Review: Innocence

By Dean Koontz
(Bantam, Hardcover, 9780553808032, December 2013, 352pp.)

The Short of It:

Interesting characters and setting, but lacking that special something that makes you think about a book long after reading it.

The Rest of It:

One can argue that Dean Koontz does not write books with substance. Yes, his books lately have been a little different from the books of his past. I guess his books have always been page turners, meant to captivate a reader for a short amount of time, but some of his older books have stayed with me for decades.

This is not one of those times.

Innocence, starts off strong. A child is forced to live on his own because of a gross deformity that is never fully explained. He seeks shelter under the city, roaming the sewers and only coming up for provisions. At the same time, a young woman, on a quest to find the murderer who killed her father,  also lives in secret, hiding from society whenever possible. The two form an unlikely friendship.

SO much could have been done with these characters. The idea of living beneath the city is one that has been done before, but the complexity of doing so successfully and the mystery behind the “deformity” was enough to pull me along. But towards the end, I didn’t really understand what I was reading or where Koontz was going with the story. There was literally NO payoff. I felt somewhat cheated.

As a fan of his older works, I now realize why I stopped reading him. There isn’t much of a connection between his characters anymore. I still try his books every now and then to see if anything has changed, but I am sorry to say that his newer books seems to lack punch.

I think most of his old-time fans will agree with me, but if there’s been a current book of his, say…within the past five years that I need to read, let me know and I will give him another try.

If you’d like to try one of his older books, I highly recommend Watchers (my fave), Phantoms or Lightning.

Source: Sent to me by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

14 thoughts on “Review: Innocence”

  1. I too stopped reading him a long time ago…this reminds me of Gaston Leroux’s Phantom of the Opera…only a deformed man living beneath an opera house in Paris. LOL Yet nothing about the deformity is explained, etc.

    1. The potential for a good story was there. I had read on Goodreads that the story goes south at chapter 73 so I braced myself for that, but for me, it tanked right at the end. I kept feeling that Koontz could pull it off. I still have faith in him as a writing but he seems to be wandering a bit or maybe his editors have a hand in it.


  2. Totally agree with you…it’s sad but he was an author I loved a long time ago…I don’t even think about reading him now.

    1. When I was in college and had read every King book available, I turned to Koontz. At the time, he had a similar writing style and I blew through all of his books. Many of them faves. But about ten years ago, maybe not as long ago as that, but I tried those Odd books and did not like them at all. And he’s written so many in that series. It’s a shame. I even met him and he was so charming, I was the last one in a 4 hour line and he waited all day to sign my book.


  3. It has been years since I last read anything by Dean Koontz, although, admittedly, I haven’t read much by him at all. He isn’t an author I seek out or follow too closely in terms of what he’s producing. There are a few of his older books I would like to eventually read.

  4. I LOVED Watchers, and also the first one I ever read, Whispers (remember the Madagascar cock roaches?), still roams around in my head. I got tired of his supernatural hooha after 20 or so books, then I read one that was just a GOOD STORY. I think it involved an iceberg. Anyway. I don’t mind the Odd Thomas series, but it lacks substance.

    1. Whispers was so good too!! Back in the day I went from one book to another and thought they were all pretty good. I haven’t read his book about Trixie, his beloved Golden. I bet it’s good. He’s written a lot of children’s books about Trixie too. I guess he’s just going in a different direction. But I will always remember meeting him and him talking about his hair plugs. No joke.


  5. The premise of this book sounds terrific. I’m sorry it didn’t work out. If it’s at my library I might just check it out for the characters.

  6. It’s been a long time since I’ve read Koontz. I’ve read a number of reviews of Innocence, and I don’t think it’s the right book for me. But I’ve been wanting to start the Odd Thomas books for a while now.

  7. I’ve never read Koontz before and was thinking I might be interested in this….what do you think? I don’t have anything to compare this book to which might be good.

  8. Dean Koontz was interviewed on the program Sunday Morning not too long ago. I don’t remember what year. He told the interviewer that he had almost died. Maybe that is why his books have changed. He said that he got a lot of ideas from that incident. I was surprise during interview to find out that he was sick. I love his ODD series.

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