Jul 15, 08
Koontz or Odd Thomas Fans
Read in July, 2008
Title: Odd Hours
Author: Dean Koontz
Date Started Book: July 4, 2008
Date Finished Book: July 9, 2008
What do I expect to gain from reading this?
I am already a fan of the Odd Thomas series; I was looking to continue Odd's adventures.
Brief Overall Summary of the Book:
Odd has returned from the monastery of Brother Odd, the previous book, and has settled in the little coastal town of Magic Beach. He has a premonition of a large number of deaths, which are somehow related to "The Woman of the Bell," a pregnant woman who he has seen on the pier. He named her thus because she wears a bell necklace around her neck. Odd goes to the pier, finds the woman, talks to her and finds her to be very nice, but very cryptic, and then meets three thugs. He convinces Annamaria, which is the woman of the bell's first name, to leave the pier and let him handle the thugs. When one of the thugs touches him, Odd and the thug (who we later learn is named Utgard (the name seems to be related to the Norse giants) also experiences the dream. In the confusion, Odd jumps off of the pier and escapes.
Odd uses his "psychic magnetism" power to find Annamaria, who asks him if he will die for her. To his surprise, he says yes and becomes her protector. He takes her to his friend Birdie, and older lady who was deformed by her drunken father as a child. Birdie agrees to watch after her while Odd takes care of saving the world from the death he saw.
Odd goes to the house of a man who assaulted him on the beach after he had escaped from the first band of thugs, and finds the man dead in his house, with a woman. The sprit of the dead man appears, and is very upset. Shortly after appearing, the mirror reaches out and grabs the spirit, and takes him, presumably to hell. Odd very briefly sees a terrible face in the mirror. Odd speculates that spirits that are going to be punished rarely wait around in this world for very long because they owe a debt, and can't escape paying it. Odd leaves the house quickly through a window as the police arrive. In the backyard he runs into a fence in the dense fog, alerting the police of his presence, and escapes them, with the help of a Golden Retriever he meets along the way. Odd runs to a church.
In the church he meets the minister, who counsels him, but the minister calls the police because he recognizes the dog. The policeman who comes is the chief of police, who is scary, big, and mean. He takes Odd to jail to interrogate him, but not before Odd can hide his wallet (and the wallet of the dead man) in the church.
Odd is being interrogated, and he discovers that Hoss Shakleton, the Police Chief, thinks that he and Annamaria are some secret agents, here to stop his plan to blow up four nuclear bombs in cities in the US. Odd plays along, and even pretends to be interested in helping Shakleton and make a lot of money, but then he escapes with the help of the ghost of Frank Sinatra, who has been following Odd since Elvis left him to move on to the next life. Odd taunts Sinatra into becoming a poltergeist, and uses this time to escape the Chief and Utgard, who has joined him in the interrogation room.
Odd stows aboard the boat going to get the nukes, kills (much to his dismay -- he didn't ever want to kill anyone, but had no choice; he feels that he did not murder, he killed for the greater good) the thugs on the boat, beaches the boat, and calls the FBI and Homeland Security to take care of the nukes. At the end of the book, he runs into the Chief again when he goes to get his wallet, and narrowly escapes him when he is killed by one of the thugs from the beginning of the book. The preacher also kills his wife (they were also in on the scheme.) Odd is also forced to kill the other thug at the church, in order to escape. In and around the church, Odd encounters coyotes (for the second time in the book) and at first runs from them, but eventually escapes them by telling them to leave, and that they did not belong there, as Annamaria did during the first coyote encounter. This does not work until Odd touches the bell pendant, which Annamaria had given him in the beginning of the book. Annamaria told Odd earlier that the coyotes were what they seemed and more; since we did not see Bodachs in this book, I suspect that the coyotes may have been Bodachs in disguise.
The book ends with Odd leaving with Annamaria (who seems to know a lot about Odd's past with his "Lost Girl Stormy," and even calls him "Odd One," as Stormy did in the first book.) Birdie says that she will join them later, and they drive away. Odd has a mental breakdown because of all of the killing, and Annamaria reassures him that he has saved entire cities. On the last page of the book is a copy of the card that Odd had gotten from a gypsy fortune teller machine with Stormy in the first book, which reads "You Are Destined to Be Together Forever."
Interesting things about the book's structure:
The book is structured like any Odd Thomas book; it is suspenseful. Often times I never saw a surprise coming, but once it came I can't believe I missed it!
Recurring images/themes/other things:
Coyotes; Odd wanting to see Stormy in the afterlife, but not wanting to die, as he loves life; Hope, and "the lake of abiding hope," where he and Stormy had once gone.
What I thought of the book:
Awesome. I can't wait for the next one -- this seems to be setting up apocalyptic adventures to come!