Ashley Bell. Finished 2-4-19, rating 3.5, scifi/fantasy, pub. 2015
Unabridged audio read by Suzy Jackson. 17 hours 15 minutes.
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. from Goodreads
I have at least one Koontz book on my Top 100, but I’m not a regular reader of his books. It’s been a while. But I was headed back home for a funeral by myself and didn’t have anything to listen to (hard to believe I know) so Jason gave me the first several cds of this one telling me he was listening to it and I would really like it. Well, the first two cds were about Bibi finding out that she had incurable brain cancer and by the time I arrived – to go directly to calling hours – I was pretty sad. I hadn’t read the description so I didn’t have any idea that she would be cured (but that is somewhat misleading). I may have sent Jason a text telling him that the story choice was not appropriate for a funeral.
Okay, now for the story. I really liked the first half of the book, even the sad parts. Bibi was a gifted writer and she had a Navy Seal fiancé and loving parents. When the diagnosis comes she reacts with disbelief and then fight. I hesitate to say anymore. At the halfway-ish mark it lost Jason (although he finished it) but I was okay with the twists and turns. It was interesting. My main issue is that I think it could have been shorter. By the last of the cds (14!) I was grumbling that it needed to finish up 🙂 It was both exciting and slow, so it was a mixed bag for me.
If you like Koontz you’ll probably like this one, but this one is just average Koontz, for me.