The Bottom Line: Not one of Koontz’ most memorable books, but this tall tale about lethal synchronicity is still good enough to be enjoyed by fans of edgy sci-fi thrillers.
One of the most compelling scenes in The Big Dark Sky comes as a man who has clearly embraced angst as a lifestyle slips out in the dark – as is his nightly habit – and urinates in his neighbor’s yard. It’s a brilliant insight into the depths of human pettiness, and is followed by the man’s house mysteriously imploding upon itself. Soon, a mysterious stranger shows up with an offer that the man can hardly refuse.
Koontz has a hard time sustaining that level of intrigue throughout Big Dark Sky. With that said, there’s still plenty here for new and casual Koontz fans.
Joanna Chase thrived on Rustling Willows Ranch in Montana until tragedy upended her life. Now thirty-four and living in Santa Fe with only misty memories of the past, she begins to receive pleas―by phone, through her TV, in her dreams: I am in a dark place, Jojo. Please come and help me. Heeding the disturbing appeals, Joanna is compelled to return to Montana, and to a strange childhood companion she had long forgotten.
She isn’t the only one drawn to the Montana farmstead. People from all walks of life have converged at the remote ranch. They are haunted, on the run, obsessed, and seeking answers to the same omniscient danger Joanna came to confront.
All the while, on the outskirts of Rustling Willows, a madman lurks with a vision to save the future. Mass murder is the only way to see his frightening manifesto come to pass.
Through a bizarre twist of seemingly coincidental circumstances, a band of strangers now find themselves under Montana’s big dark sky. Their lives entwined, they face an encroaching horror.
Unless they can defeat this threat, it will spell the end for humanity.
In all, The Big Dark Sky won’t be remembered as one of Koontz’ very best books, but it’s still a smart sci-fi thriller deserving of your time.