Review: The City by Dean Koontz

The City
Dean Koontz
Bantam July 1, 2014
Pages 416
ISBN13: 9780345545930
A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review

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Reviewer: Melinda
Recommendation: 3/5

From Goodreads
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.

My Thoughts
Jonas Kirk shares his history. A musical prodigy, Jonas finds music comforting, his personal saving grace. Jonas tells his life story to his long time friend Malcolm explaining events and people aiding and abetting his metamorphose into a ‘whole’ man, as opposed to ‘half’ a man as his estranged and deserter father.

I found The City mediocre. For me it lacked a spark, the characters, the narrative were flat, lifeless. I didn’t ‘feel’ anything reading this story, rather I felt as if I read mere pretty words on paper.

The ‘evil do’ers’ felt contrived and misplaced. It was as if their presence was inserted to amuse and fulfill an expectation.

Other players added to the narrative, quite frankly they rescued the story. Pearl, Yoshioka and Amalia breathed life into this flat and banal novel.

Jonas possesses an admirable attitude. No matter what adversity he faces, past or present he focuses on the positive and takes life in long easy strides.

The City isn’t good or bad – more average. A little slow with plenty of references of musical greats, poets, art which I enjoyed. I’m not certain of what the reader will take away with all the intricate references with the exception of an uber quick history lesson. I’m unsure if the references were too plentiful and slowed down the pace or if blame can be pointed elsewhere. I’m NOT a Koontz expert but something is off regarding The City.

My second Koontz book, he gets one more shot before I decide if he is shelf worthy. So far I find myself disappointed again, currently, his place on my shelf is looking dismal. I fail to see the greatness of his books so many I know rave about. Where is the Dean Koontz I was told I would love? I’m still waiting…..