Hello readers! Here is, as promised, your review of Dean Koontz’s Odd Thomas, as voted on by Dumblebee users! I reviewed the other book with equal votes, I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak a couple weeks ago. Want to help me decide what to review next? Go here!
Odd Thomas is about a man whose name actually is “Odd”. He can see spirits who have not moved on (including Elvis, who makes a hilarious cameo once in a while) as well as evil spirits called bodachs, sightings of which never bode well. Odd has accepted this curious gift despite its annoyances, though only a few people know of it, including the wisecracking police chief. When a man comes to town bringing slews of bodach appearances with him, Odd soon discovers that his whole beloved hometown is in danger and sets out to protect it as only he can.
I have mixed feelings about Odd Thomas. The first thing that jumped out at me was the writing style. Full disclosure: I’ve never read anything by Dean Koontz before. Maybe his style takes some getting used to, or maybe it just doesn’t work for me? Koontz tends to go out on small tangents, detailing every last phrase. While these tangents can be entertaining and witty, I just kept on wishing for him to get on with it already.
That being said, there are some truly funny parts inserted here and there in the novel.
“…sometimes you have to listen to your heart.”
“I’ve listened with my heart for so long I’ve periodically had to swab the earwax out of my aortal valve.”
“’Swordfish tacos with extra salsa, fried corn fritters, and a large Coke, please,’ I told the sombrero-wearing donkey that holds the order microphone in its mouth…I took [the chief’s] advice and placed a double order with the donkey which, as before, thanked me in the voice of a teenage girl.”
So Koontz is funny, in that smart, wordy kind of way that’s very conscious of what he’s doing.
The plot picked up about halfway through the novel for me; when someone is threatening to end the world, or at least a whole town, you kind of have to pay attention. Poor Odd clearly cares about the people around him in small-time Pico Mundo, including his kickass girlfriend Stormy who stubbornly comes along for the ride. It took me a while, but I did start to care for these characters, despite their strange way of talking. They’re only trying to save their hometown, after all.
Would I recommend this book? I’d say give it a try. I think it’s one of those books that will either work or it won’t. So I guess you can’t know unless you give it a try!