BOOK REVIEW: Phantom's by Dean Koontz

They thought it was the work of a maniac or terrorists or toxic contamination -- but then they found the truth, which was worse than anything they had imagined...

'Phantoms' was one of the first of the first Dean Koontz novels I ever read and will forever be one of my favorites by him.  One of the things I enjoy about Koontz's writing is he takes the slightly improbable and shows how it could actually be probable.  It's the prefect blend of science fiction and horror.

A mountain town suddenly missing most of it's residents and those that aren't missing are dead.  However, there is no indication of what caused these deaths or disappearances.  The bodies left behind defy any known method of death. As the investigation gears up the questions become greater than the answers. 

I really enjoyed the storyline of 'Phantoms' and the idea of real historical, even recent history, events and an improbable explanation.  Mass disappearances such as the Roanoke Colony, Aztec cities, the Mary Celeste which I had heard of as well as a few incidents I was unfamiliar with.  The problem with improbable is that no one else has any better theory on what happened.  So is this explanation really as improbable as we try to tell ourselves?  Written in what I call the 'Koontz Style', giving just enough information in each chapter to keep you engaged while at the same time drawing bull's eye circles around the answer.  Hinting just enough to make you think you know what's going on while keeping you in the dark all the same.

The hard part of this novel is the sheer number of characters and the switching voice. Truth, I only have issues with all the characters because I am horrible with names.  I was forever flipping back through what I had read so I could remember who was who.  And then just as you got to know a character and decided if you liked them or not they were gone.  Just gone.  Dead, vanished, gone.  Tough I do appreciate that most of the characters, outside maybe the random fox, I got to know before they were gone.  It was hard to read about the loss of characters that were likeable and sympathetic.  And it was hard to read about the characters that were created to loathed.  I mean, were they really gone? 

There were parts that were not only improbable but also unbelievable.  And those unbelievable parts made the ending of the novel bring down my entire rating of the story.  I do like this book.  And I would recommend it to anyone that likes science-fiction meets horror meets good gravy what if that could be true!?!

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About Dean Koontz

Dean Ray Koontz is an American author. His novels are broadly described as suspense thrillers, but also frequently incorporate elements of horror, fantasy, science fiction, mystery, and satire.

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