Ashley Bell

Ashley Bell

3.5 75
by Dean Koontz
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY BOOKPAGEThe must-read thriller of the year, for readers of dark psychological suspense and modern classics of mystery and adventure

The girl who said no to death.

Bibi Blair is a fierce, funny, dauntless young woman—whose doctor

Overview

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY BOOKPAGEThe must-read thriller of the year, for readers of dark psychological suspense and modern classics of mystery and adventure

The girl who said no to death.

Bibi Blair is a fierce, funny, dauntless young woman—whose doctor says she has one year to live.

She replies, “We’ll see.”

Her sudden recovery astonishes medical science.

An enigmatic woman convinces Bibi that she escaped death so that she can save someone else. Someone named Ashley Bell.

But save her from what, from whom? And who is Ashley Bell? Where is she?

Bibi’s obsession with finding Ashley sends her on the run from threats both mystical and worldly, including a rich and charismatic cult leader with terrifying ambitions.

Here is an eloquent, riveting, brilliantly paced story with an exhilarating heroine and a twisting, ingenious plot filled with staggering surprises. Ashley Bell is a new milestone in literary suspense from the long-acclaimed master.

Praise for Ashley Bell

“A mind-bender filled with satisfying surprises.”People (book of the week)
 
“[With] lyrical writing and compelling characters . . . Koontz stands alone, and this novel is a prime example of literary suspense. . . . One of his best.”—Associated Press
 
“Grabs you on page one and keeps you enthralled with ever widening loops of intrigue, spine-tingling plot twists, absorbing characters and emotional involvement . . . extraordinary.”Bookreporter
 
“Heart-pounding and mind boggling . . . a rarity of a thriller—one that asks big questions about life and destiny while succeeding in creating [an] eerie sense of reality.”Shelf Awareness
 
“Strap in and hold on. . . . When a writer has managed to catch this kind of lightning in a bottle, every reader should experience the full jolt.”BookPage

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Expertly blending the mystical and the everyday, [Dean] Koontz creates alternate universes for his characters while playing hide-and-seek with the truth. . . . A mind-bender filled with satisfying surprises.”People (book of the week)
 
“Dean Koontz outdoes himself with his latest journey, which solidifies his reputation as one of the best storytellers in the book business. . . . [With] lyrical writing and compelling characters . . . Koontz stands alone, and this novel is a prime example of literary suspense. . . . [He] knows what he’s doing, and the baffling story with the stellar character of Bibi Blair makes this thriller one of his best.”—Associated Press
 
“Grabs you on page one and keeps you enthralled with ever widening loops of intrigue, spine-tingling plot twists, absorbing characters and emotional involvement . . . extraordinary.”Bookreporter

“A fascinating exploration of destiny that is heart-pounding and mind-boggling . . . Koontz is a masterful plotter, capable of juggling the many threads of this story without losing sight of the whole. . . . [He] knows how to captivate and surprise; readers will be handsomely rewarded by this well-paced thriller that blurs the line between what is real and what is imagined, between past and present, present and future. Ashley Bell is a rarity of a thriller—one that asks big questions about life and destiny while succeeding in creating such an eerie sense of reality that sleeping with the lights on might seem like a sane idea.”Shelf Awareness
 
“Strap in and hold on. . . . The most stunning, flat-out crazy reading experience yet from a writer who specializes in surprises. If you’ve ever wondered how much fun it would be to feel a book unfold in real time along with its characters, you need to read Ashley Bell right now. . . . Along the way, Koontz salts [the] journey with a sweeping assortment of characters, some of whom threaten to shoplift the narrative and take it home. . . . When a writer has managed to catch this kind of lightning in a bottle, every reader should experience the full jolt.”BookPage
 
