Tags: koontz, review
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Finally, a new Odd Thomas story after quite a while (the Odd Interlude series was a good warm-up to this new one).
I enjoy the tone of the Odd Thomas books. Casual, as if we’re having a conversation. His sarcastic remarks or odd observations at tense moments make this a fun read even when there are mutant pig people trying to rip him apart. This lightens the otherwise ominous tone of Odd’s struggle with the darkness he must use to accomplish his missions. I don’t care for the repeated references to his short life span. It’s as if Koontz is preparing us for his coming demise. I hate to think of it, yet it feels inevitable.
Overall, I think it’s the character of Odd Thomas that draws me to these stories. He’s a unique character, one that you can’t help empathizing with and even growing to care about. And not wanting to DIE.
A third of the way through Apocalypse, I was missing the character of Annamaria, wishing she was more a part of the story. It’s not that her character is so brilliant. We actually don’t know much about her, though we do learn a bit more about who she is in this story. Annamaria provides Odd with clues, encouragement, and even hope. But she’s not a part of the story. Although Odd talks about her often enough that she feels like she should be, like at any point she will become more central to the story, she doesn’t. When Odd wants or needs to speak with her, he goes to her room, which she never leaves. It’s… odd. Perhaps Koontz will reveal more about her in the next installment. On the other hand, Nikola Tesla was an interesting addition, since we didn’t know what he was for a while.
Koontz seems to explain a bit more than I remember him doing in previous Odd Thomas books. At first, there are some good reminders, but at times it feels like Odd is repeating himself.
I also noticed that there are fewer spirits in this story for Odd. Just the one, really, and a brief visit by another. It makes it feel less like an Odd Thomas story and more like an ordinary mystery. A good mystery, but there is something of the previous Odd Thomas stories that’s missing.
Despite these disappointments, once Odd found the weird mechanical things, I was fascinated. The tension and action build from then on, and there are few disappointments after that. Perhaps my familiarity with Odd Thomas is what makes this story seem a little less out of the ordinary. And yet, a fascinating mystery.
In Odd’s words: There is in me a darkness that, by darkness challenged, will rise up and have its way. I act in defense of the innocent, but I sometimes must wonder if I will be innocent in my own heart, or even redeemable, at the end of my strange road.
I can’t help but wonder at Odd’s fate myself.