Ashley Bell by Dean Koontz
Author: Dean Koontz
Genre: General Fiction
Publication: December 8, 2015
Goodreads Synopsis: THE MUST-READ THRILLER OF THE YEAR: Featuring the most exhilarating heroine in memory and a sophisticated, endlessly ingenious, brilliantly paced narrative through dark territory and deep mystery, this is a new milestone in literary suspense and a major new breakout book from the long acclaimed master.
At twenty-two, Bibi Blair’s doctors tell her that she’s dying. Two days later, she’s impossibly cured. Fierce, funny, dauntless, she becomes obsessed with the idea that she was spared because she is meant to save someone else. Someone named Ashley Bell. This proves to be a dangerous idea. Searching for Ashley Bell, ricocheting through a southern California landscape that proves strange and malevolent in the extreme, Bibi is plunged into a world of crime and conspiracy, following a trail of mysteries that become more sinister and tangled with every twisting turn.
Unprecedented in scope, infinite in heart, Ashley Bell is a magnificent achievement that will capture lovers of dark psychological suspense, literary thrillers, and modern classics of mystery and adventure. Beautifully written, at once lyrical and as fast as a bullet, here is the most irresistible novel of the decade.
Jen’s Rating: 🌟🌟🌟
Intrigue! Suspense! Supernatural! All this and more… and yet I felt it ran on a little too long. I have found fascination in several of Dean Koontz’ books, in the continuous struggle between good and evil. His many works have kept me wanting more and expecting more loved character’s like Odd Thomas. I always find something different and interesting in the atmosphere he envisions for the audience. Yet, with Ashley Bell I was not taken in as I had hoped and my expectations dropped severely.
I could not seem to read this book through without having the need and want to put this book down one too many times. I struggled with choosing to finish until the last page or give up on it entirely, but my mind said one thing and my heart said another. I made my way through the paranormal planes of Bibi’s world and tried my best to find the good in all of this. Don’t get me wrong, I found several pleasing moments and what Koontz is all about was everywhere in this novel, yet I felt it dragged on excessively.
We find Bibi struggling to understand what is going on all around her, why she is in grave danger, and what everything in her life really means. She is determined to survive and make it passed the craziness that has now apparently become her life. Moments that are real to her, but might not be to all the rest around her, become a bit confusing.
We meet the Captain who aids her in suppressing a very important memory. One chilling memory that is the answer to all the craziness going on around her. Thus ensues the relentless recap of childhood memories that only have purpose to an extent. Enter Calida Butterfly, a fortune teller/masseuse who is sent to Bibi by her parents, telling her she is in grave danger within this mystical realm and has unleashed the unseen wrath upon the both of them.
There are many twists and turns in Ashley Bell and the sense of urgency grows more as the story progresses. And even with all that, I still could not help but put this book down! I mean, I really tried, I usually have nothing but praise to say about his novels, but I just couldn’t find that passion for this one. Maybe it was the long winded passages:
“That March afternoon, the westering sun cast off silver rather than golden rays, minting piles of coins from the scattered altocumulus clouds that glimmered against a faded-blue sky. At street level, it was a bright but curiously dreary light that made the 55 freeway and then the 73 toll road seem like metaled causeways between nothing and nowhere, and all the racing vehicles like robots engaged in heartless tasks centuries after the abolition of humanity.”
With all that being said, I have high hopes for the next book that comes along. I love what his stories are about, and the over the top, otherworldly, roller coasters he takes us on. My take… Just cut all that extra babble, that we all know brings nothing to the story, and continue with the unforgettable writings.