Dean Koontz created a twisting story with the psychological mystery, Ashley Bell. With layers that reminded me a bit of The Twilight Zone, he has woven a story within a story. At times I was a bit confused. Most of the time I was completely absorbed. I felt like I was missing some essential element of the story and this gap of information kept me reading on like good suspense novels do.
Bibi, a headstrong and imaginative writer, is our main character. Above all else, Bibi believes that she’s the master of her own life and that nothing can be left up to fate. When she receives shocking news that she only has a year to live, she responds by saying, “We’ll see.” When she recovers just as quickly as she was diagnosed, Bibi learns that she has been saved in order to help another, Ashley Bell. Bibi sets out on a journey that is both mystical and very real to save the little girl.
I liked Bibi from the start. With her go-getter attitude, I couldn’t help but be impressed by her drive and ability to face her antagonists head-on.
While the plot was imaginative and shocking, the book seemed to be longer than the story necessitated. I thought that some sections of the book dragged a bit, and while I wanted to see what happened to Bibi, I wanted the story to move more quickly. My critique is two sided though because my impatience to unravel its mysteries explains how well the book hooked me…
My favorite quote from the book – “ I’ve read more truth in fiction than in nonfiction, partly because fiction can deal with the numinous, and nonfiction rarely does.”
Overall, Ashley Bell is an engaging book with parallel threads that are all woven back together in the end.