By Dean Koontz
It all starts with
the rain. It is sudden, it falls hard, and it is luminescent. Molly
Sloan lies restless in her bed and cannot sleep. Molly's
husband, Neil, has no such worries; he is sleeping soundly. At 2 am
Molly gets up and goes downstairs planning to do some work on her new
novel, but when she looks out of the window and notices the strange
quality of the rain she stands a while and tries to figure out a reason
for the downpour's luminosity. Molly is still pondering on this when
she sees low, sinuous shapes moving under the window.
The rain may be strange, but even stranger weather conditions await an
unsuspecting world: blue snow, purple fog and, huge waterspouts that
suck up seawater at a rate 200 000 gallons a minute. It's not just the
weather that has gone to pot though, as Molly and Neil soon discover.
They encounter unusual animal and plant life. Not to mention the odd
walking, talking dead person. The world has gone to hell overnight and
it is up to Molly and Neil to try and figure out how to
survive, what has caused this calamity and what—if
anything—can be done about it.
is not so much a horror novel as a cross-genre piece that melds horror
and sci-fi. Does it work? I would say so. I rarely read science
fiction, but I still enjoyed The
Taking. Having said that, although I enjoyed the
book, it isn't one that I would want to read over and over again. It
entertained me, but didn't enthral me. I also felt the story developed
an underlying preachy feel to it, towards the end of the book, which
didn't really work for me.
The main characters in the book are Molly and Neil, with Molly taking
the leading role, and I found both characters very likable. I didn't
really find any characters for me to love to hate, which, is quite
unusual, but the story managed just fine without any. I suppose Molly's
father might be the guy that a lot of reader's would feel that way
about, but I was indifferent to him. I recognized him as being one of
the bad guys; he just didn't manage to stir up much negative emotion in
I read a paper back copy of The Taking and it
ran to a little over 400 pages in length. It's proabably a book that
most Dean Koontz fans will want to add to their bookshelvers, and it
will probably appeal to most sci-fi readers and maybe even a more
general readership, but readers who prefer a standard horror novel may
want to look elsewhere.