BN.com Gift Guide

Innocence

( 282 )

Overview

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Includes Dean Koontz’s short story “Wilderness”—first time in print!

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 ...

See more details below
Paperback (Mass Market Paperback)
$8.61
BN.com price
(Save 13%)$9.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (13) from $5.88   
  • New (11) from $5.88   
  • Used (2) from $6.09   
Innocence (with bonus short story Wilderness): A Novel

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$9.99
BN.com price
This digital version does not exactly match the physical book displayed here.

Overview

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Includes Dean Koontz’s short story “Wilderness”—first time in print!

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.

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

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“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

Publishers Weekly
10/14/2013
In this imaginative, mystical thriller from bestseller Koontz (77 Shadow Street), Addison Goodheart, a 26-year-old man so “exceedingly ugly” that his appearance causes “the most terrible rage” in regular people, lives alone in a hidden part of an American metropolis, but views his solitude as a gift that has enabled him to recognize “reality’s complex dimensions.” An unexpected encounter in a deserted library with Gwyneth, an 18-year-old Goth girl who’s the target of the rare-book curator’s lust, throws him for a loop. Addison bonds with Gwyneth, who suspects her nemesis, J. Ryan Telford, of murdering her father by sending him poisoned honey. The interactions of the isolated leads and the meaning of their existence overshadow the crime elements, and the language can be vague (e.g., “Who we of the hidden were, what we were, why we ever existed, explained the mystery of music issuing out of the ether”). Still, this is the most satisfying Koontz standalone in a while. (Dec.)
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
Kirkus Reviews
2013-10-20
In a shift from his usual exploration of the fantastical and supernatural, Koontz's (Odd Apocalypse, 2012, etc.) new book contemplates an apocalyptical confrontation between good and evil. In an isolated cabin, Addison Goodheart is born to a drug-and-alcohol-addled mother. The midwife takes one glance at the newborn and attempts to smother him. The mother intervenes. Addison must be raised in isolation. As he grows, he takes to the woods, almost able to fend for himself. At age 8, near self-sufficient, his mother forces him to leave and then kills herself. Addison treks to a metropolis (think New York City), each stranger he meets attempting to kill him. In the city, he meets a man he will call Father, so like Addison that one glance at his face sparks murderous intent. The two lurk beneath the city, venturing out only at night, but 18 years later, Father's murdered as the two frolic on seemingly blizzard-isolated streets. Enter Gwyneth, heir to an immense fortune, isolated by "social phobia." Addison meets Gwyneth while night-exploring a magnificent library. Gwyneth's being pursued by Ryan Telford, a sexual pervert who also purloined millions from her father. Koontz's tale is no "Beauty and the Beast." Laced with fantastical mysticism, it's an allegory of nonviolence, acceptance and love in the face of adversity. Addison and Gwyneth are the driving characters, their tales spinning out from Addison's introspective point of view. Each has a tenuous link to Teague Hanlon, former Marine, parish priest and catalyst for the denouement sparked when a virus is deliberately released by a rogue state. The narrative is intense, with an old-fashioned ominousness and artistically crafted descriptions like "[t]he fallow soil of loneliness is fertile ground for self-deception." Koontz's allegory on morality and love (agape rather than sensual) probes the idea that evil is woven through humankind. Koontz fans shouldn't be disappointed, especially with an optimistic and unexpected conclusion mirroring his theme. Something different this way comes from Mr. Koontz's imagination. Enjoy.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553593693
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/25/2014
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 1,379
  • Product dimensions: 4.14 (w) x 7.48 (h) x 1.14 (d)

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.

Biography

He is one of the most recognized, read, and loved suspense writers of the 20th century. His imagination is a veritable factory of nightmares, conjuring twisted tales of psychological complexity. He even has a fan in Stephen King. For decades, Dean Koontz's name has been synonymous with terror, and his novels never fail to quicken the pulse and set hearts pounding.

Koontz has a lifelong love of writing that led him to spend much of his free time as an adult furiously cultivating his style and voice. However, it was only after his wife Gerda made him an offer he couldn't refuse while he was teaching English at a high school outside of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, that he had a real opportunity to make a living with his avocation. Gerda agreed to support Dean for five years, during which time he could try to get his writing career off the ground. Little did she know that by the end of that five years she would be leaving her own job to handle the financial end of her husband's massively successful writing career.

