Forever Odd: An Odd Thomas Novel

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Forever Odd: An Odd Thomas Novel

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Forever Odd: An Odd Thomas Novel

Forever Odd: An Odd Thomas Novel

I see dead people. But then, by God, I do something about it. Odd Thomas never asked for his special ability. He’s just an ordinary guy trying to live a quiet life in the small desert town of Pico Mundo. Yet he feels an obligation to do right by his otherworldly confidants, and that’s why he’s won hearts on both sides of the divide between life and death. But when a childhood friend disappears, Odd discovers something worse than a dead body and embarks

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Terry Mesnard

May 8, 2016 at 3:43 pm
229 of 271 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars
What a let down, January 9, 2006
Terry Mesnard (Nebraska) –

Note: As you can see from both the polarizing response my review has gotten (25 helpful, 29 unhelpful) and other reviews here, this book is a love it or hate it. Ignoring for a moment that it is an Odd Thomas book and looking at it as simply a thriller, I still believe it isn’t a very good novel. The writing is sloppy, the villains insipid. Deus Ex Machina abounds, the ending is melodramatic. But I can over-look most of these if the novel thrills me. Forever Odd didn’t. Not once was I fearful, not once did a passage grip me and pull me along. In fact, this is one of the first Koontz books that had me skimming to get the gist of what happened.

For those who don’t know whether to read this or not, no one can honestly say. I, for one, did not like this book. Others here did. Personally, if you are going to read it and aren’t collecting, I would wait for it to come out on paperback. Its just not up to Koontz’s (or Odd’s) thriller top. And I don’t see why we should support weak work; particularly when Koontz is spitting out books so quickly (Husband is coming out next month) and, in my opinion, sloppily.

Unhelpful votes, here I come!

My Review:
Two years ago, Dean Koontz released Odd Thomas and created his most memorable and lovable character ever. That story fascinated me and the characters pulled me along. It was by far one of the most endearing and tender stories, while at the same time tense and dark. When I heard that Forever Odd was coming out and would be another story centering on Odd, I was over-joyed.

What pulled me along in the first book was Odd’s use of language. Koontz did a great job making Odd’s voice unique and the first person narrative was perfect. Odd’s views, his way of looking at life was a perfect counter point to what was happening on the page. And he was a great imperfect narrator.

Unfortunately, that trend and this book is not the same calibur of Odd Thomas. In fact, the only reason the story fits with Odd Thomas is because of Odd’s supernatural ability. The beginning starts out great. It catches the readers up with what’s happening in Pico Mundo since the sad events of Odd Thomas. It felt like coming home; Dean Koontz had created such wonderful characters the first time around that seeing them again was a treat. About 3/4s of the book, however, was a silly and insipid thriller taking place in a burned out casino. The casino wasn’t scary. The villain’s motive was silly, the ghosts weren’t spooky. It felt like a rushed job. And, considering how many books Koontz has been publishing recently in a year (another book is coming out in May by the way), I’m wondering if he’s been replaced by a machine…I felt no connection to most of the characters, there was too much repartee for no other point than to be “witty,” and, the worst offense, the plot was a retread of so many thrillers Koontz has written throughout the years. And, I might add, had done much much better with earlier.

As I continued to read, I found myself flipping through pages, summing up paragraphs and basically skimming my way to the end. The thriller is, at time, intense but it also grows dreary as you realize this is all it is: a thriller dressed up and posing as another life-warming Odd Thomas story. What eventually killed it for me was that Koontz utilizes a Deus Ex Machina, not once but at least twice, and that just soured everything that followed. It just wasn’t very exciting.

By the time I got to the ending with its insipid attempt at being another “life-altering” and poignant ending that Odd Thomas has, I was ready to be done. One thing I have noticed with Koontz is that he tends to end his novels with a sappy or “poignant” cathartic moment. In Odd Thomas, it works and affected me in the way Koontz wanted it to. In Velocity it was fairly successful. In this book, I just shook my head.

