Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Sole Survivor” as Want to Read:
Sole Survivor
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Sole Survivor

by
3.77  ·  Rating details ·  23,294 Ratings  ·  583 Reviews
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Dean Koontz's Odd Apocalypse.

A catastrophic, unexplainable plane crash leaves three hundred and thirty dead -- no survivors. Among the victims are the wife and two daughters of Joe Carpenter, a Los Angeles Post crime reporter.

A year after the crash, still gripped by an almost paralyzing grief, Joe encounters a woman named Rose,
...more
Kindle Edition, 416 pages
Published (first published January 1st 1997)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Sole Survivor, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

James Lankford I'm struggling to get through it. It has been very slow for me - almost too much detail in trying to explain things. Kind of like using a gallon of…moreI'm struggling to get through it. It has been very slow for me - almost too much detail in trying to explain things. Kind of like using a gallon of words to express a spoonful of thought. I've considered abandoning it, but I've decided to stick with it.(less)
Christopher no there isnt any sex scenes in this book.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Phrynne
Jul 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Classic Dean Koontz. A good story, some gruesome bits, lots of action and a touch of the paranormal. An undemanding and thoroughly enjoyable read.
Quentin Wallace
Oct 21, 2015 rated it liked it
This book to me was a mixed bag. On one hand, it was a pretty cool story, and the action near the end was very suspenseful and engaging. However, I also think the book could have been shorter and been much better. I find many books have an issue of just being too long which causes the story to drag. Perhaps it's just me, I'm not sure.

This story was very emotional and was a character study as well as a suspense story. I will admit I had guessed at least part of the big reveal, although not exactl
...more
Hyejung
Mar 10, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: deankoontz
This is the worst of his books that I have read so far. As with most of his books, there is an interesting concept - cloning. However, the story, itself, was drab. I thought the main character was annoying and dumb. Of course, I understand his desire to find the daughter he thinks is alive, but the way he acted really frustrated me and I never really felt any sympathy for him except in the beginning when I didn't know his character well enough. I could actually say that I almost skimmed this who ...more
Patrick Kiernan
I read this book as part of a group read with Koontzland for the month of May 2017. This was an emotional rollercoaster, it was an insight into a grieving father's healing process and it also has a little bit of The firestarter by Stephen King.
Matthew
A bit of Firestarter by Stephen King. A bit of Runner by Patrick Lee. A tragic plane accident turns into something so much more. Koontz takes you on a bizarre spiritual adventure questioning our mortality, destiny, and how far some might go to keep that knowledge/power for themselves and use it for evil.

While this story is packed with action and conspiracy, it will most likely leave you asking a lot of "What if?" questions about life as well.
Cheri
Jan 26, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-attic
I certainly wasn't expecting this to turn into a preachy bs book.

Oh well.
Dustin Crazy little brown owl
I really like this book. It brings to mind elements from Watchers, False Memory, The Eyes of Darkness, Fear Nothing, From the Corner of His Eye, The Silent Corner and Stephen King's Firestarter. A story of loss and hope, with glimpses of alternate realities.

While Sole Survivor doesn't make it into my personal top ten favorite Dean Koontz books, I find it a fine achievement and a beautiful work.

Favorite Passages:

Out of the thin blood-filtered light, into the hallway where a funerary stillness o
...more
Johnny
Nov 19, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chris
Oct 20, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Reviewed first at Brunner's Bookshelf

I have to say that I am not a huge Dean Koontz fan. My wife was with his earlier work but there came a point when his books just got really weird and our interest faded. I have some of his books that I really liked, Tick Tock and Life Expectancy to name a few. This was another book that kept popping up in my hunt for horro books for the R.I.P. challenge. I figured I would give it a try. Let's just say I was expecting a horror novel and this isn't.

The book is
...more
Steve Lee
Perhaps it is just me, but this book ultimately seemed to be little more than the preaching and proselytising of a religious fundamentalist. At one stage in the book, a prominent biologist even goes to lengths to condemn evolution in the manner that only a creationist lunatic would. It was almost like reading the AIG website or a Jehovah Witness Watchtower pamphlet.

I am currently reading another of his novels (The Taking) and find that this, too, is interjected with out-of-place statements and
...more
Michael Jensen
Sep 21, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up-on
Made it through 30% before I finally gave it up. I've only read a few Koontz books and wasn't impressed by what I did read. Sole Survivor only confirms that I'm not a Koontz fan.

