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Innocence: A Novel | [Dean Koontz]

Innocence: A Novel

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

In Innocence, number-one New York Times best-selling author Dean Koontz blends mystery, suspense, and acute insight into the human soul in a masterfully told tale that will resonate with listeners forever.

©2013 Dean Koontz (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What the Critics Say

"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)

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (1146 )
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4.3 (1032 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 01-02-14
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 01-02-14 Member Since 2002

    I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Among Koontz’s Best Slow Interesting Books"

    There are at least two quite different Dean Koontz. One writes fast paced, intense suspense novels with chases and guns and lots of tension. The other Koontz writes thoughtful, interesting, character driven stories with philosophical and religious overtones. This book is a wonderful example of the latter type. Fans of Intensity may not like this book at all. I like both Koontz styles and I liked this book a lot. This is some of Koontz’s most interesting writing with nice plot elements and unexpected twists. Innocence does not have the sarcastic humor common in many Koontz stories, the story unfolds quite slowly, and the main characters are so unusual as to be ultimately unapproachable. Nevertheless I found the story, including the ending, quite enjoyable. The prose were excellent (rare in this genre). I put this novel in the same class with the Odd series and Seize the Night. The narration is excellent, seamlessly enhancing the story and characters.

    36 of 38 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony Jefferson City, MO, United States 01-11-14
    Anthony Jefferson City, MO, United States 01-11-14 Member Since 2002

    I am an attorney and author in Jefferson City, MO.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Best Dean Koontz book yet"

    As someone who has enjoyed the Odd Thomas line of books, I always consider a book featuring another character to be a deviation from and an unwelcome departure from that wonderful story arc. But in this book Dean Koontz delivers a tale of wonder, mystery, love, intrigue, and joy that is profoundly philosophical and thematically rich. It seems as though Koontz must have labored over this as an act of love, and you can feel his deep sense of humility, his kindness and gentleness, and his abiding belief that there is good in all of us, if we are but to discover it. Koontz does not scare me like Steven King. Reading his works makes me want to be a better man, and reminds me that we all fall short of the marks we set for ourselves in that pursuit.
    It would do no good for me to describe the plot and substance of this book. It is something that you must discover for yourself. Like Intensity and the last of the Odd Thomas books, this has some disturbing descriptions in it, but it also leaves you with the feeling that Koontz is on to something. TS Elliott has always featured prominently in his works, and you can find the allegory in this work as well. The book is very well read, and the audio characterizations are exceptionally well done. Get this book and listen to it. You will not be sorry you did.

    15 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Riley Bellevue, NE 12-31-13
    Riley Bellevue, NE 12-31-13

    Wrightmore

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    "Where on Earth did Dean Koontz Go???"

    I have a theory. A man who became so obsessed with Dean Koontz invaded his home and for the last few years has been holding Mr. & Mrs. Koontz prisoner as he has assumed the writer's lifestyle. Or something along the lines of the plot in Mr. Murder. Unfortunately this impostor has an awful and predictable imagination. He simply took the idea of Odd Thomas and Christopher Snow and merged them together to come up with a book.

    I remember when a new Koontz novel captivated me. I can even tell you that I've read or listened to such great books over and over again. Even though I knew how those books would end the second or third time around I still enjoyed the journey. It's hard to believe that the same guy who wrote: Dragon Tears, Cold Fire, Hideaway, Mr. Murder, Intensity, Lightning, Phantoms, Sole Survivor, and The Bad Place has produced six or seven horrible books in a row. I've heard of having a bad year, but a decade long bad run?

    I'm sorry to say, Dean, (much like I once enjoyed the writings of James Patterson before he became a sellout and sacrificed good story telling for the Almighty dollar) I'm going to have to permanently shelf you in the "I'm no longer interested in reading this author's works" category.

    Sorry, but it's time for us to go our seperate ways. Yes, it's you, not me. Good luck and I hope I hear you found your way back to the path someday.

    Sincerely,

    Constant Reader.


    23 of 26 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer White Bear Lake, MN, United States 12-16-13
    Jennifer White Bear Lake, MN, United States 12-16-13 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I really wanted to like this book"
    Would you try another book from Dean Koontz and/or MacLeod Andrews?

    Normally I really like Koontz. I have read all of his books. The narrator was fine, it was the book that was disappointing


    Would you recommend Innocence to your friends? Why or why not?

    The book was very enticing in the beginning and really got me wanting to find out more about the characters, but in the last third, it just lost steam and it just couldn't end fast enough. There was no real ending, just way too many coincidences as Koontz was trying to wrap up the book. Normally he ties things up neatly......the protagonist is wealthy, knows how to use guns, can escape from hand cuffs, that sort of thing. But this time around he tied everything together too neatly and it just made the entire ending of the story ruin the entire book.


    What about MacLeod Andrews’s performance did you like?

    The narrator was fine. Although his female voices leave a bit to be desired


    Was Innocence worth the listening time?

    Unfortunately not really. But if bad endings are your thing and you enjoy having no real plot then give it a whirl.


    Any additional comments?

