Readers’ Advisory 1: The Moonlit Mind. Dean Koontz

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Quick Facts

Author: Dean Koontz

Published 2011 Bantam Books

102pp. $2.99 eBook original or $9.99US, $11.99CAN with full length novel 77 Shadow Street. 9780553593068

Suspense, Thriller, Supernatural

available in eBook, print, and audiobook

Why I Read It

The real reason I read this is in the final decision section. However, I finished it, because of the opening two pages. Crispin is a twelve-year old boy who lives on the streets of an unnamed city with his dog, Harley. Harley doesn’t bark, rarely growls. But he’s been with Crispin, leading him to safety for the last three years. I admit, I was intrigued. A little bit.

TLL’s Tag

3 years ago, Crispin fled Theron Hall, but unfinished business calls him back.

The Rundown

Crispin has been living on the street for three years. He fled his “home”, Theron Hall, after witnessing the murder of his brother. But things didn’t feel right before that either. His little sister disappeared, and he was told she went to Paris. He never sees his mother, not that he saw her much before, and his new family and servants behave oddly. He has a dog/protector in Harley, his best friend, and another friend, human, whom he sees occasionally. Crispin has been hanging around city and Shadow Hill, evading his “family”, because he feels he has unfinished business with Theron Hall. The timing isn’t right, yet, to right the wrongs from which he fled, but if they catch him, he may end up just like his siblings.

Here’s what I think

This is a review of the story found in the back of Koontz’ 77 Shadow Street.

It was not my kind of story. The writing was simplistic, and never really progressed to complex sentences. That annoyed me. It was not scary at all. The spine label from my library has this a horror story. There are devil worshippers and a few hints that these devil worshippers may be more than that, with references to bygone ways of hiding from demons and other supernatural evil creatures. But the story never gets scary.

There are some good things about the story. Amity Onawa, the Phantom of Broderick’s, is an interesting character, infinitely more interesting than Crispin. My favorite part of the novella was her back story. There is an icky feeling that accompanies all of Crispin’s interactions with his mother and Nanny Sayo. The story itself seems well suited to the short, novella format. There’s not much else to tell beyond what happens in the story. It has enough flashbacks to fill in the gaps of the present time.

Final decision

It was ok. I liked the gradual reveal of the mysteries of Theron Hall. I liked the story of Amity Onawa. It doesn’t feel as though it needs more story.

3Q–Readable, without serious defects.

3P–Read it because the book club was reading it

Readalikes, courtesy of NoveList Plus


David Ambrose

Jane Jenson

Stephen King

Appeal Factors

compelling, magical

Book talk ideas

The magic shop, p. 571-572

Jardena Gregorio, p.590, 645-646

Theron Hall miniature, p. 597-598

Amity Onawa p.622-627

Book discussion questions

1) Describe the feeling you got when reading scenes of Nanny Sayo and Crispin. Compare them with scenes of Crispin and his mother. Are they the same or different?

2) The city in which the story takes place is never named. What city did you imagine? Why?

3) Names are important in this story and, indeed, in many cultures. What is the significance of the name Regina Angelorum?

4) Of the many supernatural elements to this story, which was your favorite?

Clues to the Future

Crispin, Amity Onawa, Harley, Theron Hall, Shadow Street, Shadow Hill, Dean Koontz, The Moonlit Mind, novella, miniature houses

Awards and Lists


Links to the Author, Interviews, and Reviews

Author Website:

BookPage Interview:

Parabola Interview:

Bookshelf Bombshells Review: Review:


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