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Saint Odd by Dean Koontz: A Sad Farewell

saintodd
My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

I’ve had this book since the day it came out, but couldn’t work up the nerve to read it. Of everything Dean Koontz has ever written (and I’m a huge fan), the Odd Thomas series has been my very favorite. I found Oddie to be one of the most endearing and special characters I’ve ever enjoyed reading about, so I’ve been very reluctant to read the final book in the series, knowing I would have to say goodbye. Finally, I worked up my nerve and plunged in headfirst.

As always, Koontz’s writing touches me deeply. No matter the nature of the bad guys, horror or alien, four-footed & furry or merely evil to the core, what Dean Koontz does best is remind us that there is nothing more powerful than love. That’s why he’s my favorite horror/ghost/urban fantasy writer of all time. Bar none. This series has been no exception, and anyone who was surprised at the ending of Saint Odd hasn’t been paying attention. It ended exactly the way it needed to, even though it broke my heart to read it.

If you have followed Oddie from the beginning, you’ll want to read this, and see him come full circle, doing everything he set out to do. If you haven’t read any of these books, you really should. There’s no other character out there quite like Odd Thomas. And I doubt there ever will be again. I’m going to miss him.

Saint Odd is definitely NOT a standalone story. Do yourself a favor. Start with Odd Thomas, and read the entire series.

Saint Odd

Odd Thomas

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What Are You Going to Read?

saintodd

Yep, that’s what I asked…what are you going to read? What’s next in your To Be Read pile? Or by any chance, do you, like me, have a few extra special book treats you’ve been holding to one side to disappear into when you have some reading time that’s likely to be uninterrupted for a while? I’ve had several books that I’m DYING to read, but haven’t started on because I just didn’t want to keep getting pulled out of them by work, chores, or Life, in general. I kept telling myself to go ahead and start on them, because such a sweet stretch of uninterrupted time wasn’t likely to happen. But guess what? It IS going to happen. Sort of.

In late July–not really as far away as it sounds–I’m having foot surgery done on my left foot, involving several issues, to include putting in a steel pin, which, as it happens, means it will then match my right one. I’ll be setting off metal detectors everywhere! 🙂 The upshot of the surgery (besides ending some very significant pain) is that I will be pretty much out of commission for the better part of six weeks. Yes, I said SIX WEEKS!! The first two, I won’t be doing anything other than sitting in the Comfy  Chair with my foot propped on pillows all day long. After that, it will be a gradual transition to a wheelchair, and then to crutches.

Soooo….Reading Time, here I come!! And those extra special books I’ve been hoarding are going to be enjoyed to the max!  Things like Dean Koontz’s Saint Odd, the final installment in his wonderful Odd Thomas series. And Maggie Steifvater’s Blue Lily, Lily Blue, the third installment of her Raven Cycle series, which I adore, and which touches something in my heart to the point that I want no interruptions at all when I’m in that world. I’ve got Lee Child’s latest Jack Reacher book, Make Me, for some kick butt and take no names action, and Patricia Briggs’ newest Alpha & Omega offering, Dead Heat, for some Urban Fantasy with a power couple I thoroughly enjoy. And I’m finally going to start that massive first book of the Game of Thrones series, A Song of Ice and Fire.

Should I finish  all of those, I have dozens more, both in my TBR basket, and on my Kindle, I can move on to, so don’t feel sorry for me, stuck at home for weeks and weeks. I’ll actually be off on lots and lots of adventures, having a great time!

Do you have any special books you’ve been saving for just the right time to read?

My Top Ten Urban Fantasy Series

storm front

Was thinking yesterday about all the great Urban Fantasy series there are out there, and decided to make a list of my very favorites. I tried to list them in order, and then realized that they tend to shift up and down the list a bit, based on the latest book, or a current favorite plot twist, perhaps. All except one. I’m sure it’s no surprise to those of you who have been following this blog for a while. My number one all time favorite Urban Fantasy series has never changed. Why? Because none of the rest appeal to me quite as much, in spite of the fact that I love some of them like crazy. Here they are, in order from first to…everything else. 🙂

1. The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher: The best characters, good and bad, best plot lines, best adventures, best…and longest drawn out…love affair)

2. Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz: Yes, he’s a master of horror, but while the Odd Thomas books can be scary, they are so much more than that…funny, endearing, hopeful, and poised on the edge of redemption, since I haven’t read the last one yet. Been saving it for just the right moment.

