“Once there was a girl who ran away and joined a traveling carnival. She married a man she grew to hate—and gave birth to a child she could never love. A child so monstrous that she killed it with her own hands…Twenty-five years later, Ellen Harper has a new life, a new husband, and two normal children—Joey loves monster movies, and Amy is about to graduate from high school. But their mother drowns her secret guilt in alcohol and prayer. The time has come for Amy and Joey to pay for her sins…
Because Amy is pregnant.
And the carnival is coming back to town.” – deankoontz.com
Ok, so this book was another huge reason why I decided to share my thoughts. It infuriated me! I had never read Koontz before, and finally decided to give him as try, since he had such a large repertoire of horror books( and I obviously love the genre). I did not expect to like his work as much as King’s, because I think King is a genius, but I did expect an entertaining read.
In the afterword, Koontz does explain that this is based off a screenplay, so maybe there is reason for the unacceptable flaw (which will be talked about later), but as an author he could have fixed it.
First I’ll talk about what I thought was good :
- The story was actually really interesting! I couldn’t put it down and ended up reading it incredibly fast.
- I also found that I enjoyed it because it was an “easy read”. There was not much substance and it made it so simple to basically just turn off my brain and relax.
- It was a monster story! Monsters are COOL!
Now the bad :
- Every single character was one dimensional, even the protagonist. Call me spoiled, but I expect characters to be compelling and life-like. It makes the story better and keeps me rooting for them.
- I wish that there was more explanation for ANYTHING! I wanted to know why the carnival barker spawned monsters. Was he really the spawn of Satan? I NEED TO KNOW!
- Finally, the biggest offense. The book just ENDED! It was so unsatisfying! Nothing was resolved except for the death of the monster. Did the kids mend the relationship with their mom? Did they have PTSD from the event? Did the cops finally find out? THESE ARE THINGS READERS NEED TO KNOW!!! I honestly wonder if he was on a deadline and had to finish it.
All in all, I liked the book enough to finish it, and it was entertaining. I am going to give Koontz another chance and I hope that he surprises me next time.