26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2000
Continuing the adventures of Christopher Snow, Orson, Bobby and Sasha, "Seize the Night" moved so quickly I read it in one sitting. It was like a movie, experiencing everything in one night, but Koontz, as ever, goes beyond the mere adventure/thriller/horror theme.
Its predecessor, "Fear Nothing", brought us the story of what's happening in Moonlight Bay. "Seize the Night" focuses more on the friendship and emotions of the characters; we get to know them better (except Orson, who's kidnapped and hidden for most of the book). And these definitely are people I'd like to know, and have as friends!
The geek-speak and general banter worked for me - that's basically how my friends and I speak to each other, and that made the whole story more real. The surfer lingo was a plus. It made their conversations much more fun.
Koontz's message that love, friendship and caring for one's fellow man are the most important things in life is familiar to most of his readers - it's a theme he's carried through many of his books, such as "Watchers", "Strangers", "Intensity", "Mr Murder", etc. And his characterisation is as wonderful as ever.
As with his other books, I felt really comfortable with the characters, and I was concerned about what would happen to them. And the pace of the book, the scary situations, the action and adventure added to the thrill!
The monkeys are back and as aggressive as ever, if not more so, while the mysterious figure from "Fear Nothing" shows itself, although it's as much of a mystery as ever (and a reminder of the Outsider in "Watchers". The way in which the residents of Moonlight Bay are changing is described more fully, and the way in which it's changing people who were "good" guys in "Fear Nothing" into villains is made chillingly clear.
In fact, this book seems more like a movie on paper!
I can't wait to see what the third installment will bring, and how the world will end in Mr Koontz's hands.
One thing, though - try to read "Fear Nothing" before you read this book. That's where the characters are developed. "Seize the Night" is written with the understanding that the reader has met them all before, and has learned the basis of the story. Trust me, it'll make far more sense!
26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
1 star = abysmal; some books deserve to be forgotten
2 star = poor; a total waste of time
3 star = good; worth the effort
4 star = very good; what writing should be
5 star = fantastic; must own it and share it with others
STORY: More of Christopher Snow and his pals in this "sequel" to Fear Nothing. Again Snow is confronted with a mystery and crimes of the local military base as he tracks down the kidnapped five-year-old son of his former sweetheart.
1) I so liked Christopher Snow, his dog Orson, his "dream" girlfriend Sasha, and his funny buddy Bobby that I had to come back for seconds. Each of the characters has a sense of humor and enjoyable qualities that make the reader connect and care for them.
2) The first-person told story works pretty well and kept my attention more than if this were told in the third person. I had an immediate bond with the protagonist and this allowed Koontz to keep the reader in the dark as much as he keeps Christopher Snow in the dark on a lot of issues. It added to the mysteriousness of the mystery, if you know what I mean.
3) Problem with this story is that Koontz goes on and on with every bit of setting description and tangents through the thoughts of the character. Though some of the thoughts are funny and entertaining, the story extends a typical 5 page scene into a 25+ page scene.
At some points I was screaming, "Get to the point". While at other points the drawing out of the scene added to an extended sense of suspense that became intense and like eating raw lemons there is a part that says in your mind, "Why am I doing this to myself", and another part that thoroughly enjoys it no matter how much it makes your face pucker.
4) Keith Szarabajka did a great job of acting out this book, which probably added to some of the moments of suspense and well delivery of humor. Great job, Keith.
5) I think I like the story better in this second book than the first. Both are entertaining and not a waste of time though.
OVERALL: I still think Watchers is the scariest book not only from Koontz by the scariest book I've ever read. With that said, this book isn't in the same category but with its believable and entertaining characters this was a fun story.
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
This is actually the second book in a projected trilogy, but one of the neat things Mr. Koontz does here is that he writes it in such a way that it stands alone. Yet, if you've had the chance to read the first installment, _Fear Nothing_, this only enhances the experience further.
Chris Snow, the protagonist, is limited to a night-time existence by the presence of a gene for XP, a condition that makes exposure to sunlight potentially lethal. This hasn't limited him or his amazingly positive outlook on life any. He has a collection of friends that anyone would be proud to have.
In _Seize the Night_, we get a chance to explore more deeply into the abandoned army base at Fort Wyvern, wherein all manner of sinister, secret government projects were apparently underway, with some suggestion that they haven't all been abandoned. Wyvern is a great creation--an eerie place haunted by the genetically altered results of an experiment gone wrong.
The entire town of Moonlight Bay is a memorable setting for these stories--government men and their local toadies have clamped down on all attempts to get the story out to the world at large. Indeed, it sometimes seems like armageddon may have been loosed upon the world from the seemingly peaceful area.
