Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Ashley Bell by Dean Koontz

The first book I ever read by Dean Koontz was Odd Thomas – and I loved it. I remember feeling such strong emotions for the main character, loving the depth of the story, and wanting to read more. But I never got to complete the rest of the series. I was excited to see this novel on my recommendation list and was impressed that it was named “best book of the year” by Bookpage. I managed to find a physical copy of it at my local library and decided to give it a go (even though I really don’t have the time to read). Anyways, here is my review:

Bibi Blair is a fiercely independent young woman who has never taken no for an answer. After gaining success as an author, Bibi cannot wait to churn out more books. That is until she has a seizure and needs to be rushed to the hospital, where she is told by the doctors that she has only a year to live. Never one to rely on fate, Bibi merely says “We’ll see”, and is determined to find a way out of this situation. Her miraculous recovery astonishes everyone, but Bibi couldn’t be happier at this chance to win against fate. But this harrowing escape from death is part of a bargain, as Bibi discovers from a diviner that she must now save someone’s life. Someone named Ashley Bell. Who is Ashley? How can Bibi find her? And more importantly, what is she supposed to save Ashley from? As Bibi races against time to fulfill her mission, she is threatened by forces both mystical and worldly – including a terrifying cult with ambitions most insidious.

The premise for this novel sounded amazing and I pushed all of my work aside to read this novel. At first, I was intrigued with the mystery and the craziness of Bibi’s situation. But soon, I found myself getting lost in the off-topic ramblings of the author. The surfing lingo also didn’t help the situation. Just as I was wondering where the story was going to go, there was a crazy plot twist and I became sucked in again. The second half of the novel was definitely more fast-paced and interesting than the first half. And yet, when the conclusion came through, I found myself disappointed. I expected the big reveal to be something more powerful. Instead, I found myself having an are-you-kidding-me moment. I definitely do not think this was Koontz’s best work, as it was too lengthy and didn’t deliver the strong punch I was expecting. In the end, this was definitely not one of the best books of the year.

Happy reading ~

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