My last comments about ‘Ashley Bell’ from a previous post got turned on their head.
“Don’t get the idea I am not enjoying Ashley Bell, I am. “
The novellas that made the run up to this epic novel paved the way for this story although there was only one character retained, Pogo. He is a brilliant, handsome and humble surfer-dude. Girls all go gaga over him which he seems not to notice. He is the best friend with no romantic ties to BiBi Blair the protagonist of this story.
Early on she is set up as the amazing child of surfer parents whose life motto is, “What will be, will be.”
“The girl who said no to death. Bibi Blair is a fierce, funny, dauntless young woman—whose doctor says she has one year to live.”
BiBi makes you want to know her.
Her head is full of imaginings and deep thoughts that spin constantly and fill her diary. She has had supernatural occurrences by the age of six, which Koontz taunts us with by releasing a crumb at a time.
By the time she is eighteen, BiBi has published a successful novel, and her mind and talent are well recognized. It is her mind we are let in on, sometimes confused and made dizzy by its labyrinthine turns.
From the time she is struck down by cancer to the time she is running for Ashley Bell’s life she is chased by a colorful cadre of connected villains. Throughout the entire tale, we are kept on the run.
BiBi, nor the reader, realizes that the alternate reality she is living in is not her first world. Not until the book has it’s colorful manicured nails deeply embedded into your soul.
The setting was a pleasant treat for me, Orange County, California, a place I lived for much of my life. It was fun to run with BiBi on streets and freeways that I grew up on.
During her quest, we are only given as much information as BiBi has – not much at all.
The lack of insight works well with the story.
Ashley Bell has many layers and more facets than a priceless diamond; to go on further would spoil the story.