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Winter Moon, 1993

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bigbullyweedave View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bigbullyweedave Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January/07/2007 at 6:10pm
WINTER MOON (1994)

Edition Read
UK Headline 1994 PB 472 pages

Other Editions In Collection
INVASION by Aaron Wolfe - US Laser Books 19?? PB 190 pages (Winter Moon is “inspired” by Invasion)


Jack McGarvey is an LA cop. He has lost one partner already, Tommy, through the crime wave that seems to be sweeping the city. His new partner Luther dies during a shootout. During the shootout Jack is badly injured but saves the life of a woman by killing the gunman. For the remainder of part one of the book we learn about Jack’s rehabilitation after his shooting and how he and his family (wife Heather and son Toby) become disillusioned with life in Los Angeles. Their disillusionment is compounded by the fact the gunman was a cult film director and Jack is painted by some as the villain.

Also in the first part of the book is a story about Eduardo who lives on a range in Montana. He has lost his wife and son and is quietly living out his last few years. However, increasingly strange things are happening on his ranch. Strange noises and lights come some nights. Animals are possessed with the purpose of watching him. He eventually comes across some sort entrance to another world/spaceship. What worries him is what has come out of that spaceship. He has every right to worry, as by the end of part one of the book he is dead. The ranch is left to the partner of his son dead cop son Tommy, one Jack McGarvey.

Part two of the book sees Jack and his family move to Montana full of hope and excitement about their new life. Things start well with Toby getting a dog and the neighbours being very friendly. A big change from Los Angeles. However, they also encounter the aliens and they have to battle for their lives.

Koontz really gives you a feel for a place. Los Angeles is full of 1980’s cynicism – crime is rife and the law is not respected. A different picture is painted on Montana – rural and in many ways quite idyllic.

The characters are very strong in this book. With is clocking up almost 500 pages you really get to know Jack and his family along with Eduardo. The scene with the gunman at the beginning of the book is tense and really plunges you head first into the book. The length of the book isn’t a problem – you don’t feel pages are there unnecessary.

The introduction to the alien through the racoons is very creepy! Later as more about the alien is revealed this creepiness lessens but the fact that dead bodies are used as “puppets” makes you squirm quite a bit!

The ending is satisfactory and fairly predictable. However, one thing I perhaps dispute is Jack leaving his family to seek help. Would he really do this? Would he not attempt an escape for all of them? Maybe? Maybe not? I think most fathers would risk the elements with their family than leave them to murderous aliens!

Overall a very solid Koontz book. The beginning in LA especially grips you along with the initials encounters with the possessed animals Montana. Perhaps part two of the book unfolded a bit too predictably but it is still a most enjoyable read.

Although not up there with his very best it is a very good read and is one of the few in print Koontz books that crosses into the science fiction genre.

8/10

David Lodge
December 2006
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paolo Macachor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/21/2007 at 12:57pm
- The early parts display Koontz's excellent skills in juxtapousition. From the McGarvey's recuperating after a traumatic indicent, and the solitary Eduardo's transition from loving realists to having a rapid penchant for literature involving the paranormal.

- I know this was written before 1999, but somehow a kid with special powers in a horror story seems a little too "Sixth Sensey" to me - but maybe it was spoiled my knowledge of films that have exploited this device.

- The ending has a creative element when a character finds out how to retaliate with the monster, and throughout - city life and county life are differentiated, allowing Koontz to put his themes in subtext or blatant exposition. I just wished there was more epilogue in the ending.

4/5
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dnurse64 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/11/2010 at 3:34am
Spoilers:

I haven't read the previous posts yet, don't want spoilers. I'm 192 pages into Winter Moon and I really like it. I don't have a clue how Heather, Toby and her husband Jack are going to work into the 70 year old Eduardo's Montana woods scenes. I get really intrigued with the woods scenes. Those raccoons! That was tense. Heather has gone military. Ha. She's loaded with weapons and Jack said she's ready for an invasion. Cute how he called himself a Ninja Turtle in that body cast to his son Toby. I'm seeing themes with the OJ trial and anti-police public opinions that people fall into worked into the story. Graffiti isn't art when it's done against owner's wishes! It's a crime. DK was tough on authors of realism. Eduardo was big on them and now with that woodland scifi like portal he found he's reading Clarke and Heinlein. I think he might be starting to like Metal music too. That was funny. This book echoes a dark version of Breathless at times to me. I haven't met what's out there in the woods yet. I can't wait. Or maybe I can if it's going to scare me and give me the heebie jeebies.
I'm inclined to believe in parallel worlds filled with dark bound Snow and Odd adventures.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dnurse64 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/15/2010 at 4:16am

Spoilers:

I finished it. I enjoyed it. DK was tough on L.A. wasn't he. But the ending countered that "evil atmosphere" of L.A. because they moved back and felt positive about it. They were looking forward to seeing and being with their friends there. I interpreted the ending that one can't hide from evil, it's everywhere, even in rural Montana. All we can do is fight it and good prevails over evil in the long run. The fact that parts of The Giver probably wasn't destroyed attests to the theme that evil is always present and lurking.

I liked the relationship between Heather, Jack, and Toby. Toby felt like a typical 8 year old and he cussed. Do 8 year olds cuss like that? Well, he didn't say anything too bad but I noticed the parents didn't get onto him. I found the scene where Toby was possessed by The Giver in the graveyard chilling. The entity couldn't understand the purpose of burying the dead or death.

I was sad to see Eduardo Fernandez die. I was really starting to like him. I wanted more time spent with his journal after he died too.

I agree wholeheartedly with DK's section on news being negative and promoting despair. It can give a lopsided view of what mankind is really about because we tend to dwell on the negatives as "interesting" in the media.

Spoiler for Midnight and Phantoms follows:

There were a lot of scary "house" scenes. The animals at the windows, the stairways leading into darkness, that awful smell, the graveyard that dead bodies were taken from. However, after reading Phantoms, Midnight, and Winter Moon, I can definitely say that "horror blob like villain entities" are not my thing. Well, less so in Phantoms, that one had more to it. Blobs annoy me more than frighten me. I want to get an industrial strength water hose and blast them away, messy things. Or put salt on them like slugs. The way The Giver rode the dead bodies was pretty gruesome though. Still, that crow at the window scared me more than The Giver's physical nature.

Another good solid book. Entertaining and had insights into human nature that I can always count on from DK.

FINALLY the site is back up. I can go read all the posts in this thread now.
I'm inclined to believe in parallel worlds filled with dark bound Snow and Odd adventures.

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