Top positive review
"there isn't a new neighbor..."
Reviewed in the United States on June 3, 2014
THE NEIGHBOR is billed as the prequel to Koontz’s soon-to-be-released novel THE CITY – however, it’s really a standalone short story set in the summer of 1967 about one month prior to Malcolm Pomerantz meeting Jonah Kirk, the protagonist for THE CITY. Other than a short plug for his new novel in the opening two paragraphs, the rest of the short story is entirely its own creation – which is a great thing for readers and fans of Dean Koontz.
Many of these now popular short ebooks that appear weeks before the new novels they seek to promote are lacking in every area except, of course, marketing – but with THE NEIGHBOR Koontz really delivers a great short story.
Malcolm and his sister Amalia are close siblings, made closer by parents who are indifferent towards them and each other. In the summer before Amalia leaves for college and Malcolm is twelve, they discover that “the world is a more mysterious place than it seems to be most of the time.”
The house next door has been empty for a while. It’s owner dead from a heart attack. But in the middle of the night both Malcolm and Amalia see lights on in the house and sense there is someone, or something, there.
The next day they bake cookies “to welcome the new neighbor” as an excuse to check out the house and see if anything is amiss … only to discover, in Amalia’s words, “there isn’t a new neighbor.” Oh but there is something there …
This is one of the few “.99 cent prequels” that I actually recommend as worth reading. Koontz is a master of the short story, and while this isn’t likely to go down as one of his all-time greats, it’s certainly a fun and entertaining read.