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


4.07  ·  Rating details ·  51,486 ratings  ·  1,901 reviews
"A gripping novel" from the #1 New York Times bestselling author-now in trade paperback for the first time.

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 watch
Paperback, 400 pages
Published March 2nd 2010 by Berkley (first published 1988)
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 Lightning, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Andy If you enjoy time travel stories you should like lightning,it will also give you a good idea of what to expect from the author as his writing style…moreIf you enjoy time travel stories you should like lightning,it will also give you a good idea of what to expect from the author as his writing style has not changed much over the years and this was written in the 1980,s,his books are more like action suspense with horror overtones than outright horror(less)
Christopher Jones Don't know if this question has been answered for you but, yes an F bomb is dropped in the beginning by a junkie who is a pedophile.

It happens only…more
Don't know if this question has been answered for you but, yes an F bomb is dropped in the beginning by a junkie who is a pedophile.

It happens only once in the book that I can remember. (less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  51,486 ratings  ·  1,901 reviews

More filters
Sort order
LIGHTNING is one of my go to books. It is a book I read over and over again when I find myself in a reading slump...for a couple of reasons- 1) I have read it so many times- I don't have to concentrate very much to get through it again...and, 2) It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. Why? It has two of my book boyfriends in it. What is a book boyfriend you may ask???....Or may not ask- but I will tell you anyways...A book boyfriend is a character I fell in love with at some point in my life.

I have b
A shocking lightning!!!


This was the third novel that I read by Dean Koontz (back in 1992).

Still at that time (1992), 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, espi
Dec 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Ciarán West
Aug 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Edward Lorn
Jan 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of old Koontz and The Terminator School of Time Travel.
Recommended to Edward by: My younger self
This year, along with my King reread, I'm delving into my top 10 Koontz books again. (Probably Top 12, just so I have a book for every month, but I'm having trouble picking two more.) I have a theory about Dean Koontz, and it goes like this: He's only written ten stories in his career, and he's been rewriting them ever since. This one is structured an awful lot like From the Corner of His Eye and the absolutely terrible Life Expectancy, which is the only Koontz book I've ever given a single star ...more
Aug 06, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Karl Marberger
Slow at times, but some appealing dual sci-fi and historical fiction.
Jul 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've always been a big fan of Dean Koontz and this one did not disappoint. I like the premise of someone from Nazi Era Germany time traveling into the future to try to change destiny. A fun, fast-paced read.
Dec 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, re-read, html-href
December 2018 Group Read link - my second read
I notice a quote in my second read, “people envy you for being happy”.
Laura first saw Stefan, her guardian angel at her father’s burial. A type of survivor that exist, with strength being loved. At the McIiroy orphanage, she becomes happy & friends with Thelma & Ruth Ackerson. She is adopted, antagonizes her Foster parents to get back to the orphange. Her second Foster parents, she loves but... her mom has a heart attack. Back at the McI
Feb 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first read this book when I was maybe 11 or 12. It was my very first Koontz book and it kicked off a lifelong love of Koontz As My Favorite Author. For very close to 30 years!

On the night of Laura Shane's birth a man appears amidst an astonishing display of lightning and thunder. He holds her mother's doctor hostage so the drunkard is unable to get to the hospital to deliver Laura. At other key moments throughout Laura's life, when tragedy is about to strike and leave her damaged or dead, the
Jan 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dustin Crazy little brown owl
I love time travel! I think Lightning is among Dean's best. Although Lightning is not ranked as one of my top 5 favorite Dean Koontz books, the novel surely has a home among the top 10 :-) Lightning is a beautiful story about the power each of us has to influence history in some small way.

Lightning was written in 1988 when the Also by Dean R. Koontz list included only the following titles:

Of course, this was before Koontz revealed his hidden
Adam Light
Twenty years after the first reading of Lightning, I found it just as fun and gripping as it was back then. Was it dated? Um, yeah! But that was part of what made it so pleasant this time around. This is Koontz whn he still had some gas in the tank. Fast paced, witty, and uncluttered by tons of flowery prose, this is definitely a must for anyone who wonders what the big deal with Koontz was all about back in the eighties. Sorry, his last umpteen books have left me rolling my eyes and wondering j ...more
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,
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 very involved (as my wife did) a
Oct 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For a book that was released in 1988 it really has stood the test of time well. It's still super engaging and imaginative... like all Dean Koontz novels.
If you're reading Dean Koontz then you know to throw reality out the window and strap in for a roller coaster ride of thrills and suspense with great characters.
His books would be ridiculous if they didn't have the background and characters to back them up - what I mean is that his stories are fantastical but they feel real because the character
Nov 23, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, suspense
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
Great! The best I have read from Koontz so far!
Review of the audiobook narrated by Christopher Lane.

