They found the town silent, apparently abandoned. Then they found the first body strangely swollen and still warm. One hundred fifty were dead, 350 missing. But the terror had only begun in the tiny mountain town of Snowfield, California. AND CLOSER…
At first they thought it was the work of a maniac. Or terrorists. Or toxic contamination. Or a bizarre new disease.
But then they found the truth. And they saw it in the flesh. And it was worse than anything any of them had ever imagined…
“There's no use wasting are energy being afraid of the devils, demons and things that go bump in the night... Because ultimately we'll never encounter anything more terrifying than the monster among us. Hell is where we make it.”
If there is a person out there that would not find this book eerie, I'd be surprised.
Koontz writes fiercely here, keeping the sentences devoid of overabundant words and pretty phrases. Instead he just delivers the goods, action from page one. His writing style is not overdrawn, but instead is kept minimal to complement the story alone.
The villain is frightening, complex, and powerful. There's enough imagination and depth to it that it stays with you after the last page has been closed. Supporting characters seem real and are easy to care about. They don't chase their tails attempting daring, stupid moves, but instead seem to be genuinely driven. There are slight cliches here and there in terms of characterization, but only obvious cliches where they deserve (and are expected) to be, nothing cheap.
This is one of those books where if you're reading through it, it's hard to imagine how on earth the strings can be tied together to make sense at the end, but somehow Koontz accomplishes this. It's all wrapped up in a satisfying way, and the road on which I traveled to get there was exquisite. The plot is as complex as its villain, each character keeping it flowing instead of weighting it down, the heart and soul of the novel always kept alive by a steady supply of imagination and intrigue.
Filled to the top with suspense, horrid imagery, truly bizarre and horrifying deaths, gory details, a pure mystery, science and intelligence, well-drawn out fear and even small glimpses of hope, this is a horror book that EVERY horror reader owes it to themselves to read. Koontz really made a name for himself, and this is one of the works that accomplished that feat.
“There are silences and silences. No one of them is like another. There is the silence of grief in velvet-draped rooms of a plushly carpeted funeral parlor which is far different from the bleak and terrible silence of grief in a widower's lonely bedroom.”