2.5 out of 5 stars - "Depart, impious one, depart, accursed one, depart with all your deceits."
Addison Goodheart is said to be an abomination who lives alone beneath the city, hidden in an old bomb shelter. He spends his days quietly down under while roaming the uptop world at night -- to gather supplies, food, thrift store clothing. One night, while exploring the library, he meets a girl who appears to be just as broken and damaged as he is. Her name is Gwyneth and they instantly become friends. (Oh wait, it was love at first sight.) After establishing some ground rules - she is not to look at him and he is not to try to touch her - they embark on a series of missions during a winter snowstorm that has nearly shut down the city. These activities require that Addison trust Gwyneth as their purpose becomes more clear.
First, I must say that I have read almost every Koontz novel ever written, and there are many I really enjoyed, especially his earliest ones. I have noticed, however, that Koontz tends to write as if he wants to impress the reader with his vocabulary and long detailed descriptions of scenery, weather, etc. None of which add to the story or advance the plot. The narrative in Addison's point of view goes back and forth in time (painfully, tediously) as the reader slowly gets more details about him and his life. The meandering doesn't create suspense, just irritation. When (most) all is finally revealed and the whole point of the story becomes known, the denouement is totally unexpected and not necessarily in the good way of a thriller.
During the course of the story, the reader is treated to what I imagine are the author's own viewpoints on religion, humanity, the nature of evil, and the nature of innocence or purity.
I'm sure a book club could pick up on any of these themes and have quite a discussion if the members are inclined to the debates.
I was disappointed by the turn taken and the ultimate conclusion to yet another TEOTWAWKI novel.
I received this book as an ARC in a LibraryThing early reviewers giveaway.