“In every industry there exist ‘artists’ that are not only unforgettable, but know their craft better than the rest. Dean Koontz, yet again, proves that he is among these craftsmen. . . . There is so much to say about this treasure. The mystical plays a part, the reality of life on the edge plays a part and . . . nothing can be given away. What can be stated is that Koontz was born with that unbelievable gift to, in one paragraph, write a line that makes readers want to hide under their beds, followed by a joke that makes them laugh, and end with a line so beautiful they are stunned. If there was ever an author that deserved praise, it is, was, and remains, Dean Koontz. Do not miss this!”Suspense Magazine
 
“[The] opening is gorgeous and crushing, and will shake awake anyone who thinks Koontz is just grinding out genre tomes. . . . It’s gripping stuff, but Koontz doesn’t stop there, adding a series of flashbacks regarding the alchemy of creativity and the fuel of trauma, and that’s before the Say what? twist that upends everything. . . . Fans will adore it. Koontz hits the canny nexus of horror, mystery, and fantasy here.”Booklist
 
“Koontz crafts a story shifting between reality and imagination, highlighted by distinct descriptions. . . . Bibi’s a believable protagonist surrounded by interesting bit players. . . . Koontz’s setting, with California coastal fog a metaphor for illness and for knowledge beyond understanding, makes real the often surrealistic narrative. . . . [Ashley Bell] cuts between the fantastical and the believable to dissect evil, explore the power of imagination, and probe the parameters of consciousness.”Kirkus Reviews
 
“Throughout his long and outstanding career, Koontz has made a habit of melding and crossing genres to create his own brand of unforgettable fiction. Just when you think he can’t top himself, Koontz proves us wrong by creating his most mind-blowing and amazing book to date. Ashley Bell is an astonishing novel that sucks you in from the first page and delivers so many twists, you are bound to get whiplash.”RT Book Reviews
 
“Dean Koontz has become an essential part of my library and my creative life, influencing me at the keyboard, an invisible mentor. Ashley Bell might be his finest and most personal novel yet. It is everything you’d expect from Koontz—multilayered and richly told and fueled by page-turning suspense—but it is also as tender as it is terrifying, a story about love, mortality, and the redemptive power of imagination.”—Benjamin Percy, author of The Dead Lands, Red Moon, and The Wilding
 
“A mighty fan of Koontz’s story-making, I found his newest, Ashley Bell, to possess that rare hypnotic pull that I can’t get away from. It unfolds like a tricky Oriental fan, with layers and more layers of intrigue seeping through porous pages. But what makes my heart throb is not just the beauty of Koontz’s masterful prose, but the depth of his heart and the dizzying height of his wicked imagination, enchanted by his artless playfulness, easily making this novel about novel-making the best book of literary genre fiction on the landscape.”—Da Chen, New York Times bestselling author of Colors of the Mountain, Brothers, and My Last Empress
 
Ashley Bell is a lyrical, surprising, and sensitive novel, with the narrative propulsion that is Koontz’s signature. You won’t want to put it down except to contemplate its thought-provoking twists. Koontz manages to recruit a terrifically suspenseful story as part of a fascinating meditation on the hidden interactions of literature, health, and inner strength.”—Matthew Pearl, author of The Last Bookaneer
 
“Readers will fall hard for Bibi Blair, the fierce and dangerously smart heroine of Dean Koontz’s mind-bending thrill ride, Ashley Bell. Koontz delivers a sharp, unsettling, philosophically stimulating examination of consciousness, memory, and the intense power of story. He doesn’t just ask the big questions, he turns them inside out. A philosophically stimulating nightmare you won’t want to wake up from.”—Michelle Richmond, author of The Year of Fog and Golden State

