Four years after the last Odd Thomas adventure, Dean Koontz has written the fifth book in the series: Odd Apocalypse. When most hear the ominous name, they assume this is the final volume. After all, if “apocalypse” is in the name, the world has to end, right? Though this is certainly the craziest novel in the series so far, the apocalypse is more subtle than you’d think.
Odd Thomas is a strange fellow. He’s now 22 years old, but his life is far from normal. Other than the fact that his legal name is, in fact, “Odd,” he has a sixth sense. He can see the ghosts of the lingering dead. They don’t talk, but they can communicate to him in other ways. This has guided Odd on a strange journey through the first four books of the series, and here it takes him to his darkest place yet.
In the midst of a much larger journey, Odd and his companion, a seven-month pregnant young woman named Annamaria, make a stop at Roseland, a 1920s mansion. Roseland is the home to a mysterious billionaire and his even stranger servants. Right away, Odd is aware that things are not right in this place. A ghost of a murdered woman on horseback confirms his dark suspicions, and the mystery of Roseland unfolds to greater horrors than Odd had ever imagined.
As far as I’m concerned, Odd Thomas is the greatest character Dean Koontz has ever created. He’s funny, humble, immensely likable, courageous, and just a joy to read about. Every time one of these novels comes out, I drop what I’m doing and make a point to pick up the book immediately. I’ve read each one within a day or two because they all are completely compelling. Though a reader could technically jump into the story at any of the books, I very much advise you to start at the beginning. Each story serves its own purpose, but there is a larger arc of the character that is worth the extra time.
Whereas I found the previous book in the series (Odd Hours) a little unsatisfying by the ending, Odd Apocalypse proves to be Koontz’s most creative book in years. It’s really got everything a great book needs. The characters are complicated and interesting. The story is very unique and provides a great deal of suspense. The ending is open enough that you crave more, but aren’t left on a cliffhanger. Seriously, buy this book.
Here, we see Odd in a more confused place than he has been previously. There are big things at work that he has not quite put his finger on, but we will surely learn more early next year when book six comes out. There’s a lot to love about every Odd book, but this one ranks third in the series for me. I applaud Mr. Koontz for crafting this brilliant series that has stayed strong five books in.
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