Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Book Review: Breathless by Dean Koontz

Book Review:  Breathless by Dean Koontz
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Bantam; X edition (November 24, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0553807153
ISBN-13: 978-0553807158

Rating:  3/5
Source:  Personal Library

Book Blurb:

In the stillness of a golden September afternoon, deep in the wilderness of the Rockies, a solitary craftsman, Grady Adams, and his magnificent Irish wolfhound Merlin step from shadow into light…and into an encounter with enchantment. That night, through the trees, under the moon, a pair of singular animals will watch Grady's isolated home, waiting to make their approach.

A few miles away, Camillia Rivers, a local veterinarian, begins to unravel the threads of a puzzle that will bring all the forces of a government in peril to her door.

At a nearby farm, long-estranged identical twins come together to begin a descent into darkness…In Las Vegas, a specialist in chaos theory probes the boundaries of the unknowable…On a Seattle golf course, two men make matter-of-fact arrangements for murder…Along a highway by the sea, a vagrant scarred by the past begins a trek toward his destiny…

In a novel that is at once wholly of our time and timeless, fearless and funny, Dean Koontz takes readers into the moment between one turn of the world and the next, across the border between knowing and mystery. It is a journey that will leave all who take it Breathless.

My Review:
In the interest of full disclosure, I'd like to make clear that I am a huge Dean Koontz fan. I own every book he has ever written, and he is one of my favorite authors. That being said, I was a little disappointed with this one and wouldn't recommend it for someone who has never read Koontz before. I might be wrong and new readers may very well enjoy it, but I'm biased and have very high expectations for Dean.

One of the things that I like about Koontz is that he's an easy read. His words flow, the action is usually fast paced, he writes great characters, and he likes short chapters. Short chapters are dangerous for me because I'm constantly thinking just one more chapter, just one more chapter, and suddenly it's 2am.

Breathless is an interesting story. We are introduced to several different characters, all with rich backstories, whose fates are gradually revealed to be intertwined. The Chaos Theory seems to be at work here, so it helps that one of the characters is an expert in this field and can explain it to us. Koontz is a very talented writer and despite there being multiple characters and storylines, I had no trouble keeping track of everything.

Gave this one a 3/5 rating as I felt if was just okay. As previously mentioned, I have very high expectations for a Koontz book, and this one did not live up to them. While it was a fast read and the action was well paced, I was unsatisfied with the ending and left wanting more. I think Koontz fans will enjoy the book, but would recommend one of his earlier works instead if you're a new reader.


  1. Oh I think I bought this one the same time you did - preorderd actually. I havent read mine yet, but I too am a huge Koontz fan. Through the years there have been a few I struggled with - Strange Highways was one of them.

    Good review! I am curious now as to what I will think of it.

  2. Sheila - Will keep an eye out for your review, as I'm curious what you'll think of it. Love Dean, but he's written better.

  3. When I was in high school I loved Dean Koontz books. I don't read them much anymore, though. I'm sure I would still enjoy him.

  4. I haven't ever read a Dean Koontz novel before but this one did sound a little disjointed. Thanks for the review. I will avoid it.

  5. I have an award for you! :)

  6. I have not read Dean. Although, I can't 100% say that. I think I just may have one of his books tucked in my desk drawer, although I never got the chance to finish it. Now, I am going to have to go look and see.

    Thanks for the review on this book.

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  8. Shannon - I still love Dean, but this just wasn't one of my favorites.

    Pam - If you haven't read him yet, I'd suggest Watchers or Lightning, as those were both good.

    Reagan - Thank you!

    Melissa - Hope you find one, as I Dean is still one of my favorites!

  9. It's been awhile since I've read a D. Koontz novel. This book sounds interesting. Thanks for the heads up on this one not being up to par. I'm thinking with as many books as he puts out all the time there is bound to be one not so good. Very nice review.

    I'm guessing you read his Frankenstein novels also. Did you enjoy them? I haven't but I have the first book.

  10. I like Koontz too, but some of his are definite misses. I think my personal fave is False Memory though. I will have to add this one to my Wish List!