Kirkus Reviews
2015-10-08
Koontz (The City, 2014, etc.) searches the shadow lands of Elsewhere, a mystical terrain where Bibi Blair confronts a rare brain cancer. Bibi resides in Newport Beach, California, but her life's love, SEAL team leader Paxton Thorpe, is half a world away. Bibi is an accomplished author, with one novel published, when an off-kilter morning sends her to the ER. Diagnosis: gliamatosis cerebi, fatal within months. Bibi responds, "We'll see." That night, she has a seizure. Waking, she intuits that she's spontaneously cured, but when she returns home she finds herself confronted by a mystic's divination: Bibi must pay for her cure by saving the life of a mysterious Ashley Bell. Bibi, "finding it easier to accept unreason than to resist it," takes on the quest with the merest of clues, soon becoming the target of the "Wrong People" and discovering "such bitter and implacable rancor that mere hatred paled before it." Pax, on an overseas mission, begins receiving powerful telepathic messages from Bibi. She pleads for him to find her. The two narratives converge only to turn and circle back as Bibi begins "sliding down a chute, accelerating, into an abyss." Koontz crafts a story shifting between reality and imagination, highlighted by distinct descriptions—"eyes as dark and liquid as beads of motor oil." Bibi's a believable protagonist surrounded by interesting bit players like her retired Marine grandfather, the Captain; Solange St. Croix, a paranoid and pretentious professor; and a Holocaust survivor who wrote novels about "valiant girls" that inspired Bibi. Koontz's setting, with California coastal fog a metaphor for illness and for knowledge beyond understanding, makes real the often surrealistic narrative. Albeit slightly drawn out as it rolls to its conclusion, Koontz's novel cuts between the fantastical and the believable to dissect evil, explore the power of imagination, and probe the parameters of consciousness.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780345545961
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
12/08/2015
Pages:
576
Sales rank:
40,902
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.80(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Dean Koontz, the author of many #1 New York Times bestsellers, lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, their golden retriever, Anna, and the enduring spirit of their golden, Trixie.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Newport Beach, California
Date of Birth:
July 9, 1945
Place of Birth:
Everett, Pennsylvania
Education:
B.S. (major in English), Shippensburg University, 1966
Website:
http://www.deankoontz.com