The book is very highly recommended. If you have the chance, by all means read _Fear Nothing_ first, however.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on March 14, 2004
Chris Snow, his dog Orson, Sasha, and Bobby are all back, but this time it involves something more evil. Moonlight Bay looks more beautiful at night and Chris knows this from experience. Afflicted with a rare skin disorder that leaves him vulnerable to light, he has come to develop rituals that make the night his home. But as beautiful as Moonlight Bay is at night, that is when shows its menace. Now children are dissapearing. They are being taken right out of their homes and vanishing without a trace. There is nothing the families can do about it, because in Moonlight Bay, the cops work to conceal crimes and do anything they can to protect the town's deadly secret. Chris believes that the children's dissapearance and the town's secret are connected, and that the missing children are still alive. When an old friend of Chris's begs him to find her child, he plunges back into the realm of evil and mystery that only happens after dark.
I read "Fear Nothing" and "Seize the Night" back to back. While "Fear Nothing" was the superior book in the Chris Snow series, "Seize the Night" is still a very worthy sequel. The story looks more into the mystery of Moonlight Bay, and it also offers creatures that are new and even more terrifying than the originals. The story was put on a much grander scale, because Chris attempts to rescue the missing children. In "Fear Nothing" the whole story revolved around Chris only helping himself. The characters are still top notch. In "Seize the Night", we get to take a deeper look into Bobby's past and see another side of him. He still has the great dialogue of a laid back surfer. I like Sasha better in this story, because Koontz gives her more of a role in helping Chris. The most surprising character however is Roosevelt. While he was in the first story, we learned nothing about him. He is the story's Dr. Doolittle, because he has the ability to communicate with animals. This also helps to give Chris's dog Orson more of a role in the story. The last thing that is great about both of the Chris Snow books is that they are in a first person narrative coming from Chris. It gives the story a more personal feel. "Seize the Night" does have its flaws however. At times I felt like I was reading a recycled version of "Fear Nothing". Koontz spends time repeating information about characters and events that happened in the first book. The sequel's job is to expand on issues from the first book, not repeat them.
"Seize the Night" has very few flaws, and is almost as good as "Fear Nothing". The mystery of Moonlight Bay is expanded upon, new and scarier creatures are added to the story, and Koontz's character development of all the characters was amazing. The good news is that the ending was left open for another sequel. Hopefully Dean Koontz will choose to make the Chris Snow saga into a trilogy!!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
This was my first Koontz book, and I loved it. Admittedly, I am a reader who gravitates toward alternative books, those who don't quite make it to the popular mainstream. Thus, my late acquaintance of Mr. Koontz. Silly me. Once again I am reverting to my quaint habit of listening to audio books as I weed in my garden. I started this one last summer, summer ended, as did the weeding, and I put it away, unfinished. I picked it up again first thing this summer, and started over, delightedly reminded of the intrigue that had held me quite rapt last summer. I didn't mind starting at the beginning again at all.
Now, what intrigues me about this book is how believable it is, and how it dovetails so nicely with the poli-sci reading that I *do* do. It's more realistic than you might think. More horrendous than you would want to think realistic. Koontz knows something, and he's telling it the only way he thinks he can get it across. For those who dismiss what he has to say as pure fiction, well, do your homework.
Even more than that, though, is Koontz's delightful way of turning a phrase, painting a picture with his words, making knowledgeable references to time and place and culture that most, if not all of us can relate to. More than once I smiled and even giggled as he captured an image with a brilliant metaphor. The man is good. He's very good. And yes, I'll read more by him.
