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Lightning

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4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  36,664 ratings  ·  1,227 reviews
A bolt of lightning brings a blond-haired stranger into Laura Shane's life. But is he the guardian angel he seems? The devil in disguise? Or the master of a haunting destiny beyond time and space?
Paperback, 384 pages
Published September 2nd 2003 by Berkley (first published January 1st 1988)
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Watchers by Dean KoontzOdd Thomas by Dean KoontzIntensity by Dean KoontzLightning by Dean KoontzLife Expectancy by Dean Koontz
Best Dean Koontz Books
4th out of 69 books — 677 voters
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey NiffeneggerOutlander by Diana GabaldonThe Time Machine by H.G. WellsTimeline by Michael CrichtonSlaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Best Time Travel Fiction
31st out of 978 books — 3,139 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jamie
This novel is a combination of science fiction (time travel) and suspense, and the result is a book I was not be able to put down.

The story focused around Laura Shane. Starting from birth and to adulthood (around 30 I believe). The other main character is Stefan. A unknown “guardian” who keeps appearing throughout her life to save her. Both are well thought-out and well-written characters. Another character I liked in the story was Thelma (Laura’s childhood friend).

Laura goes through early lif...more
Ciarán West
Why don't you read Dean Koontz? You probably have an answer. Mine was something like 'Jesus Christ this guy writes about forty books a year, and they all seem a bit rubbish.' I, like everyone else, first came across his novels because they were next to the Stephen King books in the library. Clever marketing, even if it is quite accidental. There were books with evil clowns on the front, books with scary kids on the front. It all seemed a bit Fiction-by-numbers to me, so I never picked any of his...more
Casey
I used to be a die-hard Koontz fan; I think some of his books in the past five years have fallen off a bit, but Lightning remains in my top ten. I still have my tattered copy, and look forward to reading it for the third time in the future. Like some of his other books (particularly Intensity), Koontz has created a strong lead character and a complex but easy to follow plot. There are Nazis. There's time travel. There are big guns. It may sound like a weird mix, but it works beautifully. I'm not...more
Jane Stewart
What a great story! I thought about it frequently afterwards.

At times it was a roller coaster ride, frightening, intense, and I didn’t want to stop reading until I got through the current crisis. The main story is Laura’s life from birth to adulthood. A strange man appears at critical times in her life to save her from disaster. Laura is not a wimp. She does smart things. This is one of the few books where I don’t want to say much about the story. It is sooo much better not to know. There is sus...more
Nicole
Feb 01, 2008 Nicole rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
I absolutely love this book and remembered how much when I recently read it for the second time. Now, Dean Koontz can write some weird, if not, scary books, but this one was really good. Ultimately, it's a love story that crosses time barriers between the Nazi Germany era and present day. It spans the lifetime of a woman from her birth til she's about in her 30s and makes you see how people's lives can end up completely different just by the actions of one other person. It's a great read and I'd...more
Alejandro
This was the third novel that I read by Dean Koontz, still at that time, I read the book in a Spanish translated version since I was still in the process to be able to read on English. This is another great novel of Dean Koontz that merges a lot of genres, not only horror / thriller that it's what you expect when reading a Koontz's book, but also fascinating concepts of science fiction, along with elements of military, espionage and romance too. The story shows the life of Laura Shane, since she...more
Michele
I adore this book. It is one of my all time favorites. I can't really explain without giving things away, but this was my first Koontz book and it just grabbed hold of me.

I love most of Koontz' work, despite the fact that he has about 3 or 4 formulas that his work fits into, they still entertain me and they are books I can't put down once I start them.
Mike (the Paladin)
I gave it 3 stars, maybe should be 3.5. My wife really liked this book, I thought it pretty good, somewhat enjoyable. Time travel, reformed Nazi...will anyone save the day. That would be a spoiler. Like I said, not bad. I dropped it to 3 because I usually give a 4 to better books...hard to explain huh?

