Innocence (with bonus short story Wilderness): A Novel

Innocence (with bonus short story Wilderness): A Novel

3.8 292
by Dean Koontz
     
 

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

In Innocence, Dean Koontz blends mystery, suspense, and acute insight into the human soul in a masterfully told tale that will resonate with readers forever.

He lives in solitude beneath the city, an exile from society, which will destroy him if he is ever seen.
 
She dwells in…  See more details below

Overview

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

In Innocence, Dean Koontz blends mystery, suspense, and acute insight into the human soul in a masterfully told tale that will resonate with readers forever.

He lives in solitude beneath the city, an exile from society, which will destroy him if he is ever seen.
 
She dwells in seclusion, a fugitive from enemies who will do her harm if she is ever found.
 
But the bond between them runs deeper than the tragedies that have scarred their lives. Something more than chance—and nothing less than destiny—has brought them together in a world whose hour of reckoning is fast approaching.

BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Dean Koontz's The City.

Praise for Innocence
 
“A thriller that’s both chilling and fulfilling.”People (four stars)

“Laced with fantastical mysticism, it’s an allegory of nonviolence, acceptance and love in the face of adversity. . . . The narrative is intense, with an old-fashioned ominousness and artistically crafted descriptions. . . . An optimistic and unexpected conclusion [mirrors] his theme. Something different this way comes from Mr. Koontz’s imagination. Enjoy.”Kirkus Reviews
 
“Mystery and terror, the paranormal and romance—all combine to make Innocence a challenging and emotional experience.”New York Journal of Books
 
“This novel really is something special. . . . This may just be the book Dean Koontz was born to write.”Thriller Books Journal

“Entrancing . . . as speedy a chase-thriller as any Koontz . . . has ever constructed. Written in Koontz’ late mellifluent and reflective manner . . . [Innocence is] fueled by deep disgust with the world’s evils [and] hope for redemption.”Booklist (starred review)
 
“[An] imaginative, mystical thriller from bestseller Koontz . . . This is the most satisfying Koontz standalone in a while.”Publishers Weekly
 
“Masterful storyteller Koontz delivers perhaps his most eerie and unusual tale to date. The timeline in this amazing story is compact, and readers will be swept along as they try to unravel hints and clues as to the true nature of both the protagonists and the unfolding drama. Unpredictably spine-chilling and terrifying, this is a story readers won’t soon forget.”RT Book Reviews
 
“Elegant . . . Fans of Koontz’s previous series will be left hoping that Addison and Gwyneth, too, will return.”Library Journal

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
★ 11/01/2013
Most often, offerings from the thriller/horror genre force an everyman character to confront an extraordinary circumstance, compelling the reader to wonder, "What would I do if this were happening to me?" Koontz (Deeply Odd) has, of late, taken the opposite approach. His "Odd Thomas" series chronicles a young man endowed with a sixth sense—and more—while his "Moonlight Bay" trilogy features a hero who lives under the cover of darkness because of a rare genetic disorder. Now Koontz introduces Addison Goodheart, a grotesquely deformed young man who has remained in the shadows for all of his 24 years. The story he tells, in the elegant prose of one whose understanding of language has come more from reading than from conversation, is that of his venturing forth into a fuller life than he had ever imagined for himself. It is Addison's encounter with Gwyneth, a Goth girl who boldly embraces her own solitary existence while she seeks to prove that her father's seemingly accidental death was actually a murder, that draws him into the light. VERDICT Fans of Koontz's previous series will be left hoping that Addison and Gwyneth, too, will return. [See Prepub Alert, 7/15/13.]—Nancy McNicol, Hamden P.L., CT

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780345539656
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
12/10/2013
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
12,363
File size:
4 MB

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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

