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Ashley Bell: A Novel Hardcover – December 8, 2015
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“Dean Koontz outdoes himself with his latest journey, which solidifies his reputation as one of the best storytellers in the book business. . . . [With] lyrical writing and compelling characters . . . Koontz stands alone, and this novel is a prime example of literary suspense. . . . [He] knows what he’s doing, and the baffling story with the stellar character of Bibi Blair makes this thriller one of his best.”—Associated Press
“Grabs you on page one and keeps you enthralled with ever widening loops of intrigue, spine-tingling plot twists, absorbing characters and emotional involvement . . . extraordinary.”—Bookreporter
“A fascinating exploration of destiny that is heart-pounding and mind-boggling . . . Koontz is a masterful plotter, capable of juggling the many threads of this story without losing sight of the whole. . . . [He] knows how to captivate and surprise; readers will be handsomely rewarded by this well-paced thriller that blurs the line between what is real and what is imagined, between past and present, present and future. Ashley Bell is a rarity of a thriller—one that asks big questions about life and destiny while succeeding in creating such an eerie sense of reality that sleeping with the lights on might seem like a sane idea.”—Shelf Awareness
“Strap in and hold on. . . . The most stunning, flat-out crazy reading experience yet from a writer who specializes in surprises. If you’ve ever wondered how much fun it would be to feel a book unfold in real time along with its characters, you need to read Ashley Bell right now. . . . Along the way, Koontz salts [the] journey with a sweeping assortment of characters, some of whom threaten to shoplift the narrative and take it home. . . . When a writer has managed to catch this kind of lightning in a bottle, every reader should experience the full jolt.”—BookPage
“In every industry there exist ‘artists’ that are not only unforgettable, but know their craft better than the rest. Dean Koontz, yet again, proves that he is among these craftsmen. . . . There is so much to say about this treasure. The mystical plays a part, the reality of life on the edge plays a part and . . . nothing can be given away. What can be stated is that Koontz was born with that unbelievable gift to, in one paragraph, write a line that makes readers want to hide under their beds, followed by a joke that makes them laugh, and end with a line so beautiful they are stunned. If there was ever an author that deserved praise, it is, was, and remains, Dean Koontz. Do not miss this!”—Suspense Magazine
“[The] opening is gorgeous and crushing, and will shake awake anyone who thinks Koontz is just grinding out genre tomes. . . . It’s gripping stuff, but Koontz doesn’t stop there, adding a series of flashbacks regarding the alchemy of creativity and the fuel of trauma, and that’s before the Say what? twist that upends everything. . . . Fans will adore it. Koontz hits the canny nexus of horror, mystery, and fantasy here.”—Booklist
“Koontz crafts a story shifting between reality and imagination, highlighted by distinct descriptions. . . . Bibi’s a believable protagonist surrounded by interesting bit players. . . . Koontz’s setting, with California coastal fog a metaphor for illness and for knowledge beyond understanding, makes real the often surrealistic narrative. . . . [Ashley Bell] cuts between the fantastical and the believable to dissect evil, explore the power of imagination, and probe the parameters of consciousness.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Throughout his long and outstanding career, Koontz has made a habit of melding and crossing genres to create his own brand of unforgettable fiction. Just when you think he can’t top himself, Koontz proves us wrong by creating his most mind-blowing and amazing book to date. Ashley Bell is an astonishing novel that sucks you in from the first page and delivers so many twists, you are bound to get whiplash.”—RT Book Reviews
“Dean Koontz has become an essential part of my library and my creative life, influencing me at the keyboard, an invisible mentor. Ashley Bell might be his finest and most personal novel yet. It is everything you’d expect from Koontz—multilayered and richly told and fueled by page-turning suspense—but it is also as tender as it is terrifying, a story about love, mortality, and the redemptive power of imagination.”—Benjamin Percy, author of The Dead Lands, Red Moon, and The Wilding
“A mighty fan of Koontz’s story-making, I found his newest, Ashley Bell, to possess that rare hypnotic pull that I can’t get away from. It unfolds like a tricky Oriental fan, with layers and more layers of intrigue seeping through porous pages. But what makes my heart throb is not just the beauty of Koontz’s masterful prose, but the depth of his heart and the dizzying height of his wicked imagination, enchanted by his artless playfulness, easily making this novel about novel-making the best book of literary genre fiction on the landscape.”—Da Chen, New York Times bestselling author of Colors of the Mountain, Brothers, and My Last Empress
