Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
My sister and I listened to this in the car on our trips around town. In that week or more we spent together, I felt like Odd became part of my life. I was rather sad when it ended. I appreciated the audiobook format very much. I think it was very immersive, and Koontz words were very poetic. Odd is such a unique guy. He's got a pure heart and that's saying something. His gift has made his life very difficult, but he doesn't take it like a curse. It's his life, and he takes ownership of that. He protects his town of Pico Mundo with a steadfast and vigilant dedication, and his only aspiration in life is to be with his true love, Stormy Llewellyn.
"Odd Thomas" is a story about a young man who sees ghosts and who does his part to resolve what has wronged them. When he meets a very strange man on what seems like a typical day, his life will change inevitably.
This book takes place over a short few days, but they are action packed days for Odd and the reader. He's trying to solve a mystery. What is drawing all these boggarts, which are dark spirits that Odd sees when something bad is going to happen. The weird man that Odd calls Fungus Man has so many around him that it makes Odd suspicious, and when he goes to the man's house, he sees something terrible, that makes Odd's fears for the town grow exponentially. This suspense thread goes throughout the book and leads to a dramatic conclusion.
Odd is a bit of an unlikely hero, but he is perfectly suited to be the hero of this novel. His way of processing things is very down-to-earth but quite brilliant. I love a good mystery with an intelligent sleuth, and while this is a ghost story, this is also a good suspense story.
It's also heartbreaking because you know that no matter what Odd does, people are going to die. He can only minimize the damage. In that sense, and in others, Odd is a very tragic hero. When the reader gets a glimpse at Odd's family life, it makes you wonder how this young man can be so well-adjusted, friendly, oddly hopeful, and in his own way content. But the good news is although his family is pretty awful, he has formed his own family of friends who love him deeply.
"Odd Thomas" is different for Koontz, but some of those touches that are so integral to his style are there. This is like his version of the coming of age novel, with a boy-man who sees ghosts and rights their wrongs, his typical sicko villain. I recommend reading this, and if you can get the audiobook version, I especially recommend that.
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