Goodreads describes the book as the following:
Years after leaving the carnival, her hated first husband, and the child she could never love, Ellen has a new life, a new husband, and two beautiful children, but now the carnival is coming back to town, and Ellen is going to have to pay for her sins.
The story is that Ellen killed her first child who was somewhat of a cross between human and the creature from the black lagoon. She is repulsed by the child and convinced it is evil. Her husband vows to find her in ten years and kill whatever children she has by that time. It takes much longer than ten years for him to track her down and find that she now has two children.
He has another monster child with another woman by that time as well. The young man is an abomination who rapes and kills dozens of women throughout the country. Between the father and mutant, the children barely stand a chance.
I have to say, the book is creepy and has a few horrors along the way for the reader. It does, however, seem to take a century for the book to get rolling – the kids only running into the carnival way past the mid-point of the book. The actual climax didn’t deliver the punch it was capable of. While Ellen was someone you couldn’t begin to like if you tried – the two children, Amy and Joey, were a bit more endearing. Gunther, the monster mutant, gave you no reason to like or even feel pity for him. His father is as insane as their mother – both are scum of the earth.
The book is good – not great. It is early Koontz so maybe not as polished as his later books. There is a movie associated with the book but Koontz himself says it was a big failure and did the book more harm than good. Overall, I give the book a c+. If it had been the first book I read by Koontz, I don’t think I would be the big fan of his that I am today. 🙂