It’s been a while since I’ve read a book that I felt merited a full review on my blog, despite the fact that I’ve read a lot since my last blog reviews of The Living Dead by George A Romero and Daniel Krauss and Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel.
It’s a fairly long list:
Coldbrook and The Silence by Tim Lebbon
The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay
Fairy Tale by Stephen King
All 3 of the Lockey vs the Apocalypse series by Carl Meadows
I who have never known men by Jacqueline Harpman
The Stopping Place by Helen Slavin
Apocalypse by Hayeley Anderton
While I really enjoyed some of them, notably the Lockey vs the Apocalypse series and The Silence, I just didn’t feel moved to write a long review on any. Of course, I always pop a little review on Amazon, Goodreads and Book Bub for everything I read. As an author I’d feel guilty if I didn’t. But to merit a longer review on my blog a book has to resonate with me in a way that will leave me thinking about it for a long time after I have finished, for one reason or another.
I didn’t think I was going to feel like writing one on Intensity by Dean Koontz either. I wasn’t blown away by it at the start, but by the time I finished I was buzzing!
It’s an unusual book in many ways. It seems a bit naff to describe it as intense, given that that is the title, but that’s the best way to describe it. It is a very intense experience that leaves you exhausted and breathless.
The story follows two main characters over a 48-hour period in a way that is so detailed that it is almost played out “live”. We live through every single second of Chyna’s ordeal at the hands of the evil Vess, apart from a scant few blessed hours when she is either asleep or unconscious.
At first, I found the book irritating. Overly descriptive with long flashbacks and digressions into Chyna’s traumatic childhood memories, and long and detailed accounts of both characters inner thoughts. Some of Chyna’s actions in the face of extreme danger seemed unbelievable and, at times, downright stupid.
However, I soon reached the conclusion that Mr Koontz was playing with the concept of ‘intensity’. The detailed descriptions and digressions contributed to the intensity of the reading experience. Just as Vess craves an intensity of sensation and experience, this is what we are served by Mr Koontz. The book progresses incredibly slowly, creating such an atmosphere of heightened tension and anxiety that at times it was almost unbearable. I didn’t think it was going to work for me but in the end it did – by the bucketload.
Shocking, graphic, violent, terrifying, and agonisingly tense.
Well worth a read but give it time and play along!