Wednesday, November 07, 2012
Book Review: Forever Odd by Dean Koontz
Publisher: Bantam Dell: New York
Review source: Library
Reviewed by: Kathy Davie
Second in the Odd Thomas lightweight horror series revolving around a man who sees ghosts. Based in a tiny desert town in California---Pico Mundo.
I think Koontz uses this series to relax. He uses Odd's character to write the stories in this series and he uses the opportunity to relay his own philosophies about life. It certainly does allow Koontz to wander down some pretty odd paths and relate unrelated trivia! I did like the word association game Odd plays with Danny! Whew… Seems a bit much though to allow such a decision to hang on its conclusions.
Sad and yet hopeful. Odd comes to feel why Elvis likes to hang out with him. And Koontz provides a valid reason for his staying on this side of the veil.
You'd like Danny. He's got a great sense of humor and amazing insight. I particularly liked his comment about John Merrick, the Elephant Man about whom the film was created.
One thing about Odd is how peaceful he is to be around. Even when he's disarming a terrified friend or confronting armed thugs.
Ick...Datura's spouting gives Koontz even more opportunities for little one-offs! Sick, he is just sick! I wonder if they're threads of story ideas…?
It's Dr. Jessup's sudden appearance that worries Odd about his friend Danny and sends him rushing off to the Jessup house. Odd's just lucky that Chief Porter trusts him and his judgment as Odd speeds off to track his friend down, leaving the chief with the mess.
It's a terrifying chase with the kidnapper taunting Odd. And it just gets worse when he catches up to her. What she wants is...unimaginable.
Odd Thomas is a metaphysical orphan. Yes, his parents still live, but even you would prefer to be an orphan to acknowledging them. Instead he fills his life with the friends who are his family.
P. Oswald "Little Ozzie" Boone is his hugely fat friend and mentor who wallows in good food as he writes several series of books about detectives. His latest? It definitely draws on his experiences with Odd and Terrible Chester.
Terri Stambaugh lives in her own world since her husband died of cancer some years back. She runs her cafe, the Pico Mundo Grille, and obsesses over everything Elvis. She also knows about Odd's abilities and employs him as a short-order cook. Bill Burton runs the Blue Moon Cafe.
Chief Wyatt Porter keeps Odd's secrets and together they solve crimes. He and his wife, Karla, both love Odd as a son.
Dr. Wilbur Jessup is a radiologist whose wife Carol recently died. Now there is only him and the son he adopted, Danny. One of Odd's friends from childhood, Danny suffers from osteogenesis imperfecta, a.k.a., brittle bones, like the Elephant Man. He's a brilliant young man with a biting, dry wit. Simon Makepeace is Carol's first husband. Jailed for sixteen years for manslaughter and a nutcase furious in his own mind with his wife for betraying him.
Father Llewellyn was Stormy's uncle. Odd consults him about the next step he anticipates in his life.
Datura is a psychopathic nutcase with money to burn. She's obsessed with being able to see ghosts and not to simply experience them. Cheval Robert and Cheval Andre are two of her goons who help her with whatever she wants.
The cover perfectly portrays Odd's world. A soft blue on one side and black on the other. It's Odd's hand reaching out from between the two sides, the two worlds that he inhabits. An oddly peaceful representation.
I don't know where the title comes from. Odd will be Forever Odd whether he chooses to hide as Odd Smith or stay Odd Thomas.