Koontz first burst into the literary world with 1970's Beastchild, a science fiction novel that appealed to genre fans with its descriptions of aliens and otherworldly wars but also mined deeper themes of friendship and the breakdown of communication. Although it is not usually ranked among his classics, Beastchild provided the first inkling of Koontz's talent for populating even the most fantastical tale with fully human characters. Even at his goriest or most terrifying, he always allows room for redemption.

This complexity is what makes Koontz's work so popular with readers. He has a true gift for tempering horror with humanity, grotesqueries with lyricism. He also has a knack for genre-hopping, inventing Hitchcockian romantic mysteries, crime dramas, supernatural thrillers, science fiction, and psychological suspense with equal deftness and imagination. Perhaps The Times (London) puts it best: "Dean Koontz is not just a master of our darkest dreams, but also a literary juggler."

Good To Know

Shortly after graduating from college, Koontz took a job with the Appalachian Poverty Program where he would tutor and counsel underprivileged kids. However, after finding out that the last person who held his job had been beaten up and hospitalized by some of these kids, Koontz was more motivated than ever to get his writing career going.

When Koontz was a senior in college, he won the Atlantic Monthly fiction competition.

Koontz and Kevin Anderson's novel Frankenstein: The Prodigal Son was slotted to become a television series produced by Martin Scorsese. However, when the pilot failed to sell, the USA Network aired it as a TV movie in 2004. By that time Koontz had removed his name from the project.

Some fun and fascinating outtakes from our interview with Koontz:

"My wife, Gerda, and I took seven years of private ballroom dancing lessons, twice a week, ninety minutes each time. After we had gotten good at everything from swing to the foxtrot, we not only stopped taking lessons, but also stopped going dancing. Learning had been great fun; but for both of us, going out for an evening of dancing proved far less exhilarating than the learning. We both have a low boredom threshold. Now we dance at a wedding or other celebration perhaps once a year, and we're creaky."

"On my desk is a photograph given to me by my mother after Gerda and I were engaged to be married. It shows 23 children at a birthday party. It is neither my party nor Gerda's. I am three years old, going on four. Gerda is three. In that crowd of kids, we are sitting directly across a table from each other. I'm grinning, as if I already know she's my destiny, and Gerda has a serious expression, as if she's worried that I might be her destiny. We never met again until I was a senior in high school and she was a junior. We've been trying to make up for that lost time ever since.

"Gerda and I worked so much for the first two decades of our marriage that we never took a real vacation until our twentieth wedding anniversary. Then we went on a cruise, booking a first-class suite, sparing no expense. For more than half the cruise, the ship was caught in a hurricane. The open decks were closed because waves would have washed passengers overboard. About 90% of the passengers spent day after day in their cabins, projectile vomiting. We discovered that neither of us gets seasick. We had the showrooms, the casino, and the buffets virtually to ourselves. Because the crew had no one to serve, our service was exemplary. The ship dared not try to put into the scheduled ports; it was safer on the open sea. The big windows of the main bar presented a spectacular view of massive waves and lightning strikes that stabbed the sea by the score. Very romantic. We had a grand time.

Read More Show Less
    1. Also Known As:
      David Axton, Brian Coffey, K.R. Dwyer, Deanna Dwyer, John Hill, Leigh Nichols, Anthony North, Richard Paige, Owen West, Aaron Wolfe
    2. Hometown:
      Newport Beach, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 9, 1945
    2. Place of Birth:
      Everett, Pennsylvania
    1. Education:
      B.S. (major in English), Shippensburg University, 1966
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

1

having escaped one fire, i expected another.  I didn’t view with fright the flames to come. Fire was but light and heat. Throughout our lives, each of us needs warmth and seeks light. I couldn’t dread what I needed and sought. For me, being set afire was merely the expectation of an inevitable conclusion. This fair world, compounded of uncountable beauties and enchantments and graces, inspired in me only one abiding fear, which was that I might live in it too long.

2

i was capable of love, but i lived in solitude after Father died. Therefore I loved only the precious dead, and books, and the moments of great beauty with which the city surprised me from time to time, as I passed through it in utmost secrecy.

For instance, sometimes on clear nights, in the solemn hour when most of the population sleeps, when the cleaning crews are finished and the high-­rises darkle until dawn, the stars come out. They are not as bright over this metropolis as they must be over a Kansas plain or a Colorado mountain, but they still shine as if there is a city in the sky, an enchanting place where I could walk the streets with no fear of fire, where I could find someone to love, who would love me.

