Though it looks and reads like a children's book, the latest work by bestselling novelist Koontz ( Watchers , Lightning ) is being marketed for adult audiences. As such, it falls far short of even adequate: both stylistically and in terms of characterization, it lacks the complexity that would engage an adult reader's interest. The living toys Isaac Bodkins makes in his magic workshop are designed to be sent out into the world to befriend troubled or mistreated children. As the book opens, Bodkins has just died, and the toys must attempt a long trek across town to tell young Colleen Shannon that she is the new magic toymaker. Now that Bodkin's benign spirit has departed, however, the evil toys in the sub-basement are coming to life, and they are intent on destroying their benevolent counterparts and installing their own dark-souled creator to spread sorrow and fear among children. The trip across town becomes a harrowing adventure, providing enough excitement and humor to hold a child's attention but not enough to motivate an adult to appropriate the work for the family bookcase. Parks's illustrations are excellent. (October)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1988 Release date: 10/01/1988 Genre: Fiction
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