* Copy courtesy of NetGalley *
I've been reading books by Dean Koontz since the mid 1990s and have read 29 in total, reviewing and rating 16. Of those 16 rated novels, the average star rating for them all is 3.06.
The reason I'm sharing these stats is to demonstrate my ongoing enjoyment of these novels, and although I've given plenty of 4 star ratings, I've never given a Koontz novel 5 stars..... until today.
The City is the coming-of-age story of nine year old Jonah Kirk growing up in the 1960s, told by his older self. Jonah is a young musical prodigy who loves to play the piano and lives with his mum on the fourth floor of an apartment building.
The city of the title comes in the form of the mysterious Miss Pearl, who gives Jonah advice at important times in his life and seems very otherworldly. She tells Jonah that she is the city and all it's people and she looks over Jonah.
Jonah's father has left the family, and he befriends his Japanese American neighbour Mr. Nashioka and together they discover a fellow neighbour is up to no good and her actions could have grave consequences. Jonah builds incredible relationships with Malcolm (who lives across the road) and his relationship with Mr. Nashioka was deeply moving.
The City is a story of fate, luck, tragedy, family and love with a light touch of the paranormal and it's what I've been waiting to read from Koontz for years! There are no monsters or great battles between good and evil, and no dog central to the plot. But what is offered is a glimpse into the life of one young boy and the influence of his guardian, Miss Pearl and the unforgettable Mr. Nashioka, a humble tailor.
This is easily the best Dean Koontz book I've ever read and I recommend it highly!
My rating = *****