Ashley Bell by Dean KoontzTitle:  Ashley Bell

Author:  Dean Koontz
Release Date:  December 8, 2015
Publisher:  Bantam
Source:  Review copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley

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. (Goodreads)

My Review:

The first time I rode Space Mountain was in total darkness. Found out later that the stars and other effects were only turned on half the time, but I loved having no idea of the upcoming twists, turns, and dips. It was definitely an adventure!

Reading Ashley Bell reminded me a little of this ride, as I had no idea where it would take me next!

Koontz is one of the few authors where I skip reading the synopsis so I can be surprised. This story had so many unexpected twists that it was definitely like riding a roller coaster in the dark!

The main character, Bibi, is a writer. As a lifelong reader, I love that!

Bibi finds out that she has a rare form of brain cancer. Given less than a year to live, Bibi is miraculously cured thanks to a mysterious late-night visitor.

Her free-thinking parents gift her a psychic massage to celebrate her recovery. After the relaxing massage, the psychic uses Scrabble tiles to ask why Bibi was cured. Yes, Scrabble tiles. Who knew? Apparently, her life was spared so that she could save someone named Ashley Bell. And so it begins….

There are several flashbacks to Bibi’s childhood, which provide some clues to her present predicament. I enjoyed these flashbacks a little more than Bibi’s search for Ashley. And I really enjoyed getting to know Bibi’s hippie-esque parents!

Just like a dark roller coaster ride, the story had unexpected dips, peaks, and valleys. Then came a disappointing dip that sort of derailed my fun. The previously fast-paced, fun plotline slowed down after that dip and didn’t pick back up for me.

You know how you’re disappointed when the roller coaster rolls back into the loading zone, but you still enjoyed the overall ride? That’s how I feel about Ashley Bell. I wish there had been a twisty turn instead of that disappointing dip, but still enjoyed the ride!

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