by Dean Koontz

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#1 New York Times bestselling author Dean Koontz’s brilliantly thrilling novel of suspense.

In the midst of a raging blizzard, lightning struck on the night Laura Shane was born. And a mysterious blond-haired stranger showed up just in time to save her from dying. 

Years later, in the wake of another storm, Laura will be saved again. For someone is watching over her. Is he the guardian angel he seems? The devil in disguise? Or the master of a haunting destiny beyond all time and space?

“A gripping novel…fast-paced and satisfying.”—People

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425192030
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/02/2003
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 48,259
Product dimensions: 6.74(w) x 10.90(h) x 1.02(d)
Lexile: 1090L (what's this?)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Dean Koontz, the author of many #1 New York Times bestsellers, lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, their golden retriever, Elsa, and the enduring spirit of their goldens, Trixie and Anna.


Newport Beach, California

Date of Birth:

July 9, 1945

Place of Birth:

Everett, Pennsylvania


B.S. (major in English), Shippensburg University, 1966

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Lightning 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 361 reviews.
Country_Boy9 More than 1 year ago
My Mom let me read this book (after she read it first) when I was twelve years old. This was back in '89. I've been, like a lot of people who've reviewed this book, a loyal Dean Koontz reader ever since. For sentimental reasons, because this was my first book of his, it still ranks as my favorite. This story has everything. Dean Koontz created characters that have endured over all the years. I can still recite the cast and lines from memory after all this time. Mostly because I've re-read it dozens of times, literally. This period of time, for me, represents Dean Koontz best writing. I'm still loyal after all these years and I still read all of his new books as soon as they come out. However, his novels from the 80's and early 90's are the ones I always go back to when I'm looking to pass the time with a good book. They are as comfortable as being around a good friend. Lightning started it all for me. Thank you Dean Koontz.
angeleyesAS More than 1 year ago
This book is an all-nighter, thoroughly engaging, enchanting, riveting, thought-provoking, heart-wrenching, and heart-racing. This one keeps you guessing throughout with many unexpected surprises and witty humor. Koontz is dealing with the here and now, on the border between real and science-fiction. Some of his concepts are not easy to grasp but the powerful, enticing and mind-boggling suspense will keep your eyes glued to the pages. This is a clever story of time travel and romance, of a German scientist in WWII, who has, along with his comrades, perfected time travel in order to see who will win the war. It starts with a flash of lightning, where a doctor, overly indulging his intake of scotch, receives a phone call from the hospital, informing him that a baby is ready to be delivered. The intoxicated doctor is grabbed by a handsome stranger and is tied up to prevent him from arriving at the hospital. Laura is born successfully but loses her mother. Years later, lightning flashes again where the reader meets a young Laura and her father who run a small convenience store, being held at gunpoint by a robber. Suddenly, the same handsome stranger appears and saves the day. Hmmmmm! Sound interesting? The evil of Man, and what Man is capable of is frightening. This story is gripping and action-packed; the characters are believable and engaging; there is love, passion and dedication. Thoroughly entertaining!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was my first Dean Koontz novel that I ever read. My brother had read it before me and when I read it, I labeled it as my favorite and still do. To anyone who had never read Dean Koontz's novels before, this is the first one I reccommend right away. The feelings it extracts from its readers is phenomenal - my eyes have welled up at parts, a smile presides at others. An anger with the need for the justice for Laura Shane's hard life is forever present as she takes one hit after another. The way Stephan helps her through the course of the book is genuinely heartfelt and you can't help but love the man for it. I've read Lightning many times and I never get tired of it. It's a great place to start and it will hook you in right away.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've been a Dean Koontz fan for many years, after an older brother told me that Koontz was his favorite mystery/suspense/sci fi author, and lent me a few of his paperbacks. I now own and have read practically everything Dean Koontz has written, and I can't name a book by him I didn't enjoy. In my opinion, his strength is more in how he begins (rather than ends) a story, capturing the reader quickly & completely with vivid descriptions of people and events that put you in the midst of the action. Koontz does come on strong with "Good vs. Evil" in many endings, but this doesn't alter my ranking of him as #1 in his genre. And of the few dozen Koontz books, "Lightning" may be the best story of all. I'm not the type who rereads books, but with his "Lightning" novel, every few years I feel the urge to read it again....if only I could find it in hardcover.
just_b_n_real More than 1 year ago
