Chyna is a survivor, toughened by a lifelong struggle for safety and self-respect. Now she will be tested as never before. At first her sole aim is to get out alive, until, by chance, she learns the identity of Vess' next intended victim, a faraway innocent only she can save. Driven by a newly discovered thirst for meaning beyond mere self-preservation, Chyna musters every inner resource she has to save an endangered girl, as moment by moment, the terrifying threat Edgler Foreman Vess intensifies.
©1995 Dean Koontz; (P)1995 Random House, Inc. Random House AudioBooks, a division of Rnadom House, Inc.
"The most viscerally exciting thriller of the year." (Publishers Weekly)
"Intensity chills the reader to the core and establishes Koontz as a master." (Associated Press)
I'm 30 years old, from the east coast of America, and my favorite books are realistic, but stretch the truth and the laws of physics.
This is like a start to finish action scene. After the first four hours I was starting to wonder if that was going to get on my nerves so much that I'd quit reading, but overall I'm glad I didn't.
Koontz has these tendencies in his writing that kind of annoy me even though he's otherwise a skilled writer, and the one that stuck out in this work was his oft repeated theme of Christianity, faith in god, and the interplay between that and what qualifies as godless flesh-worship. Though, that theme wasn't made so obvious or didactic that it weighed the story down, and it did add some vaguely supernatural and ethereal elements to what was otherwise just a suspenseful horror.
Overall, once you get into the meat of the story this stops just being suspenseful and starts getting under your skin and really investing you in what happens next. Really nice pace and flow to the prose. I'd say this is a strong, visceral book that begs to be finished in one sitting.
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!!!
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.
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.
Very suspenseful. I was listening to it alone in my apartment and I could not turn out the light. I loved it.
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.
But that wasn't the important facet of the story...I think that the author's excellence was in the physiological description described...the well developed persona of both the villain and the hero...
teacher & book lover
This book is told from the point of views of both a victim and a serial killer. It is edge of your seat and really terrifying.
Having read many of Dean's books I decided on an Audio book for a change and chose this at random.
I found that it is so different from the way he normally writes yet as exciting as ever.
Normally one is immersed in the supernatural with chilling happenings on each turn of the page. Here we have an intense murder story with the heroine trapped in an ever changing and increasingly exciting situation of her own altruistic choosing.
I highly recommend this book to anybody who loves the tension of a constantly twisting and turning tale.
"Very, very good."
I have read one other from this author and whilst that was great, it was a little too long winded for me. This however was perfect or just shy of it. The storyline, without going into any detail is a simple wrong place at the wrong time moment, but then one of the characters does some crazy things - which are very believeable and brings herself further into danger. It's a fast action paced book which will freak you out in times and really give you courage in others. The characters are complex but interesting. The narater was excellent, so much so I really thought this book was better listened to, then if I had of read it, because she brings the intensity of the authors works 'alive'. A must read if you want a tense thriller, which feels very real!
Edge of the seat stuff !
This was my first Koontz novel. I struggled at the start to get the hang of his writing style, which was often repetitive and meandering, but once the story got going I was hooked. Chyna Shepherd is the heroine in a roller-coaster cat and mouse game with serial killer Edglar Vess. It's when Koontz begins to switch point of view perspectives and give us that of Vess that the book takes off. It's clear much effort went into the creation of this character, and the result is one truly scary bastard. The last third of this book was where the pace really picked up.
All in all, this was a fun read. It's a little predictable, a little dated (e.g. technology references from the 1990's which are inappropriate today), but it still manages to be engaging, scary and enjoyable.
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