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207 of 214 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon March 28, 2013
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I will put the caveats first:

1. You should not read this book as a stand-alone... too many references to the previous five volumes are made and much would be lost.

2. You have to accept the book for what it is - light prose depicting dark events with constant humor breaks.

3. You have to be willing to go with the pendulum swings of pessimism to optimism and back.

4. You have to be willing to follow the story with all of the descriptive prose that Mr. Koontz loves to use... if you get aggravated by too many adjectives or too much description, this might not be the book for you.

With that said, I think this book rivals the first Odd Thomas book in keeping the pace up, introducing interesting characters, and further developing a world that if we work and pay attention, we can easily relate to. I read the book in one sitting (who needs sleep??) and came away satisfied that the story ended where and how it should, with a good feeling of where he will go next. Enough has been left unanswered that I know I will come back to this universe as soon as the next book is out. I can't ask much more from a book.

As far as the story goes, it is a paranormal detective action adventure with lots of moral commentary thrown in and the humor strains that Koontz uses in his "lighter" books.

So - if you are a Koontz fan and liked the first Odd Thomas Book - I highly recommend this one!!

... and yes, there are dogs. :)

All the best,

Jay
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91 of 101 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon April 8, 2013
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I love the Odd Thomas books. When Dean originally announced this character's adventures, he said it would be a closed-ending series of books--probably ending at book seven. This is book six in the series, and while I love the Odd Thomas character I am also looking forward to the series ending in the next book if he follows through with his promise.

This novel, "Deeply Odd", is a great story for the most part. Odd Thomas is here using his psychic magnetism to track down the "rhinestone cowboy trucker" who has powers of his own. That was a nice twist, as we saw that Odd wasn't the only person in the world with a touch of the supernatural on their lives. Unfortunately, the things that made the first book so interesting have slowly begun to fade away in the last two or three novels in the series. I am all for character growth, but it seems as if Dean has almost lost his original idea of what made Odd so special and has been moving him into a new character. For one thing, in this novel the inner monologues become incredibly chatty, sometimes meandering so long you forget what Odd was doing at that point. Annamarie is another problem. I can fully appreciate the enigmatic angle Dean is going for with her, but she is so otherworldly now (appearing out of nowhere in a thrift store hundreds of miles away from where Odd left her, only to find she isn't really there but is still at home but WAS there hours ago...with no transportation of any kind) she's almost ridiculous.

But the thing I miss most in the Odd stories is the loss of the spirits of the lingering dead he used to encounter and help often. Alfred Hitchcock is along for the ride now and he's definitely the most fun companion Odd has had in the series because he genuinely seems to love being a ghost. But for the most part any other spirit is missing. He sees one as he is driving early in the book but doesn't stop to help them move on...which is what made him interesting in the first book. Even his ghost dog is no longer hanging out with him, relegated in the last two books to just hanging out with Annamarie while Odd is off fighting for his life.

Is Dean going to end the series with the next novel? I hope so. I hope Odd returns to Pico Mundo for one final adventure and then is reunited with his lost love forever, as he has been seeking since the first book. I hope the enigma of Annamarie is wrapped up as best as possible (since no possible explanation could work now satisfactorily). I hope Odd goes out as a hero and we get to enjoy the memory of a guest who left us at just the right time or maybe even a little too soon, so we'll miss him, rather than the guest who stays on well past their welcome and rattles on incessantly about being a fry cook who can make fluffy pancakes.
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59 of 68 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Odd Thomas is back in Dean Koontz's next edition of his episodic series as Deeply Odd. Odd is now "almost" twenty-two and it's been 19 months since his love and soul-mate Stormy Llewellyn has been mowed down in the shopping center mayhem. He now lives platonically with still pregnant Annamaria and is searching for the meaning of life.

On a trip to town Odd has an encounter with a flamboyantly dressed trucker whom he refers to as the Rhinestone Cowboy. He has a vision of him burning three children on stage with a flamethrower and follows the trucker to a market where he disappears. Odd knows his next quest has begun.

He meets Edie Fischer, an 86 year old pixyish FBI Agent Dana Scully look alike, who is in need of a chauffeur. Odd reluctantly accepts this roll as he needs a vehicle in which to follow the Rhinestone Cowboy to a truck stop. Here we meet the Koontz obligatory "Celeb du Libra" Alfred Hitchcock.

