March 17, 2016

Ticktock by Dean Koontz

Title:  Ticktock
Author:  Dean Koontz
Pages:  338
Genre:  Supernatural Horror / Thriller / Comedy
Publisher:  Ballantine, 1996
Series:  Stand Alone
"At this point, no one alive is capable of grasping the enormous dimensions of my confusion."
Synopsis: Tommy Phan is a 30-year-old Vietnamese-American detective novelist living in Southern California, and a chaser of the American Dream. He drives home his brand-new Corvette one day to discover a strange doll on his doorstep. It's rather like a rag doll, but is covered entirely with white cloth, having no face or hair or clothes, little more than a doll blank. Where the eyes should be, there are two crossed stitches of black thread. Five sets of crossed black stitches mark the mouth, and another pair form an X over the heart.

He brings it into the house. That night, he hears an odd little popping sound and looks up to see the crossed stitches over the doll's heart breaking apart. When he picks up the doll, he feels something pulsing in its chest. Another thread unravels to reveal a reptilian green eye --and not a doll's eye, because it blinks.  Tommy Phan pursues the thing as it scrambles away into his house -- and then is pursued by it as it evolves from a terrifying and vicious minikin into a hulking and formidable opponent bent on killing him.

Review:  Well, this book was quite a mix.  It was funny and scary and thrilling and full of magic (and mentions aliens, too!).  The scary parts were really scary.  The funny parts were laugh-out-loud funny.  The magic was a little odd but the explanation towards the end satisfied me.

My only complaint is this book took me five days to finish.  Five days.  There was so much going on and so much of it was completely beyond my understanding that I kept re-reading passages to be sure I hadn't missed something.  By the end, I knew what I didn't know at the start, but by then it had already taken me five days.

Still, I loved the characters.  Tommy and his girlfriend Deliverance and her dog, Scootie, were great.  The secondary characters included various family members and they were fun as well.  The demon inside the doll was not fun.  He was the reason I didn't read this book too close to bedtime.  Here there be nightmares.

Rating:  6.5 / 10

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