Darkness Under the Sun (Novella): A Tale of Suspense

Darkness Under the Sun (Novella): A Tale of Suspense

Posted by jack_miller | Published 9 months ago

With 815 ratings

By: Dean Koontz

Purchased At: $3.00 (7 used & new offers)

The chilling account of a pivotal encounter between innocence and ultimate malice, Darkness Under the Sun is the perfect read for Halloween—or for any haunted night—and reveals a secret, fateful turning point in the career of Alton Turner Blackwood, the killer at the dark heart of What the Night Knows, the forthcoming novel by #1 New York Times bestselling author Dean Koontz.
There once was a killer who knew the night, its secrets and rhythms. How to hide within its shadows. When to hunt.
         He roamed from town to town, city to city, choosing his prey for their beauty and innocence. His cruelties were infinite, his humanity long since forfeit. But still . . . he had not yet discovered how to make his special mark among monsters, how to come fully alive as Death.
         This is the story of how he learned those things, and of what we might do to ensure that he does not visit us.
Howie Dugley was set on fire while he was asleep when he was little. He can see monsters.

He learned young that the dangers in bright daylight were worse than anything that might wait in the dark, that the bogeyman could have a nice face and a winning smile.

"listen a lot of cruel kids grow out of their cruelty. A few don't. You can't let a few decide what your life will be like."

This was another short story to set up a full length book. I enjoyed this. I will be getting the full length book What The Night Knows. I need to what is going to happen.

- brooklynn_taylor

Eleven-year-old Howie apparently likes exploring abandoned buildings. Once inside the old emporium, he climbs to the roof and stumbles upon Alton Blackwood. Howie and Alton share one characteristic: disfigurement, and they become fast friends. Howie doesn't understand why the entirety of a grown man's existence consists of moving from shadow to shadow. Youthful innocence prompts Howie to invite Alton to rent a room at his parent's house. That's when Howie runs home to prepare sandwiches and grab a few photos of his family to share, but upon his return to the roof, Alton is absent. Left behind is a backpack containing incriminating evidence. Is it too late? Can Howie return home in time to warn his parents and sister? Can he save others who might fall into Alton's path?

Darkness Under the Sun is short story that set's up Dean Koontz novel entitled "What the Night Knows." I gave "Darkness" 4-stars, but 4.5-Stars is a more accurate rating. It's very good if you like dark suspense.

- linda_davis

Even though Dean Koontz has had a few novels some would say have not been quiet up to par lately, it is still safe to say that his characters and overall storytelling is masterful. This story is no exception. The evil is truly evil and the suspense is as gripping as ever.

I must admit that I did things a little backwards... I read What the Night Knows months ago! And I'll be honest I am glad I did. I believe I enjoyed both stories more by reading them in reverse order. Even though this Novella was released before Night I believe it reads better as a prequel. So first and foremost if you haven't read either one I strongly recommend you read these in the same order I did. I have heard that the paperback of What the Night Knows has this Novella at the end of that book and that is perfect.

Alton Blackwood is the normal Koontz villain. Absolutely viscous and has nothing on his mind but death and destruction. His life crosses paths with an eleven year old boy named Howie who while a good boy has already lived with more horror than anyone should have to endure. As the innocent meets evil is where our story begins and it is truly a wild ride of suspense.

I recommend this Novella to anyone who is a Dean Koontz fan and it is a "can't miss" for anyone who wants a chilling story.

Grade A+

- willa_turner

I'm a huge Koontz fan and have read many of his short stories. Koontz can raise your hackles in an economy of pages and does so here with aplomb. As other reviewers have stated the dialogue raises alarm bells in the reader's head while the young hero remains unaware of double meanings. A deep unease slithers through the reader's mind as Blackwood slowly reveals himself. The boy in the story is very likable, a picture of youth and innocence. Numerous times I wanted to scream at the book for the boy, Henry, to get out of there! Blackwood's character is well drawn in these short pages. He is clearly a person pursuing the perfection of evil, chiefly on the innocent and unsuspecting. Blackwood may turn out to be one of Koontz' most formidable adversaries. I would certainly never wish him on anyone. The small town could be just about any. Koontz' use of language is displayed through his typical masterfulness. The end of the story gives a lingering sense that the other shoe must at any moment fall and convinces us all that there is indeed darkness under the sun.

