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Bending the Spine

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Review: Breathless by Dean Koontz

#1 New York Times bestselling author Dean Koontz delivers a thrilling novel of suspense and adventure, as the lives of strangers converge around a mystery unfolding high in the Colorado mountains—and the balance of the world begins to tilt….
In the stillness of a golden September afternoon, deep in the wilderness of the Rockies, a solitary craftsman, Grady Adams, and his magnificent Irish wolfhound Merlin step from shadow into light…and into an encounter with enchantment. That night, through the trees, under the moon, a pair of singular animals will watch Grady's isolated home, waiting to make their approach.

A few miles away, Camillia Rivers, a local veterinarian, begins to unravel the threads of a puzzle that will bring all the forces of a government in peril to her door.

At a nearby farm, long-estranged identical twins come together to begin a descent into darkness…In Las Vegas, a specialist in chaos theory probes the boundaries of the unknowable…On a Seattle golf course, two men make matter-of-fact arrangements for murder…Along a highway by the sea, a vagrant scarred by the past begins a trek toward his destiny…

In a novel that is at once wholly of our time and timeless, fearless and funny, Dean Koontz takes readers into the moment between one turn of the world and the next, across the border between knowing and mystery. It is a journey that will leave all who take it Breathless.

Audio CD, Published November 24th 2009 by Brilliance Audio on MP3-CD Lib Ed (first published 2009)
ISBN: 142335706X (ISBN13: 9781423357063)
Breathless left me anything but.  All it left me was confused, bewildered.
Koontz weaves a masterful tale, suspense, intrigue, fantasy.  A story that drew me in and left me waiting for the next time I was in my Tribute to hear the next section of the story.  However, in Part Three, Koontz veers of the path, through roads not marked on the map, and got me very, very lost.
*There may be some spoilers, just to warn you*
Henry: this is probably the best part of the entire story.  Henry and his descent into madness.  I wanted to know more about the tormentor, see what happened next, what crazy mess was waiting for Henry.  And then you get to the end of the book, and well, that’s it.  No more Henry.  It was very disappointing.

Grady & Cami: This is where most of the story takes place, with these two.  And the creatures, which when it comes down to it are the beginning of a fantastic horror story that never happens.  This whole story is very vanilla, plain, simple.  It never met my expectations.

Tom: what was the point of his story? None I suspect because he wasn’t a vital part of anything at all.  Nothing.  A waste of words.  The same is true for the various other characters in the plotline.  Koontz weaves their stories together, sure, but spends too much time on them, gives way, way too much back story.  For many of these I just wanted to get to the point, figure out why they were important.

As a whole, there was so much that underwhelmed me, left me wishing there was one more MP3 file left.  I don’t know what Koontz was trying to get at.  It felt as if he wrote the first two parts, and in the midst of Part Three decided to take an entirely different route, wax a little poetic at the end, and conclude the story.  Or he was starting a series, then decided better of it.

There was no conclusion, no wrap-up.  It was a “that’s all folks” moment where it just ends.  There was so much going on for so long, and then nothing is tied up.  Government conspiracy?  Forget about it, you won’t know what it was.  Creatures from the future?  Yeah, but they’re not going to eat your face while you sleep or even tell you why they’re here.  A whole lot of nothing is what happened.  Nothing and then some more nothing, followed by…ugh wait some…, nope I was wrong…nothing.  It was such a disappointment that if this had been my first Koontz book, I would not understand why people hold him in such high regards.  But, since this is not, I’ll give ‘im another try.

1 Star: Won’t take your breath away, but it might leave you breathless and confused.

Get to reading,

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