Here, when I was seen, my capacity for love earned me no mercy. Quite the opposite. When they saw me, men and women alike recoiled, but their fear quickly gave way to fury. I would not harm them to defend myself, and I remained therefore defenseless.

3

on certain nights, beautiful but sad music found its way into my deep windowless rooms. I didn’t know from where it came, and I couldn’t identify the tune. No lyrics accompanied the melody, but I remained convinced that I had once heard a smoky-­voiced chanteuse sing this song. Each time the song came, my mouth moved as if forming the words, but they eluded me.

The piece was not a blues number, yet it weighed on the heart as did the blues. I might call it a nocturne, although I believe that a nocturne is always an instrumental. Words existed to this melody. I was certain they did.

I should have been able to follow those mellifluous strains to a vent grille or a drain, or to some other route of transmission, but every attempt to seek the source ended in failure. The music seemed to issue from the air, as if passing through a membrane from another, unseen world parallel to ours.

Perhaps those who lived in the open would have found the idea of an invisible world too fanciful and would have dismissed the notion.

Those of us who remain hidden from everyone else, however, know that this world is wondrous and filled with mysteries. We possess no magical perception, no psychic insight. I believe our recognition of  reality’s complex dimensions is a consequence of our solitude.

To live in the city of crowds and traffic and constant noise, to be always striving, to be in the ceaseless competition for money and status and power, perhaps distracted the mind until it could no longer see—­and forgot—­the all that is. Or maybe, because of the pace and pressure of that life, sanity depended on blinding oneself to the manifold miracles, astonishments, wonders, and enigmas that comprised the true world.

When I said “those of us who remain hidden,” I should instead have said “I who am hidden.” As far as I was aware, no other like me existed in that metropolis. I had lived alone for a long time.

For twelve years, I shared this deep redoubt with Father. He died six years earlier. I loved him. I missed him every day. I was now twenty-­ six, with perhaps a long, lonely life ahead of me.

Before I arrived, my father lived here with his father, whom I never had the honor of meeting. Most of the furnishings and books were handed down to me from them.

One day perhaps I would pass my belongings to someone who might call me Father. We were an enduring dynasty of the dispossessed, living in the secret city that the city’s people never saw.

My name is Addison. But back then we needed no names because we spoke to no one but each other.

Sometimes, with a smile, Father called himself It. But that wasn’t a real name. He called me Its It, or Son of It, which was our little joke.

By the standards of humanity, we were exceedingly ugly in a way that excited in them abhorrence and the most terrible rage. Although we were as much human as those who lived in the open, we did not wish to offend, and so we hid ourselves away.

Father told me that our kind must not be angry with other men and women merely because of the way that they treated us. They had anxieties we could never understand. He said that we of the hidden had our burdens, but those who lived in the open carried far heavier burdens than ours, which was true.

We also remained hidden to avoid worse than persecution. One night, my father was caught in the open. Two frightened, enraged men shot and clubbed him to death.

I did not harbor any anger toward them. I pitied them, but I loved them as best I could. We have all been brought into the world for some reason, and we must wonder why and hope to learn.

My little windowless residence also served as my school, where I sought to learn, and the most important of those three small rooms was the one lined with mahogany shelves built by my father’s father. The shelves were filled with books not wanted by those who lived in the world above.

Each of the deep, comfortable armchairs had a padded footstool. Beside each chair stood a simple wooden cube on which to set a drink, and a bronze floor lamp with a pleated shade of peach-­colored shantung silk.

A small table and two straight-­backed chairs provided a place to dine. In the days when we were two, we played cards and chess at that table.

These days, I occasionally played solitaire. I didn’t much like the game, but sometimes, shuffling the cards or dealing them out, I saw not my hands but instead my father’s. His fingers were deformed because they had healed improperly in self-­applied splints after a minister had broken them on a Sunday night, when Father was a boy.

I loved those hands, which never harmed a living thing. The pale scars and arthritic knuckles were beautiful because they signified his courage and reminded me that I must never be embittered by the cruelties inflicted on us. He suffered more than I did, and yet he loved life and the world.

The table and most of the other furnishings had been brought here with difficulty or had been built in place by those who came before me.

