Sunday, February 27, 2011


My first foray into the realms of Dean Koontz, Midnight was given to me long ago on some birthday or other. I finally read it. What should I call it? Probably a cautionary tale in the vein of Frankenstein  or The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, but instead I think it a 1980's internet horror story. Because that makes me giggle.

Midnight is a solid tale about an FBI investigation into a string of suspicious deaths in Moonlight Cove, a small town in California. As quickly becomes apparent, people are changing, though if it be physical, mental, or by possession is uncertain. Certainly, alien abduction is proposed frequently, and werewolves are brought up occasionally. The wheres whys and hows need to be answered, but for the innocents trapped in an ever more hostile Moonlight Cove, time is running out.

Mind you, this was read between the fast-paced, riveting The Great Gatsby, and the absolutely-nothing-happens-and-then-it-ends Sense and Sensibility, but this book screamed odd pacing. Not that that is a bad thing, but it was the strangest thing.

10% - Setting up plot, moving main characters into position.
5% - Getting main characters into their respective messes.
80% - Things get steadily darker.
3% - Something's happening!
1% - It's all better. Or is it?
1% - Boom-Done.

Oh, Lovecraft, what horrors have you wrought?
The plot itself was, I presume, an amalgamation of The Island of Dr. Moreau, with which I am not familiar, and Invasion of the Body-Snatchers, about which I know a bit. I say presumably, because Koontz references both repeatedly in the novel. I think it smacks of Lovecraft's The Shadow over Innsmouth, another tale in which the residents of a town are turned into monsters. Except that was just twisted biology, and Midnight, as I said, is an internet horror. From the 80's.

The best part of the novel, though, was the computer systems. Unlike modern computers, the 'hyper-advanced' machines in the novel presented a short list of commands, excluding all other options. My cell phone has more power.

Also, I'm not a dog person, but if I were, I would have fallen in love with the canine in this novel. He's fun.

Final vote? Read it if you can, but skipping it is a pardonable transgression. It was enough to tempt me to try Koontz again.


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