Sunday, June 15, 2014
Watchers by Dean Koontz (Link to Amazon Books)
This book works for me on so many levels. Two animals, victims of horrific lab experiments, one brilliant, the other murderous. Two people, both broken, one with nothing to live for and the other with no life. All come together in a story that is somehow suspenseful and terrifying while at the same time, uplifting. Watchers is a story that pulls at your emotions from every direction.
My favorite line of all time comes from Watchers. Travis and Nora have finally figured out how to communicate directly with 'Einstein', the hyper-intelligent experimental dog. Einstein suggests that the humans leave him behind to face the danger alone, and save themselves.
...She stopped hugging the dog and took his head in both hands, met him nose to nose, peered deep into his eyes. "If I woke up some morning and found out you'd left us, it would break my heart." Tears shimmered in her eyes, a tremor in her voice. "Do you understand me, fur face? It would break my heart if you went off on your own."
The dog pulled away from her and began to choose lettered tiles again:
I WOULD DIE.
"You would die if you left us?" Travis asked.
The dog chose more letters, waited for them to study the words, then looked solemnly at each of them to be sure they understood what he meant:
I WOULD DIE OF LONELY.
A thoroughly original and genre-bending story that takes us into the minds and hearts of not just people, but of a very special dog as well, something rarely done in popular fiction. Watchers is Dean Koontz at his absolute best.
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Somewhere South of Midnight (link to Amazon Books)
I do love a good ensemble story. My favorite horror novel of all time, Somewhere South of Midnight tells the story of seven survivors of a horrific motorway accident. Seven people with nothing in common, except for the fact that the accident changed them forever.
Slowly, each survivor discovers they have a power, to heal, to kill, or even to burn. Where did their power come from? What caused the accident? What really happened that dark night on a lonely stretch of road? And what happens next?
Equal parts beautiful and horrific, full of dread and raw emotion, Somewhere South of Midnight never lets up, always surprises and long after reading, the images and questions still linger.
"The bus was losing speed. George frantically gripped the wheel, twisting to look at the rear-view mirror. But he could see nothing. The flaring headlights were impossibly bright, obscuring the mirror, and the only thing he could do was to swerve from his lane, and get the coach on to the hard shoulder and out of the way.
And then everything happened at once.
George MacGowan pulled the steering wheel hard over to the left, heart hammering, eyes dazzled by the headlights as…
Ellis Burwell, filled with anger, floored his accelerator and began to overtake the coach on the inside lane. His car had just begun to pass the rear of the coach when the entire vehicle swung at him, vast and powerful and shuddering. He jammed his hand down on the horn.
And then the screaming began."