The City by Dean Koontz Review and Giveaway!

Posted July 1, 2014 by Lillian in Reviews / 0 Comments

Happy New Release Tuesday everyone! Today I have a special book for you that I received from the publisher and I must say that I fangirled a bit when I received the request. Dean Koontz is a well-known writer and I’ve always been a fan of his work. So it was a huge honor to receive his newest book (released today) before its official publish date to review for all of you. If you like mystery, coming-of-age, and a tiny bit of paranormal, I believe you will enjoy this new book! Make sure to keep reading past the review to enter for a chance to win a copy of The City for you and your entire book club (up to 20 readers).

I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.

The City by Dean Koontz Review and Giveaway!The City by Dean Koontz
Series: The City #1
Published by Bantam on July 1, 2014
Length: 398 pages
Reviewing eARC from Netgalley

The city changed my life and showed me that the world is deeply mysterious. I need to tell you about her and some terrible things and wonderful things and amazing things that happened . . . and how I am still haunted by them. Including one night when I died and woke and lived again.

Here is the riveting, soul-stirring story of Jonah Kirk, son of an exceptional singer, grandson of a formidable “piano man,” a musical prodigy beginning to explore his own gifts when he crosses a group of extremely dangerous people, with shattering consequences. Set in a more innocent time not so long ago, The City encompasses a lifetime but unfolds over three extraordinary, heart-racing years of tribulation and triumph, in which Jonah first grasps the electrifying power of music and art, of enduring friendship, of everyday heroes.

The unforgettable saga of a young man coming of age within a remarkable family, and a shimmering portrait of the world that shaped him, The City is a novel that speaks to everyone, a dazzling realization of the evergreen dreams we all share. Brilliantly illumined by magic dark and light, it’s a place where enchantment and malice entwine, courage and honor are found in the most unexpected quarters, and the way forward lies buried deep inside the heart.


The City by Dean Koontz is a coming-of-age story about Jonah Kirk, a young piano man living in New York City with his mother and grandfather during the Race Riots and war protests of the mid-1960s.  The story begins with an elder Jonah sitting with a tape recorder telling the story that changed his life. A young 8 year old boy who met an extraordinary woman who claimed to be the city and his adventures began.

Okay reviews are so hard to write when the book does not meet your expectations as this one is for me. I’ll break it down in a couple of sections so I can talk about what I liked or didn’t like. I think that’s the best way.

The characters of this story are memorable and very well written. Jonah is a young, African American living with his single mother after his father abandoned them for the second time. He feels a deep need to be the man of the house and if possible shield his mother from any bad that may come to them. Malcolm is his best friend who doesn’t come into the book fully until about 60% of the way through. Malcolm is a few years older and described as eccentric, when in reality he has a bad case of OCD and maybe even a touch of Aspergers. Mr. Yoshioka is Jonah’s neighbor and becomes his confidant when one bad thing after another keeps happening. Mr. Yoshioka is mysterious to me and I’ll be honest that I didn’t trust him as fully as Jonah does. Then there is Miss Pearl, the mysterious woman who claims to the city. The way she is describe reminds me of what one may think of as an angel or ghost, the way she appears and disappears at will.

The plot had promise, but fell flat for me. The plot revolves around a pivotal three years in Jonah’s life after his father leaves and a mystery woman he saw in a dream moves in up stairs and threatens his life for snooping on her. One connection after another leads Jonah to believe that there is more than just coincidence in what is happening around him. The story as described in the synopsis sounds like a great mystery with some paranormal elements, and it is a mystery with paranormal elements. The synopsis is not deceiving, however it’s not a fast-paced, edge of your seat type of read. In fact, I found myself actually falling asleep while reading!! That never happens! I struggled to keep interest in Jonah’s story and to be completely honest at 80% I gave up. I couldn’t finish it. :::hangs head in shame:::

Overall, I found the story lacking in the mystery element. It was predictable and I had guessed a lot of what was happening before it was revealed. And as already stated I just couldn’t bring myself to push through to the end (which rarely happens). So why three stars and not one or two, especially since I didn’t finish? Well, the story is very well written, even if it didn’t hold my interest. The characters are well thought out and very relatable, and the 1960s era brings a lot of interesting facts and trivia to the story. If you enjoy coming-of-age mysteries then I think you will enjoy this book, just keep in mind it is not fast-paced, edge of your seat!

About Dean Koontz

Dean Koontz, the author of many #1 New York Times bestsellers, lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, their golden retriever Anna, and the enduring spirit of their golden, Trixie.


This giveaway is provided via the publisher and Mom With a Reading Problem takes no responsibility in the delivery or notification of prizes. Please read Terms & Conditions for more information.

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