Odd Apocalypse

Odd Apocalypse is the latest Odd Thomas novel by Dean Koontz.

For those unfamiliar with this series I would recommend Julie’s nice introductory post to this interesting  character and what marks this as distinctive from most of Koontz’s books.  Dean Koontz has said in the past that he gets more mail about this character than any of his previous books.

This is the fifth book of the full novels that takes place shortly after “Odd Hours”, though the whole series takes place in less than about two years of his life.  There are also graphic novels featuring Odd Thomas along with three novellas in the Odd Interlude series.

I enjoyed the last book “Odd Hours”, but there was something a bit off about it in the actions of Odd Thomas.  Julie had previously had the interesting insight that all of the Odd Thomas novels each had a thematic genre with the last book being the genre of summer action movie hero.  That insight made a lot of sense to me in explaining the palpable difference in that book.  So trying to add on to this interpretation I would place “Odd Apocalypse” in the SF genre since it certainly has some Science Fiction elements with just a touch of Tim Powers.  It also has some elements familiar in “77 Shadow Street” a non-Odd Thomas novel by Koontz.  So much so that I wonder if  “77 Shadow Street” influenced this novel or whether it was an idea he wanted to explore previously.

The new novel though is much more of Odd Thomas of old with the story taking place within a large estate.  Odd and Annamaria the mysterious character introduced in “Odd Hours” have fled Magic Beach and have taken up residence in a mansion due to Annamaria’s persuasive skills.  Just about everything about this mansion and the residence is strikingly wrong and the story follows mainly Odd’s investigation to the center of the mystery.  Odd’s humility shines through once again and the truth of it rings more soundly than when joined with the action hero genre .  All the things I love about the series were displayed in this book and hopefully in the ones to  follow “Deeply Odd” and “Saint Odd.”

One thing I appreciate about Koontz and especially this series is that there is a lot of wisdom in his books.  I am not one to normally highlight passages in fiction, but with Koontz I make an exception for both his humor and what he has to say.

Some examples from this book. *

Anyway, the dead can be even more frustrating to deal with than are many of the living, which is astonishing when you consider that it’s the living who run the Department of Motor Vehicles.

The devil and all his demons are dull and predictable because of their single-minded rebellion against truth. Crime itself-as opposed to the solving of it-is boring to the complex mind, though endlessly fascinating to the simpleminded. One film about Hannibal Lecter is riveting, but a second is inevitably stupefying. We love a series hero, but a series villain quickly becomes silly as he strives so obviously to shock us. Virtue is imaginative, evil repetitive.

Narcissists are everywhere in this ripe age of self-love, which amazes me because so much in life would seem to foster humility. Each of us is a potential source of foolishness, each of us must endure the consequences of the foolishness of others, and in addition to all of that, Nature frequently works to impress upon us our absurdity and thereby remind us that we are not the masters of the universe that we like to suppose we are

I also just read another Novella of his called  “The Moonlit Mind”.  Quite a creepy book, but not as violent as some of Koontz’s books.  Sometimes with a Novella you are disappointed that a story didn’t get a longer treatment as a full novel. With The Moonlit Mind though I found like Goldilocks that it was just right and satisfying as a story.  The story follows a young boy who escapes from a situation to live on the streets with his newly found dog Harley.  He knows one day he must return to resolve what happened.  Told from the viewpoints of his 9 year old self leading up to his leaving home and his 12 year old self as something builds towards his return.  Definitely a horror story and an unusual one.

* You might think pulling quotations from an ebook would be so much easier.  Well in the case of the Kindle and Kindle app  you can highlight away, but not simply copy text (though you can share passages on Twitter/Facebook).  Not an insurmountable problem for a geek, I just had to strip out the DRM first – something I do with all the books I buy.

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