Friday, April 19, 2013

Review of "Deeply Odd" [30]

Deeply Odd by Dean Koontz
Bantam, ISBN 978-0553807738
May 28, 2013, 352 pages



How do you make sure a crime that hasn’t happened yet, never does? That’s the critical question facing Odd Thomas, the young man with a unique ability to commune with restless spirits and help them find justice and peace. But this time, it’s the living who desperately need Odd on their side. Three helpless innocents will be brutally executed unless Odd can intervene in time. Who the potential victims are and where they can be found remain a mystery. The only thing Odd knows for sure is who the killer will be: the homicidal stranger who tried to shoot him dead in a small-town parking lot. 
With the ghost of Alfred Hitchcock riding shotgun and a network of unlikely allies providing help along the way, Odd embarks on an interstate game of cat and mouse with his sinister quarry. He will soon learn that his adversary possesses abilities that may surpass his own and operates in service to infinitely more formidable foes, with murder a mere prelude to much deeper designs. Traveling across a landscape haunted by portents of impending catastrophe, Odd will do what he must and go where his path leads him, drawing ever closer to the dark heart of his long journey—and, perhaps, to the bright light beyond.

Yes, Odd Thomas does see dead people, has his whole life.
But other than that, he is a pretty normal young man.
A fry cook by profession, but it has been awhile since he has been able to practice his chosen occupation, one at which he excels. He is called to greater things, things he doesn't always understand, things he and we, the readers, have learned about as we go in the previous Odd Thomas books.

Odd can feel evil, he can sense when bad people are about to do bad things and he knows he must act to stop them, that he is the only one in a position act. Well...sort of, because as we start to see in this book, Odd is not nearly as alone as he once thought. There are other involved in this battle, including a very little old woman with a very big car and a group of very useful friends, and even others who might share his gift. Very interesting...

"However you disguise it, this thing does not change/ 
The perpetual struggle of Good and Evil."
Odd is, of course, on the side of Good and representing Evil in this book will be...well, I will let you find that out on your own. But let's say it does not get much more evil, in who is involved and in what their plan is for a group of abducted children.

The world Koontz paints in this series is a very dark one at times.."the appearance of ordinariness is an illusion, and just below the placid surface, the world is seething." But it is also a world of good people, like Odd and the many people he has run into, trying to fight the good fight. Odd is our hero, if a slightly reluctant one. He has lost the love of his life, Stormy Llewellyn, in a previous episode, but he believes without question that they will be together forever again in the future.

But still, these books, and this one is no exception, are not all dark and grim.
Koontz loves dogs and once again that beautiful white lab, Boo, is back and as useful as ever. Yes, ok, Boo is a ghost dog, but still an outstanding canine.  A love a great dog character and Koontz has some great ones.
Odd is a smart young man, and at time a very amusing, witty young man, who is not blind to the absurdity of the situation he finds himself in. And this time we have the addition of his partner in the phase of the journey, 86 year old Edie Fischer.
Edie is a pistol...both figuratively and literally...a great addition to Odd's mission in this book.

And in this book we also have Alfred Hitchcock. Usually these dead people are looking for Odd's help, but this time around, Odd's otherworldly visitor is a source of great help, and the cause of some amusing incidents.

Followers of this series will want to grab this one up. I think it gets off to a bit of a slow start but once it gets going and especially as it races toward the end...wow!
But honestly, if you are not familiar with the series, really, don't start here. You will be confused. Yes, you could, and a fair bit of the back story is explained, but really you have to go back to book one and experience how this journey started.
This is the sixth book in the series and at one point I remember reading that Koontz planned for seven Odd Thomas books. I am not sure if that is still the plan but in a way I hope it is. I like the books but we learn a good deal in this book and I can almost see the big wrap up coming. And I hate a series that hangs around too long and doesn't go out on high note.
And as Odd knows, his soul mate Stormy is waiting for him.


11 comments:

  1. the premise of this series is similar to Koontz books which involved people who could see demons hiding as people ... gave up on Koontz when his books 'jumped the shark' and had talking dogs

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    1. What? You don't like the talking dogs??

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  2. I've only read a couple of Koontz's books - some of them are too creepy for me.

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    1. He is rather creepy...but not King creepy, which is a bit too creepy for me.

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  3. I cut my horror teeth on King and Koontz growing up. I remember I "stole" Whispers off my mom's bookshelf and it scared the living shit out of me. I particularly loved the book about the telepathic dog (Strangers?). I've read a couple of the Odd books and I like them. I need to catch up.

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    1. I once read a huge number of his books, one after another, after another...

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  4. I have never read a Koontz book, but your review makes the author sound really interesting!

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    1. oh yes, I am a Koontz fan. Not that I have loved every one of his books..some are great and some are just fair. but he has so many...

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