Sunday, December 20, 2015

Ashley BellAshley Bell by Dean Koontz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a trip this was.

I've already been pretty much a lifelong fan of Koontz, but I haven't read all of his novels. Lately, I was into the Odd books, all of which I really enjoyed until the last one, so I had a bit of trepidation with picking up an opener for a new series.

I shouldn't have worried. It might have been just a case of getting bored with an old character. No biggie.

He got his mojo back with Bibi. She was delightful and full of literary life. I mean, come on. I LOVE reading stories about writers who write about writing. None of this was fourth-wall stuff, but the novel came awfully close. Good thing Koontz is a wonderful writer with prose that is like peanut butter.

Smooth peanut butter: rich with that ability to make my lower cheeks glow and put the tingles in my fingertips. Of course, he serves up this prose with a nutty bread and brain cancer, so it's not all happiness and light. The results are, though.

For most of the book, it was on par with most of his solid novels, a strong four stars, made with simple and fluid storytelling designed with keeping all the denominators low, always familiar, always comfortable. I don't think that's a bad thing. He reaches the greatest number of fans this way. What makes the novel great is the deep-seated insistence that Imagination is King. It's charming as fuck. I couldn't agree more.

I'll try not to give away any spoilers, but I will mention that if you, dear reader, are looking for a non-paranormal thriller, then just go away. Don't look back. This book isn't for you. If you like the premise that imagination can and will save your ass, then by all means, pick up this book and revel in it.

I did.

Here's a winner, folks!

Me-->Not a hater of successful writers if they can pull this kind of novel off without being sophomoric. Kudos!

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