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Winter Moon Mass Market Paperback – January 30, 2001

121 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A brush with death prompts L.A. policeman Jack McGarvey to move wife Heather and son Toby up to Quartermass Ranch, a Montana estate bequeathed to them by Eduardo Fernandez, the father of Jack's former partner. The McGarveys settle in, dismissing strange noises and smells, as well as weird trances that seem to grip Toby from time to time, as the embodiment of common fears of urbanites confronted by open spaces. It seems Eduardo had had uninvited visitors: the Givers, creatures from another dimension who came for an incomprehensible, apparently evil purpose. Scared out of his wits, Ed succumbed to a heart attack, but not before scrawling his discovery on a legal pad and stashing it in the freezer. These Givers are actually takers, assuming control of bodies and corpses to use them as vehicles in which to create mayhem. And now they want control of Toby. Bestselling author Koontz ( Hideaway ) exploits and occasionally skewers many horror novel and film conventions--including telepathic mind control games and the obligatory "surprise" blizzard during the climatic battle--to great effect while building tension in this gripping parable about the real cost of "getting away from it all."
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

It seems these nasty octopi have invaded Montana. At first, you don't see them. Then they go inside raccoons and squirrels and crows and make their brains explode. Then they ride around on corpses { }a la Night of the Living Dead. Shotguns won't stop them. Uzis won't stop them. Fire won't stop them. Only mind control works. The mind of the innocent: young Toby McGarvey, son of that brave policeman Jack McGarvey, who was nearly killed ridding the earth of scum down in L.A. The family comes to Montana because they inherit a ranch from Eduardo Fernandez, whose only son was Jack's slain partner. There's also some stuff about a crazed movie director out on a killing spree, but it's never quite connected to the octopi. Are the octopi symbolic of the evil that slinks and oozes among Angelenos? Probably not. Does Koontz mean to trade upon the contemporary myth of cattle mutilations? Maybe so. Anyhow, this paperback original is the first of 10 that Ballantine intends to publish, and the print run is two million. John Mort --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (January 30, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553582933
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553582932
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,675,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By DanD VINE VOICE on June 28, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Jack McGarvey, one of L.A.'s finest, is wounded in a violent and spectacular gunfight. In Montana, Eduardo Fernandez encounters something in the woods...something which means him harm.
When Eduardo dies, and McGarvey inherits the man's cabin, it seems like a dream: a chance to get away from the city and really LIVE. But living may turn to dying, and the McGarvey family is about to find out. There is still something in the woods, and it wasn't satisfied with Eduardo. It want's McGarvey's young son...and is ready to do anything to get him...
This isn't Koontz's best, but as a sci-fi thriller, it's pretty darn good. A "creature feature", yes, but it's more than that, as any Koontz novel is: it's a novel of a man defending his family against an unknown evil, and coming to grips with himself. A reworked version of an earlier Koontz story, this novel is, like most of Koontz's work, a nearly-flawless thrill ride of chills and suspense. Dean Koontz is a masterful writer; "Winter Moon" is an incredible novel. Get the picture?
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Thriller Lover VINE VOICE on January 25, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've read every novel by Dean Koontz, and I would put WINTER MOON in the bottom third. This is not a terrible novel, but it's very slow paced in the middle and the ending is not particularly satisfying. This is supposed to be an alien invasion story, but the alien is essentially little more than a two-dimensional monster. Little explanation is provided for why the alien behaves as it does, and I found this story made very little sense as a result. Koontz has told this type of monster story much better in other novels, most notably PHANTOMS.

This novel also is very preachy in spots, where Koontz promotes his personal views on gun control, urban crime, the film industry, graffiti artists, heavy metal music, and a variety of other subjects. Although I mostly agree with Koontz's views, I don't read fiction to validate my own political beliefs. In any case, the sermonizing slows down the story.

