Saturday, 25 October 2014

Odd Thomas & The Long Walk


When we last left Odd Thomas, his life wasn't going very well. Sure, he saved Pico Mundo from a horrible disaster and prevented many deaths, but it cost him dearly in the end. Forever Odd is in many ways an epilogue to the original novel and an expansion on the original concept, making it an overall better book.

Not only dealing with his "success" from the original book, Odd's life is falling apart. After not succeeding in saving everyone from the last story, he is haunted with his failures further when his best friend is kidnapped after the step-father is murdered, and it might be his fault. See, Odd is something of a celebrity now, which means he attracts all kinds of unwanted attention.

This builds the concept of this very welcome sequel that is also quite different from the original.

You see, each Odd Thomas book is not quite the same as the one before it. They frequently involve different elements of different genres with the only real constant being Odd Thomas himself. In Forever Odd, we find Odd acting more like a sleuth (think MacGuyver) in order to foil a kidnapper's plot and save a friend's life. It's not as big a threat as the one from the original, it's far more personal, but one that is very effective, nonetheless.

One aspect about this story that was done very well were the villain characters. Koontz never explicitly tells you what their deal is, but as the story goes along it is quite clear they aren't human, and by the end it is confirmed.

That's probably my favorite aspect of this book. Most everything not mentioned in the main plot is implied through dialogue or character action and the story flows from there. It is a neat touch that really sets it apart from the original novel.

What deserves mention is the ending. Odd finds himself at his personal worst in this book, continuing on from the first book, and ending in a rebirth of sorts by the end. This rebirth coincides as the plot draws to a close and Odd makes one last decision which will end up changing his life and, if futurue books are to be believed, the world.

If you've read the original, give Forever Odd a read. It's even better, and points the way to better things ahead.

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