Monday, February 15, 2016

Audiobook Review: Odd Hours

Odd Hours
Publisher: Brillance Audio
Release Date: May 20th, 2008
Format: Audiobook narrated by David Aaron Baker
Summary Via GoodReads

My Rating: ★★★ 1/2

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD

Only a handful of fictional characters are recognized by first name alone. Dean Koontz's Odd Thomas is one such literary hero who has come alive in listeners' imaginations as he explores the greatest mysteries of this world and the next with his inimitable wit, heart, and quiet gallantry. Now Koontz follows Odd as he is irresistibly drawn onward, to a destiny he cannot imagine. The legend began in the obscure little town of Pico Mundo. A fry cook named Odd was rumored to have the extraordinary ability to communicate with the dead. Through tragedy and triumph, exhilaration and heartbreak, word of Odd Thomas' gifts filtered far beyond Pico Mundo, attracting unforgettable new friends - and enemies of implacable evil. With great gifts comes the responsibility to meet great challenges. But no mere human being was ever meant to face the darkness that now stalks the world - not even one as oddly special as Odd Thomas. After grappling with the very essence of reality itself, after finding the veil separating him from his soul mate, Stormy Llewellyn, tantalizingly thin yet impenetrable, Odd longed only to return to a life of quiet anonymity with his two otherworldly sidekicks - his dog Boo and a new companion, one of the few who might rival his old pal Elvis. But a true hero, however humble, must persevere. Haunted by dreams of an all-encompassing red tide, Odd is pulled inexorably to the sea, to a small California coastal town where nothing is as it seems. Now the forces arrayed against him have both official sanction and an infinitely more sinister authority...and in this dark night of the soul, dawn will come only after the most shattering revelations of all. 
So I am really enjoying Odd's journey, and I definitely want to continue this series and see when it finally takes him back to Pico Mundo. I know he is making his journey back there at some point. 

This one really showed that Odd is getting dark and he's doing things that he's not morally okay with, but he has to do it for the greater good. I really like that Koontz has Odd wrestling with these ideas. Odd doesn't think he is a hero, but every adventure he has we see that he really is the hero because he protects innocent lives at any cost. In this book Odd does a lot of killing and even though it's justifiable because these people have a plot to blow up the town and would kill a lot of people, Odd still struggles with it. Odd has never been comfortable with guns or killing, but in this story he's not given much of a choice. 

I really like that Koontz makes Odd and the reader struggle with these issues. He doesn't paint the hero vs. villain plot as a black or white issue. Just because Odd killed the villains in this novel, doesn't make him feel like a good person. Yes he did save many lives, but he still had to take lives to do it. Having him struggle with making these sort of choices make this series so interesting to read. You have to ask yourself, "Is the hero really good?" I believe that Odd does everything he can to not resort to murder and he always tries to find peaceful ways out of the situations he gets into, but he comes up against a lot of bad people who would kill him in a second without batting an eye. I do find Odd inherently good, but the choices he has to make do weigh heavy on him.

The one thing that I am still scratching my head about is the pregnant girl Annamaria. Who was she? We know that she doesn't have a partner, so where did the pregnancy come from? She also doesn't work, but she has a room that is given to her free of charge. I thought at first maybe she was just a spirit, and even though she talks to Odd, I thought this was the author's way of showing his paranormal powers getting stronger. That theory was nixed when he takes her to stay with his friend Blossom. So she's not a spirit, but who is she? The book ends with her pointing out the constellation Cassiopeia, the one that Odd and Stormy loved, but I'm not sure I understand what this means. There is still a lot of mystery to this woman, and I want to know more about her. 

The mystery and suspense is what keeps me wanting to continue this series. The ending of this one left me with a few questions, so I definitely want to pick up the next one to see if those things get answered.

Happy Reads Everyone!