I continue to get Dean Koontzs new books as they are published. For the last few years, he has had two new books published each year. One of two of them did seem a bit more rushed than most of his books, but they were still entertaining. At the end of November 2005 Forever Odd was released. I got it when it first came out and then didnt get to read it as soon as I had wanted since December was a busy month for me.
Forever Odd is a sequel to Odd Thomas, a book that was published in December of 2003. This is one of the very few times that Koontz has actually done a sequel. A few of the things I will be mentioning about Forever Odd could be minor spoilers for people who havent read Odd Thomas yet. The books have their own plots so I do think it is possible that someone could read and enjoy the newest book without having read the previous book first. Certain things will make more sense if Odd Thomas is read first.
Odd Thomas - that was his given name - was laving a quiet life, trying to work through his feelings related to something that had happened six months before. Odd had been able to see ghosts for most of his life. The ghosts never spoke but they usually did need Odds help to crossover. The ghost of Elvis spent a lot of time with Odd. One night, Odd woke up to discover the ghost of someone he knew in his apartment. Odd felt like he had to check on what had happened and he discovered a horrible murder scene. The murdered man was the stepfather of Danny, Odds best friend. Danny had brittle bones and had suffered many broken bones over the years. He was very vulnerable to attack and wouldnt be able to defend himself. Danny was missing from the house. Odd felt that he had to be the one to find Danny.
Forever Odd took place six months after a certain event in Odd Thomas. That event had greatly changed Odds life and he was still trying to deal with it and figure out how to move on. That event took place late in the first book and did make the ending rather tragic. The event was mentioned a few times but it wasnt made a central point of this book. Odd didnt dwell on what had happened but he did think about it at times. There wasnt a direct connection between that event and what was going on in the new book. There was enough of an explanation about what had happened and how it affected Odd for new readers to know what was going on. People that have read the books in order would have a little more insight into why Odd did a few things. With the way the first book ended, it was nice to read about how Odd was doing and adjusting to what had happened. Thankfully this book didnt take the same sad turn that the first book did.
Forever Odd was written in the first person point of view from Odds perspective. Odd Thomas was written in that point of view as well. All of Odds thoughts and feelings about what he was dealing with were shared, making him a very developed character. There was already a strong foundation for Odd from the first book. The point of view did give a bit of a one-sided view of what was going on since Odd wasnt aware of everything. The reader learned things when Odd did. Koontz has only written a few books with this point of view. Anyone that doesnt like to read books written in this perspective probably wouldnt like this book. Odd was really the only main character and he was alone through most of the book. A few other characters turned up briefly in a few scenes without being as important or developed as Odd.
Odd had a unique ability to see spirts that havent crossed over yet. That ability was firmly established in the first book. Odd used that ability a few times throughout the book. He also had another ability connected to being able to locate people. He used that ability several times in his attempts to Danny. The things that Odd could do did add a supernatural element to the book. I thought that made the book interesting. I have read other books and even seen movies or tv shows that had people that could see ghosts, though the ghosts have usually been able to talk to whoever saw them. Odd being able to see spirits didnt play as big of a part in Forever Odd as it did in the first book. Many of Koontzs books have included something that was connected to the supernatural. Some of his books have had much stronger supernatural elements. People that dont like to read those sorts of books probably should avoid this one.
Even though the supernatural was involved in the plot, there was an actual human that was the villain instead of some sort of monster like has been in the case in other Koontz books. Odd did get the chance to talk to the person responsible and find out the reasons for why they had done things. The reasons were a bit strange and delved into the realm of the supernatural. Even though the villain believed in some strange things, it was still just a person. I tend to find the Koontz books that have actual people as the villains to be scarier than the ones that have some sort of monster. Even though it isnt that likely that someone would do the things Koontz comes up with in his books, it is still slightly possible, which is what makes it scary for me. The villain in Forever Odd was different and a bit scary without being one of the scarier villains that Koontz has created. I didnt think the book was that scary overall, so anyone wanting a really scary book to read could be disappointed.
Forever Odd did include some mystery and suspense. When the book started, Odd woke up to find a ghost in his apartment. He knew who the ghost was but not why they had come to him. That was answered fairly early in the book when Odd discovered that the man had been murdered and that Danny was missing. The reason for why those things had happened remained unanswered. Odd and even the police developed a theory quickly. After Odd realized that Danny was missing, the main focus of the book was on Odds search for his missing friend and why Danny had been taken. Odd did end up in some suspenseful situations. There was a conclusion by the end of the book, but I did feel like a few minor things were left unanswered.
At 334 pages, Forever Odd is one of Koontzs shorter books. Ive always thought that Koontz was extremely descriptive in his books. Some people have felt that he got too wordy with descriptions in previous books. I still feel that he was descriptive in this book, though it did seem like the descriptions didnt go into as much depth as has happened in other books. People who dont care for Koontzs longer descriptions may not have that problem with this book. The majority of the book took place over a very short time frame. I believe it was just over twenty-four hours. The last chapter or two of the book, which served to tie up some loose ends, took place a few months after the rest of the book. The book moved quickly without feeling like it was rushed. There were a few times when it did slow down slightly, but overall the book had a quick pace. Once I started reading, I finished the book in one afternoon.
Forever Odd was another very entertaining book by Dean Koontz. I would have liked it if a few more things were tied up in the conclusion, but I still enjoyed the book overall. It was nice to read another book with Odd as the main character. People that liked Odd Thomas should give this book a chance.
Dean Koontz Book Reviews
False Memory ~ One Door Away From Heaven ~ Shadowfires ~ By the Light of the Moon ~ The Face ~ Odd Thomas ~ Phantoms ~ Night Chills ~ The Taking ~ The Key to Midnight ~ Life Expectancy ~ Velocity ~ Dean Koontz's Frankenstein: Prodigal Son ~