Narrated by MacLeod Andrews and just over eleven hours of listening. The protagonist of Innocence is a Quasimodo (Victor Hugo’s character in The Hunchback of Notre Dame). Disfigured since birth to the extreme of causing anyone who looks at him to want to beat and kill him and ousted by his mother at the age of eight, his only means of security is to hide. He takes refuge in the bowels of a big city and hides behind a ski mask and hoody when venturing out, usually at night.
The character has a level of intelligence beyond his years, in my opinion. His only means of education is the kindness of a fellow homeless man and books, so ‘innocence’ is a good title. The guy is a babe in the woods. Considering how brutally he has been treated all of his life, there is no bitterness – in fact, quite the opposite. He is incredibly kind and gentle, a deep thinker. This alone is a good premise for a novel. Koontz goes way beyond this scenario, however. The story seemed like a selection of unrelated Koontz-like events bundled together. An apocalyptic plague, spirits that swoop in to rattle the plaster off walls, sexual abusing bad guys, art heists – plus the whole concept of the Quasimodo character. They do all come together eventually, but too many concepts are jumbled together. My opinion. You may find it just right.
Reading by MacLeod Andrews is great. This is a very atmospheric-spooky-type tale (it is Koontz, after all), and Andrews conveys just the right amount of intrigue in his narration.
I prefer Odd Thomas – but, if you like Koontz, you’ll like Innocence. Enjoy!