2. Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz. 399 p. Published December, 2003.
To start, this book was not the easiest read. You are thrown headlong into the world of Odd, a short order cook who can see the dead. From his first waking moment, Odd’s life is thrown into turmoil, chasing down a murderer. Then on to work, where the presence of Bodachs, the shadows of disaster, alert Odd to The Fungus Man. Turns out Mr. Fungus is behind a satanical conspiracy to drop the town of Pico Mundo into chaos. As Odd races through the town trying to find and stop the plot, his colorful cast of neurotic friends and neighbors do what they can to help.
Koontz’s storytelling keeps the reader from fully grasping various situations until you are already knee deep. This reflects Odd’s own naive investigation, stumbling about town with the few clues his unusual gifts provide. Admittedly, this method was also the biggest problem I had with the novel, not getting comfortable until about half way through the book.
Koontz makes an effort to take the most boring, middle-of-nowhere town and enliven it with undercurrents of supernatural intrigue. His depiction of Pico Mundo and its quirky residents help frame Odd’s world as a twisted reflection of our own. I can only hope that the next book in the series builds on this amusing dominion of the macabre.
Rating: 2 out of 5