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Publisher's Summary

Closer...
They found the town silent, apparently abandoned. Then they found the first body strangely swollen and still warm. One hundred fifty were dead, 350 missing. But the terror had only begun in the tiny mountain town of Snowfield, California.

...and closer...
At first, they thought it was the work of a maniac. Or terrorists. Or toxic contamination. Or a bizarre new disease.

...and closer...
But then they found the truth. And they saw it in the flesh. And it was worse than anything any of them had ever imagined.

©2008 Dean Koontz (P)2008 Brilliance Audio

Critic Reviews

"First-rate suspense, scary and stylish." ( Los Angeles Times)
"Schirner's pacing and pitch respond to the story's context, and his characterizations of female characters are impressive." ( AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    794
  • 4 Stars
    637
  • 3 Stars
    331
  • 2 Stars
    91
  • 1 Stars
    46

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    687
  • 4 Stars
    441
  • 3 Stars
    223
  • 2 Stars
    52
  • 1 Stars
    24

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    653
  • 4 Stars
    439
  • 3 Stars
    238
  • 2 Stars
    74
  • 1 Stars
    26
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Crystal
  • Chicago, IL, United States
  • 04-26-11

GREAT story. HORRIBLE narrator!

Phantoms is one of Koontz better stories, scary and it keeps you wanting to listen more. HOWEVER! Buck Schirner is probably on of the WORST narrators I've ever heard. One person said he sounded like Daffy Duck. I'll go so far as to say that he sounds like a cross between Daffy Duck and Barry White. Quite annoying! But since Phantoms is such a great story, I will tolerate it. If you can handle the Daffy/Barry voice, you will be pleased.

22 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kat T
  • WOODBRIDGE, VA, United States
  • 09-16-09

great book..odd reader

I really love this book and was really looking forward to listening to it. Sadly, the narrator does this weird breathy thing every time he talks for a female...and it's just annoying as hell. When two of the main characters are female, it's important to get a narrator that can do female voices.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Terrifying

One of the scariest Koontz novels I've listened to recently. Not a lot of psychological nuance (as in some of Koontz' later works), but downright chilling to listen to on a dark night when you're all alone. . .

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • MARCIA
  • Lake Forest, CA, United States
  • 01-30-09

Great Fun!!

I'm a big fan of Dean Koontz who writes imaginative, fast paced stories about compelling characters (likeable or not) who are often forced to re-think their world and their lives during the course of the action. "Phantoms" is one of those books. I like to listen to my audible books while I knit but I made the mistake of trying to listen to this book while knitting a very complicated sock pattern with four double pointed needles. Not a good idea. I was so involved with the story I was halfway done with a sock when I realized I totally messed up the pattern, had to rip it out and start over. Next time I knit and listen to a Dean Koontz book I think I'll stick with a simple "no brainer" knitting project, like a basic dishcloth.

25 of 28 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Tony M
  • Springfield, IL
  • 01-01-14

Better than expected.

If you could sum up Phantoms in three words, what would they be?

Wild ass story.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The Phantom(s)

What about Buck Schirner’s performance did you like?

Very good, at times I thought there was more than one person. He does a very good job changing his tone and pitch.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No extreme reaction, but it was a very interesting story.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • STEPHANIE
  • Florence, AL, United States
  • 12-29-11

Scary!

Would you listen to Phantoms again? Why?

I found myself turning on all the lights! I have never been so scared by a book before.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Shape Changers, Demons, Mythological Beasts ...

In our history there have been several Mass Vanishings and this is Koontz spin on that.

Like in most Koontz books, I am amazed on how much and many different things he throws into one book. This story as aspects of John Carpenter's The Thing, The Blob, Ghost Busters and Sphere in it. You will meet Prehistoric Animals, Demons, shape shifters, Mythological Beasts, bloated corpses, mutilations, etc. There are discussions on Mass Vanishings, Religion, First Encounters, Mythology, Biological Warfare, Poltergeists, The Ancient Enemy, Genetics, The Bermuda Triangle, Voodoo, and Devil Worship.

I liked the book and would recommend it as good entertainment. What kept it from getting five stars was that there got to be too much shape shifting and finding of bodies. That got a little old and there was one really stupid part in the book, which he should have cleaned up. This giant evil moth the size of an eagle attacks the window of a house they are in and then minutes later they decided to go outside and of course it attacks and kills a man.

Some have complained about the narrator, but I thought he was very good and did not notice what they were complaining about.

My favorite Koontz books are: The Bad Place, Lightning, Dragon Tears, By the light Of The Moon, Life Expectancy, Forever Odd and Frankenstein: Lost Souls.

34 of 40 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

True Horror!!!!

Would you consider the audio edition of Phantoms to be better than the print version?

My preference is the audible form for all books, dumb question to ask and does not pertain to whether a book is good or bad. Anyway.... This is my first Koontz book and will NOT BE MY LAST. The talent for details, character development, plots, and undeniable horror is amazing. I first saw the movie so I knew the basic story. I thought the movie was pretty creepy and thought the book really wouldn't add much to whether the story was scary or not.....I WAS WRONG! The book was the concentrated horror i saw in the the movie. The most intense part to me was the sisters first appearance in town discovering the creepy and morbid remains of what is left of their isolated and quaint home. As the story intensifies and the government is called in the SH** really hits the fan. FEAR, ANXIETY, and HORROR will have you turning on the lights and pulling the blanket over your head to hide from the possibilities running through your head.

