I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Ashley Bell by Dean Koontz
Published by Bantam on December 8th 2015
Genres: Horror, Thriller
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THE MUST-READ THRILLER OF THE YEAR: Featuring the most exhilarating heroine in memory and a sophisticated, endlessly ingenious, brilliantly paced narrative through dark territory and deep mystery, this is a new milestone in literary suspense and a major new breakout book from the long acclaimed master.
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.
What a fascinating story!
But, before I go all fangirl I have to say, the vocabulary in this book is fantastic. I found like 12 words to add to my “study for GRE” list. Some of which are just refreshers, but some are words I have never used! I loved it! I love reading a book that really makes you stretch your mind. This book does that in multiple ways. Not only has my list of vocabulary grown for my studies, but so has my imagination.
I have been a fan of Dean Koontz for many years. I grew up reading him, Stephen King, and Clive Barker. Their books are always imaginative and dark but they also really make you think afterwards. I believe that is pivotal for the really good books. They have to stick with you long after you close that book.
The only downside to Ashley Bell is that it is rather long. My preferred reading is about 200 to 300 pages. This is probably why I enjoy cozy mysteries and YA so much. But this story has to build, and build, and build upon itself. So I understand why it is so wordy, even though I would have preferred a more cut down version.
That said, the main plot is intriguing! I could not figure out what in the world was going on, and there are many, many clues strewn throughout.
Funnily, Ashley Bell is not in much of the book. The story is all about Bibi and her life. She has a brain cancer but refuses to believe that she cannot fight it. Before she gets the chance a man and a dog come into her room in the hospital and somehow cure her! This is just the beginning. It takes her 500 pages to figure out what in the world is going on with this dog, how she was cured, and why!
Her parents, of course, are thrilled and want her to still take it easy, but Bibi is not one to just go through life skimming along. She takes the bull by the horns and is constantly fighting, not only for her life but for her sanity, as things start to get weirder and weirder.
The book is so curious, and sadly I cannot say any more because I would be bound to slip something. But what I can say is that the story’s conclusion is amazing.
Dean Koontz is still able to weave a story that will leave his readers mesmerized and in love.