The reader begins to suspect that the Rhinestone Cowboy might have as many paranormal talents as Odd making him a formidable adversary. Odd, who believes that intuition is the highest form of knowledge knows he must play out this drama to save the three children as he continues the pursuit and follows the monster along the highways and byways of California and into his hellish chimeras.

This is a rather formulate novel but for those who are lovers of this character it's one of the better ones. I personally like Koontz's ability to play with words and phrases and often get a smile from the most innocuous of expressions. In describing this villain Dean says "He had Nordic features and a melanoma-doesn't-scare-me tanning-booth glow". When Mrs. Fischer was driving at breakneck speed she told Odd not to worry as she had dimples and "Dimples are a get-out-of-jail-free card". Another is "One good thing about a condemned man's last meal is that he doesn't have to worry about acid reflux".

This is just another light hearted dark comedy in the "Odd Thomas" series from the pen of Dean Koontz. It doesn't take itself seriously and in that respect is a fun read. Enjoy.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Prior to Deeply Odd, I have read one Koontz novel, Hideaway, which was chilling in the way thrillers are supposed to grip you to the end. I also read Odd is on Our Side, which interestingly isn't listed in the bibliography at the front of Deeply Odd, but introduced me to Odd Thomas, a whimsical world of good vs. evil with a wry sense of humor. It was enough to interest me into the Odd series. However, it hardly prepared me for the surprising world between the Odd covers.

Odd Thomas sees dead people, often helping them make what turns they need to move past the limbo between death and their next destination. Odd, himself, seems to be between way stations, guided by an inner sense of trouble to where his peculiar talents are needed. When he sees a rhinestone-studded cowboy who drives a foreboding 18-wheel rig, he has a flash-forward and knows the trucker will incinerate three innocent children as an entertainment on some demonic stage. Guided by a magnetic pull to danger, and with the assistance of his departed dog, Boo, and the late director, Hitchcock, Odd must track down the trucker to top his diabolical plan. But first, Odd has to figure out the undercurrents that threaten to tear a rift between the physical world and the forces of hell bent to destroy life.

Completely engrossing. Surprisingly insightful, and oddly uplifting. Koontz keeps surprising on every level. I'm astonished at his craft to write beautifully, in the midst of gripping terror, while illuminating good and evil, even bringing a sense of beauty suggestive of angels surrounding the mortal sphere, ready to help where and when they are most needed.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 25, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
We hear too much these days of "healthy self-image"; and it ignores a need to build that ourselves. Everyone hopes others will help us, affirm us, enable us to understand what we believe, and make us feel good about who we are.
Family therapists have said the most adjusted, least fearful, and most adaptable people are the ones who have worked to understand who they are (self-differentiated) and to decide what they believe (self-defined). It is usually those who will have the courage take a stand and act based on that knowledge.

Odd Thomas is a clear example of a self-defined and differentiated person. Though he has empathy for others, he is still able to act against them if necessary because he knows what he believes.

Moral certitude is unwelcome these days. We resent those who live with a degree of clarity and certainty as opposed to inhabiting the gray areas. Since he began his journey in Pico Mundo Odd has been aware he'll need to respond quickly to what he perceives as evil. He wends his way through ambiguity thoughtfully and determinedly, with a strength of will not only to act but to actually decide--even when paths aren't clear or easy.
Odd seems to know life will happen whether he's prepared for it or not. His magnetic north remains firm, he decides as best he can what should be done . . . so he acts.

Unlike others who assessed (and dismissed) Odd's inner dialog as Mr. Koontz indulging his pedantic impulses, I enjoyed and appreciated how Odd's careful self-analysis, how defining what he believes helps him adjust to what he sometimes is called upon to do.

If only our leaders did better work in this area of self-differentiation and self-definition. We might see less procrastination, less vacillating, less inaction. Odd knows (if no one else seems to) that situations will not always allow us to remain stuck. An informed self-definition will require us to act and deal with the consequences.

In a world populated with fearful minds aroused only to the level of indecision and inaction, the fictional Mr. Thomas is definitely Odd man out. His posthumous diary explains how he thought his way to knowing when and how he will take a stand and act on it.

I found Deeply Odd particularly enjoyable because Odd's ramblings demonstrate how his thinking leads him to act, and how he is able to do so with a minimum of wheel-spinning indecision. He tells us how he is becoming a person who can act when conditions aren't clearly defined. People may die unnecessarily while those who could help are trembling over whether to do something.
Odd acts because he's already expecting he'll have to, and will have to do it alone without knowing every option.