You'd think it would be pretty difficult to make a man who lost his wife and two daughters in a plane crash unsympathetic, but Koontz makes it look easy. The first 20% of the book is the main character going on and on and on about he's suffering, miserable, angry, unable to ever move on, yadda yadda yadda. We get it. The
...more
Karen B.
Apr 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read, koontz, read-2017
Koontz has a nice blend of characterization and plot in this novel. We meet Joe Carpenter who has basically given up on life after the death of his family in a plane crash a year ago. He seems to have nothing to live for. Then he meets a strange woman at the graveside of his wife and daughters taking photos of the gravestones. Why? Then he finds that she is being chased and he is under being watched as well. Why again? The reporter in him is still alive as he becomes determined to find out what ...more
John
Dec 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, thriller
Definitely on the short list of Koontz's best work, SOLE SURVIVOR is a wildly entertaining thriller with surprisingly ambitious emotional and spiritual underpinnings. Not only does it contain one of the most powerful hooks I've ever come across, but, in between scenes of grisly murders and exciting chases, Koontz aims to teach readers a little something about life. For a suspense novel, however, it all feels a bit overwritten. Koontz tries to imbibe SOLE SURVIVOR with the trappings of "serious l ...more
Carrie Luciano
I was really enjoying this book. Koontz as usual can develop wonderful characters that you really care about. It moved at a break neck speed for much of the book but I thought it petered out and was somewhat anti climactic in like the last 20 pages.
Jenny Jo Weir
So...yeah about that.
Um, well...I'm not going to lie, this was a bit over my head. I mean, I think I get it but it was a tad out there and I might be a bit confused on a few things though I really liked the message in the end...at least I think I do.
Again, sorry but it left me wondering about a whole lot...and I didn't exactly like wondering what happens to the other party. Is it just me or is there a second book that gives answers? It seemed like the beginning of a series but I don't see any o
...more
Bark's Book Nonsense
Nov 04, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Joe Carpenter is a man paralyzed by grief and anger. On the one year anniversary of the plane crash that killed his beloved wife and daughters he visits their cemetery and spots a woman taking pictures of their grave marker. He approaches her and sets off a series of events that make him question if the death of his family and 300 others was the intentional work of officials attempting to cover up something that could possibly change mankind for all time. As he digs for the truth he witnesses an ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
I discovered once I got into this book that I remembered the movie based on it (very loosely based). My daughter tells me I actually tried to read it once before and laid it aside.

I can sort of see why.

For a long, long (long,long,long,long) time this book does try the patience. Our protagonist is in despair over the sudden loss of his family in a plane crash. The event is a year in the past but Joe Carpenter is still shattered.

And he tells us about it...he loses control, he creeps out strangers
...more
Ken Campbell
Aug 02, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book started well enough as a mystery novel. The main character was reasonably developed as a grieving father who was trying to uncover a conspiracy. The story moved effectively into a science fiction style, with the cloning of children who had special powers. Unfortunately, these two themes were abandoned near the end, and the book concluded with magic and existential concepts. None of the initial issues (the mystery and the children with special powers) were completed. It was a disappoint ...more
Jennifer Shevchik
Well my second Dean Koontz was not as good as my first experience.

I was disappointed with this story. I felt for the main character, however, I was just bored with the entire story. The ending was not what I was hoping it would be. Not only that but they didn't tie up any loose ends, it just ended. He takes the time to explain things that do not matter that much in great detail, but then doesn't wrap up the story. Blah.
Tara Kable
Aug 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dean-koontz
Fantastic book! Loved it!
Sarath Krishnan
Oct 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The sky is deep, the sky is dark.
The light of stars is so damn stark.
When I look up, I fill with fear.
If all we have is what lies here,
this lonely world, this troubled place,
then cold dead stars and empty space...
Well, I see no reason to persevere,
no reason to laugh or shed a tear,
no reason to sleep or ever to wake,
no promises to keep, and none to make.
And so at night I still raise my eyes
to study the clear but mysterious skies
that arch above us, as cold as stone.
Are you there, God? Are we alo
...more
Deyth Banger
Feb 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017
Notes:

February 15, 2017 –
90.0% "Reading shit sometimes have two paths once to get the best and once to get the worst the same is and for not reading shit...

...