My all time favorite book. Have read this story twice, and will read it again. It's that good. Interesting characters, great plot twists, must read to the end. Also recommend dean Koontz's cold fire. It's a close second.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read this book many years ago and was instantly enthralled with it. A unique take on time travel that was refreshing. A good read and reread.
mollieme More than 1 year ago
It took me a few tries to get into this book, but once you read it, it really sticks with you. I first read this book years ago, and several time over the years. It's one of my go to books when I need to read. Read it, I hope you like it. One of Koontz best books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read hundreds of books and this one is still in my top five. I could not put it down. I highly recommend this book. Not scary, but it is so thrilling. Set aside time because you may not be able to put it down. Enjoy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I haven't read many Koontz books, but so far from what I've read they've not been as good as I thought they would be. First I read the Taking, which I'll admit was interesting, but seemed to stall half way through. Next I read the Husband, which I liked a lot. I tried to read "In the Light of the Moon" after that, but found that after about 70 pages I was bored out of my mind, and I just couldn't find the spirit to finish it (And usually I don't mind boring reads). So after quitting that book I decided to give one of his older books a try. I heard great praise for this one, people called it his best. So naturally when I saw it for a dollar at a garage sale I picked it up. The first 200 pages were awesome. They told the tragic story of Lauras life, the characters were vivid and believable, and they were mysterious, you wanted to read on, you wanted to find out why the "angel" had picked Laura in the first place (BY THE WAY, SPOILER'S AHEAD!!!!!!!!)When Koontz described Lauras father you knew he was a kind loving man, when he wrote of the orphanage and the eel you were disgusted, you grew attached to the character. The height of the goodness of the book was when Laura married the awkward Danny, you could really sense love there, it was smart and clever. (AGAIN, SPOILERS!!!!) But when Danny died it all went down hill from there. Perhaps by the 250th page the book is nothing but shoot-outs and complicated time travel jargon from there on. As soon as Danny dies, Koontz seems to take the heart and wonder out of the story, turning it into nothing more but a shoot-out piece of fiction. And the secret to Laura and her importance with Stefan? Absolutely nothing, It turns out that Stefan is just a time traveler (from Nazi Germany of all places)who, when jaunted back in time, encountered Laura signing her books in a store, and fell in love. That was probably the biggest upset of the book itself, how Laura had no destiny (Unless you count as helping kill the nazis as destiny, which Stefan did the most of anyways.) In the first could hundred pages you feel like she's mystic, important in the future of the world, but really she wasn't. After the 200 pages it all turns into a big overwinded bore-fest, and I never thought a shoot out could be boring, but Koontz makes it that way. What I've found with the other books by him which I've read (which isn't enough to givve up on him entirely) is that he can very easily get bogged down in the details, instead of keeping it simple, he tells everything, the type of plants at the sight, the temperature, everything (By the end of this book I was so tired of hearing about plants and the desert). Instead of concentrating on the story alone, Koontz seems to try and squeeze every little detail out of everything, in the end the action is very minimal, but is described in way to much detail. The thoughtfullness and care for the characters were totally abandoned after the infamous apex of the book. Characters that I used to like seemed cardboard to me. The whole time travel thing seemed worn out, and the loopwholes in his explanation of it were huge (That of course is common in all time travel literature, but was ridiculous in this particular case). But there were good things about the book, besides the first two hundred pages (after the overblown action sequence occupying most of the middle) the rest of the book wasn't terrible. The last thirty pages are okay, the ending is a happy one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Lightning is an unbelievably good book! I couldn't believe how fast I read that one. I stayed up well into the morning to keep on reading, and I have to say that Lightning is definitely one of the better Dean Koontz books--even though each and every one of them are out of this world.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been an avid fan of Koontz for the past few months when my mom introduced Lightning. At first, I couldn't wait to toss it by looking at the back, but once I got into the book, it wasn't one I could put down. I took it to school with me as much as I could, and got caught several times reading it. I stayed up late hours with a flashlight reading it, and got in trouble. When I finished it, I couldn't wait to move onto the next Koontz book. I have read his others, and they would also recieve some of the top scores. Keep up the good work Dean Koontz!