Monthly Challenge: Popular Paranormal Completed!
Dang, Dean Koontz… I think that was the sound of my heart breaking…
Odd Thomas is not for the petty or unromantic. I think the main character, Odd, was one of the most endearing characters I have ever read and his narration was beatific. Written in first POV, Koontz gives so much heart and soul to this character that I don’t think it really fit in the “horror” genre. In a bleak world, Odd was such a lively and hopeful soul… his story wasn’t fast-paced, but it was full to brimming with emotion.
For the January Reading Challenge, I am pleasantly surprised at this book. I chose it because its series member, Saint Thomas, was number one in Goodreads’ best horror books of 2015. In all honesty, I wouldn’t peg Odd Thomas as a horror series at all. If anything, it’s somewhat thrill-ery with a touch of fantasy. There are ghosts and demons and special powers and even a hint of theology (which I personally love!). Odd is a young man who specializes in being a fry cook… and also a paranormal beacon. He values his friends and his girlfriend more than his own parents (who are despicable!), and he lives a simple life outside of the fantastical abilities that had been bestowed upon him since birth. These powers allow him to forecast a terrible attack on the people of his small town of Pico Mundo, and it is up to him to stop it.
I did like this book, and I’m glad I picked it up. I think the pacing was slow, but that may just be something that has been ingrained in me based on the kind of books I usually read. This book was more literary than I had expected, actually. What makes a book more literary than genre, you ask? Well, in a very simplified version, it means you can actually discuss a book without saying what it’s about. You can talk about the themes and the metaphors and what you think about the characters without actually discussing what the characters are going through. In this regard, Koontz wrote a fairly literary novel in a “horror” genre. Pretty astounding, if you ask me.
All-in-all, it was a very enjoyable book. It was entertaining and engrossing (and goddamn some of the lines in this are so poetic… they’ve stayed with me for days). But, if you’re looking for an actual horror book, I would stay away. Sure, there is an air of despair about it, but you kind of get that with any book about ghosts. It’s more of a romantic piece than anything. So, if you need a break from typical scary stories and want a lighter version with love and friendship, I would say go for it!
Now, have any of you seen the movie? I may have to watch it just to see if it can capture the emotions of the book. I feel like first POV books are harder to make into movies because the narrative is so internal.
Until next time! And if you’re interested in following my reading throughout the month, follow me here on Goodreads!