Ashley Bell

Author: Dean Koontz

Publisher: Bantam

Rating: 4 stars

Buy Links: Amazon

Type: Novel

Received from Publisher

 

Blurb: The girl who said no to death.
 
Bibi Blair is a fierce, funny, dauntless young woman—whose doctor says she has one year to live.
 
She replies, “We’ll see.”
 
Her sudden recovery astonishes medical science.
 
An enigmatic woman convinces Bibi that she escaped death so that she can save someone else. Someone named Ashley Bell.
 
But save her from what, from whom? And who is Ashley Bell? Where is she?
 
Bibi’s obsession with finding Ashley sends her on the run from threats both mystical and worldly, including a rich and charismatic cult leader with terrifying ambitions.
 
Here is an eloquent, riveting, brilliantly paced story with an exhilarating heroine and a twisting, ingenious plot filled with staggering surprises. Ashley Bell is a new milestone in literary suspense from the long-acclaimed master.

 

Review:  If a reviewer gave up as much story as was given away by this blurb, that reviewer would be eviscerated by a mob of angry readers!  I couldn’t believe it.  I was 20% into this book before I got past the information in the blurb.  And it’s a long book!  That was a lot of pages.

What came next was worth every second of my time.  The next two-thirds is brilliant, filled with beautiful imagery and pretty prose, putting the reader firmly in the story with an incredible young woman.  At twenty-two, Bibi Blair is a published author.  She’s been writing stories since she was very young.  Considered by many to be unusual, even when she was very young, only her grandfather, the Captain, ever knew the truth of just how unusual she is…even Bibi herself.

Then, in the final portion of the book, I was distressed.  What the heck?  Well, the author is Dean Koontz, so the bizarre is to be expected, but this story just sort of flopped a bit towards the end.  Not terribly disappointing, just a little mundane, taking the brilliance of writing down a notch or two.  This is a perfect example of how story trumps writing every time.  I had a difficult time assigning a star rating to this book.  The beginning was spoiled by the blurb, the middle made a 5 Star rating seem inadequate and the ending was blasé at best.  I settled on 4 Stars simply because I can’t go lower with a book that is so deliciously written…even when the beginning and the end are weak.

To those readers who are so smitten by beautiful imagery and pretty prose, I give this book a very high recommendation.  To those readers who enjoy a story first, I want to be a little more cautious…it might be less than you expect.  Hopefully, in either case, if you buy this book, give it a chance and…

Enjoy!

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