• The Big Dark Sky

  • By: Dean Koontz
  • Narrated by: Fajer Al-Kaisi
  • Length: 12 hrs and 11 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (2,020 ratings)

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The Big Dark Sky  By  cover art

The Big Dark Sky

By: Dean Koontz
Narrated by: Fajer Al-Kaisi
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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

“Iraqi-Canadian actor Fajer Al-Kaisi narrates this twisted horror story set under Montana's big, dark sky.… With his emphatic voice, Al-Kaisi's narration keeps listeners engaged as he takes them through one bizarre event after another. His intelligent and perfectly timed performance makes for believable heroes and frightening villains.” (AudioFile Magazine)

“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)

What listeners say about The Big Dark Sky

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    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.

15 people found this helpful

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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.

8 people found this helpful

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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!

6 people found this helpful

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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.

4 people found this helpful

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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!

4 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Worst narrator ever!

This was my first and last audible book purchase. This narrator ruined audiobooks for me forever! (And maybe even turned me off of Koontz). This is my least favorite Koontz book and I’m a longtime fan. The story just doesn’t flow like an authentic koontz, instead of organically emerging it was more like he was forcing it into existence. Then there’s the horrible, awful narration! OMG this guy is awful! His regular narrative voice is bad enough (pompous, overacted) but his character voices are like verbal caricatures, especially the women! It almost sounds as if he’s mocking them. Like I think this guys might actually hate women. And the overblown accents! Lordy are they southern? British? Aliens? The only authentic sounding accent is the Indian dude. I was kind of impressed that he didn’t overdo this one until I saw the narrator’s name.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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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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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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    4 out of 5 stars
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a great story

I have loved Dean for 30 years. But sadly he is joining the world and using foul language in this book. please stop Dean

1 person found this helpful

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The worst book from From Dane Krutz yet

I was really disappointed in this Book I will probably do more research on his future ones

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-04-22

Worst Koontz book ever

This is definitely the worst Koontz Book I have read and I’m a big fan of him. The story is not interesting at all the characters are too many and too bland. The story does not seem to have any purpose …we jump from character to character without any forward motion and you wait desperately for something to happen and nothing really does. The ending is so anticlimax that I regret spending the time on this book and using a credit on it. I have read almost all of Koontz books So in the next book he better step up otherwise he will lose a faithful reader.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Chris
  • 11-16-22

Fantastic

Been waiting for this to be released and wasn't disappointed. would recommend to anyone!

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Chris F
  • 11-06-22

Begins well, but descends into melodramatic farce

I very much enjoyed the first few chapters, but as the "story" progressed, it became both less believable and more predictable. By the end, it was more a collection of non sensical clichés than a coherent plot.

The narration also became more frenetic. Add to this constant mispronunciation of some words and it became as irritating as the story was hackneyed.

"Aunt" being pronounced "ont" and "sacristy" with a weirdly French/Spanish inflection are two examples, but the overly dramatic and increasingly exaggerated voicing of one particular character had me physically cringing.

Such a shame for a novel with such promise.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jo Bird
  • 10-30-22

Koontz at his best

A disturbing and complex web of characters drawn together to face an at first unknown entity. Excellent story and narration.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr. David M. Frith
  • 09-06-22

no fury like a women scorned

a cracking story with plenty of plot twists and turns, well read but beware a female AI can be even more twisted if scorned

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 08-31-22

What we expect from Dean Koontz

Good wins over evil with likable characters just missing the clever dog to finish the plot

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Kennster
  • 08-26-22

Great narrator but the book was not the best.

I love Dean Koontz books and have read them all.
Sadly I was massively disappointed with this one. Seemed disjointed and was honestly difficult to finish.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • W. Fox
  • 08-18-22

First book I couldn't finish

Really disappointed with this book. Characters jumbling around, poor continuity, feels like there are multiple story lines, cannot make any connection. Narration is the only good thing about it. Found myself just hearing this as noise in the background rather than being immersed in the story. I've made it maybe halfway through and I could probably only pick out two things that I can remember. Cannot bear to continue with it. Sorry to say this is not the normal Koontz standard.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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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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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Raul Godinez
  • 08-10-22

Reader makes it soooo bad!

Great author. Story above average but the narrator is horrible!! when he starts to talk like jimmy 2 eyes omg. It is so cringe. His female voices are so bad and his attempt at a Latin accent is cringe. The recording is all over the place. Loud then very quiet.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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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

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • 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.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Geoff McDonald
  • 11-15-22

not one of my favourites

I am a fan of Koontz but in this book it never really hooked me. It was okay.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-16-22

99.9% awesome! Finishes like a B movie.

Absolutely loved the story almost to the last chapter.

Rich vibrant characters, fascinating mystery, and interesting snippets of technology.

Then Dean appeared to get bored, or tired, and wound up a potential books worth of story in a few paragraphs.

No answers.
Just a cobbled together ending with a B movie twist.

Why would an author of this quality resort to such a cheap ending? Why throw it all away after building such a rich, deep and fascinating story filled with unforgettable characters?

The change at the end of the book was so profound, I struggled to tell people apart.

I fear for Dean. I hope they recover from whatever must have happened in their life.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-31-22

Not one of his best stories

Found myself struggling to stay tuned in with this story, it was a little disappointing.