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"Write out of love, write out of instinct, write out of reason. But always for money."
Louis Untermeyer

Seize the Night

By Dean Koontz
Bantam Books, 443 pp, 1999

This is the sequel to Dean Koontz's Fear Nothing, in which he introduced Christopher Snow, a thirty-year-old who was born with a rare disease that makes sunlight and other forms of light deadly on his skin. So he has grown up in the dark, staying safely shrouded in his house during the day and venturing out every night.

He's joined by his faithful Lab Orson, best buddy Bobby, and main squeeze (and very tough) Sasha.

In Fear Nothing, we learned that Snow's mother was involved with a top-secret military research program, which attempted to alter the genetic material of animals and humans to produce a super soldier. The program succeeded by creating a breed of monkey with enhanced intelligence that hated humans. These monkeys escaped, and wreaked havoc in Moonlight Bay. Our heroes spent much of their time battling these monkeys.

The super monkeys make some appearances in Seize the Night, but the main villain is an unknown fiend who kidnaps children. Snow and Orson track him to Wyvern, the supposedly abandoned military base which housed this secret program. But Snow loses him, and even worse, the kidnapper takes Orson.

Now the heroes are in a race against time to rescue Orson and the kidnapped children, and to do so they must venture deep into Wyvern's hidden depths, uncovering a secret even more sinister and dangerous, to themselves and the whole human race, that they could imagine.

Do our heroes succeed? Of course - Koontz readers know that few of his books have unhappy endings.

This is a nice book, with good action and hip dialog, but I think it's a bit verbose. The book takes place over two nights and one day, not much time for a 400-plus page novel, and Koontz stretches it by needlessly stretching out scenes and adding unnecessary ones. Don't get me wrong, it's a great book and Koontz is a great writer. It just could have been more tightly written.

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