The point I want to make, though, is that if you are in the habit of following my reading and my reviews, this one fits right in. You might not think so, but check it out. You will be amazed. I know I was.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 22, 2000
For years Dean Koontz fans have been clamoring for the author to write a sequel to his most popular work; Watchers. This isn't it, but it is indeed a sequel. Seize the Night is an immediate follow up of Koontz's last book, Fear Nothing. Like its predecessor, Seize the Night is a first person account from Christopher Snow, sufferer of xeroderma pigmentosum, and native resident of Moonlight Bay, a small California town that had the misfortune of being home to a vast,now defunct, top secret military testing laboratory. Stricken with XP, an incurable(real life)genetic disorder, that renders a person EXTREMELY sensitive to any kind of ultraviolet radiation, Snow does battle with the myriad of consequences stemming from Fort Wyvern's untold number of failed experiments. Some of which are beginning to have frightening and large scale side effects. Armed with trendy surfer lingo, a motley assortment of resourceful friends, and two four legged companions with enhanced intelligence(a la Watchers), Christopher Snow faces a gene altering epidemic, savage troops of rhesus monkeys, and a new threat, the experiment gone way wrong--Mystery Train. We've seen the others before but the thing that actually induces fear is the slow realization of Mystery Train's purpose. Unlike Fear Nothing the second two thirds of Seize the Night are much more chill inspiring. After all, what are bioengineered monkeys compared to an irresistible, malignent 'place' pushing its way into our reality? As far as the writing style Dean Koontz has adopted for Moonlight Bay's adventures we must remember that he was very successful with it in his book Twilight Eyes, and he is more so here with the self-reflecting thought processes of Christopher Snow. One of Koontz's major influences was John D. Macdonald's Travis Mcgee storyline, and with good reason, those books are some of the most eloquently written, first person narratives in contemporary fiction. If at first, this sequel seems like a rehash of Fear Nothing stick with it, appreciate Snow's reflections, and by the middle of the story you will realize the something truly scary is happening in Lauderdale--oops!--I mean Moonlight Bay.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2000
I'm a true Koontz devotee, having read nearly everything he has written. He's definitely an up and down author and you always have to take your chances. I guess I'd put this one around the middle. Good story, but long winded and failing to successfully suspend disbelief as well as some of his better novels. Koontz is always wordy, but in his better books you're well into what's happening before halfway through the book and the pace thereafter tends to maintain itself. He doesn't have the way with words and turns of phrases that Stephen King does to hold interest very well during descriptive passages (but also doesn't get stuck in description for 900 pages the way King does).
He just belabours the point too much - far too much of the book on the relationships and on mental ramblings, which leads him to end up rushing the climactic portions of the book. I'm hoping the 3rd installment moves along better.
It doesn't match up to some of his really excellent books like Strangers (pretty wordy, but great premise), Lightning (starts out slow, but what a great idea), The Bad Place, or Watchers (being an animal lover, one of the best sci-fi novels I ever read, ranks right up there with King's The Dead Zone).
If you're a Koontz fan, you'll read it anyway. If you are not, read a few of the others I've mentioned first.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2012
As suspense writers go, Dean Koontz is a master. "Seize the Night" is a book that delivers thrills, chills, and edge-of-your-seat action. Chris Snow is a treasure as a character; overly sensitive to light, Snow exists in a world of shadow and darkness, coming out to play when all others are settling in for their appointments with Mr. Sandman. During a nightly bike ride, Snow comes upon a neighbor whose son has vanished from his bed. He promises to help find the child and finds himself on an adventure that you would literally have to read to believe.
What makes this novel work is the pacing, the dynamics between characters, even the setting itself - a town called Moonlight Bay, which sounds pretty but hides ugly secrets. While Koontz spends a few too many pages with his character Snow stumbling around a dark army base (Fort Wyvern) seeing nothing but darkness (it's almost as though Koontz just couldn't convince himself that the reader would be able to understand the pitch blackness of the place), the rest of the novel is fascinating. With everything from scientifcally altered monkeys to a dead body to a writhing mass of rattlers (I no longer have a desire to drive on any back roads after dark), the myseries of Fort Wyvern will keep the reader entertained for hours.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2000
I have read many bad reviews of Seize the Night and Fear Nothing. The more harsh critics talk about a 50 year old author attempting to sound like a surfer in his 20's and a meandering plot. I find both books rivitng. The second picking up so closely from the first is exactly what I like to see.
The plot is definitly not realistic, but that is what we have come to expect from Dean Koontz. It is mystery, fantasy, sci-fi, love story, and novel all rolled up into 443 pages.
Chris Snow personifies what a hero should be. Just a regular guy with a squeaky clean rap and a cross to bear that gives him vision instead of wallowing in self pity. Welcome back to the day of the role model.
Cheers to Dean Koonts and Jeers to those who detract from the book by not allowing the story to be exactly what it should be. A good read, A squeeky clean hero, and an imaginitive ride through the wold of Dean Koontz.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 4, 1999
The story was interesting, a more or less novel concept, but dear God, the ridiculous and over-used similes and metaphors diminished the plot and made me gag as did the surfer lingo. When did it become unacceptable to say a persons face "turned white" or drained? Why does it have to be "turned as white as a person half way through putting on mime makeup for an evening performance" (that may not be the exact quote but it was much like it). Over use of A LOT of terms including "animal eye-shine" took away from the intrigue. The surfer lingo was annoying and diminished the story as well. This is the first Dean Koontz novel I've "read" (I listened to the audio version) and I'm not sure I'll read another one of his.