Tuesday, January 1, 2013
ODD APOCALYPSE by Dean Koontz
Although Odd Thomas claims to be only a fry cook, he possesses a special gift: he can see dead people. However, they are unable to communicate with him verbally which makes it hard for Odd to understand why they seek him out. In this latest installment of the Odd Thomas series, Odd and the enigmatic Annamaria have been invited to stay in a stone tower at Roseland, an estate built in the early '20s by a wealthy man named Constantine Cloy. There, Odd encounters a spectral young woman in white with blood on her chest riding a black stallion who manages to communicate to Odd that she wants him to save her son. As Odd explores the grounds of the estate, he encounters strange time shifts and other-worldly creatures. The small staff is elusive and secretive and some do not make much of an effort to hide their hostile feelings toward Odd. Odd eventually locates the imprisoned youngster in the mansion and promises to help him escape but this proves to be a dangerous undertaking. And what Odd discovers and witnesses as he seeks to free the boy prove to be suspenseful and horrendous. A very pregnant Annamaria as well as the German shepherd ghost dog Boo play tertiary roles at best in this book. As always, Annamaria enchants those she meets and speaks in riddles. Odd isn't really sure why he is with her but knows there is a reason not yet revealed to him. Adding a chilling context to the read is the statement Odd makes that his stories will not be published until after his death. Koontz excels at portraying evil characters and does not disappoint with this outing. Of interest is his introduction of Nikola Tesla into the character pool and the way in which he weaves the plot around Tesla's futuristic inventions. There's plenty of nail-biting suspense and horrific creatures and characters, ensuring another exciting read from the master of storytelling.