Cold Fire

by Dean Koontz | Horror |
ISBN: 0747236054 Global Overview for this book
Registered by erinacea of Friedrichshain, Berlin Germany on 10/26/2009
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This book is in the wild! This Book is Currently in the Wild!
1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by erinacea from Friedrichshain, Berlin Germany on Monday, October 26, 2009
That's odd... the ISBN at the back of the book is a different one from inside, only the latter of which is recognized (once converted to the 10-numbered version).

Bought two weeks ago, on Monday, the 12th of October. I don't usually remember that so precisely, but the book took me on such a ride I'd read it through by Tuesday night and couldn't stop thinking about it for another week. In fact, today I bought another copy so as to be able to release one of them.

The story: Jim Ironheart, a man of few words and many untold secrets, receives blurry visions about people in mortal danger, then jets across the country to save them in the nick of time. After witnessing one of these rescues, Holly Thorne, hitherto luckless reporter, smells the story of her life and sets out to dig up more information about Ironheart. When they eventually team up to get behind the source of Jim's visions, they get much more than they ever bargained for.

At the beginning I had trouble warming up to Ironheart, partly because I didn't like the name. With the "mysterious stranger" act, shotgun face-offs, and that name (lending itself to associations such as "nerves of steel" or "Lionheart"), I dunno, the term "All-American Hero" came to mind. Holly was much easier to relate to, though it wouldn't have been necessary to stress quite as often how morally correct she was behaving, and how much she's harmed her journalistic career in doing so. Well, I eventually got used to and actually came to like the name when I realized it was inherited (duh!) and also applied to his father and grandfather. I can't really explain it, but somehow that made it seem more like a normal family name and less like a hero's moniker, and Jim's troubled past only added to my growing sympathy to this unlikely character. As for Holly, I sometimes found her attitude a bit frustrating, but that all made perfect sense within the story, so it was okay.

There was just one passage I found really jarring, which was (quoting from memory, but probably correctly): "Succinctly she told him why." I know this is out of context here, but she was explaining her reasons for a decision of hers, and even though Koontz had previously spent several pages describing her thoughts when she came to said conclusion, it still felt jarring to me when there was such a sudden gap in the up-to-then flawless dialogue flow that could have been bridged in just four or five sentences summarizing those thoughts. He probably wanted to avoid repeating himself, but right there, it was an important moment, and there were other sections that would have been more worthy of cutting down, such as the previously mentioned indications of Holly's unquestionable morality. *eyeroll*

Despite whatever my previous comments might have told you, this book is everything I'd hoped Odd Thomas (which I'd bought and read sometime last year) to be, and more. It's obviously got strong paranormal elements, but is not remotely as dark as King's Deadzone (which deals with a similar concept). The story starts out slowly, moves along nicely, then suddenly starts gathering speed before turning the entire story on its head with a superbly awesome twist that makes for a stupendously breathtaking final. (And I'm good with twists, I often see them coming. Not this one, though!)

This is definitely the best book so far I've read this year, and without question one of the best thrillers I've ever read, possibly even the best one. Koontz at his best!

There were a couple hilariously funny sentences that (within context) still send me giggling even after having read them about half a dozen times. Other scenes are just nailbitingly intense even when I already know what will happen such as (Spoilers follow! highlight to make them visible) on the plane or the final setting. I really, really liked the ending because it was so open and hopeful. I was a bit disappointed on Henry's behalf when they didn't tell him what had been going on, but of course it's entirely understandable.
In fact, and this is something that surprised me quite a bit since I usually don't get into a story like this, there are several minor characters about whom I'd like to know more, how they might have reacted to some later event, whether they might meet up again, or how they spend the rest of their lives.

I'm still a bit puzzled about the title. There are a couple references to Jim's eyes (sometimes warm, sometimes icy), which is probably a part of it, but I can't shake off the feeling that its antonymous quality plays a role of its own. Maybe because of the impossibility of the situation, or the unexpected developments? Okay, okay, I'm probably reading too much into it, and it's just supposed to be sensational. Either way, for some reason "cold fire" sounds more dangerous to me than the more familiar (but tautologic) "hot fire", quite possibly because it describes something out of the ordinary and thus evokes feelings of discomfort and fear of the unknown.
I also really like the cover. Not only is it tense and atmospheric, it also matches the story (which is rare enough)!

I haven't entirely decided yet what to do with this book, but I somehow don't feel like bringing it along to a meet-up, so that leaves few options. I'll probably release it in the wild somewhere.

Journal Entry 2 by erinacea at CERN in Genève, Genève Switzerland on Monday, November 09, 2009

Released 11 yrs ago (11/7/2009 UTC) at CERN in Genève, Genève Switzerland



On the window sill in the entrance room in direction of building 39.

To the finder:

You've found a wandering book! Please leave a short (or not so short ;) ) journal entry, so I know that the book's well and safe in your hands. For example, you could write where you found it, how you like it, or what you are planning to do with it.

Thanks a lot!

PS: While I enjoy writing these texts in English, there's no obligation for you to do the same. If you like, you could make an entry in French, or whatever your mothertongue may be.
(Vous pourriez aussi écrire votre commentaire en français si vous le préférez.)
Have fun reading!

PPS: Si vous avez des questions sur bookcrossing, peut-être que la page suivante pourrait vous aider:

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