Friday, October 17, 2014

Book Reviews: Odd Thomas Series by Dean Koontz

So the boyfriend of a woman I sing with in my church choir and I were having a conversation about books at a choir party.  He told me that if I liked Stephen King (I love his works) that I should check out Dean Koontz.  I then looked the author up and found out that he has published hundreds of works.  I had no idea where to start, so I turned to Goodreads ( because I find it helpful reading reviews by others when deciding if something looks good or not, and it also helps me to remember all the stuff I have read.  It seemed that most people recommend starting with this series, and rather than writing a separate review for each one, I am simplifying it to one review for the series.  I have only read the first five so far, and the last one (#7) is not out yet so this is only up to but not including the last two of the series.

#1: Odd Thomas
Introduces us to Odd Thomas, the short-order cook from a small desert town who can see the dead.  They seek him out for help, usually with trying to pass on to the next world.  They cannot harm anybody in this world and they do not speak, but if they get mad enough they can go poltergeist and move stuff around.  The books are not really scary, they are like detective type novels where he solves what happened to these people, or often he deals with something bad that is about to happen and tries to stop it, that is the case with the first one.  The ghosts he sees are sometimes famous (Elvis, Frank Sinatra, etc.), sometimes they are even pets (he has a ghost dog), but he also sees some sort of evil black shadow things that like to come around when a lot of people are about to die, this is the case with the first novel.  I liked it well enough to read the series, but I consider it light and not very challenging at all.  He dabbles in the supernatural and character analysis through these odd events like Stephen King, but believe me his writing is nowhere near the level of Stephen King.  He does not develop the characters as well, the work does not flow as well with loads of filler text, and their is nowhere near the level of trying to understand and explain the human condition like there is in all of Stephen King's works.  So, if you are looking for a light or diet version of Stephen King this is for you.  Like I said, it is entertaining and fun, but it is not deep writing.  Odd is a very sweet and funny character, his dialog is often the best part of each book, and the mysteries involved are quite entertaining.

#2: Forever Odd
This one involves a nutty woman who wants Odd to conjure ghosts for her, something he cannot do, and when I say nutty I mean psychopath in every sense of the word.

#3: Brother Odd
This one is set in a monastery and involves an unstable scientist with a secret lab, a snowstorm, and an endearing young man with mental development issues.

#4: Odd Hours
In this one he is drawn to a coastal town and meets the character Annamaria who is young, pregnant, vague, and has some sort of powers (does a nifty flower trick and can speak to coyotes).  There is also some plot involved with corrupt townspeople and nuclear weapons.

#5: Odd Apocalypse
This one involves an old mansion called Roseland, very disturbing secrets involving lots of dead women, and a time-traveling device created by Tesla.

#6: Deeply Odd
I have not read this one yet.

#7: Saint Odd
This is supposed to come out 12/09/2014.

And so it goes...
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