Book Review – Lightning

Lightning | Dean Koontz

309 pages | 1988

Thriller, Science Fiction, Historical Fiction

⭐⭐⭐ – Quality read, but …

From the Book Jacket

“Spirited Laura Shane lives a life who escapes and rewards are inevitably weighed against the reckoning of a mysterious and fearsome creditor. Her existence is marked by crisis, from the hours of her birth on a stormy January night in 1955 when ‘there was a strangeness about the weather that people would remember for years.’ She narrowly escapes death as a stranger materializes out of the blizzard to guard her from the not-so-tender mercies of a drunken doctor and ensure her safe passage into the world.

The years go by, and ever more terrifying troubles plague her, but with increasing strength and courage Laura prevails – often with the almost miraculous involvement of the same stranger. She marries and becomes a mother but cannot shake the growing certainty that powerful forces are controlling her destiny. To what end? Is the stranger the guardian angel that he seems – or a devil in disguise?

Laura will learn the answers on the night of her thirtieth birthday, when once more the stranger appears, desperately needing her help if he is to survive. He then reveals the true nature of her awesome fate, but it is a revelation that will lead to even greater danger. Indeed lightning has struck once more, shattering the lives of Laura and her child. The adventure – and the terror – have just begun …”

Why Did I Read This Book?

Lightning was donated to my Classroom Library by a former student. He said the book “was boring in the middle”, so he stopped reading it. He recommended it to me and, added, that it would be a great addition to the library because he thought others would enjoy reading it.

I am counting Lighting for the following reading challenges:

  • I am very behind with my attempt at #SixtyBooks, so I will not humor you with where this book landed. I am beginning to regroup for next year’s attempt.
  • I am claiming the FREE CHOICE square for Reading Bingo Fall 2016. I’m not sure which direction I want to go in, so this will allow for a few possibilities.


After having multiple students read and recommend Dean Koontz books to me, I finally gave in. Lightning was my first Dean Koontz book and I thought it was an interesting thriller novel.

Koontz included tons of details when describing characters, locations, and events. His use of imagery blew me away because vivid pictures were painted in my head as to what was going on in the story. The detailed writing kept me hooked and I was along for the ride all the way to the end.

On the other hand, I felt Koontz left the reader guessing throughout the novel by leaving out important information or giving too much. Two of my notes while reading were “A lot of questions about who characters are and their motives” and “So many questions!”.

I felt the background story of the main character, Laura, was way too long. Laura had a miserable upbringing. Koontz felt the need to detail out every mishap she endured and every encounter she had with a creep. I thought a few should be cut out to move the plot along.

In addition to Laura’s horrible past, she also has a ton of deep, dark secrets that were muddled and jumbled together. Without giving too much away, this book includes, but is not limited to time travel, Nazis, a lot of death scenes, and a visit from Adolf Hitler. Buckle up!


If you are a fan of thriller novels with science fiction and historical fiction twists, Lightning is for you. The book references the figures and locations involved in World War II. As a WWII buff, I enjoyed how Koontz weaved them into this book’s plot. The science fiction elements were subtle and involved time travel which drove the plot and provided a lot of twists and turns.

I would also recommend this book to readers who enjoy MULTIPLE characters. All of the viewpoints were in third person and jumped around A LOT. If you like books that do this then check this one out!

Happy Reading!

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