He Sees Dead People: "Odd Thomas"

Odd Thomas is clearly on a spiritual journey and each book takes him a further step of the way. Readers need not look for deep messages but can enjoy these simply for the thrill of following Odd's adventures. Although lighter than Koontz's other books, the Odd Thomas series still deals with dark subjects. However, Catholic readers will especially appreciate that underneath everything is a solid foundation of wonder, beauty, and humility as graces bestowed on mankind, as Koontz reminds us in Brother Odd:

"You're a very brave young man, Jacob Calvino."

"She said ... she said don't be scared, we wasn't born to be all the time scared, we was born happy, babies laugh at everything, we was born happy and to make a better world."

"I wish I'd known your mother."

"She said everyone ... everyone, if he's rich or he's poor, if he's somebody big or nobody at all - everyone has a grace." A look of peace came over his embattled face when he said the word grace. "You know what a grace is?"

"Yes."

"A grace is a thing you get from God, you use it to make a better world, or not use it, you have to choose.

"Like your art," I said. "Like your beautiful drawings."

He said, "Like your pancakes."

"Ah, you know I made those pancakes, huh?"

"Those pancakes, that's a grace."

Grace can indeed reside in something as humble as pancakes. Or in something as unexpected as a bestseller about a young man who helps ghosts find their final resting places. Catholics have a world class storyteller in Dean Koontz who creates fascinating fiction while never forgetting the firm foundation of truth upon which all good stories stand.

5/11/2011 4:00:00 AM