• The Big Dark Sky

  • By: Dean Koontz
  • Narrated by: Fajer Al-Kaisi
  • Length: 12 hrs and 11 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (616 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A group of strangers bound by terrifying synchronicity becomes humankind’s hope of survival in an exhilarating, twist-filled novel by Dean Koontz, the #1 New York Times bestselling master of suspense.

As a girl, Joanna Chase thrived on Rustling Willows Ranch in Montana until tragedy upended her life. Now thirty-four and living in Santa Fe with only misty memories of the past, she begins to receive pleas—by phone, through her TV, in her dreams: I am in a dark place, Jojo. Please come and help me. Heeding the disturbing appeals, Joanna is compelled to return to Montana, and to a strange childhood companion she had long forgotten.

She isn’t the only one drawn to the Montana farmstead. People from all walks of life have converged at the remote ranch. They are haunted, on the run, obsessed, and seeking answers to the same omniscient danger Joanna came to confront. All the while, on the outskirts of Rustling Willows, a madman lurks with a vision to save the future. Mass murder is the only way to see his frightening manifesto come to pass.

Through a bizarre twist of seemingly coincidental circumstances, a band of strangers now find themselves under Montana’s big dark sky. Their lives entwined, they face an encroaching horror. Unless they can defeat this threat, it will spell the end for humanity.

©2022 The Koontz Living Trust. (P)2022 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

“A nonstop actioner with cosmic overtones painted in consistently broad strokes.”Kirkus Reviews

“Another A-plus thriller from a writer on a serious winning streak.”Booklist (starred review) 

“A twisty, mystifying, suspenseful, expansive and, ultimately, entertaining read.”—CultureFly 

What listeners say about The Big Dark Sky

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

All the ’Koontsian’ elements are there but…….

I absolutely adore the mature DK’s writing. The kindness. The humor. The sense of serving something larger than ourselves. The sympathetic portrayal of people with disabilities. The dogs (which only get an offstage mention in this story unfortunately). The emphasis on character, inner strength and sacrifice. All beautiful things to build up his readers. All those things are here but they’re rather brief and disjointed until the very last hour or two.

What it feels like to me, and I have no proof whatsoever, is that perhaps a book or short story from DK’s earlier career has been dusted off, “punched up”, and polished to more closely match his current writing style and philosophies. Its good, but not on par with most of his books from the last couple decades.

To add insult to injury, the narrator isn’t able to raise the book beyond it’s “just good” level. There are more than a few cringeworthy mispronunciations, and inappropriate pauses between words that belong together to form coherent description. To help you understand, this is the kind of thing I mean. “They walked through a field of blue. Bells that carpeted the meadow.” It should be read: “They walked through a field of bluebells that carpeted the meadow.” Do you see?

I can hear the natural talent the narrator has and I think he’ll have a great career. He just isn’t seasoned enough or capable of covering the story’s warts as the best performers can.

All that said, the book is about a 3.5 and the narration a 3. I pre-ordered the audiobook with a credit but knowing what I do now I’d probably wait for a decent sale and pay cash.

9 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Sorry, but I think TBDS should be a YA book

There are some reviews I hate to write; this is one of them. I *like* Dean Koontz. I've read most of his novels. I respect and appreciate his code of ethics, share his love of animals *and* some of the early experiences that shaped his outlook. I've been looking forward to this book for months.. perhaps I should have read it, idk.. there are SO many characters, it feels as if none are really deeply knowable. This is Psychological, yes. Supernatural? Yeah, I guess.. maybe. As an adult, the plot seems incredibly simplistic to me. The narration was uninspiring (imo). Others may feel differently. As I've said: reading this rather than listening to this may change the experience, however, synchronicity and Jung are old stuff to me - for YA, this is good teachable material. In general, I found this to be a very difficult listen: the story seemed simultaneously "all over the place" and far too in-your-face obvious.
2 star book, 2.5 star narration.

4 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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BORING / EXCESS VERBAGE

First off, I'm a big fan of Koontz's older works. I often recommend the Odd Thomas and Frankenstein series. I am currently slogging through the Jane Hawk series, book 5 even though it is getting repetitious.

I was excited when I saw this new book and pre-ordered it even. The first chapters? WOW...he gets your attention, I mean like the first 15 minutes of the book and you are into the story.

I'm stopping on chapter 21 however. I guess he felt like he needed to give readers/listeners their money's worth with a lot of words and boring details. Pretty sure all these little vignettes will come together. Someone please let me know how it ends.

I swear, it's like watching a boring baseball or soccer game..... you wait and wait for something to happen and once it does, there you set once again waiting for something else to hopefully happen. Once I realized I was not paying attention to the book I quit.

I wasn't a fan of the narrator either. Almost robotic like, very little emotion. Sound quality wasn't top notch either.

I'm pretty much done with the new Koontz stuff. God help us if this is yet another series, which seems to be the norm now. Too many good books out there to waste my time here. This one gets the old R E T U R N!

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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First Koontz book!

I had high hopes for this book after reading the reviews of their other work! It did not disappoint! Fajer (narrator) was really great too!

3 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Not Good

It's rare that I come across a Koontz book I don't like at least a little. This is one unfortunately.

Narrator was alright, but not great. Bad at doing women's voices.

Story was boring, hard to follow, and had a pretty weak ending. Characters weren't interesting at all really.

Disappointed.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Fair to Middling ~ Worth the Listen

Fascinating story peopled with many interesting characters that I quickly cared about. It just seems like Koontz perhaps took the easy/simple way out on the ending. I was expecting a more unique ending that better incorporated the "theme" of this book. (The Jane Hawk "cameo" was sort of surreal.)

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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What not to love?

Every book written by this author I have loved his plots and characters. My expectations have been fulfilled in The Big Dark Sky, and as usually happens, I have come away with quite a few things to think about.

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Am done with Koontz

This book was all over the place, struggled to just finish,I kept hoping it would get better..Definitely miss The Koontz of old,Odd Thomas ,The Watcher..even newer,Jane Hawk, and The Nameless series…but Other Emily and others have left me scratching my head,..will be returning this one.

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Excellent

Captivating and riveting story! A true mystery that was compelling and exciting! Was very hard to put the book down, so to speak. Highly recommend this title

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Not good!

Very disappointed in the storyline and very annoyed with the narrator! The narrator's voice would drop so far down at the end of some sentences so you can't hear what was being said. His monotone delivery made me want to fall asleep which is not the thing to do while driving. I am a fan of most Dean Koontz books, but not this one!

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  • Jacqueline
  • 08-07-22

if I could give zero stars I would

Dreadful. I've wasted an hour of my life listening to this drivel. The characters are not engaging, the "story" is so slow that it it might as well be stood still. I'm sure the narrator did his best but boring is ... Boring.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • MR M MCLOUGHLIN
  • 07-30-22

All over the place.

Maybe it’s just me but I really struggled to follow what was going on here. Felt like it was all over the place, enjoyed the narration though.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Loretta.
  • 07-26-22

The Big Dark Sky by Dean Koontz

Thank you Dean Another amazing book you did not disappoint THANK YOU Again Dean Koontz

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Katie
  • Katie
  • 07-26-22

Good Story

Whilst a good storyline, it was hard to hear - the narrator’s voice volume went up and down like a roller coaster. So it felt like he was yelling and then whispering on almost every sentence.
My advise - don’t listen while driving. The noise of your car will drown out the “whispering” or your ears will be exploding if you turn it up to hear it all.