Thursday, April 30, 2015

Review:: Innocence, by Dean Koontz

Title: Innocence
Author: Dean Koontz
Format: Hardcover
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Overt moralism, a painfully predictable plot, and characters that made me want to roll my eyes? Yeah, those are all ways to make me hate a book. The worst part about Innocence, though, was that it was honestly intriguing for a few pages, before devolving into a rather boring Biblical tale. Oh, spoilers everywhere in the review, plus mentions of rape.

The premise of Innocence is a rather good one: a man who no one can bear to look upon meets a girl who is so anxious she cannot stand the company of almost anyone at all. It would have been better if it wasn't stupidly obvious that actually they're the same whatever they are. And then when I realized that the big reveal was going to be that they were without original sin I literally groaned.

That's not literal in a figurative sense. I actually groaned aloud.

Partially because the girl dresses goth (which, for some reason, Koontz always capitalizes?) and I knew what that would mean. The only way people could bear to look upon her was if she disguised her Innocence with evil. Like evil GOTH fashion.

Oh, and while the protag (Addison, who really doesn't matter at all in the plot) always gets murderous intent when he's seen because his lack of sin makes people really uncomfortable, like smash you in the face and set you on fire uncomfortable, if the girl, Gwyneth, is just the right level of evil goth, people just really badly want to rape her instead.

Although the evil rapist who killed her father wanted to rape her before she went evil goth. So maybe her Innocence makes people want to take her away to private islands or rape and then murder her. Either way, it felt pretty Gross (with a capital G).

The prose itself is okay. It's super slow and annoying in parts, but hey, remember, the protag is so Innocent that he comes off kind of stupid. What was the most frustrating, though, was how it's told in that way where like every other chapter is a flashback, so it takes forever for anything to happen. The chapters are short, sure, but they're mostly full of boring introspection that's repetitious at best.

Also, there are evil mannequins and a zombie artist? And a North Korean man-made plague that can't kill them because they're Innocent? And a girl in a coma who just wakes up because it's a miracle! And then they ride bears or something in the woods.

I'm not kidding. I mean, it's not reclaiming Eden if you don't ride bears in the woods once you defeat your zombie puppeteer artists and father-murdering rapists. If the sheer incongruence of a lot of that doesn't imply it heavily enough, infer this: there are some serious pacing issues at the end. Book don't know what it's doing.

If you want to read books that deal with Biblical lore, there a ton of better ones out there. And they don't pretend to be a... whatever this was pretending to be in the beginning. Go read those instead. Their angels aren't weirdos in scrubs.

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