Koontz is a capable genre author, for certain. In this book, he trots out a pretty simple plot. Three individuals are kidnapped and injected with a mysterious drug by an insane scientist and they began slowly developing strange, superhuman abilities. Koontz is at his best in building suspense and/or horror; there’s a sequence of one of the main characters venturing into a darkened house to confront a deranged psychopath where it takes the character five pages or so just to get up the stairs to the second floor, but the writing is so vivid, so soaked with fear and dread, that it works perfectly. The characters aren’t that interesting in terms of backstories, but it’s fun to watch these three very different individuals try to process the new skills they’re acquiring and the ways they might use those skills to help people. The sequence where the three of them find themselves thrust into a situation where they have to actually function as a team, synergizing their very different abilities, is entertaining, transporting and suspenseful. The book has some really great, vivid imagery and, long though it is, it rarely flags in energy, find a way to keep things moving even during conversations. The book is filled with surprises. Strangely, the big plot twist at the end of the book is the one you’ll have seen coming a mile away, but the smaller reveals throughout the book work really well. The book unfortunately peters out with the last couple of chapters being the weakest of the book. Clearly Koontz was setting up a sequel, but that never came about, presumably because the book didn’t sell well enough. Still, it’s a fun thriller, even if the characters could use some work and the plot loses its way a bit in the final pages. 3 stars.
tl;dr – fun thriller doesn’t have interesting characters, but the energy is high and Koontz knows how to build suspense and fear; a weak ending, but mostly entertaining. 3 stars.