By Dean R. Koontz

By J.A. Hitchcock

Bantam Books, $26.95, ISBN 0553106651, hardcover

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SEIZE THE NIGHT is the sequel to Koontz's FEAR NOTHING, which introduced readers to Christopher Snow, a resident of Moonlight Bay in northern California. Snow is truly a "moonlight" resident—he has XP (Xeroderma Pigmentosum), a rare genetic disorder that makes him vulnerable to virtually any kind of light. This is a very real illness, which makes his character more intriguing than most, since virtually all of his activity must take place at night or in very dark places.

In FEAR NOTHING, readers got to know Moonlight Bay, Snow, his unusual dog Orson, and Fort Wyvern, where experiments had gone on for years until the base was shut down due to the nationwide closing of "unnecessary" military installations. Snow discovers that his mother, who previously died in a car crash (an accident or homicide?), was trying to find a cure for his XP while working at Wyvern...but something went horribly wrong. Instead of a cure, a retrovirus, suspected of changing some of the people who were (and may still be) associated with Wyvern, was running rampant, contaminating Moonlight Bay residents and causing them to "become."

SEIZE THE NIGHT picks up where FEAR NOTHING left off, except Snow's girlfriend, Sasha, has moved in with him. She works at Moonlight Bay's only radio station as a DJ, but there's much more to her than meets the eye. The book opens with Snow and Orson running into a local woman just after dark. Her son has been kidnapped out of his bed, with a drawing of a crow found on his pillow. Snow promises to find the boy and takes off after Orson, who is hot on the scent. They end up at Fort Wyvern (of course) and run into the child's kidnapper. Soon a troop of intelligent monkeys show up and things get quite pun intended. Snow and his friends eventually discover that a place nicknamed the "egg room" was part of the experiments conducted at Wyvern and is still quite active.

As the book progressed, I was captivated. Fort Wyvern is pretty much the central player in this book. As someone who lived on military bases when my spouse was in the Marine Corps, I thought they were scary enough, but this book gave me goosebumps. Koontz is prone to rambling about some of the characters, their looooong thoughts and events from the first book. I hate it when an author rehashes material—I say if you didn’t read the first one, tough luck.

The ending was pleasantly surprising and left room for another book. I hope Koontz writes a third Christopher Snow novel, but please leave out the rehashing. Make readers buy the previous books so that the rest of us can enjoy a good, solid read.

There’s an official site for SEIZE THE NIGHT, with excerpts from the book, information about the characters and more at SEIZE THE NIGHT.

J.A. Hitchcock is a regular contributor to ATHENA and the author of seven books.

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