Amity, an 11 year-old girl and her father Jeffy live in Suavidad Beach, California. Michelle, Amity’s mother walked out on them 7 years ago and never returned. Whilst the father-daughter relationship is extremely close, they are both left with a hole in their hearts for the loss of Michelle. One day, the two of them are visited by a homeless man. This homeless man entrusts them with a device for a year, and if he doesn’t return, they must encase it in concrete and throw it in the ocean.
Of course, as with any good story, the device gets used and they find themselves in a world that is their own, but not their own. A world with subtle differences. A parallel universe. And as it goes, it turns out there are infinitesimal parallel universes, some nightmare visions of the world we know.
Soon enough, Amity and her father are hunted by a psychopathic shadow-government agent hell-bent on acquiring the device by any means necessary for his own power, and killing any witnesses (Amity her father).
So starting off, I enjoyed Elsewhere. I made a promise to myself to read more Dean Koontz as I have enjoyed his writing and I have quite a backlog to work through on my Kindle. But Elsewhere didn’t come up to the level of a great book.
Firstly, I felt not enough exploration was done of the parallel universes. There were just a couple of set-pieces, and some exposition. It wouldn’t have to have even been long visits or major plot points, just some time spent in different universes taking in the subtle or not so subtle differences would have been great. Alas the potential was missed.
Secondly, it all seemed to come to an end quite quickly, and I didn’t feel like the villain got a proper send off (read below – spoiler warning)
As usual with Dean Koontz, it was an interesting premise, and there were some genuinely creepy parts. It felt like there was less description in this book – take that as you will. I often see people bemoaning that Koontz’s work is overly verbose, but frankly I love reading his descriptive text and often save passages to read again, so missed it a little.
But the protagonists got a nice ending that was satisfying, so all good there.
All in all, an enjoyable read, but not one of the greats.
How I would have disposed of the villain (spoilers)
My idea to dispose of the villain Falkirk in a more satisfying way than just being shot, would be to send him to one of the more unpleasant parallel universes with no way of getting back. With two devices at the end of the book, some clever trickery could have been done to achieve this.