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Odd Hours by Dean Koontz
Review by Gayle Surrette
Bantam Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780553807059
Date: 20 May 2008 List Price $27.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Webisodes: Odd Passenger / Show Official Info /

Odd Thomas follows the urgings of his psychic talent and has ended up at Magic Beach, where according to his dreams the world is going to end. Odd can help the dead move forward or get justice, but just how he's supposed to save the world. He hasn't got a clue. So, he gets a job as a cook with a retired actor and gets to know the town he's found himself in. He also hopes that somehow he'll figure a way to save the world before it's too late.

Dean Koontz is, for me, one of those authors that everything I get around to reading from him makes me wonder why I don't just go actively looking for his works, because I always enjoy his writing. When I got the book to review, I also found a link to some webisodes, a four chapter story called "Odd Passenger". (Check the link at the top of the page.) I watched them to get a feel for Odd Thomas. I'm glad I did. Reading the book, I had the voice of Odd Thomas to keep me company.

If you've read the other Odd Thomas books (Brother Odd, Forever Odd, and Odd Thomas), you'll know that Odd Thomas has a gift. He can see ghosts. He helps them find justice and to move on to the next plane of existence. The problem is he can't hear the ghosts so it's a matter of guessing what needs to be done or what to say to help them.

Odd's had a strange and interesting life for one still young, and he's wandering the world at the urging of his gift to help where he can. That's how he ended up at Magic Beach where he's had visions of the world's end. He believes that he's there to prevent that from happening. He's found the pregnant girl that he's seen in these visions, but he doesn't know how it all fits together. That is until he shakes hands with a burly giant of a man on the pier to give the girl time to get away and finds the man shares the vision. That seems to start the clock ticking and now Odd has to find a way to stop Armageddon and time is running out.

The book is the proverbial page turner. However, I found some of the scenes and language so hilarious or just plain beautiful that I kept interrupting my husband to read passages. Koontz's character, Odd Thomas, is wise beyond his years. He's a simple man with a quiet philosophy and a way of looking at life and those around him in a way that accepts people as they are. Yet, he's a catalyst for change and justice. A lot of his observations really hit the mark and if more people tried to be as accepting as Odd the world would surely be the better for it. So, until then, reading about Odd's adventures as he tries to help those he meets and find justice for those who need it may spur more of us to think before we act.

Entertainment and some things to think about as we go about our daily lives.

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