You always get shit... .want it or not!"
February 15, 2017 –
90.0% "And the story has reached the end!"
February 15, 2017 –
90.0% "What you say... write when you read it sounds like shit... but reading somebody else stuff is another story."
February 15, 2017 –
90.0% "Memories we go back again and again and again... until get the result
...more
Jonathan
Oct 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: all
“Sole Survivor” is more of a mystery book than an action or horror novel. Koontz introduces you to Joe Carpenter, an investigative journalist who is trapped in despair after a commercial plane crash takes his wife and children. It is clear that something is being covered up, but neither you nor Joe have any idea what that is. The book is a roller coaster ride as Joe strives to reveal the facts. What is being covered up about his family’s deaths? Why does it appear that someone is still trying to ...more
Kellan Fabjance
I would have liked this book more when I was 15. I shouldn't be surprised anymore, when I read a Dean Koontz book, by the Christian undertones. I enjoyed his work more back when I didn't understand what to look for. Alas, that is not the case today.

I struggled to find a correct phrasing in order to describe this book without sounding mean or insensitive. The best that I could come up with is that this book is condescending in its Christianity. Now, I don't want people to think that my issues wi
...more
Bridgette Redman
There's a lot ot be said for expectations ruining a story. Dean Koontz' "Sole Survivor" might have been enjoyable if I'd been expecting a science fiction novel or a supernatural thriller.

Certainly, the writing was terse and the plot was fast-moving. But I wasn't expecting science fiction or supernatural fiction. This book was a selection of the month of the mystery book club and I was expecting a mystery novel. I had never read Koontz before, so my only expectation was that which was written up
...more
Rissy
Aug 14, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dean-r-koontz
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ed
May 05, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I've read quite a lot of Dean Koontz books, predominantly when I was a lot younger. After I had ran out of Stephen King and James Herbert books I picked up on Koontz and thoroughly enjoyed many of his novels. Midnight and Twilight Eyes are irrepressibly brilliant. Watchers, The Bad Place and Lightening quite superb also. Icebound a well crafted take on Alistair McLean's Ice Station Zebra.

Unfortunately Sole Survivor is none of these things. It doesn't start badly at all and although it develops s
...more
David jones
Jul 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dean-koontz
This book is good. I think that the plot was excelent, the characters were really well developed and the book, overall, was great. This is the first Koontz book I have actually completed, after having read half of dark rivers of the heart, and he is a fairly good writer. He is no Stephen King, but the book was real good. It took me by surprise several times. When the I read the back of it I thought it would be an action book, and it is, in a sense, though there is really not much action. It is m ...more
Natalie
Nov 11, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I can't quite put my finger on what turned me off to this book. I think it's probably how depressing most of it is. The main character has lost his wife and both his children in a plane crash. This horrible experience is even worse for him because of the fact that he lost all belief in God as a young man. For most of the book, we experience his adventures from the point of view of a grieving husband and father without the comfort of a knowledge of what comes after this life. The strange experien ...more
Nina
Dec 08, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A plane crashes and Joe Carpenter loses his wife and two daughters. He turns into a figurative zombie of pain and grief until he witnesses a shooting in the graveyard his family is buried in. After a strange woman, Rose, says something that questions everything he believed about the crash a year ago, he begins a dangerous journey with ruthless killers and unexplainable phenomenons to discover the truth.
The first two thirds of the novel was great, it had all the elements of a good thriller, but t
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Koontzland - Dean...: Sole Survivor (Group Read - May 2017) 30 23 May 29, 2017 10:34AM  
Stephen King Fans: Sole Survivor by Dean Koontz 72 89 Nov 02, 2015 08:18PM  
Koontzland - Dean...: Dedication to a competition winner 8 16 Apr 10, 2013 06:31PM  
Thriller 2 37 Dec 26, 2012 10:51AM  
The Bloody Book C...: SOLE SURVIVOR by Dean Koontz 6 8 Dec 30, 2011 08:44AM  
  • The Voice of the Night
  • The Fall of the Dream Machine / The Star Venturers (Ace Double, 22600)
  • Dragonfly
  • Dance with the Devil
  • Invasion
  • Fountain Society
  • Punish the Sinners
  • The Rip-Off
  • The Dean Koontz Companion
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
More about Dean Koontz...

Share This Book

“Human beings, however, were different from apples and oranges: The flavor of the peel did not reliably predict the taste of the pulp.” 8 likes
“He had tried to shed his pain, to rise from the ashes like a drab phoenix with no hope except the cold peace of indifference. Now that events forced him to open himself to the world again, he was swamped by emotion as a novice surfer was overwhelmed by each cresting wave.” 2 likes
More quotes…