3. The October Daye series by Seanan McGuire: Toby Daye’s world of the fae is filled with all the Celtic legends a person could imagine: selkies,  kelpies, mermaids and mermen, The Luidaeg or sea hag, barghests, trolls, and all the high Queens and Kings of the Fae, complete with their courts and the attendant political intrigue and discord. There are banshees and barrow wights, kitsunes and Tylwyth Teg, and best of all for a cat lover, the Cait Sidhe, led by Tybalt, King of Cats. And all set in  San Francisco! *sigh* It’s a world like no other!

4. The Chicagoland Vampires series by Chloe Neill: Talk about political intrigue…those obsessive, control freaks, the vampires, pretty much outdo every other supernatural being when it comes to mind games and power plays. I love how well it’s done in these books, but most of all, I love the liege of Cadogan House, 400-year-old vampire,  Ethan Sullivan. Best. Vampire. EVER. He and his house Sentinel, Merit, are a couple to be reckoned with, though it took them a few books to get to that point. A solidly entertaining and satisfying series.

5. The Alpha & Omega series by Patricia Briggs: This one is a spin-off of the popular Mercy Thompson series, mostly about shifters and skinwalkers, though a few other creatures pop in now and then for good measure. While I very much enjoy the Mercy books, I think the Alpha & Omega books are even better. I’m very partial to Charles and Anna, largely because angsty, somewhat frightening men are interesting (as long as they aren’t actually hurting innocent people or battering their women around, of course), and this was the first series to introduce me to the concept of an Omega wolf. It’s extremely well done and never fails to hold my interest to the last word.

6. The Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews:  This one has it all, too. Shifters and magic, horrible, totally non-sparkly OR sexy vampires, and all sorts of complex shenanigans going on. But mostly, it has Kate and her love, Curran, who just happens to be a lion when the mood strikes him. There’s a healthy dose of humor, which I love, and which Kate uses to keep; “his furriness” in line. I’ve enjoyed every single book in this series, and am always looking for the next one.

7. The Weather Wardens by  Rachel Caine: This one wrapped up a couple of years ago, but it was one of the most original concepts I’ve come across. The weather wardens keep the earth safe and spinning smoothly, controlling rain, storms, floods, fire, earthquakes, etc, to the best of their ability. They can’t eliminate these things, but they can shape them, soften them, steer them a bit, and otherwise try to blunt the trauma wrought by Mother Nature, who is always trying to scrape humanity off  the surface of the planet. And did I mention there are djinn? Oh, I love djinn. Especially David, who is the love interest in this series. It’s a fun, action-packed romp, and the 4-book spinoff series, The Outcast Season, is equally entertaining.

8. The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater: This is a YA series that is profoundly moving and beautiful. Stiefvater’s writing is second to none to my mind. Lyrical, strong, and often heart-wrenching, without being maudlin, it will suck you in and wring you out! I’ve read the first two books, and have the third lying right next to the final Odd Thomas book. I’m torturing myself with them, daily, but soooooon. Sooooooon, my precious! I WILL read them, and mourn them when I’m done. If you’ve never read Maggie Stiefvater, I recommend starting with The Scorpio Races, a book so beautiful and dark, it will speak to your heart in shivery whispers you won’t soon forget.

9. The World of the Lupi series: Eileen Wilks: Shifters with intriguing pack politics, power struggles, and romance, all done better than most, by far. Interesting secondary characters, and complex plotting make this series a solid standout, book after book.

10. Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs: Mentioned above, this is a solid series featuring Mercy, who is a coyote skin-walker, and a host of other interesting characters, including the occasional vampire and troll. Some Native American lore here and there, and enough drama to make it all very interesting, and all of it, very well done.

