Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz

So after some experimenting I decided to go back to my old format of reviewing. Although I won't put the author and title because well, you can see them. :D Oh and extra thanks to Katherine from A Love for Literature for being my editor this week, because my brain couldn't.

Genre: Mystery/Horror
Reading Level: Ages 16 and up

Summary:“The dead don't talk. I don't know why.” But they do try to communicate, with a short-order cook in a small desert town serving as their reluctant confidant. Odd Thomas thinks of himself as an ordinary guy, if possessed of a certain measure of talent at the Pico Mundo Grill and rapturously in love with the most beautiful girl in the world, Stormy Llewellyn. Maybe he has a gift, maybe it’s a curse, Odd has never been sure, but he tries to do his best by the silent souls who seek him out. Sometimes they want justice, and Odd’s otherworldly tips to Pico Mundo's sympathetic police chief, Wyatt Porter, can solve a crime. Occasionally they can prevent one. But this time it's different.

A mysterious man comes to town with a voracious appetite, a filing cabinet stuffed with information on the world's worst killers, and a pack of hyena-like shades following him wherever he goes. Who the man is and what he wants, not even Odd’s deceased informants can tell him. His most ominous clue is a page ripped from a day-by-day calendar for August 15.

Today is August 14.

In less than twenty-four hours, Pico Mundo will awaken to a day of catastrophe. As evil coils under the searing desert sun, Odd travels through the shifting prisms of his world, struggling to avert a looming cataclysm with the aid of his soul mate and an unlikely community of allies that includes the King of Rock 'n' Roll. His account of two shattering days when past and present, fate and destiny converge is the stuff of our worst nightmares—and a testament by which to live: sanely if not safely, with courage, humor, and a full heart that even in the darkness must persevere.

My Thoughts: When I first started this book, I instantly disliked it. Mostly because it gave away an ending to an Agatha Christie novel I wanted to read, and secondly because I found Odd Thomas to be somewhat of a drip.
After I cooled off from my initial frustration and got back to reading, I couldn't deny I found the story very intriguing. Dean Koontz is a very good writer; he can suck you into a story and he knows how to pace his plots. Even Odd became a likable character after a while thanks to Koontz's heartfelt and sincere characterization. He's a normal guy, just trying to get through life with an abnormal gift. The thing I appreciated about Odd was his drive to do the best he could with what he had. He didn't try to ignore his gift, he used it to the best of his ability, and even when things were exceptionally bleak (which is often in this novel) he kept moving forward, he kept fighting and never gave up. I'd have to say that through Odd, I came to like the other characters.
This is written in first person narration, it's a series, and like so many first books,the side characters tend to be less fleshed out and mere props in the background. But it wasn't as bad in this one thanks to Odd's obvious warm affections for them. Even the ones he didn't love (his psychotic parents for one) were well drawn through Odd. To have a main character strong enough that you can learn all about the side characters through them is an amazing accomplishment.
The plot twists are numerous, and several times I said aloud, "I was not expecting that~!" which is always cause for the people in the room where you're reading to look up and say "What?". The supernatural aspect of the novel was put together very well. The ghost weren't chatty floating plasma, just spectral echo's of their live counterparts that silently asked Odd for his help, and for some reason that made it very believable. I'm not sure why non talking ghost are more believable then talking ones are. Probably because talking ones instantly put an image of Casper in my head.
Anyway, despite the twist and turns, the decent pace, and the sometimes laugh out loud dialog, I can't say I enjoyed this book. Frankly it scared the heck out of me, and not in the good way. The bad guy is definitely scary, because there are real people out there that are sick and demented and a book like this makes them seem closer to you then you'd ever known. I was just left so disheartened, scared, and frustrated with the final outcome I couldn't like it.
Content: Language, sexual references, lots of violence and disturbing images (Especially if you have a fantastic imagination and have ever said "that was a crazy movie~!" after reading a book.)
Rating: 2 and a half stars out of 5.
Recommend: I'm gonna have to say yes, for people who like terribly scary thrillers and loosing sleep.


  1. Hahaha! Thanks to your great review(a combination of humor,dark humor, Witt,balance between pros and con, and irresistible writing style) I now am assured that I have a fantastic imagination. And that I'm intrigued by scary villains.that doesn't have anything to do with the fact that out of Harry potter villains I'm lord voldemort. :p

  2. I actually love Odd Thomas. Dean Koontz is for me a hit or miss author, but I love Odd. I even have a Pico Mundo Grill coffee mug. :)

  3. I might give this one a chance. thanks for the great review. blog hopping


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