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By the Light of the Moon Hardcover – December 24, 2002
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"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
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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.
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.
Top customer reviews
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By the Light of the Moon was one of those delightful and surprising books. The "surprise" was never quite figuring out the doctor's motivation and in particular why he picked Dylan and Shep initially to carry on his "life's work". As more details are revealed so is the connection. Each of the three main characters Dylan, Shep and Jillian have been injected with a secret serum and it has a different effect on each of the characters. By working as a team the three are able to develop strategies that help them to avoid being caught by the "government men" who want to get their hands on this serum. Shep is autistic and yet his "power" seems to be the most unusual and magnificent of the three, a real gift. Jilly, a total stranger to Dylan and Shep until that strange night when they were injected, becomes a real part of the "family". She has wonderful patience with Shep and his actions related to his autism. In addition, Koontz does a great job of exploring autism and showed me what it must be like to live with and be responsible for an autistic family member. As Shep accepts Jilly as part of the "family" he grows and changes, and yet realistically is not "cured" of his autism. His gift does give him increased self-confidence and helps to go beyond his shyness to help the other two.
I really enjoyed the suspense of thinking I knew the doctor's motives, only to find that Koontz adds more to the story right up to the end.
I recommend this for all Koontz fans and for those who may not have tried Koontz, this is a great book with which to begin. Koontz is an author who explores the inner strength of characters and a belief in there being some goodness in humanity.