Ooops…did I say TEN? Surely I meant FIFTEEN? And since they are ALL tied for second place after The Dresden Files, it doesn’t matter too much, anyway.

11. The Rachel Morgan series by Kim Harrison: This one is at the top of most lists, and I admit that I enjoyed it very much, and looked forward to each book, but I can’t put it at the top of mine because there were some things…and some characters…I just didn’t like. Don’t get me wrong…the series was still worth reading every single book, but I can’t quite rate it as highly as I have some others. I’ve reviewed enough of these books that some of you already know the things that annoyed me, so I’m not going into that here. But suffice it to say, no self-respecting list of good Urban Fantasy would be without these books. And Trent Kalamack will always be a favorite character of mine, as will the demon Algaliarept, and the obnoxiously funny pixie, Jenks.

12. The Leandros Brothers by Rob Thurmon: I’m adding a caveat to this series. It was one of my very top favorites…until it wasn’t. Things happened, and I found I wasn’t enjoying the new direction the books seemed to take. So I was hesitant to mention it in this list. However, if I’m honest, I got enough enjoyment, shivers, AND snarky laughs out of the first 7 or 8 books to warrant including it, even if I won’t be reading any more. Cal Leandros was a character I truly adored for a long time, and I won’t forget the books I loved, though I’ll try to forget the ones I didn’t.

13. Tales from the Nightside series by Simon R. Green: These quirky, off-the-wall, sometimes hilarious, sometimes horrifying books are like nothing elses out there. Noir meets Poe meets King, perhaps. Just bizarre, and filled with wonderful characters like John Taylor, Private Eye…who actually HAS a private…EYE. And Dead Boy, and Suzie Shooter. Oh, there’s no way to describe all of them. You’ll just have to visit the Nightside yourself…that world beneath London, where it’s always three o’clock in the morning, the hour of the wolf, when most people die, and most babies are born. You want shivers? Head to the Nightside.

14. The Morganville Vampires series by Rachel Caine: Another YA series, but one with such a well-done cast of characters, and entertaining plot lines, I just couldn’t leave it out. I devoured every single book, because…hello? Town run by vampires. You can get in, but you can’t get out. And yet, the good guys never give up, and their way of making it all work is totally believable. Assuming you’re the kind who can believe in vampires at all for the duration of a book. Solid writing, unexpected twists, and a very satisfying ending to the series.

15. Monster Hunters International by Larry Correia: Non-stop action from page one right through the series. This is serious, kick-butt and take no names stuff. A manly kinda supernatural series, with plenty of things that go bang and boom and give off a lot of smoke. Manly, yes, but I like it, too! 😉 Fun. That’s it in a nutshell.

And there you have it, folks. Fifteen terrific Urban Fantasy series, with something to please just about everyone. Hope there are one or two in the list you haven’t yet tried. Check ’em out! Tell ’em Marcia sent ya!

😀

Dean Koontz's Odd Thomas Cover

Monday Giveaway! Jim Butcher, Dean Koontz, and Me!

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The last two weeks have been upside down around here, but I’m getting back on track this week, starting with my Monday Giveaway feature. I’m still working on giving out the entire set of Dresden Files books, and ditto the Odd Thomas books. Plus this week, I’m offering a signed copy of Swamp Ghosts, as well, just to say I’m sorry I missed the last two Mondays. So, you know the drill…be the first person to email me at mmeara@cfl.rr.com after 2:00PM Eastern Standard Time, and request the one you want, and it’s yours. Zip-zap. That’s all there is to it. Just be the first to ask for it, and you win. Read more…

Monday Giveaway: Jim Butcher and Dean Koontz

TurnCoat

Turn Coat by Jim Butcher

It’s Monday again, with my apologies for missing last Monday, and it’s time for my Monday giveaways. As I’ve been doing for the last few weeks, I’m offering a free download of either Jim Butcher’s Turn Coat, Book #11 of The Dresden Files, and Odd Apocalypse, Book #5 in the Dean Koontz Odd Thomas series. All you have to do is be the first to email me at mmeara@cfl.rr.com after 3:00pm Eastern Standard Time (to give the west coast a chance, too), and request the one you want. Be the first to ask for it, and it’s yours. Easy-peasy. One more time, here they are:

1. Turn Coat by Jim Butcher

2. Odd Apocalypse by Dean Koontz

Good luck!

