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Phantoms by Dean Koontz

Phantoms (original 1983; edition 2002)

by Dean Koontz

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2,681302,212 (3.69)31
Authors:Dean Koontz
Info:Berkley (2002), Edition: Reissue, Mass Market Paperback, 448 pages
Collections:Your library

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Phantoms by Dean Koontz (1983)

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English (28)  French (1)  Italian (1)  All (30)
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
It could be anything.

The story starts off with a quick taste of fear and danger, then slows things down with a car ride conversation between two sisters. This is the pattern the author adopts for much of the story; a brief moment of true terror, followed by a long cool down. Characters spend large portions of the story sharing anecdotal stories about themselves as they try to cope with the stress of what’s happening. These backstories help to lull the reader, preparing them for the next fresh scare.

The scares themselves are vivid and well done, with careful attention to graphic details that bring the horror to life.

Unfortunately that’s all the story ever amounts to. At first the rationed scares help to populate every shadow with an unseen threat, but over time it becomes clear that a true attack will only come once an allotted span of time has passed, and some characters cannot die.

To his credit the author makes a valiant effort to make every character feel real, and it is in the characters that this story shines, but the central plot of the novel runs a bit thin. Large portions of the book are spent waiting. The story masterfully manages information, providing just enough o spark new questions, but once the mystery is solved the answer turns out to be simple and rather crude. The resolution feels less like a climax and more like an obligatory cleanup afterwards.

Phantoms is a good demonstration of suspense, but suspense also builds up expectations. The greater the hype around a question, the stronger the answer must be.

+Strong Suspense
+Strong Description
*Complex Characters
*Slow Pacing
-Weak Plot

2/5 ( )
  adamg211 | Sep 7, 2016 |
I read this book when I was 13 and it gave me nightmares, lol. It was my first Dean Koontz book and I waited till high school before I read anymore. However, I love his writing and this is still one of my all time favorites. ( )
  gloryfindel | Jun 15, 2016 |
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.
( )
  ErinPaperbackstash | Jun 14, 2016 |
9.2, graded by jscomics
  howie | Aug 28, 2015 |
"Phantoms" by Dean Koontz is a wonderful book for a person looking for a truly creepy read. This book revolves around the town of Snowfield, California. The Paige sisters Jenny and Lisa have just come back to Snowfield and the town has been turned into a nightmare. Everybody is either dead or missing. The bodies found have been killed in bizarre manners that are unexplainable. The girls call in help and the Military's Biological Investigations Unit is called in, but this is something they have never dealt with before. The cause of all this mayhem is something truly evil that's has been around for centuries. It's intelligent and deadly. "Phantoms" is the perfect thriller mixed with enough creepiness to keep you jumping at shadows and afraid to be alone. Koontz is one of the masters at writing thriller books filled with fantasy and supernatural horror and he doesn't disappoint with this read. Trust me once you read it you'll never forget it. ( )
  Jennamarie96 | Mar 3, 2015 |
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Fear came upon me, and trembling.
The Book of Job, 4:14
The civilized human spirit ... cannot
get rid of a feeling of the uncanny.
Dr. Faustus, Thomas Mann
This book is dedicated to
the one who is always there,
the one who always cares,
the one who always understands,
the one like whom there is no other:


my wife and my best friend.
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The scream was distant and brief.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0425181103, Mass Market Paperback)

The lights are on in Snowfield, California, a cozy ski village nestled in the Sierra Madres, but nobody seems to be home. When Dr. Jenny Paige returns to the small town, she finds tables set for dinner, meals being prepared, and music playing in living rooms, but there's no trace of the people who put the water on to boil or set an extra place for company at the dinner table. As she explores the town, Paige finds friends and neighbors felled by a mysterious force--the bodies show no visible signs of violence or disease, and no known plague kills victims before the ice in their dinner drinks has time to melt. But the deep quiet that surrounds her offers few clues about the fate of the town's inhabitants. Dean Koontz's Phantoms strikes fear in readers from the very beginning. The mystery deepens, paving the way for a chilling journey toward the truth. If you plan to catch the film version, starring Ben Affleck and Peter O'Toole, remember that you'll be experiencing this terrifying story in a dark theater. So bring an arm to grab!

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:01 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

When 300 residents of the little town of Snowfield, California, disappear and 150 others die suddenly, a doctor and a dedicated county sheriff, aided by government authorities and scientists, pursue the terrifying mystery.

(summary from another edition)

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