Koontz-Alert Checklist (Every Dean Koontz book has at least one of the following things.)
1. Blond lead/love interest – Nope
2. Dog(s) – Nope
3. Government conspiracy – Yup
4. Aliens – Yup (in the afterword)
5. Serial or trained Killer – Yup
6. Bougainvillea plant – Yup
7. Sodium-vapor streetlight – Kinda (mercury-vapor)
8. Precocious child – Nope
9. Town gone crazy – Nope
10. Psychic(s) – Yup
Six outta ten but I must note that the structure of this novel is the blueprint for so many of Koontz’s books that I lost count while researching. One of these days I will sit down and create a list of his books that follow this structure, but for now I’ll just say, at least half of his published work follows this formula.
The Eyes of Darkness, whose title makes zero sense in context, was originally published under Koontz’s pseudonym Leigh Nichols. In the late 90s, Koontzy-boy took some time off rewriting the same Koontz story over and over again to rewrite some of his pen names’ books over and over again. Those books include: Shadowfires, The Key to Midnight, The House of Thunder, The Servants of Twilight, and this one righ’chere. Why did he do such a thing? Who the fuck knows, right? Guy had too much time on his hands, I guess, because this story definitely isn’t worth the extra attention. It’s not even worth the paper it’s printed on, paper that, I must add, smells goddamn wonderful. These old Berkley paperbacks are the best aromatic reading experience money can buy. They smell better than old TOR paperbacks. Better than those crumbly Zebra horror novels. They’re just the fuckin best smelling things, yo.
Anyfuck, the most glaring issue with this book is the way it depends on convenience to progress the plot.
Slight spoilers ahead:
Elliot Stryker, the male lead, is perfect. He’s handsome, he’s the best cook in the world, he can fuck, he’s ex-military so he knows the inner workings of government shenanigans, he can fly, he owns his own plane, he’s a marksman, he’s a master at offensive/defensive driving…You get the picture. Everything Tina, the main character, needs, Elliot provides in the most unrealistic fashion. Then, at some point, when Tina and Ellliot happen to need a 4WD to get through snowy terrain, the character they’re visiting, Billy, just happens to have one they can borrow. There’s never really any suspense because Koontz constantly pulls rabbits out of his asshole to save these two. It gets so ridiculously repetitive and predictable that it killed all the tension for me. Of course they’re going to be all right because CONVENIENCE!
The ending goes nowhere. It literally wraps up on the final page. Koontz built up this trained killer only to wipe him out on the final page with zero fanfare.One moment dude’s flying in to wreck Tina and Elliot’s shit, the next he’s crashing. hellogoodbye
There’s also one big question left unanswered. If Danny (the psychic kid, I shit you not is named Danny…there’s also a man in black, but we won’t go there) was so goddamn powerful and could knock a fucking helicopter out of the sky…how the fuck did these shadowy government motherfuckers keep him prisoner??? Like, why didn’t he just tear the doors off the hinges and walk the fuck out? I call bullshit on this shitty fuck of a shit book. Shit!
There is one funny part in the book, where Koontz names the partners of a law firm after his old pen names: Dwyer, West, Nichols, and Coffey. That bit legitimately made me laugh, so I guess this book wasn’t entirely terrible…
Who am I kidding, yes it was. One star it is, folks.
In summation: I know you wanna scroll down to the comments and ask me “I thought you were done with Koontz, fat boy???” but I’ll ask you nicely not to. My good friend Delee wanted to restart our chronological Koontz reads (rereads for me) and I wasn’t about to turn her down. Even though I disliked this book, I had fun reading it with her. I always do. It’s like watching a terrible movie with a friend just so you can make fun of it together. Plus, Koontz is easy to read and…why am I still explaining myself to you? Anyway, like seventy-five percent of Koontz’s output, THE EYES OF DARKNESS is pretty fucking awful, but I’m sure someone will come along and tell me I don’t understand his genius, or how his hairpiece has an IQ of 210. Whatever.
Final Judgment: Cat urine boiling at the bottom of a dumpster fire.
Next month we tackle…The Mask, which is another novel Koontz originally released under a pen name, only this time it was Owen West.