Another Advanced Reader’s Edition (ARE) that I recently received through a Shelf Awareness giveaway was Dean Koontz’s Innocence. Here is my extended review of this novel.
By Dean Koontz
Published by Bantam Books, 2014
This was not the first novel by Koontz that I have read. Unlike many of his others, it is not a horror novel. It is more of a suspense thriller with shades of romance.
Basically, it is the story of Addison Goodheart, a young man who has lived his life as an exile. He, as an outcast of society, lives in solitude beneath the city for the sight of him makes those who see him wish to destroy him. Only at night does he feel comfortable to come out and roam the city.
It is also the story of Gwyneth, a young girl who is a fugitive from enemies who would also do her harm. She is in hiding and has multiple residences that she can live in to protect herself from them.
Living somewhat parallel lives, they meet by accident one night in the city library. This is his sanctuary when the city sleeps, and he is surprised that any others are aware of the hidden alcoves within the library itself. She is being pursued by an evil man, and he manages to convince this man that she has left the building. When he returns, he finds that she has hidden in one of these rooms.
The man now gone, he returns, finds her and they meet face to face in a manner of speaking. In so doing, the pair forms a partnership of sorts. She has a social phobia about being touched in any way, shape, or form; he doesn’t wish to be seen in any way, shape, or form. As he says, “We hold each other hostage to our eccentricities. We’re made for each other.” (page. 52)
From this first meeting, they become friends. Each supports the other in each of their own particular eccentricities, and over time, Addison realizes that they are more connected than either originally realized. As they are pursued through a snow-covered city one fateful night, the fate of the world is at hand, and they may be the key to this new creation as Gwyneth and he puzzle it all out with and through the help of a few other people.
Overall, it is an intriguing, suspenseful novel with overtones of spirituality. Some of it is explained, other things are left up to the imagination of the reader. Perhaps it is like Addison says, “Each book is a mind alive, a life revealed, a world awaiting exploration, but living people are all those things, as well—and more, because their stories haven’t yet been told.” (page. 32)
To avoid any spoilers, their story is not fully revealed in this review, either.