Ashley Bell

This one is going to be short and sweet.

Well, maybe not so sweet. Because I am pretty flabbergasted at the moment. But I’ll get to that in a minute.

Here’s the thing guys, big names bring in big hits. They just do. So even though I haven’t read a ton of his work in the past, when NetGalley featured Dean Koontz’s upcoming book, Ashley Bell, I requested it. Couldn’t hurt, right?

And I really liked the way this one started. Bibi Blair is mysteriously struck with a horrendous brain cancer that no one recovers from. The symptoms are sudden, and actually reminded me a lot of My Stroke of Insight. I was a little confused–it didn’t seem like a thriller at all and I thought for a moment maybe I was reading the wrong book–but no, almost as quickly as the cancer came, Bibi was cured, and the Koontz’s strange breed of supernatural took over.

As much as I loved the first part…I disliked the second. It just changed course so completely and in so bizarre a direction that I could not follow it. But still, it was an ARC so I powered through.

Until about the halfway point. When Bibi is trying to hide herself, and has this thought:

“After she put on the sunglasses, she wished that she had a more complex disguise. Like a burka. No one would profile and bother a woman in a burka, even if she was radioactive and ticking.”

Trust me. I read that sentence a dozen times, trying to figure out–HOPING–that it was sarcasm, written ironically. Something. But no, it’s an absolutely serious narrative thought.

I can’t help but point out that those “no ones” who are profiling and bothering women in burkas are on the front page of just about every newspaper and magazine right now.

The Philadelphia Daily News

(Photo Credit Philly Daily News)

So I just…can’t…with this book anymore. Dean Koontz, do better. Because that is unacceptable.


Netgalley provided this ARC for an unbiased review. Releases December 8.

Normally I would post a link here so that you can buy the book, but I’m not giving this book any additional hits.

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