Tuesday, March 06, 2012


Dean Koontz's Icebound is not really worth a full review.  A few points:

1) Turns out this is one of Koontz's earliest books, originally published under a pseudonym.  It sounds from his afterword like he basically wrote it to see if he could write a disaster-type novel.  I've read a lot of Koontz, and there's a wide range of quality.  This one is all right, but it's kind of toward the bottom of the scale.

2) If you've got a blizzard, an iceberg, and a bomb, I'm not sure you need a psycho killer, too.  I was seriously waiting for the aliens to make an appearance for the first 3/4 of the book.

3) People in books always spend first dates talking about movies, books, music, and art.  I almost buy that; my first date with my husband involved music, books, and movies.  But ART?  Who talks about art?  I mean, I'm sure some people do.  But these are two scientists, both climatologists of one sort or another (who can remember?).  You'd think they'd talk about academia, the new theories of soil erosion.  It sounds boring, but it wouldn't be boring, because these are things they're actually both passionate about.  Seriously, on your first date, did you talk about art?  Which art?

4) Koontz likes to get horror novel mileage out of phobias, which I don't think works very well.  He's written other books (Strangers and False Memory come to mind) with plotlines that rely heavily on a strong and irrational feeling of fear, and isn't that just HORRIBLE?  And you know, if you've had a phobia, maybe.  But I have a really hard time imagining a fear of ice, or cold, or gloves.  So when you try to make me feel anxious because the character does...sorry.  I've got nothing.

There wasn't much wrong with this book; there just wasn't much there there.  A bunch of scientists rig some charges to attempt the controlled creation of an iceberg.  A storm whips up and creates the iceberg for them, so now they're trapped on top of the bombs, timers set to go off in 12 hours, arctic blizzard whipping by outside, one of their small party maybe trying to kill them.  It's got all the ingredients, but that's pretty much all there is to it--it's kind of a tossed salad of a book, rather than a rich casserole.

That was an awful analogy.  I apologize.


Sarah (zoe) said...

This sounded horrible, but I have to say that it sounds better than his last few books that are ALL inexplicably about magic dogs. I cannot handle any more magic dogs in his books.

Mrs. N said...

I don't think I've read a single book by Koontz. I also don't think I'd enjoy books with horror and magic dogs (are the magic dogs evil?). It's not clear I've ever talked about art on a date. Maybe if I were an artist or art student or something.

LibraryHungry said...

Oh, no, the magic dogs are good, noble beasts--your ten-year-old dream of the perfect golden retriever best friend. Reminds me of the unicorn stories we used to write in fourth grade.

There are a couple that I remember very fondly--Twilight Eyes is a good horror novel, and Lightning is more of a thriller--with Nazis! But I might still love these the way I still love Mercedes Lackey--because the 14-year-old in my heart still loves them. That's why my thritymumble self doesn't read new ones--I don't want to pop the bubble!