Odd Apocalypse by Dean Koontz
MY RATING: 4 out of 5 Stars
After waiting such a long time to get the next installment in the Odd Thomas series, it seems like I zipped through the book way too quickly. Like wolfing down a good meal before your taste buds can even begin to enjoy the flavors. I have loved Odd Thomas from the get-go, so I knew this book would be one I liked. I’m not sure it’s the strongest book in this series, but I still enjoyed every word. It was clever as usual, with Oddie being self-effacing and engaging in his own quirky way, and as only he can be. He made me laugh, he tugged at my heartstrings, and he displayed all the things that make his fans love him. He sees dead people, you know, but not in a Haley Joel Osment kind of way. He sees them as only Odd Thomas can. He is also the world’s most popular psychic fry-cook. And his adventures are like none I’ve ever read.
There are some Koontz fans who really don’t like these books. I think they feel like Koontz has lost his edge, and is now writing books that are too sentimental, and somehow less worthy than his more hardcore horror. I totally disagree. I’ve been reading Dean Koontz since before he dropped the “R” from his name. Since his earliest work, in fact. In the battle between Koontz and Stephen King for America’s Favorite Horror & Supernatural Writer, I have always come down on the side of Koontz. With very few exceptions, I have loved every book he has ever written. Not so at all with Mr. King, but that’s a completely subjective debate best left for another day. Suffice it to say that even in his scariest books, Koontz nearly always lets you know that he is well aware of the difference between Good & Evil, and that Good should prevail.
Women, in particular, are treated with love and respect by the majority of Koontz’s protagonists, and I’m usually left with a very strong sense that Dean Koontz knows what it’s like to love a woman completely and wholly. And, of course, golden retrievers, too. Both feature prominently in most of his books, and both come off as beings he considers a cut above mere mortal men. The character of Odd Thomas exemplifies this general theme completely. And Odd’s abiding faith in a life beyond his time on earth is strongly present in everything he does, as well. Consequently, there is an uplifting sense of spirituality in this series that leaves you feeling good when you finish the last page of each book, even if you know there are going to be dark days ahead.
Why anyone should think this is a bad thing, I’m not sure. Thank goodness MOST readers don’t, and I know this because Odd Thomas has become a huge fan favorite, with people champing at the bit to add this latest book to their libraries. Koontz still writes the hardcore horror he’s become famous for, though even that seems to hold true to a basic philosophy that finds beauty in love and redemption, monsters or no. I still read his other books and enjoy most of them, too. But I plan to follow Odd Thomas all the way to the end of his long journey, and I share his faith that he will end up exactly where he needs to be.
Odd Apocalypse gave me the sense that the conclusion to the series is not far away. While that is sad on some levels, on others, Odd has remained steadfast and true in his search for that which was taken away from him. I want Odd to prevail, and I look forward to sharing some sort of happy ever after with him.
If you haven’t read any of these books, I highly recommend picking up the first one, Odd Thomas, and reading the series for yourself. You’ll be glad you did. In order, the books are: Odd Thomas, Forever Odd, Brother Odd, Odd Hours, and Odd Apocalypse. It appears there will be at least one more, Deeply Odd.
And the earlier books:
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