Bibi Blair has it all, a loving family, Navy SEAL fiance, promising literary career. Bibi is a Valiant Girl, with memories of a happy childhood by the sea with laid back surfer parents and her loyal rescue dog. Except for the apartment above the garage, the one she knows is evil without knowing why. And the dog collar she hides in a box as a child and never looks at. And the fact that she was forced out of her prestigious writing program and has no idea why, or why the director hates her so viciously.
Then Bibi Blair is diagnosed with deadly, incurable brain cancer. After a strange occurrence with a man and a dog, Bibi is cured. And then things get weird.
“That second Tuesday in March, with its terrible revelations and sudden threat of death, would have been the beginning of the end for some people, but Bibi Blair, now twenty-two, would eventually call it Day One.”
Bibi has been spared from cancer for one reason: to save the life of Ashley Bell, a girl she has never met. As she begins her quest, she realizes that there is something much larger and more sinister than she could ever imagine at work. Forced off the grid, fighting for survival in a world going ever more crazy, Bibi begins to realize that there may be another enemy besides the shadowy figures pursuing her and holding Ashley. In order to complete her mission, she will have to remember all the things she forgot. More importantly, she will have to survive the memories.
I have been a Dean Koontz reader since I was a teenager. I love his older work, but have found that in the past several years he has taken a turn into what I almost consider preachy, and some of his newer novels have left me cold for this reason. This novel does not have this problem, but it almost feels that without the religious meaning to fall back on Koontz falls short of delivering in the second half of the book on the promises he makes in the first half. The beginning of this book completely intrigued me, and there was a point when Koontz introduced a plot twist that caught me completely off guard. Koontz does a great job of setting up the mystery, but I felt that many of the actual payoffs were lacking.
Overall the book was entertaining, however, and if you are a fan of older-style Koontz you’ll probably enjoy this as well. It contains a lot of familiar Koontz tropes – the impossibly brutal bad guys, the loyal golden retriever. While I was somewhat disappointed by the ending, I would likely read the sequel teased at the end.