If you watched that weak effort put forth by Ben Affleck in the movie adaptation of Phantoms, you probably won’t be interested in reading the book, but trust me, you would be making a mistake. As with many of Koontz’s earlier works, this one really hits the mark. The story starts with Jennifer Paige and her sister Lisa returning to Jennifer’s home town in California only to find the town abandoned, Jennifer’s housekeeper dead and a host of dead bodies littering the town. It would seem like a virus would be the culprit to this massacre, but the actual cause is more sinister.
Jennifer calls in the nearby sheriff to investigate. Eventually this leads to a whole host of people descending on the town including a chemical weapons team and an academic type named Timothy Flyte who is the key to solving this mystery. The books succeeds in creating suspense as this ensemble casts investigates the strange happenings in this town. In the end, the cast comes face to face with Timothy Flyte’s “Ancient Enemy”, a living entity that’s the basis of Satan.
Phantoms is an example of how when Dean Koontz is on, his writing can be fantastic. The story is chocked full of suspense, has a great mystery element, and has great world building. It’s a riveting tale that you won’t want to put down. It’s amazing that Dean Koontz can be so brilliant in some of his books, and so God-awful in other books. Anyway, this one is a definite winner that you will want to check out.
Carl Alves - author of Two For Eternity