Maybe he has a gift, maybe it's a curse, Odd has never been sure, but he tries to do his best by the silent souls who seek him out. Sometimes they want justice, and Odd's otherworldly tips to Pico Mundo's sympathetic police chief, Wyatt Porter, can solve a crime. Occasionally they can prevent one. But this time it's different.
A mysterious man comes to town with a voracious appetite, a filing cabinet stuffed with information on the world's worst killers, and a pack of hyena-like shades following him wherever he goes. Who the man is and what he wants, not even Odd's deceased informants can tell him. His most ominous clue is a page ripped from a day-by-day calendar for August 15.
Today is August 14
In less than twenty-four hours, Pico Mundo will awaken to a day of catastrophe. As evil coils under the searing desert sun, Odd travels through the shifting prisms of his world, struggling to avert a looming cataclysm with the aid of his soul mate and an unlikely community of allies that includes the King of Rock 'n' Roll. His account of two shattering days when past and present, fate and destiny converge is the stuff of our worst nightmares, and a testament by which to live: sanely if not safely, with courage, humor, and a full heart that even in the darkness must persevere.
The second Dean Koontz book I have read after ‘The City’. Both books are comparable in that they follow the recollections of young men, both of whom find themselves racing against time in order to prevent some unknown but devastating event. The narrative and dialogue again is exquisite and Koontz’s way with words is almost poetic and his ability to paint settings and interesting characters into the minds of his readers is awe-inspiring.
Odd Thomas is a likable character with great depth, glimpses into his background and upbringing make you care for Odd’s wellbeing and how his story will progress. Odd is a 20 year old fry cook with a troubled background who is in possession of a curse or gift, depending on how you would perceive such an ability. Odd has the ability to see the dead. Through Odd these spirits use him to carry out justice or final wishes in order for them to leave the realm of the living and meet whatever lies after. There are also those spirits that are unable to leave this world as they cannot accept death or because they enjoyed life so much. There are many comical situations within the book between Odd and the dead, the light-hearted narrative tone in the beginning help you imagine Odd and his personality as well as his outlook on life and his gift. He is both a likable young man who is popular with many of the girls in his town, Pico Mundo. However, Odd’s heart belongs to Stormy Llewellyn, his soul mate. He knows she is his soul mate because they were told of this fact by a carnival fortune telling machine and the both have matching birth marks. Odds infatuation with Stormy is evident throughout and their relationship is admirable.
Odd also has visions or snippets of the future, he also has the ability to see what he calls Bodachs, these disturbing creature feed on both misery and death. It is because of a nightmarish vision and the appearance of scores of Bodachs that stir Odd’s suspicions of one peculiar individual, Bob Robertson. Further investigation reveals sinister intentions but without enough information and the prime suspect’s disappearance Odd has to piece together clues in order to pin point the location of an impending mass murder.
This book is now a favourite of mine, not only because of Koontz’ writing style, his ability to bring eccentric characters and settings to life or the likable nature of the main protagonist but also, because of a plot filled with twists and turns, never a dull moment and an ending so shocking and devastating it will be one I will remember for a long time. This book has made me a massive fan of Koontz and I look forward to reading more of Odd’s adventures. I cannot recommended this book highly enough. Now to start book two, Forever Odd.