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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Following a string of blockbusters over the past several years, including Watchers and Intensity, Dean Koontz embarked on what was a bit of an experiment for a bestselling writer — to take a character and fully explore his life through the mechanism of the thriller. Koontz's first foray in this realm was last year's Fear Nothing, a sort of coming-of-age suspense story set against the nighttime world of Christopher Snow, the novel's young protagonist. The second installment in Snow's saga, Seize the Night, finds him older, wiser, and rougher around the edges. Seize the Night is a better novel than Fear Nothing and represents Koontz's maturation into a first-rate novelist of the 20th century who's looking ahead to the 21st. Dean Koontz is one of those big bestselling writers people either love or hate, but few have ever not read at least one of his novels. He has an enormous fan base and has written tons of novels — some up there with the best of popular fiction, and some simply good reads with strong story lines. He was cutting his teeth on writing various kinds of fiction, from science fiction to gothic to suspense to comedy, for years before he hit big with his first bestsellers. As a result, these influences seeped into his fiction — but he offered up more. Koontz is one of the few novelists writing today who manages to combine a strong humanistic thread with a spiritual sense and still write a crackling-good thriller. All this is a preface to my take on Seize the Night. It is Koontz's best novel. All right, I'llqualifythis. It's not his most frightening, it's not his wildest roller-coaster ride, and it's not his most experimental. It is solid fiction, truly beautiful writing, and a journey that involves getting to know a human being completely, both his terror and his joy. With Seize the Night, Dean Koontz has applied his limitless imagination to write a contemporary thriller equivalent to a Dickens novel. The tale is set in Moonlight Bay, a metaphoric night town for Koontz, a place where anything can happen after dark. Christopher Snow is now all grown up and carries a Glock. He lives a night existence, which sets him apart as the outsider right from the start (an interesting reversal from Koontz's earlier novel, Watchers, in which the Outsider was the bad one). Snow suffers from xeroderma pigmentosum, a condition that afflicts a small percentage of human beings, and it is both devastating and enhancing for him: Light is a killer, so he's turned the night into a religion. One character describes him as a person full of "reckless caring," and this becomes a theme for Koontz and his story — and seems to be the main theme of much of Koontz's fiction. The story takes off when Snow discovers that Jimmy, the son of his friend Lily Wing, has vanished. As he desperately tries to find Jimmy before something terrible happens to him, the journey becomes one in which Christopher Snow enters the underworld of nearby Fort Wyvern, a place of skeletons and psychos, but also the vision of hell that Snow and his compadres must enter in order to reach their heaven. This is not a tenderhearted tale of friends, however — it's a story of child killers and torturers and the few who must stop them. The mystery within the story takes hold, and it is, per Koontz's imagination, the very mystery of life. Ride the darkness with Christopher Snow. Grab this book. See what Koontz can do. Seize the Night is fantasy, reality, thriller, horror, and even romance — the romance of living in the night.
— Douglas Clegg