Friday, July 19, 2013

Odd Apocalypse

The sixth novel in Dean Koontz' Odd Thomas series is called Odd Apocalypse and leads to new and greater challenges for our hero Mr. Thomas. At the end of the fourth novel, Odd Hours, Odd has just saved the lives of tens of thousands of individuals by thwarting a terrorist plot to obliterate goodly chunks of several major cities. He beat a path out of the sleepy seaside resort of Magic Beach just ahead of the authorities. Traveling with him was a very strange young lady. Part waif, part mystic, part enigma, yet clearly Annamaria is of pure heart and compassion. The two of them meet up with a businessman, who is so charmed by Annamaria that he invites them to stay for a time at his estate Roseland. Upon arrival, they find Roseland to be more than just some small, rundown dwelling. It is a sprawling encampment, pristine, manicured, and a clear marker of the taste and wealth of its owner, Noah Wolflaw. (Note that the fifth novel in the series, Odd Interlude, contains a story of what happens on the way from Magic Beach to Roseland.)

In short order all of the wonder and magic of the place disintegrates into coal black dust. Odd learns that the members of the small staff of the estate, the cook, the groundskeeper, the maids, and the security chief, are not just quirky, but that they seem to be hiding something. The more that we get to know their host Mr. Wolflaw, the more we know that he is up to something no good. As Odd has the curiosity of a cat, he begins probing and poking around, which elicits a more than nasty response from his host and his workers. The more he investigates, the more strange things he finds. When strange turns to haunting and terror-ridden, Odd must use his gifts to find out what dangers have caused his supernatural gifts to lead him to Roseland. The title for this book, Odd Apocalypse is certainly appropriate.

At times this book teetered on the edge of an over-the-top madcap romp with overtures of a Mystery Science Theater 3000 movie. Yet Koontz knows when to let his protagonist shine with his wit and his wisdom, and when to evoke a bit of pathos to show us his hero's heart. I enjoyed my time with this one. Now onto the most recent story in the Odd Thomas adventure, Deeply Odd.