I picked up Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz the other day when I was in the bookstore looking for the new Mark Lawrence. I’d never actually read a Dean Koontz – I’ve always meant to try his Frankenstein series but never gotten around to it – and I’d heard good things about this series too.
And guess what? Odd Thomas is a cool hero. The kind of hero I wish we could see more of in female-focused urban fantasy as well. He doesn’t mooch around whining about how hard it is to have paranormal powers and how much his widdle life sucks. He doesn’t feel the need to be a snarky wise-ass to prove how tough he is. And – though it turns out he has good cause to be, oh yes – he isn’t so damn angry all the time.
He just gets on with it. Odd sees the ghosts of the restless dead, and avenges them. He also sees creatures he calls bodachs, the bloodthirsty harbingers of disaster – and he becomes convinced that a creepy local resident, whom he names Fungus Man, is about to commit a mass murder.
It’s an entertaining book. Koontz writes well. Odd is an unusual hero. And if underneath the paranormal paint, it’s really just a whydunit – or more correctly, a why-they-gonna-do-it – then who really cares? Try it out for something a little different to the usual urban fantasy fare. The paranormal elements are murky and not in-your-face – like, there are no vampire clans or werewolf packs or fairy kingdoms. Just Odd and his second sight, and a shifting sense that there’s something darker going on in the shadows.
I believe this book is going to be (or is already) a movie, with Anton Yelchin as Odd. There are more (like, ten and counting) books in the series. You can check them out at the author’s page.