Horror Book ReviewsThe Internet Writing Journal
Desperation by Stephen KingSignet, 1997.
560 pp. ISBN: 0451188462
Mass market paperback.
Near a nowhere town in Nevada unlucky passerbys are harassed and arrested by a strange twisted deputy named Collie Entragian. This is just the beginning of enormous bad luck for the unfortunate travelers, as they quickly find themselves living a nightmare in a town that has gone straight to hell. They will need all the courage they can muster, belief in God and more to survive the town infested with a demon-god known as "Tak" and the possessed police officer.
Stephen King has once again written a horror masterpiece, this time making all your suspicions about small towns come true. The characters are startlingly real as are the descriptions of the horrible things that happen to them. The young boy, David Carter, and the novelist on a motorcycle adventure illustrate the sharp contrast between a devout believer and an atheist. The excitement and the frightening presence of evil will keep horror fans enthralled. And if you like stories about bad cops you will never be happier then with the character of Collie Entragian, who is the officer you never, ever want to meet. Desperation has all the elements of a fascinating horror tale; the vivid scenery, believable characters, pure evil and the presence of hope combine to create a thrilling and horrifying read.
Phantoms by Dean KoontzBerkley, 1997.
432 pgs. ISBN: 0425162028
Mass market paperback.
Phantoms is a suspensful horror tale of the horrible demise of small mountain community and the terrifying conclusions about what happened to it. Two residents of Snowfield return home to find a mysteriously quiet abandoned town and start searching for answers. When a Sheriff arrives and grotesquely bruised bodies are found tense feelings arise. The suspense grows as you begin to realize that whatever has taken care of the entire population of Snowfield may still be there. The danger in this twisting, feaful tale ends up being something that has been a terror throughout man's existence.
This is one of Koontz's top novels with strong characters and a well-developed story line. A tie-in to mass disappearances throughout history, such as the mysterious Roanoke colony disappearance, enhances the pull of the story. You will want to find out what causes these mass disappearances and why no one ever figured out what happened. Phantoms doesn't disappoint on any level; the town-killing problem in this novel is just as compelling as its associated mystery. Like the other Koontz novels there are plenty of horror chills and thrills along the way, making this novel a classic.
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