Wednesday, October 29, 2014

"Forever Odd (Odd Thomas #2)" by Dean Koontz

This book is the second in the Odd Thomas series- there may be unmarked spoilers in this review for Odd Thomas, the first O.T. book.

One of the things I love about Dean Koontz is that he is unafraid of incorporating disabled, obese, or just normal people you would see at the grocery store into the plots of his books. For instance, it would have been easy to make the main character, Odd, a PhD of something or another- in most people's books that adds a layer of respectability. But instead, we follow the story of a fry cook who sees the dead, who graduated high school and has no plans of college, who many people would look down on in real life. I love this- so often books are written about people whose lives I'd never even dream of, while this story follows the rather remarkable adventures of the plain and infinitely relatable Odd Thomas.

The Plot:
Odd Thomas is again alerted by a ghost that something's amiss- this time his friend's father is murdered and his friend Danny turns up missing. Danny has osteogenesis imperfecta, a disease that makes his bones extremely brittle and prone to breakage. Will Odd be able to find him before it's too late?

If you're an Elvis fan, it should be mentioned that he appears as an apparition/companion to Odd in both Odd Thomas and Forever Odd, adding a bit of fun to the plot. I like the way Koontz gives you tidbits of Elvis trivia as Odd tries to find a way to make him move on from our world, and also... I want Elvis's ghost as my companion in fighting evil. We'd have a blast.

I think my main complaint with this story is how it rambles- where Odd Thomas had a relatively focused plot, Forever Odd's wanders quite a bit from the essentials. Although I love the characters, because of the obscure plot it knocked off a star, and probably also because Odd was changed by the events of the previous book. But there is no lack of action, and the story rivets you despite the rambling, a feat many other books fail to accomplish

Although Forever Odd isn't as focused as its predecessor, it maintains the witty dialogue and incandescent characters you'd expect from an Odd Thomas novel. I recommend this series to anyone looking for 'odd' characters and who aren't afraid to embark on a interesting paranormal journey.

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars for a great, if a bit rambling, sequel.

Content: Ages 18+ for violence and horror elements.

Page Count: 364 pages in my mass market paperback edition

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