I used to love Dean Koontz when I was a kid. When I got my hands on a new book, I would play hooky in order to stay home and read. Now I’m an adult, and I’m still liable to do that in order to finish something that really tickles me the right way. Okay, that last bit sounded different in my head… Please pretend you didn’t notice that.
’77 Shadow Street’ was published December 27 2011. We meet a group of people who all live in a prestigious apartment building called the Pendleton. The downside to all the luxury and splendour is that every 38 years, unspeakable violence happens there.
When I first saw the description of this book, I thought that FINALLY Koontz had written another horror like the ones I used to love when I was a kid. Unfortunately, it didn’t live up to my hopes.
There’s really nobody like Koontz when it comes to creating amazing characters. That’s definitely his greatest strength as a writer, and his character driven books – such as the Odd Thomas series – is simply fab. This book also has a few really awesome characters, but all in all there are way too many people being introduced here. Koontz even takes the time to write quite long descriptions of characters that are only supposed to run around for five minutes and then die horribly. This large cast is introduced slowly over the first half of the book, making the story progress in a way that made me feel as if I swam in syrup. There’s also very little dialogue, as the characters don’t start to interact with each other until far into the story. The result is that you don’t really become invested in any of the characters and a large part of the book comes off as a mess of different perspectives.
The ending was good, which was also disappointing in a strange way, because it makes you realize just how good this book COULD have been, had it been done differently.