Written by: Wayne C. Rogers
Thankfully, I managed to get an Advance Reading copy of the new “Odd Thomas” novel, Deeply Odd, by Dean Koontz, which is coming out in hardcover at the end of May. See, miracles do happen!
Reading Deeply Odd proved to be a blessing in disguise. Since March, I’ve dealt with a lot of friends passing away. Two friends died within the late eight days. Anyway, within the first couple of pages of Deeply Odd, I found myself lost inside this intriguing story of “good versus evil”. Even more importantly, it’s a novel about hope and boy do I need hope at this particular moment in my life.
Thankfully, the character of Odd Thomas is filled with large amounts of hope…hope for the future, hope for humanity, hoping to be a fry cook again, and hope that he will eventually be reunited with the love of his life, Stormy Llewellyn. Hope is definitely a good thing, and it’s what I needed to get me through the gut-wrenching chaos of my own life. I have to tell you that nothing gets the heart pumping like a story where the lead character has to overcome unbelievable obstacles; yet, still manages to retain that strong degree of hope all the way to the end.
In the newest “Odd Thomas” novel, Oddie (his nickname) takes up the sword again after the adventures of Odd Apocalypse have ended. Something draws him away from Annamaria and their tiny cottage in a small, quaint coastal town along the California shoreline. When Odd is drawn to take a long walk into town, he soon finds himself near the local shopping area. It’s there, walking along the highway that he sees a black tractor trailer rig passing by that causes alarm bells to go off inside his head. Running after it, he quickly locates the rig parked in the lot of a grocery store and confronts the driver, a white haired, blue-eyed cowboy dressed in western wear. Odd Thomas has an instant vision of the man murdering children with a flamethrower and realizes he’s the only one who can stop this from actually happening.
And so the journey begins.
Odd Thomas barely keeps himself from being killed by the driver dressed in snake skin boots, and is then forced to go after him when the man takes off. Always keep in mind that nothing is Odd’s life is a coincidence. Through a series of circumstances, a black limousine happens upon Odd Thomas in the middle of the highway, and the elderly lady driving the car, Edie Fischer, offers to give him a much-needed lift. Edie isn’t an ordinary person. Like Odd, she has certain powers and uses them to deter evil as well.
In their search for the driver of the tractor trailer rig, Edie and Odd head across the state of California. They eventually discover information about a number of missing children and also take time to arm themselves with weapons like the Terminator does in the second film. Both of them know a battle of epic proportions is looming ahead.
Before the story reaches its conclusion, Odd Thomas will find himself turning into something he utterly despises…a killing machine. “Hasta la vista, baby.” It’s the only way he can stop others from destroying the weak and innocent. It’s going to be a battle to the death, but this time Odd also has the assistance of Alfred Hitchcock’s spirit to guide him through the turmoil of destruction. “Good evening and welcome to my show.” And, if that isn’t enough, Odd learns of a parallel universe where something that favors him in appearance is hungry for his life.
Though I realize Odd Thomas is nothing more than a fictional character, Dean Koontz has tapped into something that makes me think he knows more than he admits, and it’s hard to get him to admit to anything these days. I understand that evil exist in our world. You see it every day in different walks of life. The world is also going slightly crazy. I don’t have an answer as to why, but I suspect Mr. Koontz has seen this too and certainly takes notice of it in his novel.
I do know that Mr. Koontz hits the nail on the head with his villains. He clearly did it with the man who drives the tractor trailer rig and the other people gathered at his home in the middle of California, ready to torture and murder nearly two-dozen children. The author clearly knows that something is going on, and it isn’t good. If I had to take a guess, I would say that evil is fighting for control of our planet, and it looks as though it’s winning. It’s like an unrelenting wave of darkness enveloping our world within a heavy shroud of pure, outright meanness.
There’s one thing I do know and Deeply Odd brings this up, too. Good people are out there, striving to fight the negative changes erupting within our mist. These people give me hope for the future. It makes me wish that Odd Thomas was real and I could sit down with him and have a good talk about what’s happening.
Like the other “Odd Thomas” novels, Deeply Odd is filled with pure entertainment, including stark suspense and even belly laughs. It also includes bits and pieces of insight into our world and the things transpiring around us. I believe Mr. Koontz is ahead of his time in how he’s able to see the subtle changes taking place and then carefully uses them in his stories.
I certainly loved the characters in Deeply Odd: Odd Thomas, Annamaria, and Edie Fischer and all of her friends who enter and exit this fun-filled book. Mr. Koontz always manages to keep a sense of mystery about each character, though they may seem familiar to you as they often do to me. He makes each character a little off kilter, both the good ones and the bad. This keeps the reader on his toes as he attempts to guess what’s going to happen next.
I won’t call this piece of information a plot spoiler, but just to let the readers know, everything is coming around in a full circle. Odd Thomas is being led back to Pico Mundo to be reunited with Stormy Llewellyn. Deeply Odd gives you a clear hint of what to expect in the very near future. It’s definitely going to be BIG. It will also end the series.
Deeply Odd is highly recommended to those who are as deeply odd as the author and I. You can’t go wrong with Odd Thomas at your side, and don’t forget, the movie of Odd Thomas is due out sometime soon. The studio keeps changing the release date on it.
Pre-order Deeply Odd right here.