Saturday, November 20, 2010

Saturday Review of Books: Lightning, by Dean Koontz



Although I'm a huge fan of Dean Koontz, I always have to tag that statement with a little disclaimer.

I've actually had to stop reading some of Koontz' earlier books, thanks to gratuitous sex, profanity, and plots so bizarre as to be either too disturbing for me or on the other end of the scale, almost laughable (and not in a good way.)

However, I have to say that some of his later writings are among the best books I've ever read, combining suspense and sci-fi in highly entertaining fashion, and all from a world view with which I identify.


Lightning
is one of those terrrific Dean Koontz books.

Knowing I need a real page-turner when I fly, I picked this up at my local library, and it didn't disappoint.

It all begins on the night of Laura Shane's birth, when a mysterious stranger ties up and detains the drunken doctor that was supposed to deliver her.

This handsome, blonde, blue-eyed stranger continues to make cameo appearances throughout Laura's life--always showing up just in time to prevent catastrophe.

The little girl comes to think of him as her Guardian...and she really needs one when she becomes orphaned and has to live in a home where the authorities turn a blind eye to the fact that the janitor is a pedophile obsessed with Laura.

Laura's childhood difficulties just end up making her a stronger person, though, and she's one of those classic Koontz heroines--beautiful but tough, likable and even admirable.

We're dying to discover who Laura's Guardian is just as much as she is...and when we do find out, it adds an even more intriguing and fascinating element to the story.

Lightning kept me involved, absorbed and entertained from beginning to end.

Although admittedly a fantastical tale, Koontz reins in his sometimes unbelievably crazy imagination just enough to make us believe in it and care about Laura and her Guardian through the very last page.

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4 comments:

Scribe said...

Great review! Lightning sounds like quite an interesting read, and I'm always up for a book that skillfully blends sci-fi and suspense. Thanks for the recommendation! I'll have to check it out!

~ the Ink Slinger

(BTW, thanks for your kind comment on my book review)

seth said...

Love this book. It was my first Dean Koontz and I've read many since, though I enjoy his newer works more than the older stuff.

Amy said...

Hmm... I haven't read anything by this author. Not sure it would be my type of book, but it does sound intriguing!

Nicola said...

I don't know if you are aware of this but Koontz is a practicing Catholic and I find that his later books have Christian/Catholic themes, good vs. evil, his evil characters have no shades of grey, redemption, etc. and there is an obvious Catholic Christian worldview present in them, if you know to look for it.

I only read a couple of his earlier stuff way, way back in my pre-Christ days so I can't remember the difference but may it be possible he was not a practicing Catholic at the time and it shows in his work?

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