For six years, I had not needed two armchairs. Most of the time, when reading, I sat in the chair that had been mine since I arrived there. Once in a while, however, I sat in Father’s chair, the better to remember him and to feel less alone.

The second room, like the others, was eight feet high. The thick walls, floor, and ceiling were of steel-­reinforced concrete through which vibrations sometimes traveled but never any identifiable sounds other than the aforementioned music.

To each side of the doorless doorway, a hammock was suspended wall to wall. The canvas was easy to sponge clean, and my blanket was the only bedding to be laundered.

When Father still lived, on nights when sleep eluded us, we would lie awake, either in the dark or in candlelight, and talk for hours. We conversed about what little of the world we’d seen firsthand, about the marvels of nature that we studied in books of color photography, and about what all of it might mean.

Perhaps those were among my happiest memories, although I  had so many that were happy, I wasn’t easily able to favor some over others.

Against the back wall, between hammocks, stood a refrigerator. Father’s father had once lived without this amenity. My father—­an autodidact like me—­taught himself to be a fine electrician and an appliance mechanic. He dismantled the refrigerator, brought it down from the world aboveground, and reassembled it.

To the left of the refrigerator stood a table holding a toaster oven, a hot plate, and a Crock-­Pot. To the right were open shelves that served as my larder and tableware storage.

I ate well and remained grateful that the city was a place of plenty.

When Father’s father discovered this deep redoubt, electricity and a minimum of plumbing were already provided, although the rooms were unfurnished. No evidence existed to suggest that they had ever previously been occupied.

Before Father found me alone and waiting to be killed, he and his father imagined many explanations for these chambers.

One might think this place must be a bomb shelter, so deep  beneath the street, under so many thick layers of concrete, that multiple nuclear blasts would not crack it open, reached by such a circuitous route that deadly radiation, which traveled in straight lines, could not find its way here.

But when you removed the receptacles from their mounting screws in any wall outlet, the manufacturer’s name stamped in the metal junction box identified a company that, research proved, went out of business in 1933, long before a nuclear threat existed.

Besides, a bomb shelter for only two, in a great city of millions, made no sense.

The third room, a bath, also concrete all around, was not designed with the expectation that the city and its utilities would be atomized. The pedestal sink and the claw-­foot tub offered two spigots each,  although the hot water was never more than pleasantly warm, suggesting that whatever boiler it tapped must have been far from there. The old toilet featured an overhead tank that flushed the bowl when you pulled on a hanging chain.

During construction, perhaps some official who was also a sexual predator with homicidal desires might have provided for this sanctum under one pretense or another, intending later to erase its existence from all public records, so that he could by force bring women to a private dungeon to torture and murder them, while the teeming city overhead remained unaware of the screaming far below.

But neither a city engineer nor an architect of public-­utility  pathways seemed likely to be an insatiable serial killer. And when Father’s father discovered these cozy quarters back in the day, no gruesome stains or other evidence of murder marred the smooth concrete surfaces.

Anyway, these rooms had no ominous quality about them.

To those who lived in the open, the lack of windows and the bare concrete might call to mind a dungeon. But that perception was based on the assumption that their way of life was not merely superior to ours but also without a viable alternative.

Every time that I left this haven, as I did for many reasons, my life was at risk. Therefore, I had developed a most keen sense of pending threat. No threat existed here. This was home.

I favored a theory involving the unseen world parallel to ours that I mentioned earlier. If such a place existed, separated from us by a membrane we couldn’t detect with our five senses, then perhaps at some points along the continuum, the membrane bulged around a small part of that other reality and folded it into the stuff of ours. And if both worlds, in their becoming, arose from the same loving source, I liked to believe that such secret havens as this would be provided especially for those who, like me, were outcasts by no fault of their own, reviled and hunted, and in desperate need of shelter.

That was the only theory I wished to accommodate. I couldn’t change what I was, couldn’t become more appealing to those who would recoil from me, couldn’t lead any life but the one to which my nature condemned me. My theory gave me comfort. If one less reassuring revealed itself, I would refuse to consider it. So much in my life was beautiful that I wouldn’t risk pondering any darkening idea that might poison my mind and rob me of my stubborn joy.

I never went into the open in daylight, nor even at dusk. With rare exception, I ascended only after midnight, when most people were asleep and others were awake but dreaming.

