Odd Apocalypse by Dean Koontz
This Odd outing is as full of philosophical thoughts as it is terror around every turn. I first latched onto Odd Thomas as a character in Koontz’s third Odd Thomas novel, Brother Odd. Starting into this one made me leery. After all, I read and practically shook my head at the author’s last effort, 77 Shadow Street. The synopsis of this novel is quite similar.
In a seemingly sinister estate plagued by a ghost who rides a horse and impossibilities that remind one a bit of 77 Shadow Street, at first glance, Odd Thomas and companion Annamaria deal with a boy who desperately needs saved. Human-like beasts prowl the grounds at random intervals. The sky occasionally turns yellow. But it’s nothing a short-order fry cook who can see the dead can’t handle…right?
The plot gets off to a rather slow start, but sticking with the story really pays off big—especially if you’re a fan of good old Odd. Some of this initial slowness comes from Odd talking only to the reader for chapters and chapters. There are other characters, of course, but conversations with them are brief until well past the halfway point of the novel. Impressive is how this story actually differs from 77 Shadow Street. Koontz does not take an end-of-the-world approach. Instead, he focuses on one man’s perverse ability to corrupt so many others over an inhumanly long amount of time.
Characters in Odd Apocalypse seem to have their own personalities, even given some short page time among the staff at Roseland. Koontz tends to paint villains as pure evil in most of his works; here, however, he explains the twisted views that may have lead those involved in the intriguing plot twist to take such a dark path in life. Odd is Odd, and that voice is so fresh and original I wish Koontz would write Odd Thomas books exclusively from here on out, at least until he concludes the series. A new ghostly companion implores Odd for help, as well, and I want to see where Koontz takes Odd’s future relationship with this new celebrity ghost. Odd has a soul-crushing choice to make near book’s end. This choice felt so natural, as did his decision and the reasoning for that decision.
The final third of this novel is action-packed and full of Koontz’s standard social insights. I like a book that thrills you, intrigues you, and makes you think. This is one such book. Whether this is your first time reading Odd Thomas’ memoirs, or you’re joining the quick-witted medium for the first time, Odd Apocalypse will stay with you. Yes. It’s that good.
Odd Apocalypse is Dean Koontz’s fifth Odd Thomas novel.
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