From Publishers Weekly
Rarely has a character been so instantly embraced by readers as Koontz's unlikely hero, Odd Thomas, the wise and gentle fry cook, who just happens to see dead people. It is just as rare for a narrator to so perfectly capture the essence of a character that it is hard to imagine anyone else giving him voice, but such is the case with Baker. In this third adventure, Odd has left his hometown and taken up residence in a monastery high in the Sierras. Surrounded by loving but eccentric brothers and sisters, Odd hopes to rest and recover from the horrific events of the last two books. But after he discovers the body of one of the monastery brothers, Odd finds himself going up against a supernatural force that threatens the lives of everyone who lives within the monastery walls. Baker beautifully interprets the first-person narration. Like Odd himself, Baker's delivery is mellow and low key, perfectly fitting Odd's calm, self-possessed point of view. Suspenseful, funny and heartbreakingly sweet, this is a fine, enjoyable production.
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The third adventure of Odd Thomas, the boy (well, he's 21, but still . . .) who sees ghosts, has a lighter feel to it than the gruelingly suspenseful Forever Odd
(2005) and the funny and moving Odd Thomas
(2003). It's reminiscent of a sunny monster-movie sequel--say, Son of Frankenstein--
in which stock characters do their shtick with a wink and a nod: "Dontcha just love us?" In this case, yes, we do. Odd has retreated to a monastery in the Sierra Nevadas that permanently hosts a billionaire physicist in an underground lab. The mogul has given his entire fortune to support the monastery and attached convent in their work of housing and educating severely damaged children, the most interesting of which is now a 25-year-old artistic savant. As the story opens, bodachs--animated shadows that gather in anticipation of lethal violence, which only Odd among the living sees--are invading the children's quarters. Can Odd mitigate the coming cataclysm? Of course he can, despite the arrival of murderous bone creatures and grim Death itself, for the monks include quite a contingent of reformed martial sinners, most memorably Brother Knuckles, formerly of the New Jersey Mob, and another guest, a mysterious Russian librarian from Indianapolis, who is more and different than Odd thinks he is. Koontz salts Odd's narration with some wonderful zingers at the expense of cultural degeneracy and political folly. A darned good time should be had by all readers. Ray OlsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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