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Evil is real…

May 16, 2012

At least, that’s what we are initially led to believe in “77 Shadow Street” by Dean Koontz.

This novel is seemingly a ghostly horror tale, but towards the end, deepens into a bit of a philosophical discussion about ethics, morality, and the future of the world.

The “Pendleton” mansion is located at 77 Shadow Street. It has been converted into multiple luxury apartments, and we are slowly introduced to it’s many interesting residents, which include a hitman, a scientist, a conspiracy theorist, an ex-marine, a songwriting mother, an autistic girl, and many more.

As the story unfolds, we learn that every 38 years, something horrific happens at this residence. In 1887, a family disappeared. In 1935, a household was slaughtered – the bodies never found. In 1973, terrified workmen abandon the site and one disappears forever. And in 2011, just days before the next 38th anniversary, strange apparitions are scaring the residents. Reality seems to be fading in and out; the building seems to flash between the Pendleton of the present, future and past.

Suddenly the building and all of the residents transition into the future, 2049 to be exact. A world seemingly devastated, with no humans and strange mutant creatures outside.  Alien humanoid creatures called Pogroms roam the building, seeking to infect them with something that turns them into Pogroms. The very building seems to be alive, herding the humans into ever more dangerous situations.  Can they survive until the transition reverts and they’re back in their time?  Or are they stuck there forever …

SPOILER ALERT – READ NO FURTHER IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW THE END OF THE STORY!

 

 It turns out that the resident scientist has been working on nanotechnology and is soon to invent nanobots designed to prevent disease or illness in humans, extending our lifespan. But somehow, in the future, this technology becomes self-aware, and the nanobots follow their programming : to eradicate disease and damage of the ‘environment’ they proceed to convert all humans into post-human hybrid Pogroms, and destroy all vestiges of human civilisation. Saving the Earth, but an Earth that appears more like hell…  

In having the arrogance to assume we can play God and make the planet and our future better, we end up destroying ourselves and everything else too.  So who is the real evildoer?  Another excellent effort from a master storyteller.

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From → New Books

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