    I think that this was the worst Koontz book I have ever listened to. Go back to Odd Thomas or Christopher Snow, Mr. Koontz. Those characters are enjoyable and likeable, the ones in Innocence just made me what to scream in frustration.

    21 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G. House Sr. Sherborn, MA, United States 12-12-13
    G. House Sr. Sherborn, MA, United States 12-12-13 Member Since 2012

    I am an avid listener. I listen between 75-100 hours per month on my iPhone: 60% fiction to 40% non-fiction.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Slowly Unwinds and Suck You In"

    The Hunchback of Notre Dame-esq story opens very slowly. But although you recognize the plot line, or think you do, by an hour into it you wondering. Wonder how, what, who's the girl, what's it about and then you are sucked in, you can't stop listening. Even the tragedies mote different in this work. Koontz get you to immediately connect with the main character (Addison) and is a master at telegraphing the characters inner emotions.

    MacLeod Andrews does and excellent job with the story in terms of pace and inflection, as with most excellent narration, adds to the suspense rather than distracts. If you like the Odd Thomas series, you will definitely like Innocence. Koontz is at his best with description and detail. I give this a solid must listen.

    29 of 34 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stacey 06-16-14
    Stacey 06-16-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Same Theme as Previous Books"

    I was so disappointed with this book. The boy proclaims he's hideous and from his nature, I could only surmise that he must be so beautiful that anyone who beholds him cannot stand the vision. As always, there are some deep moments and Koontz has a way with words; however, he's done this theme before. If you have ever read The Taking, this is along with the same theme. The end of the world and all it's evil and rebirth of the good ones. I was a little confused about the marionette theme that seems to be thrown in as a kicker. I really felt Mr. Koontz could have done so much with this part. He also has a deep piece with the arch bishop and I feel like he wasted this opportunity to develop the characters further. Imagine if the bad arch bishop went in to attack the female lead and the hero reveals his face--to the decimation of the evil arch bishop. Despite the let-down of this book, Koontz is still one of my favorite authors. He has so many hits that I am likely to pick it up. Many of the books one can read multiple times. This is not one of them.

    BTW: Macleod Andrews Kicks Butt as a narrator!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debbie Lake Havasu City, AZ, United States 12-17-13
    Debbie Lake Havasu City, AZ, United States 12-17-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Dean Koontz Fan"

    I'm a long-time Dean Koontz fan, but this book wasn't in my top 10, not even in my top 25. It was just OK. I didn't like the ending at all.

    18 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elle in the Great NorthWest Beaverton, OR, United States 01-04-14
    Elle in the Great NorthWest Beaverton, OR, United States 01-04-14

    I LOVE books. And dogs & quilting & beading & volunteering.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A different Koontz. Deeply disturbing but memorab"

    Plenty of other reviewers have panned this Koontz novel..I suspect they want the author of Mr Murder, of scary horror that hits them in the face. But there is also the DK of Odd Thomas series..different from Mr Murder as this novel is.

    I got the impression that Koontz dug deeply into his authors box of plots for this pre End of the world novel. Koontz does leave many questions unanswered and parts of the story arc never seem to connect with the main arc, yet all in all this was a novel I won't quickly forget.

    Addison's unusual appearance is finally but poorly explained in the final chapters of the book, as is the reasons for the goth girl he meets one night use of harlequin makeup. Not really explained are the what's of The Fogs and The Clears amongst other meaningless addendums to the plot.

    However, MacLeod Andrews beautiful narration saves the weaknesses in the book and, for me, turned a slightly confusing book into a wonderful listen that kept me up until early hours finishing. It's a real listen again for me because I don't tend to just listen to books and did get side tracked during parts of the story. Next time I intend to pay better attention.

    If you like the various Dean Koontz styles, you'll enjoy this listen. If you can't tolerate anything but the horror story Koontz this might not be your kind of book

    For me well worth the credit.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Derek B. A strange midwestern city, United States 12-19-13
    Derek B. A strange midwestern city, United States 12-19-13 Member Since 2007

    It's simple really, I am just a guy looking to enjoy the writing and reading talents of others while raising my family the best I can, just Like most everyone else!!!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A grand slam by Koontz!"

    After a few books that fell a step below Odd Thomas, and many, many others which he also wrote, Mr. Koontz delighted me on a level that compared to when I finally closed Odd's first book. With this one, I was shocked, inspired, and gladely saddened it had ended. I got to read about wonderful people who had deepness of character which I rarely find in books. I felt for them on levels that could only speak of Dean Koontz' gift. A gift that has entertained millions. This book showed me that I do not need to wait for the next Odd Thomas story to be inspired by characters that truely affect me on a deep level, that make me wish I actually knew them, or someone like them who I could help in their hour of need. Thank you Mr. Koontz for showing me characters that have parts of the very best of society, and books that I wouldn't be ashamed to one day pass on to our children. This book was smart, entertaining, deep, fun, fast, and memorable. I am once more impressed!

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DebaDeb Houston, TX 12-29-13
    DebaDeb Houston, TX 12-29-13 Member Since 2010

    Just looking for an enjoyable story! Books are my passion.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Blech!"