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Innocence 3.8 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 292 reviews.
RonnaL More than 1 year ago
This is simply a masterpiece of suspenseful literature.  Koontz has outdone himself in this seemingly allegorical story of good and evil, and the free will of mankind to better his world or to destroy it with misused power and greed. Addison Goodheart is a 26 year old man who has lived all of his life in the darkness of the night and in the underground sewers and tunnels.  When he does go out, he covers everything but his eyes least anyone see him and become so horrified that they would try to murder him.  Gwyneth is a young woman with a social phobia, causing her to avoid any physical touch at all.  They meet one night in the library and this amazing story continues.  Koontz deftly goes back and forth in time building suspense while telling this present day story.  Sometimes this can be confusing from other authors, but it was a must in developing this story.  Koontz language was beautiful, describing snowfall in ways I've never heard before. This is perhaps one of Koontz's very best stories yet.  A must read for his fans and for anyone seeking a new favorite author!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Have always been a big Koontz fan. Strangers, Lightening, The Face, Life Expectancy, Dark Rivers of the Heart, and most of all Watchers. Innocence takes me back to the best of Koontz's stand alone books. Odd Thomas, for me, has become worn and trite. This book is vintage Koontz. Could not put it down. While some would like more of Addison and Gwyenth. I pretty much think it's said and done so well that it can't be improved upon. First of his in a long time that actually moved me. A while coming.. Well worth the wait. A must read for fans.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Chock full of wonderful word usage wasted on a poorly developed and ridiculous story. Koontz spends a lot of time being philosophic and preachy instead of clarifying his characters and their story. The reader is left puzzled and finally bored with the many paragraphs of unnecessary and seemingly gratuitous verbiage. The last fifty or so pages would have made a decent short story but the premise of the whole book was ludicrous.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is classic Koontz. It is the kind of story that stays with you long after you finish it. I have always felt that Koontz does an incredibley good job creating unlikely heroes and heroines with an incredible amount of heart and emotional depth. Once again Koontz offers up characters who represent incredible good overcoming horrific evil with their souls and hope still intact.
David_Horne More than 1 year ago
“some hearts are dark and others full of light” Dean Koontz has a wonderfully active imagination and with INNOCENCE it’s on full display. Among his many strengths as a writer is the ability to tell a story with a purpose far greater than simple entertainment – and that’s precisely what he’s done with INNOCENCE.  It’s a cataclysmic story that laments the depravity of human nature, but at the same time it gives us heroic characters that by their very nature exude innocence and hope for the world we live in. I’ve read reviews the last few years that have been critical of Koontz for being moralistic in his recent books, but I don’t really understand that reaction.  Authors are free to extol any point of view they support just as readers are free to choose books aligned with their own point of view. I actually appreciate that an author as renowned as Koontz would use his writing to praise virtuous behavior and criticize what should abhor us. There’s a moment when Addison, the main character, narrates that, “there is no end of wonders and mysteries” on earth and one of them is “that some hearts are dark and others full of light.” To me that’s just great writing, but I guess others disagree. Anyway, in terms of critiquing the book, the bulk of the events that make up the story take place on one night – but the backstory that lets us know and understand and root for the two protagonists Addison and Gwyneth occurred over the previous eighteen years, so there’s a lot of back and forth between chapters. A chapter in the present, a chapter in the past, etc., and I didn’t care for that too much.  I thought the story was great and the writing fantastic, I just didn’t care for the back and forth because at times it felt like the backstory was inserted just to give us some action until the present story picked up steam. The only other criticism was that at times I felt like it could have been Odd Thomas talking instead of Addison Goodheart because their “voices” were so similar, but others might not think so. Regardless, I’m a big fan of Koontz’s writing and this is a great book. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An excellent read, plenty of twists and turns with good pacing. Only minor negative is that its a bit wordy, but that's to be expected from this author. Very much recommend it!
MamaBearJune More than 1 year ago
Loved it.  I cared deeply about the characters and loved to descriptive prose of the city.  I would give my left arm to be able to write things like this: "Through the stillness, snow fell not in skeins but in infinitely layered arabesques, filigree in motion, ornamenting the icy air, of an especially intense white in the dove-gray light of the morning, laying boas on the limbs of leafless trees, ermine collars on the tops of walls, a grace of softness in a hard world."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Since first reading Breathless by Dean Koontz, I was hooked and started reading a Koontz book every week. I loved his style and the wonderful way he can grab the reader into a world of wonder, hope, tragedy and beauty. Then comes Innocence.... For the life of me, I just could not get it; I was dizzy trying to follow two plots with different time lines. I had a sense of the author was trying too hard to make the reader, actually force the reader, to feel empathy towards the boy. I just did not get it, and my sense of sadness and grief was more towards spending my hard earned money buying this book. If anyone would have told me I would have anything negative to say about Dean Koontz writings, I would never believed him/her, but that is the way it is....Sorry!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As someone who has read and mostly enjoyed every book ever written by Dean Koontz this one is almost incomprehensible. Perhaps the author needs to take some time off and smell the flowers. This book is full of characters we don't care about and whose essences are poorly described and never really fleshed out. The plot is equally incomprehensible as is most of the writing and dialogue between the characters. If I submitted this book to publishers under my name I doubt anyone would publish it.
