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By the Light of the Moon: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – May 29, 2012


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reprint edition (May 29, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553593277
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553593273
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (268 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #218,648 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Perhaps more than any other author, Koontz writes fiction perfectly suited to the mood of America post-September 11: novels that acknowledge the reality and tenacity of evil but also the power of good; that celebrate the common man and woman; that at their best entertain vastly as they uplift. His latest is one of those best, exciting and deeply moving, shorter than usual and also less prone to the overwriting, the flood of similes and metaphors, that sometimes overwhelms his storytelling. As usual for Koontz, the novel opens at full throttle: a mad doctor invades a motel in Arizona, injects both itinerant artist Dylan O'Connor and struggling comic Jillian Jackson (strangers to one another) with an unknown substance that, he says, is his life's work and will have some unknown effect, then warns them to flee before his enemies kill them; soon after, the doctor is slain by heavily armed assailants. The rest of the story is an extended chase, as Dylan and Jillian, along with Dylan's high-functioning autistic brother, Shep, dart around the West, only steps ahead of the assassins. Within hours, the effects of the injections materialize: Jillian experiences portentous visions-a flock of birds, a woman in a church; Dylan is overcome by the need to rush to the aid of people in distress (among others, in an intensely poignant scene, an elderly man searching for his missing daughter); and Shep learns to teleport himself and others. (Interestingly, Koontz bases the science behind these developments on nanotechnology, the same mechanism used by Michael Crichton in his just published Prey, an object lesson in how two writers can take the same premise and generate two very different yet excellent novels). The novel's only flaw is its abrupt ending, contrived probably to allow sequels-a probability that Koontz fans, but also anyone else who reads this novel, a predestined bestseller and rightfully so, will applaud.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Someone menacing is after itinerant artist Dylan, his autistic brother, and their new traveling companion, Jilly, a stand-up comic who has visions. And they only have the novel's 24-hour time span to figure out who it is.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Dean Koontz, the author of many #1 New York Times bestsellers, lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, their golden retriever Anna, and the enduring spirit of their golden, Trixie.

Customer Reviews

I will say that this ending does not drag on as much as some others, and doesn't seem as rushed, just...pointless.
Amazon Customer
Koontz devotes a considerable portion of the narrative to develop an autistic character named Shep while neglecting many other aspects of the novel.
Melkor
I thought the premise of the story was very interesting, and the inclusion of the Art Bell-like character was humorous.
AZBlondie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

82 of 91 people found the following review helpful By Jan P. Dennis on December 22, 2002
Format: Audio Cassette
Ever since the Christopher Snow novels (Fear Nothing and Seize the Night), Dean Koontz has been perfecting his own sub-genre, the spiritual thriller. His work has fully come to fruition in his two latest books, One Door Away from Heaven and By the Light of the Moon.
It's interesting to compare the latter with Michael Crichton's Prey. Both deal with nanotechnology. Both are in the thriller genre. That's where the similarity ends. Crichton is a Cassandra. Koontz is a prophet of the good news (not really the Christian gospel, but something very close). The thing that most clearly separates Koontz from Crichton is the former's deep concern for people, especially those who would generally be considered the dregs of society-trailer park denizens, kids with terminal illnesses, dead-end divorcees. These are the people through whom salvation comes, not the scientists, not the theologians, not the cultural arbiters.
By the Light of the Moon, perhaps Koontz' most accomplished novel to date, concerns three misfits, Dylan O'Conner and his adult autistic brother, Shep, and Jillian Jackson, a third-rate stand-up comic. These three share a common, albeit bizarre, thread of recent personal history: each has been infected with an unknown substance, administered by a benign-looking although ego-maniacally demented mad scientist, that will either destroy them or endow them with remarkable powers-or perhaps both. They find themselves thrown together and on the run, from mysterious forces who want nothing less that their termination, with extreme prejudice.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Victor Mondy on December 31, 2002
Format: Hardcover
As a long time reader of Dean Koontz books, I have been somewhat disappointed with his most recent novels. Although by most standards they are very readable, they lack much of what has made Dean Koontz a solid best-selling author for so many years - strong characters, tight storytelling. I found the author's recent books to be overly descriptive and somewhat flowery (sorry, but it's hard to describe the exact nature of the problem - also note, I still read them all!).
I am very pleased then to say that his most recent novel, By The Light of the Moon is not only his best in recent years but may be his best since Dark Rivers of the Heart.
The characters - Dylan, Shepherd and Jilly - are brought together after they have been injected with nanobots, microscopic biological machines, which bring about unique changes in our characters. Dylan is able to identify events already happened or yet to come in the residue left by a person's touch on various objects. Jilly develops precognition. Shep, Dylan's autistic brother, develops the most exciting ability. He can "fold" from "here" to "there". He seems to be able to grasp the edge of reality where he is and fold it out of the way while folding into another location. While this "folding" can be accomplished in either space or time, the ability to "fold" into other dimensions is hinted at, creating exciting possibilities for these characters in the future. The author describes this process so eloquently that it reminds one of Stephen King and Peter Straub's young Jack Sawyer "Flipping" into the Territories in The Talisman and Dark House.
The author follows these character's actions with little interruption by the band of black Suburbans following them (full of thug golfers (you'll see!)).
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Eric Wilson TOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Shame on me. Despite my father's encouragement, I've taken this long to read a Koontz novel. It was worth the wait.
"By the Light of the Moon" leaps forward from the first few pages. Clearly, Koontz is one of those writers who knows how to start the story at the right spot--in the middle of the action. Within twenty pages, he thrusts us into an otherworldly and suspenseful setting, where three young people will be altered forever.
The story begins when Jilly, Dylan, and Shep's lives collide in a motel where a mad-scientist type character injects them with "stuff" and promises that "it does something different to everyone." Indeed, Dylan begins to feel psychic spoors on objects he touches, Jilly sees visions/mirages, and Shep learns how to "fold" the world around him (read the book to find out more). As they focus their abilities, the characters are bound together in a race to save lives and divert heartache and pain.
Koontz masterfully draws his characters, causing us to care for them and their predicament. Shep is an autistic boy, Dylan is the brother committed to caring for him, and Jilly is the stand-up comedian who stumbles into their path. Koontz lets his characters be themselves. He lets us see into their pasts and into their hearts with effective timing and skill. He keeps surprises up his sleeve, and divvies them out at appropriate moments. Although he spices his writing with rich similes and metaphors that add to the mood and direction of the story, I did find the sheer volume of them distracting at times.
The climax of the book was my only disappointment. The story moved from fringe characters in a predicament to "The Matrix" meets "X-Men." The scenes are handled deftly, and the bigger issues of fate and free-will are intriguing to contemplate, but Koontz's comic book ending undermined my enjoyment of the themes he explored.
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