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Innocence: A Novel Hardcover – December 10, 2013

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; First Edition edition (December 10, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553808036
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553808032
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,976 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,669 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Addison Goodheart, who must never be seen, and last-nameless Gwyneth, who must never be touched, meet sensationally cute at the end of evading a big, enraged man shouting that he’ll kill her. Confronting one another by the Dickens collection of the grand central library of a never-named American metropolis, they realize, as he says, that “we’re made for each other.” Love at first sight, though heavily impeded (by his clothes and her makeup), saves both them and the story time, which they need because her would-be rapist-murderer is about to find her, no matter her many hideouts, and which the reader relishes because this is as speedy a chase-thriller as any Koontz, a past master of the form, has ever constructed. Written in Koontz’ late mellifluent and reflective manner (Addison ponders as well as reveals his backstory in many flashbacks), the book is also another of his moral thrillers, fueled by deep disgust with the world’s evils—especially abusive violence, especially against children—and by definite, though idiosyncratic, Christian hope for redemption. And so this entrancing romance resolves, like Koontz’s The Taking (2004), apocalyptically, in a new Earth. --Ray Olson


“A thriller that’s both chilling and fulfilling.”People (four stars)

“Laced with fantastical mysticism, it’s an allegory of nonviolence, acceptance and love in the face of adversity. . . . The narrative is intense, with an old-fashioned ominousness and artistically crafted descriptions. . . . An optimistic and unexpected conclusion [mirrors] his theme. Something different this way comes from Mr. Koontz’s imagination. Enjoy.”Kirkus Reviews
“Mystery and terror, the paranormal and romance—all combine to make Innocence a challenging and emotional experience.”New York Journal of Books
“This novel really is something special. . . . This may just be the book Dean Koontz was born to write.”Thriller Books Journal

“Entrancing . . . as speedy a chase-thriller as any Koontz . . . has ever constructed. Written in Koontz’ late mellifluent and reflective manner . . . [Innocence is] fueled by deep disgust with the world’s evils [and] hope for redemption.”Booklist (starred review)
“[An] imaginative, mystical thriller from bestseller Koontz . . . This is the most satisfying Koontz standalone in a while.”Publishers Weekly
“Masterful storyteller Koontz delivers perhaps his most eerie and unusual tale to date. The timeline in this amazing story is compact, and readers will be swept along as they try to unravel hints and clues as to the true nature of both the protagonists and the unfolding drama. Unpredictably spine-chilling and terrifying, this is a story readers won’t soon forget.”RT Book Reviews
“Elegant . . . Fans of Koontz’s previous series will be left hoping that Addison and Gwyneth, too, will return.”Library Journal

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Customer Reviews

The main characters are amazing and the story concept is very interesting with a twist.
The man knows is all I can say...and he makes the reader feel like they can relate to what he is saying...if they just keep an open mind.
jane p. mccabe
This book is a great book, it kept my interest and wanted me to keep reading to find out what the end was.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

406 of 423 people found the following review helpful By Peggy B on December 13, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I pre-purchased this book quite awhile back and sort of forgot about it until it appeared (like a gift) on my Kindle a few mornings ago. Well, of course, I started it immediately. Since I had no clue as to what it was about (the pre-buy contained no synopsis) I didn't know what to expect - which is actually the way a good book should be read, so I won't give any details about the story. I quickly discovered it was a bit different than most of his books and was more like a fairy tale (not the Disneyesque type of tale but the original Grimm fairy tales with great good and great evil). It took place in modern day but could have easily been any time or any place. I loved the snowy landscape - it added to the dream-like quality of the story and I was surprised and moved by the ending - I didn't see it coming but it made perfect sense.

On a personal note - Dean Koontz (while being one of my favorite authors) is also high on my list of really good people. I don't know him personally & never even met him, but contacted him and asked for a donation of a signed book to auction off for an animal rescue non-profit fundraiser with little hope of hearing back since I hadn't gotten responses from other authors I'd contacted . He very kindly and generously sent a signed copy of A Big Little Life". I'm sure he gets requests all the time and I was amazed and grateful that he responded.
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265 of 292 people found the following review helpful By Brian Reaves VINE VOICE on November 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
When I heard Dean mention this was his favorite of all the books he had written, I thought he might be stretching it a bit. I was wrong. This book combines elements of some of his best books like "Odd Thomas", "Fear Nothing", and "Tick Tock" into one amazing story that will completely blow you away with the ending. The plot twists he threw into one of the last chapters had me turning pages back to see where the clues had been right in my face but I had been missing them the whole time.

Addison Goodheart is an outsider who must hide his appearance from everyone lest he be brutally attacked and killed by those repulsed by his face. During a night excursion into the library he meets Gwyneth, a girl who cannot stand to be touched. Together, this couple must face the most terrifying night of their lives and possibly see the end of the world by dawn. It is a tragic love story, as Addison must stay wrapped up in a ski mask and hoodie so she can never see him no matter how he feels about her, and as they begin to grow closer there is this aching sadness as you know he can never hold her as he longs to because of her phobia. And yet, somehow, their story grows deeper by the moment.

In the end, we are taken from this tragic story into a place of hope. Everything is not tied up nicely in a bow, but the story is satisfying. Though I would love to see a sequel, I doubt Dean ever tries to write one as the story feels complete as it is and it's hard to imagine a way to continue Addison's adventures.

The only thing I really disliked about the story was the jarring way Dean would write one chapter in the present, and the next in Addison's past. It seemed like every important plot point somehow demanded a flashback to explain why it was significant.
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94 of 113 people found the following review helpful By Sandra VINE VOICE on November 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Addison lives far beneath the busyness of the big city, well hidden from humanity, avoiding all people, lest the mere sight of him cause them to kill him. Meanwhile, Gwyneth lives in her own seclusion, locked on the top floor of her father’s mansion. Refusing to allow human touch, she is banned to a solitary life. When Addison and Gwyneth meet, it becomes evident that their lives have a profound purpose.

This book is beyond words, and, although I would like to say more and extol its value and profundity, I do not want to give away a fragment of the secret gems hidden within the pages of this unforgettable book!

As his readers already know, Mr. Koontz is a master of words. However, this book reads like the finest poetry; his writing is that lyrical! His descriptions are tender and moving. His characters are true and show that Koontz truly understands the many facets of human nature. Although this book is categorized as mystical fantasy and deals with unrealistic happenings, it rings true-to-life because of its exemplary character development and realistic and vivid settings.

This book is poignant and thought inducing, tender and hopeful, and will be forever etched in the reader’s mind and heart.
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94 of 114 people found the following review helpful By D. Lange on January 6, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As the silken, mellifluous rain drifts down past my office portal, like gelatinous tears from the Gods, I glide to my PC to pen this review. My words flow like melted butter down the craggy slopes of a glacier, nonchalantly at first, then at a calamitous pace to their penultimate doom in the briny depths. My azure eyes, like a Siberian Husky's dream of heaven, fill with sodium chloride, like a test tube in Walter White's laboratory.

Get the idea? This book has never met an adjective it didn't like. Why use a simple word when a four-syllable one exists? It also has a case of multiple personality. Is it a fairy tale, murder mystery, horror story, novel about a dystopian world of the future? Who knows? It's really all of these.

Almost every page deals with how no one can look at the main character, Addison Goodheart (really??) without wanting to kill him (we are never given his description), but when we finally find out why, it's an anticlimax. I downloaded the book to my Kindle after all the 5-star reviews, but I wish I hadn't.
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More About the Author

Dean Koontz, the author of many #1 New York Times bestsellers, lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, their golden retriever Anna, and the enduring spirit of their golden, Trixie.

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