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Lightening Is a sci-fi thriller that is one for the record books. It is the story of a German scientist in WWII, who has, along with his comrades, perfected time travel. So he and several others make many jaunts into the future, to see who will win the war. Stefan, however, is a traitor. He hates Hitler with a passion. On one of his travels, he sees a crippled author. So he begins to make several jaunts into her past, so that he can save her. Soon, he is discovered. SS man are sent after the girl and Stefan. This is a great book that combines thrills with suspense. The plot is thick, and secritive. By the end of the book, you fell like you personally know the characters. I would recommend this book to all sci-fi and thriller readers. This is one of Koontz's best books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read! Hello my interest right to the end. Liked the commentary at the end as well. Not everyone wants cookie cutter series books. Watchers was my favorite but this was as good on a different level. Keep on doing it your way.
Mahuenga More than 1 year ago
I only read this book because a friend told me to. I am not a reader or horror fiction, but Koontz departs from his genre on this one. It is one of the best books I have ever read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a great book. I’ve always enjoy Dean Koontz books.
Daniel.Estes on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Laura Shane has a guardian angel, and this man's appearance seems to coincide with bone-chilling lightning storms. Of course, it's not coincidental because Laura's protector is a time-traveler.I consider this story to be one of the more unique takes on the time-travel genre. Time-travel plots by nature are constrained by finely-explained science fiction rules lest the author leave too many gaping plot holes. Lightning by Dean Koontz introduced a new perspective of time travel for me, and although many criticized the story's need for continual explanation, I relished the dialogued because these are the same discussions I have with my friends on occasion.Additionally, Laura Shane's life is one full of tragedy in spite of her guardian angel's efforts. The book has overtones of helplessness against fate and of living with the sorrows one faces. I found these bits of wisdom relevant in my own life.
busyreadin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a reread of one of my favorite Koontz books. It is the story of Laura Shane and the "guardian" that appears out of the blue when she most needs him.
revslick on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you're looking for the mystical, funny, always good for a quick escape from reality writer known as Dean Koontz, do not look for him in this novel. Found here is a writer that returns to his roots (those which lie at the surface still struggling to learn how to craft a novel). Extremely, predictable and B or C rated .... like a bad indie scifi film. mystery science 3000 -- take me away!
nakisisa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It has been years since I read this but I remember it as being a great and inovative story. I still talk about it, and would list it among my favorite books.
anwulf on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Do mine eyes deceive me? A Dean Koontz novel in trade paperback? Happy birthday to me!
marcelrochester on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Time Traveler¿s Wife-esque plot. This was one of those Koontz books in which it would have been better if he didn¿t give balanced points of view; I don¿t think any of the scenes from the villain¿s POV were necessary. Some of Stefan¿s were unneeded. Second half is a pretty standard chase thriller, with some boring paradox talk, meta self-indulgence and stock characters. Second quarter has a bit of a dip into that territory, but is relatively readable and there isn¿t a forced rushed pace. First quarter is the most real and interesting, with character development and genuinely felt emotion. Laura¿s also the most likable and relatable in the first quarter.
TooBusyReading on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read Lightning, one of Mr. Koontz's earlier works, as part of a group read, the March 2010 selection. It is hard to say much about the plot without giving away too much. Laura, throughout her life, seems to have a guardian angel, someone who pops up when she is in serious trouble and saves her. But bad things still happen to her ¿ is he just a second-rate angel or what?My reviews of Koontz's novels are as formulaic as some of his writing, and this one is not going to be an exception. I enjoyed reading the book and especially enjoyed the Ruth and Thelma characters. This one had the usual good vs. evil but no mind-altering dog encounters. There were animals in the story but we didn't get to know them, probably for the best. For my taste, the book was a little too long for the story it was telling, too many encounters that were too similar and I sometimes felt like I was being bludgeoned with the whole good v evil thing. Despite some shortcomings, it is an entertaining read.
slarsoncollins on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this one a while ago. I don't remember much about the plot line, just that I enjoyed the read.
jayne_charles on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Average to good story from Dean Koontz. The time-travelling storyline heads in an unexpected direction, top marks for that, though I found some of the time traveller's actions late on in the story (trying to avoid spoilers here) a bit daft to say the least. And the paradox thing left me a bit cold.
ShaneTierney on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
For the genre, it's a five star book. The best of the dozen or so Koontz I've read.