Retro Review: Innocence by Dean Koontz

It's Koontz at his unwordiest best!

Innocence by Dean Koontz
Unabridged Audiobook 11 hours and 9 minutes
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.

My Thoughts

I never quite know what I’m in for when I start a new novel by Dean Koontz. He’s written some books that I love to death and a few others that put me to sleep. He was also one of the first authors I read as a young teen so I always grab his new books hoping for the best but bracing for the worst. This time it worked out and it didn’t turn out to be another “Your Heart Belongs To Me” or “Velocity” with jerky protagonists who annoyed me from beginning to end.

I read this on audio and took all kinds of notes but I’m feeling lazy so I’m going to ramble out onto this white page whatever comes to mind and I’ll do my best not to spoil anything.

Basically this is a book about a young guy named Addison. Addison was born with some sort of affliction that makes people fly into a murderous rage when they see his face. Seriously. They want him dead. Thusly, he cannot allow himself to be seen and must hide in the shadows and live underground. Don’t bother asking me to reveal what that affliction is because I won’t do it. I spent most of the book wondering what the heck was so wrong with him and you’ll have to do the same. Be careful about reading spoilerific reviews because I feel it will ruin the book for you. All is revealed in the end and I thought it was quite beautiful. But that’s me. You might be annoyed.

After Addison’s heartbreaking childhood is revealed in flashback you’ll want to give him a big hug. Despite it all, he’s grown up sweet natured and, yes, rather innocent as the title says. He finally makes a friend named Gwyneth who is able to look past his aversion to being looked at and she honors his wishes. Gwyneth has some major quirks of her own. She’s lived her life in seclusion due to social anxiety, she can’t abide being touched and has been protected and doted on by her wealthy father. But he’s been murdered and Gwyneth is hell bent on exposing his evil murderer, thus forcing her out into the world to fight evil with the help of Addison. The two make a great pair and become insta-friends. I believed it. There is much more going on here (but not too much for my tired brain) and I loved all of it. There are packs of dogs (yay!), there’s a plague brewing (yay!!) and there are sinister marionette’s (evil dolls! Yay!!!). These are a few of my favorite things and they’re all wrapped into one book, how could I not love it? Well, that’s easy. The story could’ve tanked due to Koontz’s penchant for excessive wordiness and lame characters with unrealistic dialogue. But there was none of that here. Or if there was it didn’t bother me. I haven’t liked a Koontz book as much as this one since I read Odd Thomas.

That’s not to say it’s perfect. The murderer is a Koontz classic; a one-note evil guy, cursing worse than me when I run out of chocolate and spreading his evil wherever he goes because he feels like it. The story is almost perfect though and that’s more than good enough for me. I found only one of the plot elements a little unclear (pun alert, if you’ve read it) but Koontz may be setting this up as another series. Anyway, it read that way to me which was slightly annoying because I never follow through on reading series. But that’s my problem.

I read this as an unabridged audiobook and the narrator took a little getting used to. He reads at a very leisurely pace as if he and I have all the time in the world, but he does vulnerability oh-so-well and the story was so compelling that I quickly fell into it, rather than falling asleep.

Innocence was lovely and sweet and has an interesting, twisty plot that kept me guessing and reading until the very end. If you read it, I hope you love it as much as I did.

Other Books In This Series That I Have Not Read:

Read March 2014


  1. I've had a kind of love-hate thing going with Dean Koontz over the years due to the over description at times! I loved Lightning and liked Icebound and The Face of Fear. Quite a few others I've DNFed. Mind you I can say the same of Stephen King too! This one sounds as if it has some good stuff in it though.

    1. I feel the same about King and Koontz. Both have written some stinkers!

  2. I haven't read anything by him yet but I'm just now trying to read more thrillers so maybe soon.

    For What It's Worth

    1. Odd Thomas is my favorite! Just don't read the sequels, if you ever give it a try. They lack the magic of Odd.

  3. So good to know that this Koontz book doesn't disappoint. I used to read his books all the time, but then ran into a few duds and quit. Maybe it's time to try him again with this book. :)

    1. He's very hit or miss for me so be careful with your choices :)

  4. I used to be a huge Koontz fan, but I admit it's been about ten years since I've read one of his books. I loved his earlier books so I may just leave it at that. I don't want to ruin my memories of some of my favorites:-)


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