Mistypoint More than 1 year ago
Fantastic "inside the mind" book! It really makes you take a deep look at what we fear, what we should fear, and what we were meant to be. The final chapters are mind-blowing!!! I am a voracious reader - of non-fiction, popular fiction and literature alike, and I LOVED IT!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a deeply moving book. It caused me to reflect on the past, of the things in my life that made me who I am today. Good decisions and bad decisions. Lessons learned. It also made me think about the now of life and the future. In places it made me cry. Dean Koontz is a great writer. He is a wise and good human being who writes from the heart. We know there is evil in our world and many fear the future. Can we be the better selfless person in spite of that fear? Books are not always written just to entertain us. Great writers know how to entertain but they also know how to shake us up and cause us to think. I will never forget this book. It is brilliant. THANK YOU DEAN KOONTZ
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pretty prose ,not a novel
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An unusual story that will open your eyes and cause both an examination of conscience as well as a great feeling of relief that a higher power is indeed present and in charge. This is a story that doesn't preach but is as effective as a heartfelt testimony to life as it should be. Thanks Mr. Koontz. From Terry Bledsoe, one of your faithful readers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So let me just say that I have read all of Dean Koontz's books and love his stories...this book however was not what I expected it to be...it was a little wordy, but that is to be expected of dean koontz....they way he describes something so simple as the snow falling is absoulutly majestic and beautiful. The book had a nice twist that I didn't see ginning and it was nicely welcome... I have never had a bad thinhg to say about any of his books, however this was not one of his better ones
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I agree with all of the negative reviews of this book, I struggled to get through it from beginning to end. I really don't get all of the rave reviews but maybe I just didn't get the story. Too long and drawn out. Will definitely read reviews first before I buy anything new he puts out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the most boring books I have ever read in my life and I am 60 years old. I forced myself to finish it since I paid for it. Sure didn't get my moneys worth. Didn't like the jumping back and forth as another review also stated. This was my first and my last book by this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So confusing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Vague storyline... What's up with the marionettes? So much left unexplained.... You can do better than this Dean!
Trublonde More than 1 year ago
I always like to read with interest other's critiques before I write mine to see what the general consensus is...having said that I was astonished at a few reviews of one star stating it was a horrible book. This book is one of Koontz's best. It is draws you in wondering what Addison's disfigurement is, wondering where and when it will be revealed. Maybe the reason people where horrified to look at Addison is what I projected it to be so I don't want to spoil the gist of the book, but I think those that didn't like it didn't "get" it and that it's deeper than a deformity or disfigurement. Like I said, I don't want to give away any plot, so I will just say it is poetically written with deep meaning and a compelling plot that moves along nicely. I too had gotten tired of Odd Thomas, so this was a very nice change! I think Dean could maybe eek another book out of these characters!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read everything Dean Koontz has written! I love the way he writes! This book is not Dean Koontz…he is either getting tiered of writing or someone else wrote it.
RichardSutton More than 1 year ago
Dean Koontz work has always found me a receptive reader. He is a master of nuance, and Innocence is rife with masterful nuance and suggestion. It abounds with a building, culpable perception of a looming threat, but despite several signposts along the way, the nature of it came as a welcome surprise. This is a very moving, intimate work, redolent with suggestions of the writing spirit of both Arthur C. Clarke and J.R.R. Tolkien, who both in essence wrote of life as a transformational process and evolution. In the pages of Innocence, I found both and I'm sure the joy of discovery at least, will remain with me for some time to come.
donlow More than 1 year ago
This is an exceptional work of literature. Definitely one of his best works to date.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beautifully written, fast-paced and unique. A poignant story of spiritual power and mystical intrigue. Koontz displays his singular talent for storytelling in a succinct work of beauty. Definitely different than some of Koontz's early work, but nonetheless a work of sheer genius. Kept me entertained throughout and had a satisfyingly surprising ending.
Anonymous 19 days ago
Anonymous 11 months ago
What was he writing sbout, for crying out loud!? Sooo sorry I spent hard earned money on this so-called novel. Would give it 1/2 star if I could..And I have loved Dean Koontz until now...what a load of nothing