Phantoms by Dean Koontz is the story of 2 women trapped in a town by an unknown agent of death. They’re joined along the way by police, scientists and one scholar whose theories are confirmed. This is one of Koontz better books. He keeps the spiritualism that taints his later works to a minimum and concentrates on the untenable situation the protagonists find themselves in. A little unrealistic in that all the good guys stay good even with the surety of their deaths looming over them, but the identity of the agent is worth it.
Michael Crichton’s Prey is typical of his formula of writing. Just like in Terminal Man and Congo, scientific excess and unchecked ambition lead to a disaster of potentially global proportion. I enjoyed this book for its investigation into the nuance of nanotechnology, but the reliance upon his earlier formulas left me disappointing. I was unable to suspend my disbelief long enough to really enjoy the last hundred pages or so.
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman is a childrens book based in an alternate reality. People have companions that are tied to them, almost as the physical representation of their soul. The main characters best friend is stolen away by mysterious people and she decides to get him back, no matter the cost. Lyra faces down monsters of every sort, including her guardian, to achieve her goal. It turns out that the worst monsters she faces are people. It’s a decent book for one aimed at kids, though I don’t understand the furor over the theism in this universe.