Having enjoyed the initial three installments in the ‘Odd Thomas’ series of books by Dean Koontz, which detail the adventures of a young man who regularly sees the spirits of the dead (the titular character). I was pleased to find the next three all in one go while browsing a second-hand bookshop back in July. I have just come to the end of the sixth book only just now. The reason it took me so long? Well, I must admit to finding books four, five and six a bit difficult to get through, as they simply did not have quite grip methe same way that the first three books did (which are Odd Thomas, Forever Odd and Brother Odd, by the way). I generally found that Koontz goes down a few too many tangents along the way and there’s just a general feel in all three of the book being longer than it actually needs to be. That’s not to say there isn’t any enjoyment whatsoever to reading them however, I just found them a tougher read than those first three books.
With Odd Hours, my main issue was with the narrative taking place only over the one day, and largely within the same setting, that it didn’t feel like all that much really happened. One scene that did save it for me however involves Odd invoking the rage of the spirit of Frank Sinatra, and I won’t say any more than that. That scene was quite entertaining to read through, at the very least. The supporting characters don’t really offer much in this one, but the character of Annamaria provides some nice mystery, who is carried over into the next two books.
Odd Apocalypse fared a little better for me, with a more interesting setting and a better-developed cast of secondary characters. As the book progresses it delves into the devices of alternate dimensions and time travel, which can make things a little confusing and muddied for some of the time, but it kept me hooked more than Odd Hours did. It also makes the welcome addition of Alfred Hitchcock to the colourful cast of celebrity spirits that our hero encounters.
And finally, Deeply Odd I have slightly mixed feelings about, perhaps liking it better than Hours, but maybe not as much as Apocalypse. Again, I had the nagging feeling of not all that much happening, of Koontz constantly repeating himself, and maybe inserting a few too many of his own rants about the state of modern world than strictly necessary. The series is of course built upon Odd’s nightmarish visions/premonitions, but in this it gets to the point where it’s confused as to what is actually happening (the ending in particular, while very rewarding emotionally, is still quite confounding). But the addition of the sweet old lady character of Edie Fischer is a nice one, and keeps the story entertaining (as does the return appearance of the spirit of one Mr. Hitchcock).
Despite my mixed views on these latter installments, I have nonetheless asked for the final book in the series, Saint Odd, as a Christmas present, and am very much looking forward to reading it, and hope it proves a satisfactory end to this not-always consistent but still largely enjoyable series. I will of course post a review here once I have read it 🙂
Watch this space for more book reviews! Until next time folks…
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