As a firm believer in extraterrestrial life and that we will have visitors from another world, I didn't like the "negative character" of the "Beings" in "The Taking" by Dean Koontz. The picture of the apocalypse was discomfiting. And yet it was thought provoking - the psychological angle pertaining to our fears and trysts was quite poignant. The references to quotes by T.S. Eliot, and also the Biblical references makes me think that The Wasteland provided inspiration to the author (I may be wrong in this inference, as I have not actually read T.S. Eliot at length.)
The scientific logic of the "how's" and "why's" of the alien control was also well-devised. The book was rambling in descriptive sections but the author was trying to create a picture in the mind's eye and play on the emotions to evoke fear. The central theme of the novel was based on Darwin's theory of Natural Selection to cleanup the World of the evil in mind, heart and spirit, and then re-generate human life with newfound wisdom and experiences. It was like "clean the slate to write anew" with a sprinkling of Christain philosphy.
It's commendable how the author has moved away from the cliché of the "green-skin-slanted-eye-oval-head" visitor from outer space, and has created a more awe-inspiring concept of the forces from another world, including biological and psychological angles.
I wouldn't say that I liked the book, or would mark it as my favorite, but I can assure that some images will remain in your mind. The next time the skies overshadow and pour down, you may very well fear doomsday, as imagined by Dean Koontz. What I liked about this book centered on dark characters and dark images, and the perpetual "purple glow" in the skies, is that it envelopes hope and survival instincts, along with human philanthropy.
Read it on a rainy day for maximum impact, if you like science fiction with a bit of the X-Files factor. The book would make a perfect script for a Hollywood thriller with lots of special effects. For interested friends, I don't mind lending my copy of the book, because it's not actually a book for keeps, though it can give you the creeps.
Read an excerpt.