Click here to buy it now: Odd Thomas
Written by: Dean Koontz
Published by: Bantam Books
Reviewed by Ismael Manzano
Odd Thomas, by Dean Koontz, is one of those books that I picked up after reading the description on the back, thinking that Mr. Koontz had finally lost his mind. The offending line in question promised a cameo appearance by none other than the King of Rock and Roll himself, Elvis. No, you did not misread that, I wrote Elvis. Much to my own surprise and slight disappointment—for I had wanted so much to trash something—I found Odd Thomas to be an entertaining, suspense-filled, and often lighthearted read, filled with twists, misdirection and a genuinely interesting story delivered with a pleasant, captivating prose.
The book follows three days in the life of Odd Thomas, a young man with a gift to see and communicate with ghosts. The ghosts do not talk to him as much as convey their emotions and thoughts to him, usually to commiserate or to tell him of their untimely death. Among the people who know of Odd’s talent is his girlfriend and destined soul mate, Stormy, the chief of police and a four-hundred pound mystery writer named Little Ozzie—all uniquely fleshed out and endearing characters in their own right.
The story picks up when Odd sees a man that his gift tells him is up to something, for lack of a better word, evil-and takes it upon himself to follow the man in an attempt to uncover his plan and stop him. His actions lead the man, Robertson, to take an interest in him and a series of cat and mouse games begins in which Odd is the mouse and those that he cares for are caught in the line of fire.
When Robertson turns up dead in Odd’s apartment, the mystery deepens and the horror of what awaited the town of Pico Mundo, begins to unfold. Despite all efforts, Odd is thrust into the middle of a catastrophe that he cannot escape.
For the most part, Odd Thomas is an excellent book that kept me involved and guessing from beginning to end. It was funny when it needed to be, but always emotionally charged, and it wasn’t leaded down by overly wordy descriptions and unnecessary back-stories that has become a silent killer of many novels since the popularity of Anne Rice’s Vampire series. If I had to pick one bad thing to say about this novel, it was that it got me so vested in the main character that I didn’t want it to end and was upset when the character felt pain; I wish I could say that same ‘bad thing’ about most novels nowadays.
Odd Thomas, by Dean Koontz, a must read for those who enjoy such things.
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