This book came from the library, and I will never give you less than an honest review, no matter its source. I do provide informational and purchase links to make it more convenient for you to access the book. I also receive a percentage of the sale if you use one of my links to buy it. And that's not enough money to be less than truthful *grin*.
by Dean Koontz
Series: Odd Thomas #5
Other books by this author that I've reviewed include Odd Thomas, Forever Odd, Brother Odd, Odd Hours, Deeply Odd, The City, Odd Thomas: You Are Destined to Be Together Forever (Short Story), Saint Odd.
Fifth in the Odd Thomas horror lite series revolving around a young man compelled to help the dead.
I want to give it a “2” for how incredibly confusing this was, and yet it does merit, IMO, a “4” in the intriguing twist department, so I reckon it averages out to a “3”.
It starts with a feel of Brother Odd, 3, and quickly descends into mystery with Odd’s pantomime with the ghostly rider and even quicker into horror with the waking vision Odd has of flocks of leathery creatures swarming. A blend of science fiction, horror, and the paranormal that will have you reeling as you try to figure out what’s going on. There are so many confusing scenes in this, don’t be surprised if it takes most of the story to figure it out.
All this confusion will drive the reader mad — and help you to feel what Odd must have felt as he encountered the horrors, the anomalies that make no sense. The tension, the drama, the questions that rise up like bones in a murky swamp. The fear as the truth is revealed bit by bit.
Kenny’s presence, the zombie-like creatures, the murder victims all lined up. Odd’s dreaming of a Nazi death camp threw me off, adding to the confusion. I’m also confused by Koontz’s description of the zombie-like creatures. They sound like men, then swine; he refers to them as bear-like, as boars. I simply can’t picture them. I kept wondering why Odd didn’t simply re-enter the mausoleum and close the door. Why he didn’t simply turn off Tesla’s machine?
What an absolute treat! An author who understands when to use blonde!
“Anyway, the dead can be even more frustrating to deal with than are many of the living, which is astonishing when you consider that it’s the living who run the Department of Motor Vehicles.”
Arghh, Annamaria is going to drive me bats! She’s so cryptic as she teases Odd into following his path, discovering his purpose in this menacing place.
Serendipity finds Odd and the pregnant Annamaria invited to a retired hedge fund manager’s estate. Only there are so many restrictions and constraints placed on Wolflaw’s new guests, that one both wonders and fears why he would bother to invite anyone.
The controls simply stimulate Odd’s curiosity, and he can’t resist poking and questioning Wolflaw’s staff and exploring the hidden corners and depths of the estate. The fear is something that builds. Wondering how day can turn to night and back again within so short a time. The encounters with ghosts and zombie-like creatures, or maybe they’re bears. Bears with red-eyes. Begging Annamaria to allow them both to leave. A request she refuses, over and over, reminding him that his talent has led him here and that he must not falter.
Odd Thomas is a fry cook, although it’s been awhile since he’s plied his trade. In truth, he has an odd gift that pulls him from catastrophe to calamity with ghosts who appear to him, hoping he can set things right. Stormy Llewellyn is Odd’s girlfriend who died in Odd Thomas, 1.
Annamaria is the Lady of the Bell, a pregnant woman whom Odd met in Magic Beach and rescued in Odd Hours, 4. The couple is accompanied on their travels by Raphael, a golden retriever from Odd Hours and Boo, a German shepherd ghost dog, who chose to accompany Odd in Brother Odd, 3. Blossom is another friend from Magic Beach.
Roseland is a private estate in Montecito, California, owned by Noah Wolflaw, a retired hedge fund manager. Chef Shilshom is the chef. Mrs. Valerie Tameed is the housekeeper who provides Annamaria with luggage and clothing. Henry Lolam is part of the security on the estate; Paulie Sempiterno is chief of the security team. Victoria Mors is a housemaid. Jam Diu is the groundskeeper. The nine-year-old Timothy is kept prisoner in his room, a dead boy kept alive by Tesla’s time machine. Just as the estate remains perfect clean and tidy. Timothy is a reminder for Cloyce that he has the power over life and death.
Jack Keister is a behemoth of a guy carrying an Uzi and looking more thuggish motorcycle biker than security for an estate like Roseland. He hates his name and has changed it to Kenneth Randolph Fitzgerald Mountbatten.
A newspaper mogul and founder of a movie studio, Constantine Cloyce, built Roseland in the early 1920s. There are rumors he was a little too interested in the bizarre. When Cloyce died in 1948 and was interred on the property alongside his wife, Madra, and their child, a South American mining heir bought the place.
The Cover and Title
The cover is terrifying in its layers of a woods-surrounded house in a haze of orange and yellow creating the highlights on the man’s demonic-looking face.
The title refers to our time and a horrific future’s interfacing, leading to what could be an Odd Apocalypse.