22 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Classic Koontz

Great Dean Koontz book! Very entertaining! Well worth the credit! This is my 4th Dean Koontz book, and it is my second favorite next to Twilight eyes.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • Chicago, IL, United States
  • 12-18-12

If you don't figure it out, it'll get you!

What did you love best about Phantoms?

It took a long time to figure out what the monster was, and how to try and defeat it. Koontz gave clues, but not obvious ones. Made the story more interesting.

What did you like best about this story?

The pace at which it developed.

Which scene was your favorite?

When the were talking to the monster via computer terminals.

If you could take any character from Phantoms out to dinner, who would it be and why?

I'd take the English guy who wrote the book (book title "The Ancient Enemy")

Any additional comments?

Good, solid Koontz book. You can't go wrong.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Chris
  • 08-12-11

Brilliant Nonsense

The idea is brilliant, I loved this book. The nonsense is how two women can arrive in a town where everyone is either missing or dead and think it's a good idea to hang around and investigate, I'd have legged it in a shower of dust and small stones never to return, but that wouldn't make a story would it? This is Dean Koontz at his best, it keeps you listening right to the end, buy it!

20 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • kerry
  • 04-07-13

Amazing

I am a huge fan of dean koontz and this did not dissapoint. With a mix of the supernatural, sci fi and a Foch of crime scene investigation this listen is well balanced. Because of this audio I have now started listening to other dean koontz books and I must say he is as amazing as ever x

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Suswati
  • 10-18-16

Flimsy story, almost comedic but well read

While this story was extremely engaging for its genre and content, as well as performance, it started off with the mystery of a psychological thriller and ended up becoming like a 1970's hammer horror. It couldn't hold itself in the end and the description of the "thing" reminded me of a Sam Raimi style boring gorefest. A bit of a disappointment after 14 hours of listening.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sylence
  • 07-06-15

Awesome!

Loved it, classic Koontz, one of his better ones, I've listened to it twice now!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Ellie
  • 10-31-16

He said, she said!!!

The characters I found flat, didn't care about any of them. Sections seemed to just be full of "he said", "she said" conversations, it gets so bad it's almost all you can hear!!!!
I'm just new to Dean Koontz, after being recommended his books by friends, and I have to say, I'm not that impressed. Now can't decide whether to risk wasting another credit to try another by him.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Gemma
  • 09-11-13

Well read but badly written/edited

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

Someone who enjoys a story that's padded out to the death? I liked the premise and the main story but I feel it was far too padded out and could have done with a severe edit. Jenny and Lisa spend a long time searching the town at the beginning and when the police arrive they repeat the entire search, discovering the same things, in the same detail. That whole section should have been dealt with much more quickly so the plot could start moving forward.

What does Buck Schirner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

He was a good narrator with great pacing, a fair attempt at different voices for different characters, and his voice was not jarring or distracting. I have to say his English accent was terrible!

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Phantoms?

I would have condensed the first half of the book, cutting it down to about 1/3 of its original length. I would have upped the pace and built tension as time went on, as personally I didn't feel any tension or fear of 'The Ancient Enemy'.I would have had more scenes outside of Snowfield to break up the monotony of being with the same characters in the same building with not much happening.

Any additional comments?

I feel this was perhaps made with the intention of making it into a film and the writing suffered as a result.

11 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • sean
  • 06-19-11

Koontz is a genius.

This is one of my favourites, I've read/listened to almost everything Koontz has done and this is one of the best. It's so atmospheric, creepy and suspenseful, you will be gutted when it ends. The characters are brilliantly crafted and the whole idea of the story is so clever and scary. A must for all horror fans.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • jennifer
  • 04-06-12

phantoms

Dean Koontz is a fantastic author and this book proves it,its a gripping story,very graphic too,it is your worse nightmare a sleepy normal town turns into a bloodbath brilliant

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Christine
  • 10-25-16

Boring

This book wasn't up to the usual standard I have come to expect from dean koontz. The characters were wishy washy and didn't have any depth and I found it just didn't hold my concentration for long. The narrater wasn't bad but had a boring voice. I wouldn't recommend it

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • conso
  • 07-11-16

captivating

this is another great piece of work by Dean koontz. it really gets you thinking.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Martine
  • 12-04-16

Fantastic

Dean Koontz! A great story, wonderfully narrated!! Would listen to again many times. thank you

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Warren Bennett
  • 02-28-18

fantastic narrative of a thrilling story

loved the story and a fantastic narrative. Dean Koontz never fails to entertain.
As a line haul truck driver, i listen to books to while away the hours. I've not encountered any other author who captivates me the way Dean does.
this story rates up as one of the best. lightning is the other I cant get enough of.
i can see I'll be repeating Phantoms again.. lightning ive listened to 5 times... this will be the same

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Graham
  • 01-01-18

kept me interested

Any additional comments?

This is the first book by Dean Koontz I have listened too and certainly won't be the last. Kept me interested all the way and very enjoyable.