“Ashley Bell is a lyrical, surprising, and sensitive novel, with the narrative propulsion that is Koontz’s signature. You won’t want to put it down except to contemplate its thought-provoking twists. Koontz manages to recruit a terrifically suspenseful story as part of a fascinating meditation on the hidden interactions of literature, health, and inner strength.”—Matthew Pearl, author of The Last Bookaneer
“Readers will fall hard for Bibi Blair, the fierce and dangerously smart heroine of Dean Koontz’s mind-bending thrill ride, Ashley Bell. Koontz delivers a sharp, unsettling, philosophically stimulating examination of consciousness, memory, and the intense power of story. He doesn’t just ask the big questions, he turns them inside out. A philosophically stimulating nightmare you won’t want to wake up from.”—Michelle Richmond, author of The Year of Fog and Golden State
About the Author
- Publisher : Bantam; First Edition, First Printing (December 8, 2015)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 576 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0345545966
- ISBN-13 : 978-0345545961
- Item Weight : 1.85 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.44 x 1.74 x 9.57 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #619,281 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
"A timely novel highlighting the worth and delicate nature of Nature itself." -Delia Owens Learn more
Top reviews from the United States
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Koontz, up your game, or retire. You should not have allowed this to be published.
It was interesting to start out. (No spoilers ) but then the whole book changed in the middle, and then just got so stupid..
sorry Dean, but I hated it.
Now the relevance to this review...Ashley Bell. I loved the book. I read Last Light and Final Hour prior to get a feel for the book. As it progressed I kinda figured out where it was going based on the "breadcrumbs" left here and there. Nevertheless, a great read, lots of action, a surprising twist, perhaps some confusion at the end, but I loved it.
Overall, I love reading Dean Koontz and plan to read a lot more.
I see that most people have given Ashley Bell good reviews. And because a reader may still choose to read the book, I won't give away storyline. What I will say is that some suspension of disbelief is always necessary, more so in a book with some supernatural themes. However, for me, this book almost required suspension of thinking. The plot got ever more ridiculous, and the final reveal was even more of a letdown than I thought possible.
I am truly unhappy at posting such a negative review for one of my favorite authors, but with so many positive reviews for this book, I thought readers who were looking for guidance about purchasing should have both opinions presented. If you are looking for Dean Koonz, read any/all of the Odd Thomas books. Or The City. Or Innocence. Or the first Frankenstein book. Or Strangers....
Top reviews from other countries
Just imagine you are a bungee jumper, safe on solid ground. Then you do something reckless and throw yourself over the edge, fast leaving that safe ground above you. Your life saving elastic is stretching, stretching and getting tighter all the time. That's how the tention within this masterful story just builds and builds. Like gravity, you have no choice but to follow it down. You are never quite sure if these creations within the story can be true, or simply imagined. When things get really taught you'll struggle to remain calm, you won't be able to help yourself, you'll be rooting for the Bibi, Olaf, Pax, her family and best friend.
At it's peak tention, everything suddenly changes direction, just as as the universal law of gravity, you were never in control of your direction. Just as you see that place of safety that you jumped from right at the start, coming back to greet you, everything changes again! Suddenly you're floating and gravity has briefly been suspended, but you know what's coming and down you plunge yet again....only this time you might not want to trust that bungee elastic.
Perhaps just like me, you've been waiting for another of those real page turner's, a real classic of storytelling, where there's no filler, no wasted breath and everything is to play for. I defy anyone to not be taken aback by the revelations at the conclusion of this. You just have to read this - period.
I am a UK trained lawyer. During my law degree, many decades ago, I learnt that English lawyers historically (NOT any more I hasten to add) were paid by the word, which is why so many ancient legal texts are pretty much impenetrable. Sadly, I have to say the same for this Koontz book - Dean, are you being paid by the word??? There was just so much unnecessary 'verbage' that the actual story line was hard to find, let alone get swept up in. This is the first Koontz book that I have had to, with a sigh, force myself to read. Usually I dive right in and don't surface for hours.
I still have my old copies of Lightning, Watchers, Door To December and many, many others. I still enjoy re-reading Watchers and enjoying Einstein's antics all over again. This book was at the other end of the spectrum: a complete disappointment. It's the first book I will delete off my Kindle!