Review: Odd Thomas – Dean Koontz

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Odd Thomas #1

SYNOPSIS: “The dead don’t talk. I don’t know why.” But they do try to communicate, with a short-order cook in a small desert town serving as their reluctant confidant. Odd Thomas thinks of himself as an ordinary guy, if possessed of a certain measure of talent at the Pico Mundo Grill and rapturously in love with the most beautiful girl in the world, Stormy Llewellyn.

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. – via Goodreads

So for years I have been meaning to get to these books after I watched Odd Thomas and learned that the movie was based on book. I, contrary to what most people felt, really enjoyed the movie. I thought it was fun. I didn’t see the twist coming. I adore Yelchin, so it all worked. So then I finally got myself together and actually got to reading this the other day and, well… yeah. I liked it. I just didn’t love it. I wanted more from it.

Odd Thomas breezes by. Seriously, it is an easy book to read, and the characters are fun, albeit a little thin. There is the Elvis angle, and then there is Odd himself, who is truly just a sweetheart, simple and pure. There is the whole backstory with his mother that could legitimately be way more messed up than was delivered here (who knows, it might be different in later books), but I just felt it was a little flat, like just glossed over? Plus two, what a hideous woman. His dad, too, was no real great shakes.

I enjoyed the story well enough, and as I said, it breezes by. It was an easy read, nothing too hectic to commit to, nothing too major to sink your teeth into, so that means you feel that you have missed a little by the end of it. It leaves you feeling a little wanting. That being said, I had a good time reading Odd Thomas and will read more of the books at some point, though I won’t be rushing for the next in the series anytime soon if I’m being honest. I suppose Odd Thomas prescribed to the typical Dean Koontz recipe of being entertaining and fun and all that, but not really staying long after as it doesn’t pack a major punch.

Rapid Review: Odd Thomas (2013)

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odd thomas poster

“Fate is not a straight road. There are many forks in it. You have the free will to choose which one you take, but sometimes it will bend around and bring you straight back to that same stubborn fate.”
– Odd Thomas

SYNOPSIS: In a California desert town, a short-order cook with clairvoyant abilities encounters a mysterious man with a link to dark, threatening forces. – via IMDB

odd thomas grill

GRADE 7I really don’t know why this movie has such bad ratings online… oh yeah, because this is the internet. Anyway. I haven’t read the Odd Thomas books (at the time of writing), so I cannot draw comparisons in this review. I must say, that while the film was quite uneven in places, it was engaging, and while it was predictable, there were still things that shocked, and it contained some really great performances from the cast, especially looking at Anton Yelchin, whom I find immensely under-appreciated, Dafoe who was, of course, excellent as always here, and Addison Timlin. I thought that Timlin and Yelchin had really sweet chemistry together, and their relationship was something I truly enjoyed. I also really liked how Odd and Wyatt Porter had such a cool understanding with one another. Anton Yelchin was great as Odd, I cannot actually picture anybody else playing him because he embodied all the idiosyncrasies that made Odd endearing and charming. The movie is quirky and odd (hehehe), but I liked it for the most part. I was entertained the whole way through, and it even managed to bring a solid emotional side in, something I did not expect. Something that was also refreshing is that, while Odd might be hiding his abilities from the town as a whole, he is not alone in his quest. Stormy knows all about him and loves him, and the chief, Wyatt, is aware of Odd’s abilities and works closely with him, they are really close knit, so there isn’t the whole whiny “the world will never know what I do for it, and can’t” drama that can get boring quickly. It was shot quite well, too, and the soundtrack was pretty fitting. The effects may not have been groundbreaking, but they worked just fine for the film, and won’t put you off. They served their purpose. This may be a budget film, but I am pleased to say that it does not look it, and what with the quick pacing and adventurous storyline, the film is certainly likable and well worth a watch.