Black walking shoes, dark jeans, and a black or navy-­blue hoodie were my camouflage. I wore a scarf under the jacket, arranged so that I could pull it up to my eyes if I had to pass along an alleyway—­or, rarely, a street—­where someone might see me. I acquired my clothes from thrift shops that I could enter, after hours, by the route that rats might enter if they were as born for stealth as I was.

I wore such a costume on the night in December when my life changed forever. If you were a creature like me, you expected that no big change could be positive in the long run. Yet were I given a chance to turn back time and follow a different course, I would do again what I did then, regardless of the consequences.

4

i called him father because he had been the closest thing to a father that I had ever known. He was not my true father.

According to my mother, my real father loved freedom more than he loved her. Two weeks before I was born, he walked out and never walked back in, off to the sea, she said, or to some far jungle, a restless man who traveled to find himself but lost himself instead.

On the night that I was born, a violent wind shook the little house, shook the forest, even shook, she said, the mountain that the forest mantled. The windstorm quarreled across the roof, insisted at the windows, rattled the door as if determined to intrude into the place where I was born.

When I entered the world, the twenty-­year-­old daughter of the midwife fled the bedroom in fright. Weeping, she took refuge in the kitchen.

When the midwife tried to smother me in the birthing blanket, my mother, although weakened by a difficult labor, drew a handgun from a nightstand drawer and, with a threat, saved me from being murdered.

I had seen the Fogs and Clears all of my life. I hoped one day to know for certain what they were and what they meant, although I suspected that I might never be enlightened. Or if I discovered the truth of them, there might be a high price to pay for that knowledge

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 282 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(125)

4 Star

(63)

3 Star

(34)

2 Star

(29)

1 Star

(31)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 282 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 13, 2013

    This is simply a masterpiece of suspenseful literature.  Koontz

    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!

    68 out of 74 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2013

    One of his best

    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.

    48 out of 53 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2013

    weird

    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.

    27 out of 45 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2013

    Fantastic read with a spiritual beauty that will provoke thought

    Fantastic read with a spiritual beauty that will provoke thought and introspection. Koontz delivers excitement, intrigue, suspense, and leaves you feeling enlightened and refined for having read his works. Highly recommend!

    20 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 15, 2013

    Loved it.  I cared deeply about the characters and loved to desc

    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."

    15 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2013

    As someone who has read and mostly enjoyed every book ever writt

    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.

    13 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2013

    It is a fantastic book. who ever posted - Anonymous first - yo

    It is a fantastic book. who ever posted - Anonymous first
    - you are an idiot!

    13 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 23, 2013

    ¿some hearts are dark and others full of light¿ Dean Koontz has

    “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. 

    12 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2013

    Beautifully written

    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.

    11 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2013

    Great Book!

    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!

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2013

    One of me least favorite Koontz books, I don't like books writte

    One of me least favorite Koontz books, I don't like books written in the first person, way to slow . I was very disappointed in it.

    4 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2013

    DO NOT READ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    DONT READ IT

    4 out of 84 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2014

    One of the most boring books I have ever read in my life and I a

    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.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 10, 2014

    Meh

    I really liked the premise, and Addison was an interesting character. However, the story was very drawn out to come to a depressing conclusion about humanity. I also think Koontz has become way too preachy, particularly since Breathless, and much as I adore dogs, his waxing rhapsodic about their goodness is just too sappy. I enjoyed reading this up until the last few chapters, but he lost me at the end. I won't stop reading him, though, unless he continues to infuse his books with all the preaching.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2013

    Gfdxbfx gcfyncnycmh

    Hihojgpoblo

    Hhhhb

    3 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 19, 2013

    Fantastic "inside the mind" book! It really makes you

    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!!!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2014

    Very disappointing

    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!!!!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2014

    This book is just so pointless! Nothing is thoroughly explained.

    This book is just so pointless! Nothing is thoroughly explained. Dean Koontz can do so much better.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2014

    Love Dean Koontz. Hate this book. Almost as bad as Odd Thomas.

    Love Dean Koontz. Hate this book. Almost as bad as Odd Thomas. Wish I read all the reviews first.........

    2 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2013

    Not sure what to think

    I have been a rabid fan of Mr. Koontz for years. This book left me speechless. I was not aware that he has switched genre. This nnovel reads like the Bible stories I read as a child...not what I have come to expect from this author. To long winded and preachy for me. I hope he returns to his former style...if not,this will be the last book I read by the Reverand Koontz.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 282 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)