    Dean Koontz is one of my favorite authors. I've read all of his books except for his Odd Thomas series, which I just couldn't get into. But, when Dean writes a book, I buy it. Period. And just like the other Koontz books I've read, I started it without reading a synopsis.

    I listened to this book for 2 hours and finally looked at my son and said, "I can't do this any longer." I especially quit listening when I realized I was reading facebook, and the book was still playing. The story was soooo slow, and terribly boring.

    12 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 78 results PREVIOUS128NEXT
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  • Pauline
    Basingstoke, United Kingdom
    12/16/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant"
    What did you like most about Innocence?

    Everything - the story, characters, story and the performance by the narrator. Excellent book highly recommend!


    What did you like best about this story?

    Again everything


    What about MacLeod Andrews’s performance did you like?

    Infinitely listenable ( not sure that's a real word but he so is!)


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I could not put it down - totally compelling


    Any additional comments?

    Warning - don't start listening until you have 11 hrs and 9 minutes straight to listen - I have done nothing else since I first pressed play! If you only download one book for christmas treat yourself to this one - inspired tale!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Mark Lowes
    South Wales
    1/19/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Decent But Not Great"
    If you could sum up Innocence in three words, what would they be?

    Unbelievable. Lacks climax


    Which character – as performed by MacLeod Andrews – was your favourite?

    Telford


    Any additional comments?

    'Innocence' by Dean Koontz is a good book, but not great. The storyline is of Addison Goodheart, born into the world so hideous that people, when they see him, have the uncontrollable urge to beat him to death. He comes across Gwynneth, an 18-year-old suffering from socio-phobia and finds it hard to tolerate people. Addison feels compelled by his profound loneliness to accompany Gwynneth on her journey fighting Telford (a rapist, murderer, thief, etc.). This story has a paranormal twist to it.

    My problems with this story is that it's unbelievable. A boy who is so ugly, in the modern world, and a civilised world at that, is chased, threatened and his surrogate father likewise and killed because of their disfigurements. He lives in the sewers and only comes out at night. That, though it is unbelievable, is appreciated as it is the story. Dean Koontz uses such long and unnecessary language, in descriptive areas, it's fine (to a certain extent), in dialogue, it makes all of the characters extremely well-read and articulate. Throughout, I kept thinking, throughout the dialogue parts, that 'They wouldn't say that'. I also found Gwynneth to be fairly annoying. Her insistance on Addison trusting her but not telling him pretty much anything, bugged me.

    The performance - MacLeod Andrews does a decent job. His version of Telford, Hamlin and Simon are done well. But the main characters, Addison and Gwynneth, aren't up to scratch. Everything Addison says ends with an upward inflection, and Gwynneth, he goes a bit softer and in a higher pitch, she also sounds depressed all the time. He does anger well.

    Overall, it's a fair listen. It does the job of filling silence with an interesting story, but it didn't do quite what I hoped for.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Mary
    6/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I couldn't stop listening."
    Where does Innocence rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of my favourites so far. Please may audiobooks cover all of Dean's books unbridged as he is a marvellous writer and I for one will buy them all.


    What about MacLeod Andrews’s performance did you like?

    He read this clever book very well indeed.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    This book made me drop a tear on many occasions.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a must read book for everyone. It's clever and wonderfully written, portraying the characters and their unusual lives perfectly.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • jennycola
    Middlesex UK
    2/18/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Well that was painful..."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No. I didn't like it. I just couldn't get into it. I started it five times and it bored me. The sixth time I figured I should give it a chance but I will never get those hours back.


    What could Dean Koontz have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    There is nothing in the book that could've been changed I just should have read a different book


    How could the performance have been better?

    It was boring


    If this book were a film would you go see it?

    No!


    Any additional comments?

    I am actually a Dean Koontz fan and have listened to almost all of his books, this one I really didn't like though.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Vincent
    EdenvalueSouth Africa
    12/13/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Its a wonder that dogs were not Goofy."

    The idea for the story was okay but not great, and the characters lose all credibility at the end. I guess as a fairy tale, it may work. Intelligent design way out of kilt.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • cliff
    peterborough, United Kingdom
    4/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Drivel...."

    The ONLY saving of this story was the narrators voice who perfectly matched what you would imagine the lead character to be, the rest....well, it was one of those that you get to the end and think, why did I just listen to that.....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Donna
    nottm, United Kingdom
    3/12/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Different from dean!"

    I found this story gripping as the main characters aren't the hero type.
    A little drawn out but stick with it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Paul
    Planet Earth
    1/9/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Another Koontz classic!!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would most certainly recommend this audiobook as it a well thought out & well written tale that will have the listener returning to it in the future as I believe it is a story that you can listen to more than once.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The whole story flows beautifully and it difficult to pick out any highlights as at no point does the story get boring.


    What about MacLeod Andrews’s performance did you like?

    MacLeod Andrews actually brings the characters to life (which of course is the whole point of audio narration) & his portrayal of Addison Goodheart is outstanding.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    A very thought provoking tale of human endurance that leaves you wishing for a follow up, but it is short on laughs as it isn't that sort of story.


    Any additional comments?

    Any Dean Koontz fan will love this book as I think this is up there with his finest works.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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