Friday, July 12, 2013

Odd Interlude

The sixth book in the Odd Thomas series is entitled Odd Interlude. This book represents a sort of side road story that takes place between the books Odd Hours and Odd Apocalypse. It was initially released as a three-part e-book, but was subsequently published as a standard mass-market paperback. The story takes place on the drive from Magic Beach (the setting in Odd Hours) to Santa Barbara (the starting point for Odd Apocalypse). Those who have been following my reviews on the books in this series will now know that Mr. Odd Thomas is a likable man, early 20s, decent, honest, loyal, and respectful. He would call himself just an average guy, with nothing special about him. However, he has the unique ability to interact with the lingering spirits of this world that have, for some reason, not been able to move on to their final resting place. As the series has developed, Odd's interactions with these lingering spirits have gone from the main mechanism that has driven the plot forward, to more of a bit of comic relief. As the stories have gone on, the schemes of the folks that Odd has thwarted have grown more grandiose, more over-the-top. However, while that could make for a dismissible pretense, it is the protagonist with his winsome ways, his selfless manner, and his wry humor, that has kept me turning page after page.

In this story, Odd's supernatural psychic abilities have caused him to stop at a truck stop along his journey. He is pulled there because he senses a controlling evil that he cannot ignore. What he finds is a waystation run by a large family that at first glance seems charming. However, he notices that several family members have strange injuries. As he starts to puzzle this, several of the family members go from acting kindly toward him to threatening. When he has an encounter with a strange entity who tries to take over his mind, he knows that something is very wrong in this place called Harmony Corner. Finally, he comes across a 12 year old girl who is hiding from her family because she fears for her life. The truth then comes out and it is left to Odd to try to save the day. A far-fetched plot to be sure, but still a fun romp between the main elements of the story arc. Now onto the next book in the series, Odd Apocalypse.