Nancy Oakes's Reviews > The Shimmer

The Shimmer by David Morrell
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Nov 06, 09

bookshelves: escape-reading, gave-away
Read in October, 2009

There's just no way a person can pigeonhole this book. It's a novel that's a blend of sci-fi, fantasy, suspense and action-packed thriller. Personally, I think it defies categorization, unless you lump it into one of my favorite categories -- escape reading.

In an afterward following the novel, David Morrell explains that he used the true-life, strange-light phenomenon in Marfa, TX as his inspiration, moving them to the fictional town of Rostov, TX in his book. As the novel opens, Dan Page, a police officer in Santa Fe, is trying to unwind by flying his small plane, but unwittingly becomes involved in a high-speed chase on the ground that doesn't end well. He returns home to share his day with his wife Tori, but she's nowhere to be found. Tori has gone off to visit her mother, 800 miles away, by car. Dan alerts authorities along the way to keep a lookout for her car, and she turns up in the tiny little town of Rostov, where he eventually finds her staring out over the desert at some mysterious lights in a viewing area where other people are waiting for the lights as well. Dan doesn't understand, but people who can see the lights are mesmerized by them. In the midst of a gathering crowd, one crazed man begins a wild shooting spree to make people stop looking at the lights. This is where the action begins, and it doesn't let up from there.

It's a fun read, although sometimes the characters are bit larger than life and maybe just a wee bit stereotypical, but then again, this book isn't purporting to be great literature. If you want something just a little different, and if you can suspend your disbelief for a while, you might enjoy this one. This is more for people who like action-type thrillers, a genre that is not my cup of tea in the larger sense of things, but this one was fun. There's just no way a person can pigeonhole this book. It's a novel that's a blend of sci-fi, fantasy, suspense and action-packed thriller. Personally, I think it defies categorization, unless you lump it into one of my favorite categories -- escape reading.

In an afterward following the novel, David Morrell explains that he used the true-life, strange-light phenomenon in Marfa, TX as his inspiration, moving them to the fictional town of Rostov, TX in his book. As the novel opens, Dan Page, a police officer in Santa Fe, is trying to unwind by flying his small plane, but unwittingly becomes involved in a high-speed chase on the ground that doesn't end well. He returns home to share his day with his wife Tori, but she's nowhere to be found. Tori has gone off to visit her mother, 800 miles away, by car. Dan alerts authorities along the way to keep a lookout for her car, and she turns up in the tiny little town of Rostov, where he eventually finds her staring out over the desert at some mysterious lights in a viewing area where other people are waiting for the lights as well. Dan doesn't understand, but people who can see the lights are mesmerized by them. In the midst of a gathering crowd, one crazed man begins a wild shooting spree to make people stop looking at the lights. This is where the action begins, and it doesn't let up from there.

It's a fun read, although sometimes the characters are bit larger than life and maybe just a wee bit stereotypical, but then again, this book isn't purporting to be great literature. If you want something just a little different, and if you can suspend your disbelief for a while, you might enjoy this one. This is more for people who like action-type thrillers, a genre that is not my cup of tea in the larger sense of things, but this one was fun.
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