i wanted something different. so i picked up this book, and i started reading it a few nights ago, and let me tell you, i haven't gotten that creepy feeling that something's going to jump out at me just from reading a book in a really long time. so reading the book was really fun times and it satisfied that desire for something different and out of the norm.

it's hard to talk about this book because one doesn't want to give too much away. but, in short, the book is about a tiny ski-town in northern california with a population of about 500 people. the doctor who lives in the community arrives home from a trip to find the town silent--dead silent. and the story is about trying to figure out what has happened to all of the townspeople. what killed them? and why can they only find a few bodies but not all of them? where did they go?

what i can say is what i liked about this book. first of all, unlike a stereotypical horror film, the black guy doesn't end up dead (yeah!). also, i liked the way that the narrative checks in with each character periodically. this is a device that i don't always like (which i'm sure you already know if you've read any of my book reviews). but it really works and works effectively in this book. possibly because i want to know more about these characters. they are interesting and when it's their turn to have the story told from their perspective, the story moves forward and the character is further developed. put more plainly, i generally liked all of the characters in this book and so it wasn't a bother when i was with them. i didn't feel like i was being pulled away from the story. another thing i liked about this book was that the epic showdown between good and evil (and you had to know there was going to be this showdown, right? because it is a horror novel) wasn't hurried and didn't seem too easy. it's always really easy to take the shortcut and shortchange the reader, but this book doesn't do that. and although for the last 200 pages that sensation of something coming to grab me wore off, i didn't lose my interest in the book. the action was intense enough to keep me turning the pages well past my bedtime last night, and i made a point of finishing the book early this morning to see how it all wrapped up. one of the things i want at the end of a book is to feel satisfied, and this book delivered. it's not great, but it certainly held my interest, and that's more than i can say for some books that i've read this year. so overall, i'd give this book three and a half stars and i would recommend to anyone who enjoys dean koontz novels.
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