The City by Dean Koontz
Release Date - July 2014
Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth
It's been a number of years since I've read a book by Dean Koontz. The City is definitely a change of pace, straying from the horror I knew him for, and delving into a part paranormal, part coming of age, and strong suspense. I do have mixed feelings. It took me a bit to get into the book. Eventually, the slow opening turned into a riveting novel that I couldn't put down.
Coming from a line of musicians, Jonah Ellington Basie Hines Eldridge Wilson Hampton Armstrong Kirk was almost destined to be a musical great. His father walked out on him when he was just eight months old, but returned later on. While Jonah's mother was a talented singer, Jonah's dreams involved the piano. Dreams his father would squash, until a mysterious woman calling herself Miss Pearl came into his life. He soon learned to play piano and play it very well.
This is not the only thing Miss Pearl showed him. He had two very realistic dreams that would play an important part in Jonah's future. A future that would change not only Jonah, but his family and the friends he makes along the way.
The characters are what makes The City so gripping. Jonah is a smart little kid. His grandfather has a spirit that I loved, and his mother seemed like the kind of mother many kids wish they could have. When Jonah's father appears, there definitely is a more somber tone. Eventually, Jonah meets a neighbor, Mr. Yoshioka, who is linked to Jonah by the arrival of a more threatening neighbor Fiona Cassidy/Eve Adams. Fiona happens to be one of two characters that Jonah first discovers in the dreams he has. Even Miss Pearl, a mysterious woman who tells Jonah to count her as being "the soul of the city", is intriguing. With the story bringing each of these characters to life, I ended up enjoying the build up and conclusion of Dean Koontz's latest. It's different but definitely memorable.