I'm an illustrator/concept artist currently living about an hour away from town via public transport. During these times, audiobooks, radioplays and podcasts are my best friends.
I found Chyna to be quite frustrating as a main character and could not sympathise with some of the choices she made. She's a lot different to the heroes of Koontz's other novels but then again, so is this villain. Perhaps this is Koontz playing out new personalities? Towards the end you do get inside Chyna's head and understand, even just a little bit. It is quite an enjoyable book, with a different pace and time frame to the rest. Kudos to Kate Burton, the narrator who made the experience even more enjoyable.
The novel was very well written fast paced, thrilling! The reader did an absolutely stellar job. Her change in tone from predator to prey, villain to hero, killer to victim was exceptional. 5+ stars.
There is nothing better than a good book!
Ok- now that I have finished this Koontz tale, I can actually breathe! Wow! This was INTENSE!!!
If you love Dean Koontz, you will absolutely love this one. From start to finish you are totally absorbed by the characters. I could almost hear the sounds as the girl listened for the murderer.
This is one of those listens that improves as familiarity progresses. To begin with I found the whole thing a bit slow with background descriptions leaning towards the excessive, but once things get moving you will soon be carried along in the rush. The narrator puts a lot of effort into the presentation and generally succeeeds very well.
Intensity grabbed my attention immediately which is somethiing I love about any book. However, you wanted to shake Chyna throughout the book for beiing so stupid. I didn't like the dog chapter either and actually had to turn off the sound until that was complete. Good read though and would recommend it.
Readers who liked The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo should like this. The two heroines (Lisbeth in Dragon Tattoo and Chyna in Intensity) were similar in their actions. Chyna chose to fight what seemed impossible. Instead of running and trying to get away (like normal people) she went after him with the barest of weapons. She was resilient, resourceful, brave. She called it reckless caring. In the beginning of the story, Chyna is trying to get away from Edgler a serial killer. But when she hears that he has kept a sixteen year old girl prisoner in his basement for a year, Chyna decides to follow him, go to his home, and free the girl. A theme I liked is Lisbeth and Chyna refusing to be victims. In Dragon Tattoo I was scared at times. In Intensity I was scared almost all the time.
About a third of the way in I was so scared that I considered stopping unless I had assurance that there would be a good ending. So I jumped to the end and read the last half hour. It was great! The author tied things up well including the aftermath. Then I went back and read the rest of the book. It was still terribly frightening, but I was able to survive because I knew the ending would be good. Reading the end early in no way hurt the story for me. It made it better.
Just because I liked this does not mean it’s my preferred genre. I do not want a daily diet of constant scariness and intensity.
Edgler enjoyed destroying beauty. He would torture victims with knives and tools. The author does not show the torture/killing scenes in detail. Instead they are told or referred to and the reader sees the bodies after. I was fine with that. But I also would have been ok with more details and gore.
A few times Chyna recalls life with her mother Ann. Ann lived a nomadic life with different boyfriends, drinking, and drugs. One boyfriend killed people in Chyna’s presence. Ann enjoyed watching murder. Chyna growing up with Ann was a story of hiding, self protection, and not being cared for. In contrast, I loved the way Chyna treated and cared for Ariel.
I love that Koontz does not use tired cliches. He creates his own. They please me. Here are a few examples:
She was in an old testament mood, unwilling to turn the other cheek just now.
She was baking and nourishing a loaf of panic, plump and yeasty.
The car will tumble ass over tea kettle if it goes over the edge.
The narrator Kate Burton was fabulous. She used a style so appropriate for the intense sentences with pauses. She enhanced the experience.
Genre: suspense thriller.
Ending: good guys win.