There are some odd moments and a few "duh" moments. There are some questionable decisions by the characters but all in all not a bad book. I'm not sure why some get get very involved (as my wife di...more
Barks & Bites
I originally read this way back when it was released and I was still a teen but have held on to it ever since. I'm going to finally set it free but will reread it first to see what I think now that I'm a wee bit older ;)

Comments on the reread:
As is typical of many of Koontz novels, this one starts out with mysterious men conducting experiments of a nefarious nature. A baby named Laura is born, her mother dies in childbirth and she's raised by her loving dad and watched over by a mysterious "guar...more
Jean-marcel
I'll be brief, and I'll probably never say anything about this writer on Goodreads again. I read a number of his books over a period of about three years, starting with this one, when I was about eleven. I loved it then, and I suppose if I was forced into a position of recommending Dean Koontz to anyone, I would suggest that they read Lightning. You could almost say, "Time Travelling Nazis!", and leave it at that. The plot basically seems to run itself and everything just sort of flies along bre...more
Maciek
I heard much good about "Lightning"; so when I spotted an used hardcover I bought it immediately and began to read.
It didn't meet my expectation though. I propably would have loved it ten years ago, but now? Not much.

Lightning made me think about the Koontz phenomenon. He has been a bestselling writer since the mid 80's, around the publication of this book he gained real popularity. Which is interesting, because the reader can easily see the glaring problems in his fiction - mostly it's his bad,...more
Jason (RawBlurb)
still sick.. bear with me if my grammar and such sucks today…

on a recent trip to california for a wedding, jenn and i decided to spend the whole trip not talking to each other. no no no, it wasnt because of bad stuff, it was because audiobook goodness was going to make the long car drive easier.

12+ hours of audio, the unabridged audiobook of Dean Koontz “Lightning”.

Lightning is the story of a woman, Shane, who’s destiny is altered repeatedly by a stranger. at key points of her life a pale strang...more
Angela S.
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 Germa...more
Nathan
Oct 03, 2007 Nathan rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Disillusioned Stephen King fans.
Shelves: fiction
Dean Koontz's Lightning is one of the first "adult" books I remember reading. It was certainly the first adult novel I read for leisure. This book came to me when I was, as a child, graduating from juvenile fiction on to something more substantial. It is the first such book I remember reading that wasn't assigned for school, and as such, it has a special place in my memory as a book that helped kick off my life-long love affair with reading. The story centers around time travel and one man's des...more
Tom Nittoli
If you ask me in years to come which Dean Koontz book featured a half-assed time traveling segment, mixed with a heartfelt appearance from Winston Churchill, several dimensions, and Nazi's.... I'd probably tell you my brain hurts trying to recall. As I continue to plummet into my own demise of reading every D.K. book in chronological order, which manifested upon realization that over the years a younger more ambitious version of myself, took it upon himself to collect ALL the author's books, wit...more
Amy
How did I miss this one? I thought that I had read everything by Dean Koontz (some more than once) and I stumble upon Lightning, copywrited 1988.

Scientific advances that we have only dreamed of exist within the pages of lightning, as is so true in many of Koontz' books. His characters are ordinary people, put in extraordinary circumstances, and evolve into extraordinary people. His characters are so relatable - they could so easily be one of your friends, or neighbors, or even you. That's the dr...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
Apr 19, 2010 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads) rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads) by: Lacy
This was a fantastic book. I read it because my sister raved about it. She was right. Never thought I'd think of a Nazi guy as a hero. But, Koontz managed to get me to feel sympathetic towards a Nazi, of all things. Loved the concept of time-travel and the romantic element. My second favorite Koontz book.
Netanella
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cheryl
I went to the library a couple of days ago in search of something new and came across this. I don't normally read thrillers, but I did read this book 25 years ago and remember that I enjoyed it. I thought that I'd found the best of both worlds... a book I knew I would like, but couldn't remember at all.

I thought the story was not only well written, but exciting. I won't go into the plot because trying to figure out what's happening is part of the fun of reading it. It was a thriller so it had it...more
Kim
When I was like 13 or 14, I thought this was the greatest book ever, and I devoured every Dean Koontz book that wasn't stamped with an "A" for Adult at the library. But recently I have read (or started to read) newer Koontz books and have found them incredibly disappointing. So I decided to go back to this one, just to see if Koontz suddenly became a terrible writer or if I just had terrible taste back then. I'm not sure if either of those are completely true, but I guess the second one is a lit...more
Frank
This was my first exposure to Dean Koontz and one I still like best of all his writings, as I read it a second time. Maybe it is the idea that someone is watching over us and suddenly shows up to help us in a tough situation that makes it so appealing. It you want to feel a warm fuzzy feeling even if during a suspenseful read, this I think is the one that will give you that (maybe the second read of Lightning is even better than the first). Granted it is not clear if this strange appearance of s...more
Sean Lockley
Forgive me for waxing paradoxical, but Lighting walks a tightrope between compellingly mundane and mundanely compelling, falling often on either side.

