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FACE, THE, audio
by Dean Koontz
Random House audio, May 2003
Unabridged audiobook pages
ISBN: 0739307452

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Aelfrick Mannheim has everything a kid could ask for. He lives in a mansion near Hollywood, California and his father is now other than acclaimed movie actor Channing "The Face" Manning. The child gets everything he wants for Christmas, but yet he is not happy. He feels unloved and unwanted by his absentee father and he has almost zero friends. He thinks nobody wants or cares about him, but he is mistaken. In less than a week's time, things will change dramatically. He will be embroiled in a battle between good and evil where he will try to defend himself in order to survive the upcoming cataclysm. There can be only one winner, the prize – no other than Frick himself.

Dylan Baker performs in this latest unabridged recording of Dean Koontz's latest work. He portrays Frick as awkward and socially inept, but still a good kid at heart. He does not know who to trust, whether Ethan Truman, the mansion's security officer who is going through some X-Files moments or perhaps Frick should trust the voice at the end of his personal private line. It belongs to the voice of an alleged dead person who tries to guide the boy to protect himself from an upcoming evil. His motives are yet unclear, but when all is revealed it will be a whopper.

Baker, a well-known character actor, does a great job in his portrayals of all the characters involved by using different tones and inflections for each and everyone. He uses a cold gravelly voice when doing a caller; acts whimsical and carefree when doing the main villain, Mr. Corky Laputa; and gives innocence and naiveté to the voice of an eleven-year-old boy. He does a good job in having readers question reality, but Koontz provides scant clues. When the story reaches its powerful climax that is where everything changes. Characters will question the meaning of their existence and the role each one plays. They will be part of a chess game where winner takes all. The choices they make will carry repercussions that may bless or haunt them for the rest of their life. It is not meant to be an easy decision.

THE FACE is at times slow and repetitious, but it picks up like gangbusters when you least expect it. Dean Koontz is back and fully recharged with this original story line. There are no smart dogs, escaped lab experiments gone wrong or aliens. What we have is the ultimate battle between order and chaos instigated by a peculiar anarchist. If there is one thing that you can always be sure to find in a Koontz novel is a colorful character and Dylan Bakers adopts him almost like a second skin. Koontz is back, don't miss it.

Reviewed by Angel L. Soto, October 2003

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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