Ashley Bell by Dean Koontz

Title: Ashley Bell: A Novel, Author: Dean KoontzAshley 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.


9 thoughts on “Ashley Bell by Dean Koontz

  1. Mary says:

    I haven’t read any of his books. So it sounds pretty good except for the part about needing to be shorter. I don’t like it when I feel that way.

  2. Lloyd Russell says:

    I haven’t read Koontz for several years, but I understand The Corners is pretty good. But I got turned off by the Odd Thomas series. I read a couple of them and then stopped. However, Lightning and Strangers are definitely 2 of my favorite books all-time.

    • stacybuckeye says:

      I read the first Odd Thomas and thought it was interesting, but never did continue with the series. I’ve added Lightning and Strangers to my list. I think it’s possible I have Strangers on my shelves somewhere since I can picture the cover!

  3. Kay says:

    I haven’t read any of Koontz’s books for years either. All I remember is the horror – and I loved that at that time. Seems that he and Stephen King both have kind of moved over into other areas of fiction. Oh, I loved Lightning too!

  4. Literary Feline says:

    Koontz is hit and miss with me, although it’s been years since I last read anything of his. I am not sure I would read this one, but it sounds interesting.

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