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389 pages, Hardcover
First published March 31, 2020
Nature was a green battlefield where the weak were forever preyed on by the strong. Nature did not care, nor did the earth, which for all its beauty was nonetheless a hard place, indifferent to its creatures. It was mind that mattered, mind that cared, mind that loved, the best works of the mind that changed this hard world for the better. Mind—and heart—had bonded people and dogs for tens of thousands of years. They had formed an alliance for survival and a covenant of affection against the darkness of the world.Dorothy Hummell smells of death. Kipp, her golden retriever for the last three years, knows. And when Dorothy finally crosses the rainbow bridge, Kipp follows his nose, well not his nose, exactly. He has been picking up an odd murmuring sound coming from the west by northwest, and is determined to check it out. It feels important. Kipp is not just a very, very good dog, he is a very, very special dog, and even he does not realize just how special he is, or what that specialness represents.
Neither the law nor any code of morality constrains him, because he knows them to be fantasies of order. In truth, the only rule by which anyone can live successfully, either in the wilds or in civilization, is the sole mandate of cruel Nature: Prey shall submit, and predators shall reign supreme.
To Woody, the internet was a planet of its own, every site a village or a city with its neighborhoods and streets, a planet across which he traveled as if by magic, typing a brief incantation and, with a click, teleporting from one continent to another.There are a few more characters who figure significantly; Lee’s Bond-villain-evil boss, Dorian Purcell, a passel of hit-men, Dorothy’s good-as-gold caretaker, Rosa Leon, an honorable Medical Examiner, Carson Conroy, a white knight, Ben Hawkins, who is not only a retired SEAL but a writer of novels, and offers Koontz a chance to gripe about critics, and others; but Kipp, Megan, Woody, and Lee are the four pillars of the novel.
On Interstate 80, south of Colfax, they pulled into a rest stop that provided bathrooms as filthy as any in the state’s most deteriorated public schools.and
As a citizen of the modern state, he had uncountable reasons to understand that a slight excess of power rapidly became a lethal excess, that when an agent of the state insisted he had come to help, there was at least a 70 percent chance that he had come to punish or pillage.There are more. Dude, please, switch off Rush and get back to the very engaging action. And it is one thing to show a recluse’s perception of a hostile government, but another to state that perspective as if it is a universally accepted fact. It’s the equivalent of a politician beginning some very partisan take on an issue with “Everybody knows that…”
the wind howled down on the house, not a nature sound empty of meaning, but a shriek of blackest madnessAnd there are plenty more.
The wind sang requiem for the world, and it seemed to Carson that the chilly currents of harried air were more than that, were also time itself racing toward some plug that had been pulled, to drain away and leave the world eternally still, silent, and dark.
the sagging chain-link sang eerily in the wind: Hell’s harp strings strummed by a demon hand. Plastic bags of numerous origins, in a variety of conditions, caught in the gaps between the links, flapped and fluttered, producing a sound like a swarm of wings, as if a colony of bats were passing low overhead.
The wind raving like rabid wolves outside, the building seeming filled with machine sounds, as if the Robots of the Apocalypse were being manufactured there.
We are alone, absolutely alone on this chance planet; and amid all the forms of life that surround us, not one, excepting the dog, has made an alliance with us. - Maurice Maeterlinck