Ashley Bell: A Novel - Dean Koontz

I received an advance review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I have read quite a few of Dean Koontz’ novels over the years. In fact, his Odd Thomas series is one of my all-time favorite series of any type. If you have read much of Koontz, you may have some pet peeves. He does have a tendency to preach (sometimes quite a bit, actually) in his books, more so recently, and his characters have gotten a bit repetitive. Most of his books have as main characters an unusually perceptive teen/young adult and a supernatural or nearly supernatural villain. A golden retriever, trailing wings of glory, usually arrives within the first 30 or so pages. Actually, that has not really bothered me much as long as the story was good, and as a general rule, they are. Even the preachiness is ok because you know about it going in, so why complain?

I was really enjoying this novel up to until the point when a major plot revelation/direction surfaced which pretty much took me out of the story. I was already suspicious at that point, but once it occurred, I found the whole storyline to be so contrived that I found myself just examining the writing technique and paying attention to the references and cross references and plot structure and not enjoying the story, which to me was no longer compelling.

Mileage may vary and others may not agree. If you like Dean Koontz, especially his later writings, then you may well enjoy Ashley Bell as well. I certainly am going to continue to read him even though this particular novel wasn’t to my taste.

3 1/2 stars.