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Ashley Bell: A Novel 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 75 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thank you to NetGalley and Random House for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. I've been a HUGE fan of Dean Koontz for decades ever since a friend gave me Lightning, which I devoured. Next was Watchers and after that I couldn't grab his books off the shelves fast enough as each was released. I was really excited to read Ashley Bell and read both novellas in advance. I'm so glad I did as one of the novella characters finds his way into Ashley Bell as a side character and I was so happy to see him show up! Ashley Bell starts off slowly and just keeps building as the truth slowly unravels and the puzzle pieces snap into place. As I began to get to know Bibi, as usual with Koontz's novels, I became enamored. There were intense scenes of non-stop action and MANY "What The...?!" moments. And I was completely spooked a few times! This book was classic Dean Koontz!! And then... Koontz pulled a mind blowing stunt that knocked my socks off! I've never been so completely impressed with a twist as I was with this one! Well done, sir!! The thing that I love the best in Koontz's books is that there is always so much love between his characters. Along with the most evil of villians, the goodness and love of his main characters is always there like the bright light shining at the end of the tunnel. Ashley Bell was no exception and left me on such a sappy high when I finished. Exceptional read for me!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It took a while, as the book couldn't seem to find itself for the first 100 pages or so -- then it really took off. In fact, this may be my favorite Koontz book, and I have read them all. His turn-of-phrase has me re-reading and, in some cases, highlighting in my book (which is a rarity). Bibi is a fascinating character, flawed and multi-layered. Her family and friends add depth and flair to the story. 4 out of 5 stars because of the rocky start.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just painful to have to sort through mounds of fluffy narrative which supported the fairly obvious plot.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the worst book I've tried to slog through in a long time. Koontz's writing style is like that of a 5th grader trying to get extra essay points and fill up the requisitetwo pages with wordy nonsense. I thought I was reading a bodice ripper. Oh and the sufer chick Bibi tries to vanquish the evil Terezin Birkenau, of all the preposterous character names, really a neo nazi with superhuman powers named after two of the nazi's most notorious death camps. I quit at almost 500 pages during most of which I was shaking my head in disbelief and shame that I read even one more page. Don't waste your money. I'll never read Koontz again, he ought a be ashamed to have produced such tripe.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Made it almost through 200 pages before stopping. Slow moving and made no sense at all to me. Sorry I purchased it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thought the book was good but not great. Didn't like as much as some of his other books. I found myself skimming over many pages. I've always enjoyed most of his stories and his wonderful imagination but felt this one was a little to off-the-wall, for me anyway. Would have given it 3 and 1/2 stars, if possible.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An exciting page turner, But then so are all his books ----i have never been disappointed
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read many dean koontz books and enjoyed them. This one was terrible, boring and redundant. I put it down three times and skimmed through many pages and made myself read the end. Too overdone, unbelievable in entire sections of the book. This is the first negative review i've ever written, hopefully it will be my last. Sorry.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sir, you are the master of a great mind with the uncanny ability to put forth your imagination in beautifully crafted words .... all wrapped up with a great big bow ... in a story that is aguft to your readers. I thank you for sharing your gift.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There was so much marketing and promotion of this book that I thought it would be amazing. And don't get me wrong, I am a Koontz fan. This book, however, was mostly a disappointment. I've read other books about folks in a coma living another life, but this one wasn't done so well. Bibi Blair was not a strong character, certainly no Odd Thomas. And the "big secret" at the end was a huge let down - almost insulting to the reader. It wasn't a bad book, but it wasn't great.
Jeff1 6 months ago
I'm a huge Koontz fan but this book just didn't get it done for me. The story line was weak in my opinion. The character was typical Koontz but the scenario just was too far from reality to believable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As always Dean Koontz delivers an awesome story... lots of twists and turns... One of my favorite writers, I'm never disappointed. ..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this novel through every little twist and turn. I was unable to put it down as I anxiously waited to see where the rollercoaster took me next. Thank you so very much!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Entertaining as always. Rich characters...
Deb-Krenzer More than 1 year ago
This was my second book I've read by Dean Koontz. I really, really liked the first one, The City. However, this one, was definitely different. I was really getting into this one. It seemed a little strange, but I was going with the flow until Pax came back from his overseas mission and then it changed. I'm not going to say how or what happened because I don't want to spoil it for anyone. But I just could not get into it after that. I did not find it believable at all. I did finish the book, but it was way too out there for me. I've seen the 5 star reviews, so apparently that's not the opinion of everyone. However, for me, it just wasn't my cup of tea. Thanks Random House Ballantine and Net Galley for providing me with this free e-galley in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous 11 days ago
Not what I was expecting, and and the story was all over the place.
SherryF 3 months ago
I own many, many books by Dean Koontz and I will never pass up the opportunity to read another one. I was super excited to get my hands on Ashley Bell. Bibi was like a magpie, secreting things she wanted to forget about. She is an optimist and greets each sunrise with the promise of good things. She is a writer and lives life to the fullest. I love Bibi. She plans, or should I attacks, life with a plan, optimism and a step by step process to achieve her goals. I am awed by this character and am so emotionally involved, I can feel myself beginning to roll up the incline of one hell of a rollercoaster ride. Fanfrickingtastic. I am blown away and loving it. An amazing novel of imagination, belief, hope and love. I received an ARC of Ashley Bell from Dean Koontz and Netgalley in return for an honest review.
nooklooker 6 months ago
Not his best so I was disappointed.
kcladyz 7 months ago
I must say to date his is the best novel of his that I read so far. You think you know whats happening then boom it turns out you do not! I highly recommend this book. Also i like to say I appreciate the short chapters which makes reading easier
Anonymous 10 months ago
Not a fan of this book...
customer2 12 months ago
Awful book just awful
Anonymous 12 months ago
Easily written with half the length. Far to much fill. Finally tossed it half way through. A step down from one one my favorite authors.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Most have to read over and over again
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was very excited about this book because it seemed like Koontz was heading back to his roots. Books like "Door to December" and "The Bad Place" were his best, in my opinion. This book is like those in that it is suspenseful with some unexpected twists. The problem I have is that much of the book is drawn out with descriptions of minute details that really do not matter to the plot and it makes you want to skip ahead.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book took me a month to get through it. I now know why I never read a Dean Koontz book before. This was the first, it is also the last.