I'm a big Dean Koontz fan, and my advice is to avoid this novel if you've never read Koontz before. Instead, read some of his stronger novels, such as WATCHERS, ODD THOMAS, PHANTOMS, INTENSITY, LIGHTNING and FEAR NOTHING. Those novels will turn you into a fan.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 8, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a highly entertaining, quick read, that is sure to provide some chills. Here, a heroic, Los Angeles Police Department cop, Jack McGarvey, is shot and almost killed in a wild shoot out which sees several civilians killed, as well as his partner, the second partner Jack has lost inside of a year. After a four month convalescence, Jack, his wife Heather, and their son Toby receive an unexpected gift, seemingly from the Gods. Eduardo Hernandez, the father of his former partner of eleven years, died and left Jack a six hundred acre ranch in Montana, as well as a substantial sum of cash. Having decided that enough is enough, Jack and Heather agree to relocate to Montana.

Unbeknownst to Jack, before seventy year old Eduardo Hernandez died, he had been experiencing some mighty strange goings on at the ranch. One night, a bizarre, electronic oscillation pulsed through the bone deep quiet of the Montana air, coming in disturbing waves, accompanied by the sense of an alien presence. An amber radiance resonated through the pine woods surrounding the ranch. Lasting only seven minutes, the phenomena disappeared, only to return a month later in an even more disquieting fashion. Louder, with more rhythmic pounding, it caused the house to vibrate. An undulation of sound lured Eduardo out of his home, where a luminescent amber radiance once again emanated from the woods, calling out to him, the sense of an alien presence overwhelming. It then disappeared, as quickly as it began. A month later, the same thing occured, only this time a two dimensional doorway into infinite blackness appeared, a portal into the unknown. Soon after this portal appeared, the surrounding wildlife began to act strangely. Just what was going on?

Read this book and find out. Just remember...leave the lights on!
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By John Smith on February 22, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Well, wow! does this book have punches!!

I have to admit to a particular part of the book when Eduardo encounters one of these "Givers" on his front porch. He hears them walking and aproaching his door, he demands a reaponse, but there is none; and finally when he comes face to face with this entity it kills him!

Another disturbing part of the story is when little Toby and Jack are out in the cemetary where most of the family appeared to have been buried a few yards from the house and when Jacks tries to figure out what his son, Toby meant by when he said: "Where do we go when we die?"

And with that said Toby looked up from the epitaph and looked directly at his father and Jack noticed that it was not his son he was speaking to. His eyes were completly black and it was though you could almost see through to him...

THis was beyond scary!!!! I definatly recommecnt this thriller to anyone who isn't scared easily!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 28, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Winter Moon was an okay, but by no means fantastic, read. The story goes like this: Jack McGarvey is a cop who gets shot up on the job in LA and decides that he just can't take the mean streets anymore. He moves his family out to a Montana ranch inherited from Eduardo Fernandez (his dead partner's father). Before his death, Fernandez discovers a strange 'alien' being of some kind that has no purpose or motivation other than to 'become' and 'hate'. A face to face confrontation with this being is what causes Fernandez'a ultimate demise, from a heart attack. When the McGarveys move to the ranch, they soon discover this being. Before long they find themselves in battle for their very survival.
This story would have been much better, except for a couple of problems. 1.Way too much backstory. The whole first half of the book is literally split in two. You go back and forth between Jack's recovery from the shooting in an LA hospital and Fernandez's various encounters with the alien. Because it takes literally half the book for the main plot to get going, you feel like you are reading two different books, and end up unable to fully get involved with the plot of either. Really, DK could have split this up into two books that could have stood on their own. 2.The alien's lack of any motivation that the reader would be able to understand was just unsatisfying. While it might be true that we could never understand something that is truely alien, because of it's very 'alien-ness', it doesn't make for very satisfying story telling.
This isn't the worst book I've ever read, but DK can (and has) done a lot better. As long-time fans know, he is a little hit or miss. Newcomers to DK novels should not let this novel put them off of future readings.
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