Saturday, October 24, 2009

Something I Don't Normally Do...

My focus here is usually the reading, writing, reviewing, and promoting of Christian (or if you wish, biblical worldview) fiction. However, now and then I'll read a book from the general market. Some contemporary novelists I enjoy include John Grisham, Dean Koontz, Sue Grafton and James Patterson.

My latest foray into this realm came last week with my discovery of Koontz' Relentless. Some reviewers say Koontz is stuck in a rut--that all of his characters sound the same and his plots are overused. I don't agree. While Relentless wasn't his best, in my opinion, it certainly ranked somewhere near the Odd Thomas novels, which are my favorite of his.

Some things I like about Koontz:

1. His villains are always completely evil. (Perhaps there is an exception I can't remember. Feel free to comment and enlighten me.)
2. His heroes are normal people who somehow cross a bad guys' path, and as a consequence must fight for their lives. In other words, they are not public figures, especially talented, or have anything too remarkable about them.
3. The characters are quirky. He uses characters who are autistic, geniuses, have a specific medical problem, see dead people, have a dog or a kid with a special gift, etc.
4. There is always laughter. The dialogue is dry and witty. Always.
5. There is love. He portrays strong family relationships and shows family fighting for each other at all costs.

He also frequently uses dogs that are extraordinary, and though interesting, isn't really one of my favorite things about his novels.

So, for the something I don't normally do. I will recommend Relentless. It's a little graphic in spots, but I think the positives far outweigh the negatives. It's engaging, funny, and inspiring. And the good guy wins. :)

1 comment:

  1. Funny thing, Karri, my dad went to school with Sue Grafton. He sent her a letter, I believe, after he first saw one of her books. I have the book he had of hers, A Is For Alibi. Haven't read it myself, though. He sure was tickled when he found out she was published.