This was my second Koontz book and I had the same experience as the first (Intensity) where I found it enjoyable, but didn't quite love it. The book starts out at breakneck pace and Koontz's experience writing thrillers is evidenced by how tightly the book is written, with nothing extraneous being added which may slow things down. Interesting characters, some humor thrown in and an unexplained mystery keep things engaging throughout. I will sa
David Brian
Dec 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
As I've mentioned a few times recently, I took a lengthy hiatus from the writing of Dean Koontz. While never once doubting the man's ability to weave a fine picture with his words, nevertheless, with a plethora of stock characters and situations, it did at times become a bit tedious. And there were even a few novels that bordered on abysmal. Then along came 77 Shadow Street, and I found my interest in Dean Koontz's writing reignited.

So, now you know where I'm coming from, I'll begin: Lig
Jan 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dawn C
Mar 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: media-storytel
My mom who was never a fan of the supernatural or scifi, saw my interest in The X-Files and recommended me this book over 20 years ago. She will never know that I eventually did get around to reading it, but I’m so glad I did.

Lightning is an excellent thriller, the prose and pace and story gripping and tight and up there with Stephen King when he’s at his best. The characters are likeable and sympathetic and there’s a lot of humor in the dialog. He manages to write kids who are clever and funny
Tom Nittoli
Aug 16, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Vaso by: Christina
Shelves: e-books
The story begins in the '70s and we see a man visiting Laura's life from the day she was born. Sometimes, he interferes and helps her avoid tough situations. He vanishes for many years and when he appears again, they are involved in a gunfire and her husband dies. The story is well developed, with as much drama as needed.
It is the first book I read from this author and a good friend of mine, was rather surprised that I missed it.
Jan 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lightning has been on my to-read list for far too long.

Dean Koontz is one of my favourite authors, has been for quite some time. Despite enjoying all of his work, I’m of the firm belief that his older work is his better work. Lightning falls into this category, having been published in the eighties – a time I have dubbed ‘the period in which Koontz wrote his best work’. Over the last twelve or so months I have noticed his older work being released in paperback with new covers, and through this
Michael Gardner
I kinda feel the same way about this book as I do a budget cream doughnut. On the surface it looked delicious, but as I bit into it, I discovered it was all mock cream and sickly additives: a brief guilty pleasure followed by hours of indigestion and regret.

This is also the second book recommended to me by an old friend. The first was a DNF, so I thought I’d give him a second chance. Feel free to leave a comment if you think I should give him a third chance.

Lightning is a confused story that can
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
Apr 28, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Usually really enjoy time travel books (11/22/63 and Time and Again being two of my favourites) but this back to front time travel book (without giving the story away - people from the past appearing in the present) was just silly and completely unbelievable throughout. Trying too hard to be like a Stephen King book but was just a pale imitation and really dragged for me, so much so that I was tempted to give up at times. Seems like I am in a minority based on the ratings but don't think I'll be ...more
Debra Barstad
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was really good. I liked how the characters were developed and how the story flowed in dual timelines. It had hints of history in it and futuristic elements. I would recommend this book.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Eyes of Darkness
  • Blood Risk (Tucker Series, #1)
  • Dragonfly
  • The Dean Koontz Companion
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7)
  • Children of the Storm
  • Dark of the Woods/Soft Comes the Dragons
  • Shadows
  • Body Rides
See similar books…
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
“She was fascinated with words. To her, words were things of beauty, each like a magical powder or potion that could be combined with other words to create powerful spells.” 436 likes
“Envy, envy eats them alive. If you had money, they’d envy you that. But since you don’t, they envy you for having such a good, bright, loving daughter. They envy you for just being a happy man. They envy you for not envying them. One of the greatest sorrows of human existence is that some people aren’t happy merely to be alive but find their happiness only in the misery of others.” 82 likes
More quotes…