Book Review: The Bad Place – Dean R Koontz

★★★☆☆

Let me just start by saying that I would actually consider this is 3.5 stars than just a 3! 🙂

Frank pollard awakes at night, in the middle of an alley, with nothing but his confusion and panic. His mind is a complete blank; he can’t remember who he is, doesn’t recall how he got in the alley, and doesn’t know who to turn to for help. He knows nothing but his name. Every time Frank goes to sleep, he wakes up with things he can’t explain – valuables in his pockets, blood on his hands – and has no recollection of his nightly travels.
Afraid of his own actions, Frank enlists the help of Bobby and Julie Dakota, a husband-wife investigation team. After initially considering his story absurd, the Dakotas delve deeper into the enigmatic life of Frank Pollard and begin to uncover an increasingly bizarre and risky world threatened by a mysterious madman known as Candy, who simply thirsts for the blood of animals, humans, and in particular, Frank.

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There is no denying that Koontz is a fabulous writer with a magnificent, imaginative mind. He can string words together in the most amazing way, and his stories run smoothly and quickly. However, despite being brilliantly descriptive and using great imagery, I found it greatly difficult to vision or connect with the characters. I found that although I wanted to know what how the book would end, I wasn’t particularly worried about what would happen to the main characters. In fact, I found myself caring more about the secondary characters such as Clint and his wife, and Thomas and his roommate.

That being said, Candy and his sister were terrifyingly intriguing characters, and Julie’s Down Syndrome brother was simply wonderful and endearing. A lot of insight and understanding clearly went into writing chapters from his point of view, and Koontz did an incredible job of writing from the mind of a lovable, endearing man suffering with Down Syndrome. His character development is brilliant to witness and we see him become stronger than one could have guessed.

One final nit-pick from me is that there seemed to be a couple of loose ends left by time I reached the ending. I was left confused about the strange bugs, the peculiar planet and the creepy UFOs we get to witness a couple of times. Personally, I felt it had no purpose and the story would not have suffered without it. It left me kind of like huh?

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The concept of this book, I think, is a brilliant one, and the blurb reads fabulously. Unfortunately, I just feel it wasn’t executed as well as I’d have liked it to have been, and I didn’t find myself believing the story. I love books with paranormal aspects, other worldly moments, indulgently horrific scenes and imaginary components, but the author has to make me believe it, and in this case Koontz didn’t exceed in doing so.

Had it not been for the brilliant concept, Koontz magnificent writing, and Thomas’s wonderful character, I would have rated this lower. Quite simply, this book just didn’t keep me hooked. I found it easy to put down and didn’t find myself needing to read just one more chapter before bed. Sorry! 🙁

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  • Sounds like it could have been amazing but I'm not so sure if I would want to read – I hate when it's a struggle to finish a book you're just not hooked on!

    Sharan | essehearts.com

    • I know, I like a book to have me hooked so I struggle to put it down rather than struggle to pick it up! xx

  • I need to read more Koontz!! That said, every time I try and get into him I'm like "great book dude, but I'd rather be reading something else atm" Though I really like the premise of this book and I'm intrigued by loose ends you mentioned…um, what??

    Also, I was nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award and nominated you in return! Check out the post here x

    Ornella @ EUHNELLA