I highly recommend this story. The price is great. The story serves simultaneously as an introduction to Koontz' forthcoming book, What the Night Knows, and as a stand-alone tale. This download includes the first chapter of the full length novel as an addendum to the short story. In order not to torture myself with not being able to continue on immediately I have not indulged in the first chapter of What the Night Knows so I can't comment on it. But certainly don't miss the short story here! I can't wait to pick up What the Night Knows on December 28, 2010.

- lainey_martinez

Tired of buying a book and not liking it from the beginning? Tired of reading a sample of a great beginning but later on you found out the story wasn't to your liking? Well, Darkness Under the Sun is sort of a compromise for readers who answered yes to at least one of those two questions. This books is basically a 1-2 hour read (Novella is a good def) of a story which develops the antagonist and concepts of a feature length novel.

Sure, it is too expensive, but look at it positively. First of all, a sample of 'What the Night Knows' would most likely not give you the insight into the story that this novella does, but just in case, it gives you a sample of 'What the Night Knows' to boot. Also, it saves you from purchasing the main book if you don't like it, and it also gives you exclusive content not available if you ONLY purchase the main novel.

This little novella is a great read. It would work as a stand alone, but it has a strong hook for 'What the Night Knows' at the end, which really makes it feel a little too promotional for my tastes. Yet, the portion before the ending was a fantastic read. I am a fan of horror short stories; the best of them can impress me more than a novel. The meat of this story would work well in a short story collection, and I consider that high praise.

I will stop short of a synopsis, because the story is too short to ruin it for you. Synopses are readily available, like in the description. Still, if you are reading this review, I feel that you will like this story, and I give it four stars. If you don't, I would advise you to avoid the novel as well...


- kaiden_green

Dean Koontz has a quality of giving full explanation to not only the story but everything around it. I feel that it may be a curse to say he has the Midus touch but in this case I mean it in a feeling of fulfilment as if everything he writes is golden to our eyes. I feel I have grown up with this man whom I will never know personally but have known what lies in a little corner of his mind. He gives to me as he gives to others an escapism that puts you in mortal danger without feeling anything physical but left exhausted mentally like a good work out at the gym. The brain needs exercise too and a good exercise for the brain is Dean Koontz book.

- angel_peterson

I've not previously read any work by Dean Koontz, so was not certain what to expect. After I downloaded it, I found that it was actually quite a short story rather than a full length novel. It's a basic mystery novella, and a really interesting twist on the genre.

I found the story quite compelling; the writing takes you at a steady pace through the action, and the way that bits of the overall plot are revealed a piece at a time makes it a thoroughly good read. The characters are slowly fleshed out, and you get a really good sense of their motivations. It's short enough that you could easily read it all the way through in a single session, as I did; and I would suggest that for best enjoyment, you do the same.

If this is a typical example of this author, I will be looking for more of his work.

- kolten_howard

A tale about a 10 year old boy who was disfigured by fire when he was younger. Since then he's been the subject of bullying due to his appearance. He meets a man who befriends him and gives encouragement on how to stand tall amongst his tormentors. Things however take a turn for the worse.

It was free of charge when I obtained it on a promotion as a prelude to the then upcoming 'What the Night Knows', which would warrant a five star rating but I've only given 4 stars since the normal selling price seems quite high for a 47 page short story.

To conclude, a very well written short story with engaging characters. Shame about the high price.

- saoirse_morris

I enjoyed this book and couldn’t put it down. Only down side is that it is such a short story it didn’t take long to read. Virtually a life time crammed into a few short chapters. Good story though. Not as ‘typical’ as his usual stories.

- abraham_cooper

A very short read but a gripping one. The characters are very likable except the bad man of course. Loved the book and was sort of sorry when it finished. What an imagination the author has. I've read many if not all his book's and this one is no exception to the rule.

- andrea_ramirez

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