Thoughts on a Koontz Quartet

“Odd Thomas,” an original book series by Dean Koontz features an inventive storyline and a writing style that changes cheesy to easy as the tale progresses. A boy who can see ghosts sounds like a “The Sixth Sense” bootleg, but not the way Koontz kicks it. Through the series, he takes the character Odd to new levels of love, experience, compassion and creativity.

In this first book of four, Odd leaves an impression on the reader and ends the novel with high inspiration and a plot twist that perfects the tale. It is a wonderful and quick read with just enough humor to make characters such as Odd and his girlfriend, Stormy, a part of your family.

The hype for “Odd Thomas” was warranted and created a sneaky surprise when the sequel was spit out for Koontz subscribers. “Forever Odd” fell an Empire State Building in length short of its predecessor, though it did keep Odd intact. The character is easy to love. The novel however, is not. It’s a bit of a stretch, so maybe stretching the deadline for Koontz to create it might have kept it somewhere within the bounds of considerably corny.

Odd’s sidekick superhero is a brittle boy who breaks bones by coughing, yet he and Odd somehow overcome their Koontz M.O. sociopaths. Odd and Elvis Presley, the king of rock and roll, are the only characters that captivate you. If you’ve read the first book, then you may have grown to love Elvis too, just not enough to keep him around much longer. Elvis Presley, the inventor of “Uh huh,” the karate kicking military man who once captured our country comes back as Casper the friendly ghost in these Koontz chapters.

“Forever Odd” couldn’t compare in any way shape or form to the first book, but it still wouldn’t leave a bad taste in your mouth until the third book emerged from the sewage as a toxic waste of time. Odd Thomas may well have been any other Koontz character like the dog from “Dragon Tears” or Junior Cain from “The Corner of His Eye.”

The sequel was unnecessary punishment. Odd’s supernatural ability became boring and repetitive. The storyline was randomly weak and just like “Forever Odd,” its “Brother Odd” would keep the streak of decline going.

“Monastery Odd” didn’t complete a trilogy; it began a tragedy. If Koontz truly meant for it to be “Forever Odd,” he wouldn’t have killed the creativity, leaving the poltergeist peeper character with only “dead” originality as its only friend.

In spite of all of this, Koontz sticks to this style enough so that you pretty much get what you knew was coming. Not that it’s a bad thing, but he created a masterpiece in the original “Odd Thomas” that could have been legendary if he had for once stepped out of his comfort zone.

Instead you get a bunch of sequels for the boy who sees ghosts.

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