What really brought this book down to below the average rating for me was expectations. Odd Thomas, the book and character, stands as Koontz’s best in my opinion, not only in characterization but also in the three important “P’s”: plot, pacing and prose. It included characters you genuinely care about, thrills that belied the light tone the imperfect narrator kept, and a plot that kept turning and winding. Koontz took an idea that was tired after Sixth Sense and created a world that jumped off the pages with heart and panache. Then to turn around and release this book is, to me, a mockery of Odd Thomas. Nothing in this book worked as intended for me. From the lazy thriller aspect to the ending that tried to be a “twist” like the first book’s, nothing worked. The ending was a lip curling attempt to trick the readers; whereas the first book’s ending genuinely worked to provoke catharsis, this one made me shake my head. I was so excited and thrilled to see another Odd Thomas book and then was sorely…

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John J. Kocul

May 8, 2016 at 3:52 pm
81 of 97 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars
Has Elvis left the building?????, January 25, 2006
John J. Kocul

Odd Thomas was perhaps one of my favorite lead characters in ANY recent book I’ve listen to (Yes, I’m an audio book fan). The first book was awesome. You really got to know Odd and cared for him and what happens to his friends. The fact that Odd sees ghosts and more hilariously, talks to Elvis, was very compelling to hear. Great concept. But……and I hesitate to say this, only because I know people don’t like to hear that one of their favorite authors has dropped a stink bomb………..but Dean has. And boy, does this one stink. ALL the things I loved about the first book (his relationship with Stormy, the black shadowy ghost things (can’t remember their names) that come out when bad things are going to happen, his many interactions with Elvis, bumping into dead people……etc) are ALMOST non existent in Forever Odd. It’s like he decided to take everything that was great in the first book and throw it out the window. Which really @#$%^ me off, because the first book was so damn good.

In Forever Odd, you just don’t CARE what happens to Odd or Dr. Jessup’s son he’s trying to save. Which leads me to another problem with the book. Dr. Jessup’s son has brittle bone disease and has had it most of his life. Dean goes on to give several examples of how Danny broke bones throughout his life. One of which was when he broke his wrist by flicking playing cards. Now, I don’t doubt that that can happen, but if he’s THAT brittle, how could he have been kidnapped? I mean, the struggle alone would have crushed him.

What happens in the end to the kidnapper is ridiculous and completely uneventful. But what happens to Odd and where he ends up is even WORSE.

I know that many people will most likely click on the button that says this review was not very helpful. But I truly believe they will do that because it isn’t a favorable review. No one likes to hear that a book they’ve been looking forward to, isn’t good. And this one isn’t. As they say “It is what it is……….” Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but don’t shoot the messenger, please.

Will I buy the next Odd Thomas………..probably. But Dean better bring back Elvis and a compelling plot like the first book, or……………….Elvis will most certainly be LEAVING THE BUILDING for this reader.

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May 8, 2016 at 4:22 pm
65 of 78 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars
Bring back the real Odd!, December 6, 2006
ManicPanic (CA United States) –

If you love Odd Thomas I guess you’ll have to buy this book – but I warn you – don’t bother!

Suddenly Odd has a best friend we never heard of in the entire first book, whose life he has to save from some meglo-maniacal new-age wanna-be witch lady protected by psuedo-zombie male followers, all holed up in an old Indian casino. For some reason Odd must transverse an underground drainage system to get there, which takes up half the book, why Koontz thought this would be interesting is unknown to me. Once he gets there his psychic magnetism and numerous failures of architecture thwart his rescue attempts. Unfortunately this creates little more suspense than does 100 pages of running through drainage tunnels.

This sequel totally lacks the gut-wrenching twists of fate that defined Odd Thomas, and all of the humor that made that book so wonderfully readable. The plot limps along to a boring climax involving a villain we are never frightened by. I truly enjoyed Odd Thomas, and I want more of this eccentric, haunted character, but please, let’s give him something half way interesting to do!

I hope the next chapter in this series, Brother Odd, will prove much more entertaining.

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