Koontz has a gift for lightweight, readable prose, so even when he spends far too much time on less exciting details, the pages flip by quickly until you're back into the meat of the plot. Unfortunately, the most believable aspect of Lightning's plot is the scientifically hazy, yet still ludicrous time travel. Be prepared to turn on your suspension...more
S.E.
I adore this book. It knocked my socks off and I've read it at least four times. It follows the story of a man from Nazi Germany working on technology called "The Lightning Road." A very well hidden secret, the road is used to travel into the future and discover the outcome of WWII and try to orchestrate circumstances for a Nazi victory.

This man, during one of his journeys, sees a woman at a book signing event and he is overcome by the strength she has shown in the midst of a life of adversity....more
Tammy K.
Two stars for it was "ok".
I read this book because it was the BOTM for the Pro-Active Destruction.
I have read reviews stating that this was a five star - one of Mr Koontz best works. I guess that just show that we all have a different idea of what makes up a five stars book.
The characters are cookie cutter flat.
The plot is also cookie cutter flat.
The twists are predictable and frankly not that exciting.
The only reason that I found this read enjoyable was because of the book discussion, which w...more
Jennifer
Every time I read a book by Dean Koontz, I have an expectation of grandeur for some reason and I always wind up disappointed. Maybe it's his long-windedness or the fact that his books are so out there that when I finally come to the point where the reader is going to find out how everything ties together, he throws in something ridiculous like time travel or a "hole" in the universe. Give me a break!! Make it more realistic! I know he's probably trying to make his novels "different" from every o...more
Cheyenne Blue
Well, I finished it.

I finished it because a friend had lent it to me (it is one of her favourite books) and she was hoping I would enjoy it too (sorry), and I finished it because although I didn't care much about the characters, I still wanted to know what happened.

My main gripe is that the writing was very, very dull. Too much tell, no show. Too much detail on unimportant things (the interior of Thelma's Palm Springs house) while dramatic moments were related in the flat tone of a news snippet....more
Donna Galanti
This is one of my favorite Dean Koontz books. I was drawn into the MC right away and her tormented savior. I read in one sitting. A book you want to keep turning the page. Some parts drift off in too much detail, scientific dialogue but its necessary for the premise to work. The son seems amazingly astute for his age as well, so a stretch - but the rest works so you want to believe. You can't anticipate what may happen next in every scene but you hope for the end to be full of hope - and it is....more
Andrew
This is another one of those early Koontz that I cannot resist reading again and again - strange really since at its heart the storyline is pretty straight forward - yes the premise is straight forward (with a few twists) but the real revelation comes towards the end of the book - don't worry I will not break my rule of giving things away - I am not that good a reviewer and I am sure there are others who have far more interesting reviews on that. suffice to say that the story for all its predict...more
Wanda Hartzenberg
Lightning by Dean Koontz

I read this book when I was a teenager and it made a massive impression on my mind.
So when I got this on audio was in turn excited and nervous to revisit my old friend.
As a teenager this story had me glued to the page and as it turned out as an adult it again kept me glued.
The narrator in this book was amazing. The man is a pure genius. From the voice of an 8 year old girl to a Nazi spy to an 8 year old boy this narrator had an amazing range.

Now as an adult I loved th...more
Trudi
While I don't read him anymore, I read a lot of Dean Koontz in my late teens/early twenties, and this had to be one of my favorites. Loved the time-travel angle. Koontz offers a unique and thoroughly engaging spin. For a rip-roaring yarn, you can't do much better than this one.
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Why did Stefan have to end up with Laura? 19 91 Sep 11, 2014 06:06AM  
Pro-Active Destru...: Completed - Lightning by Dean Koontz 120 11 Aug 08, 2014 06:11AM  
The question is: why? 9 53 May 01, 2014 07:39PM  
Action/Adventure ...: November Random Group Read: Lightning by Dean Koontz *Spoilers* 15 30 Nov 26, 2013 05:27AM  
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9355
Acknowledged as "America's most popular suspense novelist" (Rolling Stone) and as one of today's most celebrated and successful writers, Dean Ray Koontz has earned the devotion of millions of readers around the world and the praise of critics everywhere for tales of character, mystery, and adventure that strike to the core of what it means to be human.

Dean R. Koontz has also published under the na...more
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