Ashley Bell (Ashley Bell #1) by Dean Koontz
ISBN: 9780345545961 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9780345545978 (ebook)
ASIN: B00VCZOKM6 (Kindle edition)
Publication date: December 8, 2015
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.
Bibi Blair is a young, vibrant, and highly imaginative young woman. Her imagination is one of the things that is of great assistance with her writing. The one thing Bibi could never have imagined was dealing with a death sentence due to an inoperable brain tumor. Now she’s in the fight of her life in Ashley Bell by Dean Koontz. What, if anything, does Bibi’s imagination have to do with her present predicament? Can she find and save Ashley Bell before it’s too late?
Bibi has always had an active imagination, and sometimes she’s felt like her imagination has become her reality. At the age of five she wasn’t afraid of the dark, but afraid of the shadows and what hides there only to find a shadow monster creeping into her bed and touching her feet and legs. At the age of ten she wrote a series of stories about a dog seeking the perfect home and lo and behold a lost dog finds Bibi and a home. In college, her imagination lands her in hot water with a college professor and forces her to leave college behind. To this day, Bibi isn’t quite sure why the professor was so upset over her short story. As an only child, Bibi has always had the love and support of her parents, Nancy and Murphy Blair, and she has it now while dealing with this medical catastrophe. Even with parental support, Bibi longs for her fiancé, Navy SEAL Paxton Thorpe to be by her side. Fortunately, Bibi receives a reprieve and a miraculous cure occurs. All Bibi knows is that she has been saved in order to save the mysterious Ashley Bell and she must do so before evil destroys them both.
Although Ashley Bell has more than 500 pages, I found this to be a captivating and fast-paced read (even with a moderately-severe migraine I finished reading this in one day). Mr. Koontz combines elements of suspense and thriller genres with the paranormal. He then mixes a little bit of a quest element with the occult, fantastical, and horrific for one truly amazing story. Bibi isn’t a typical heroine, but she perseveres throughout the story in order to do the right thing for the right reasons no matter what. I thought I knew where the story was headed and then a major twist occurred and the story took off in an entirely new direction (no, I won’t tell you what happened . . . read the book!). We learn just enough (or so we think) about Bibi, her parents, her fiancé Paxton, and her friend Pogo (a nickname), that they become quite realistic over the course of the story. The good guys are true white hats and the bad guys are the blackest hats around. It’s a little difficult to describe Ashley Bell without giving too much away, so I’ll just say read this book (I’m serious, read this book)! I’ve never read anything by Dean Koontz before (I don’t know why), but I do know that I’m looking forward to finding out what happens next in this series. While I’m waiting, I’ll simply have to read some of Mr. Koontz’s previous writings to tide me over.
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