- Series: Koontz, Dean R.
- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Bantam; First Edition edition (May 25, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 055380250X
- ISBN-13: 978-0553802504
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 756 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #548,877 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Taking Hardcover – May 25, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
In 1975, the now defunct Laser Books issued Invasion by Aaron Wolfe, aka Koontz (who later expanded that novel into Winter Moon, 1994), a breakneck tale of alien invasion centered on an isolated farm. Koontz's new novel also concerns alien invasion, and a comparison of the two books offers insight into the evolution of this megaselling author's work. Invasion was mostly speed and suspense—a brilliant if superficial exercise in terror. The new novel also features abundant suspense, as a couple in an isolated California home endure a phosphorescent rain and learn that, around the world, something is attacking humans and laying waste to communications. It's only when they drive to a nearby town that they learn of a global alien invasion; the tension ratchets as a weird fog descends and the aliens not only manifest physically but animate the dead. For years, however, Koontz has aimed at more than just thrills; today he is a novelist of metaphysics and moral reflection. His aliens are inherently evil as well as scary; standing against them are the human capacity for hope and the forces of goodness and innocence (here, as elsewhere, embodied in dogs), and near novel's end Koontz puts an overtly religious spin on his tale. Koontz's language has changed over the years, too, and not always for the better. While his care with words engenders admiration, his love of metaphor and alliteration can slow down the reading ("the luminous nature of the torrents that tinseled the forest and silvered the ground"). Also missing here is the wonderful humor that elevated his last novel, Odd Thomas, and some other recent work. Koontz remains one of the most fascinating of contemporary popular novelists, and this stands as an important effort, but not his best, though its sincerity and passion can't be denied.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
*Starred Review* A glowing rain begins falling at one a.m. in the San Bernardino Mountains of California, where productive but hardly best-selling novelist Molly Sloan and her ex-priest husband, Neil, live outside a small town. Besides being luminous, the downpour smells like rancid semen, Molly thinks, and it brings with it a feeling of oppression. Animals cower from it, as Molly grasps when she sees a pack of coyotes huddling on the porch. The little wolves seem to be appealing to her for help, and when she walks out to them, they seem to expect her to lead them. She goes to wake Neil, rescuing him from a nightmare, and to wash--no, scour--her hands where the rain hit them. The torrent continues, taking out the power, but then appliances come on spontaneously, and the hands of clocks run wildly in opposite directions. The Sloans conclude they must leave after an interior mirror reflects the house as invaded by ghastly vegetation--but doesn't reflect them at all. Opening sequences come no creepier than this one, and the rest of Koontz's version of the extraterrestrial attack scenario so well lives up to it that the revelation, painstakingly apprehended by Molly, of who the aliens really are comes as no surprise. Nor do Koontz's authorial insertions about modernity and social degeneracy seem anything but explanatory in the context of this gripping, blood-curdling, thought-provoking parable. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
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I am the type of person who gets an adrenaline rush from nightmares. Once they are over, I am relieved, but I would not change the dreams I had. This was one of those sort of experiences. I felt like it was one of those long, scary, end-of-the-world type of dreams that is brilliant in its own right.
After this book, I will always look at rain and the San Bernardino mountains in a different light and with a memory of one of my favorite stories.
Some people are giving one star ratings, and I've noticed many of them failed to finish the book. This tells me that simple minds may not be intrigued by the complex and implausible situation in the plot. If you like simple, one-track books, you may not like this one, but if you like an intriguing and other worldly experience, I highly recommend it.
I saw such beauty in most of the story, even in the horror of it all. I began reading with an open mind, and I felt like a better person somehow after finishing it. I felt closer to God, whether or not that's what Koontz intended.
Molly and her husband Neil have but only one crusade , to rescue the children everywhere , flowers with no malice completely pure that are actually protecting them without really understanding that is HOPE what makes them reigned over this unspeakable evil. The triumph of the spirit.