Yael's Reviews > Odd Hours

Odd Hours by Dean Koontz
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's review
Jul 25, 09

Read in July, 2009

I like Dean Koontz.

That is considered politically incorrect in many circles. My response: screw political correctness! Koontz's novels are fast-paced, gripping, with sympathetic heroes and nasty villains, involving real and important moral issues as well as a helluva good read. This is no less true of Odd Hours, the fourth in a series of novels about a young man with strange and powerful paranormal gifts, who has a nose for trouble and an ability for saving others from hideous fates.

Odd Thomas, a fry cook in a little California desert town named Pico Mundo, has an extraordinary ability: he can communicate with the dead. Rumors of his abilities attract new friends -- and deadly villains who wish to exploit his talents. Odd knows that from those who are given much, much is expected, and he meets ever-increasing challenges with grace, courage, and a talent for surmounting each one. But no mere mortal man was ever meant to face down and defeat the midnight-black darkness now about to close over the world, not even one as gifted as Odd Thomas.

After trying to come to terms with the essence of reality itself, and learning that the thin but unbreachable barrier between himself and his lost soul mate, Stormy Llewellen, cannot be penetrated this side of death, Odd only wants to return to a life of quiet anonymity with his two spectral companions, a dog named Boo and a new companion, one of the very few that might rival Odd's old one, the shade of Elvis. But haunted by lucid nightmares of a global red tide that owes nothing to biology and everything to sheer evil, Odd is drawn relentlessly to the ocean and a small California coastal town, Magic Beach, where nothing is quite what it seems to be. The forces aligned against him are backed by both a corrupt official authority and a far nastier one, old as time. This dark night of the soul may cover the world -- and never end -- if Odd fails to carry through as his visions and premonitions direct him.

The only thing I didn't enjoy about this book is the hint in the very last page that there will be no more Odd Thomas novels. Odd Thomas is one of my all-time favorite heroes, drawn so well by Dean Koontz that he seems to leap right out of the page and stand before the reader, a living, breathing reality who challenges us to embrace the tasks life sets for us, rather than running from them, as most do.

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