OddApocalypse

Monday Giveaway: Jim Butcher & Dean Koontz

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It’s that time again, and I’m still working my way through two of my favorite series, for those of you who haven’t tried them yet. To win a free download of either of these books, just email me at mmeara@cfl.rr.com after 3:00PM, Eastern Standard Time, and ask! That’s it. No tricks. IF YOU ARE FIRST to ask for either book, I’ll gift it to you. Simple, right? Read more…

Monday Giveaways: Jim Butcher and Dean Koontz

Jim Butcher's White Night Cover

Still working my way through the Dresden Files and the Odd Thomas series. For those who have missed out on either of these, you can get a free download today that will help you catch up. Just email me after 3:00PM Eastern Standard Time (to give the folks on the west coast a shot, too), and request the book you want. Be first to ask, and I’ll gift it to you. That’s it. Today’s offerings:

1. White Night: Jim Butcher’s 9th book in The Dresden Files series. (My favorite cover of all, btw.  I bought a signed print of this one and framed it for my library. I’m a nerd.)

2. Brother Odd: Dean Koontz’s 3rd book in the Odd Thomas series.

You don’t want to miss out on these. Let me hear from you.

brotherodd

Monday Giveaways: Jim Butcher and Dean Koontz

ProvenGuilty

My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Happy Moon’s Day! Time once again for my Monday Giveaways. Read more…

Monday Giveaway: Jim Butcher and Dean Koontz

OddThomas

My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Continuing with my Dresden Files giveaway today, plus Book One of another of my very favorite series, Odd Thomas. Read more…

Deeply Odd by Dean Koontz

deeply-odd

My Rating 4 of 5 Stars

I have always enjoyed Dean Koontz more than any other writer of modern horror, bar none. In addition to his ability to scare the bejeebers out of me, he always writes with compassion, and with a great respect and love for the women in his stories. It never fails to convince me that Koontz is a man who actually understands both love and grace. The entire Odd Thomas series Read more…

It’s Friday . . . What Are You Reading?

kids reading back to back

Time for another What Are You Reading post. Inquiring minds want to know. 

After taking a break from urban fantasy to read an interesting anthology and a novel that didn’t quite do it for me, I’m now almost done with Faith Hunter’s latest Jane Yellowrock  book, Death’s Rival

Next, I’ll be starting the newest Odd Thomas book by Dean Koontz, Deeply Odd. I can’t wait to find out what the endearing Oddie has been up to.

So, what are you reading?

Anyone Read This Yet?

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Now In My To Be Read Basket

Just got this for Christmas, and I’m eager to get to it soon.  It’s coming up right after I finish the two I’m reading now.  I couldn’t help but notice this blurb Read more…

Passages #2 – Odd Thomas

Dean Koontz's Odd Thomas Cover

Passage from Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz

A more endearing character than Dean Koontz’s Odd Thomas would be hard to find.  Just a glimpse at the opening paragraph of the first book in this series, Odd Thomas, should make you want to know more about him, Read more…

Quote #14 – Dean Koontz

“The chef was intent upon adding to a pile of eyes on the cutting board beside the sink, where he was blinding several pounds of potatoes before peeling them.”

—Dean Koontz, Odd Apocalypse: An Odd Thomas Novel

 

Odd Apocalypse by Dean Koontz

Dean Koontz's Odd Apocalypse Cover

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 Read more…

New Books! I’m RICH!

Dean Koontz's Odd Apocalypse Cover

It’s a banner day at my house when the postman arrives with a box full of new books!  I always have to do a happy dance around the kitchen when I get the box unwrapped and take a look at the treasures within.  Tuesday, three books I’ve had marked for MONTHS on my release date calendar finally arrived, and I’m still Read more…

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