I can't believe the only two written reviews are negative. This book is exactly what I've come to expect from Stephen King over the years: a meandering path through a spine tingling story with an ending that leaves only enough to the imagination to keep you thinking about it.
Mr. King's narration may not be as stellar as Mr. Gaiman's narration of his own works, but most professional narrators aren't as good as Mr. Gaiman. Mr. King is definitely better than most authors who attempt to read their own stuff, and I quite enjoy it. I think he's actually better than many narrators, but everyone has their favorites. I prefer his narration of Bag of Bones to Needful Things, but this one is solid.
Listen to the sample. If you enjoy Stephen King's novels, don't miss this one!
I was delighted with the first part of this book. The characters and action, while a lot like his other books, provided an enjoyable listen. The narrator was good, though not stellar, and kept my attention for the duration.
The entire book falls apart at the end, however. The explanations and the characters' secrets (when we finally get them without calls interrupting them), feel extremely contrived and politically motivated. And we don't even get an explanation for the killer, who is easily the most interesting character in the book.
All in all, the good points at the beginning of the book are overshadowed by an ending that seems rushed, poorly contrived, and doesn't live up to expectations prompted by the hints given in the story.
I have loved Dean Koontz for many years. Even in recent years, when others have complained that his stories are too rambling and less exciting, I have still enjoyed his work. This is the first book he has written that I was completely disappointed with.
I get the distinct feeling that this book was seriously rushed. There is very little character motivation, and the only character that isn't completely two-dimensional is the main character, Molly. Her husband Neil might as well have been a potted plant with a shotgun. And maybe it's just me, and the fact that I've read all his books, but the "twists" were not only highly predictable, but also depressingly lame.
As far as theme, he could not have shoved it down the reader's throat any more forcefully. It became highly annoying, and the book would have greatly benefited from a far more subtle approach.
Nothing in the book makes any sort of sense at all because the main character keeps taking up these false explanations (which are far too simplistic), and so you must wait until the final chapter to figure out what at least some of it meant. The ending, sadly, was the most frustratingly sophomoric ending he has ever written.
Add to that the little-girl voice of the narrator who pronounced at least a handful of words wrong, and you have a sad mixture.
The only good things I can say about this book are that Koontz still has a way with metaphors and his descriptions are vivid.
Dragon Tears is one of my favorites of Koontz's works. We are drawn into instant empathy with Harry and Connie who delight the listener with their neuroses and humor. Those who have come to love Koontz's dog characters through books such as Watchers and Dark Rivers of the Heart will fall instantly in love with Woofer, possibly the only fully sane character in the book.
Jay O. Sanders does an excellent job of bringing the characters to life in his narration without taking anything away from Koontz's brilliant writing. The differences in inflection and tone used for Woofer as well as "Ticktock", the villan, allow us to be fully drawn into the story.
The suspense and eeriness will keep you up until the wee hours, unable to turn it off until the end.
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