For all you who grouse about Odd's views being those of DK himself: I have enjoyed reading of a character whose views are formed by thinking them through, basing those views on life and its lessons rather than merely what someone taught in Poly Sci, or Soc. 101. Some of us who sat in those have learned the real world may compel us to rethink things.

Odd is odd because he already has.
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38 of 49 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon May 6, 2013
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I stopped reading Dean Koontz after the horrendously bad "False Memory," not only because of its own shortcomings, but because it marked the author's turn away from the excellent Moonlight Bay series, which to this day still awaits the concluding novel of the trilogy. I think you'll agree that 15 years has been long enough to wait. One of the reasons Koontz hasn't gone back to Christopher Snow's storyline appears to be his captivation with Odd Thomas, the short order cook who sees ghosts.

When I saw "Deeply Odd" available through Amazon Vine, I decided to give it a try. Of course, this is the sixth novel in the Odd Thomas series, so I had to start at the beginning. I'll say this: I plowed through them pretty quickly. I was able to borrow the first through my library as an ebook, and the second through the fifth through the library in hardcover. I read pretty quickly, but I finished the FIVE of these books (including "Deeply Odd") in April.

They're compulsively readable and relatively short novels. As a narrator, Odd has a distinct voice, although at times it's hard to believe he's only in his early twenties. I can chalk some of his worldly view to the fact that he's seen a lot of supernatural horrors, but on the other hand, in the first two novels, he had never ventured beyond the little desert city that he was born in. (He also has quite a libertarian view, which is consistent with what I know about the author, but not a very natural fit for the character. I'm not saying that young people can't be libertarians, but by the later books, the observations were becoming more forced, at least to me.)

Anyway, in the early books, Odd would see some ghost that would lead him to some upcoming horror to avoid. This made him a bit like a proactive version of the boy in "The Sixth Sense." However, in more recent books, he's gained another power -- sometimes when touching someone, he can see a possible future involving that person (usually a very bloody/nasty future). This makes him much like Johnny Smith in Stephen King's "The Dead Zone."

In "Deeply Odd," the future vision he sees is of three kids being burned to death intentionally, thus setting off a chase across California, Nevada, and other states to pursue the would-be killer. Along the way, he discovers an intersecting parallel universe, a soul-sucking entity from that other place, and a death cult.

Koontz still has a definite gift for the way he describes events and feelings in particular. But for some reason, despite the intriguing premise of Odd Thomas, I found "Deeply Odd" ultimately kind of bland. It should've stuck with me more than it did. I'm not sure why, except maybe that so many of the tropes here have been done elsewhere. Not necessarily better, but in more memorable ways.

3 stars is a little low for this, but 4 would be too much. This would be a good book for many writers, but it falls short of the best of Dean Koontz, which is a stretch in the mid-80s to the mid-90s, with awesome reads like "Strangers," "Watchers," Lightning," "Dragon Tears," "Dark Rivers of the Heart," and others.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
If you haven't read any Odd Thomas books, don't start here- start with the first one. If you have read Odd Thomas books, you will want to read this one no matter what. So go ahead, enjoy. It might not be great- but it is not a bomb, its a good solid read.

Is this the best of the Odd Thomas books? No, probably not. Is it a good book, worthy of a read? Definitely yes.

I hope that Mr. Koontz (should he ever browse these words) will forgive me for my boldness, but it appears he has reached a point in his Odd Thomas books where he is about to clear up the mysteries (to some degree anyway) and wrap things up- you can feel it. This book is necessary to that goal, as there are a lot of holes to fill in and the books' world view is still not complete. Mr Koontz tries to do this with a new story, a few new characters, and some new found weirdness that crack the door on the world and let us start seeing the outline of how it will be filled out.

The world view is classic Koontz- good people with great spirit are the heroes. We need more heroes and I'm good with that.

Does the book have some - uh - weaker points? Sure. First, the book tries too hard to bring a new reader into the world of Odd Thomas. Frankly, someone who picks up the book will have missed the best of Oddie and will suffer loss. Someone told me that if a book isn't numbered (Odd Thomas #X), your supposed to be able to pick it up cold. HINT: It's time to start numbering the books. The back story is distracting and a bit irritating to this long term reader.

Second, Odd seems to be having a bit of a identity crises. In the past books, his modesty shown through naturally, here it seems forced and repetitive. In other books, the story and actions spoke of simpleness and such, here, Odd very nearly says, "I am a simple and modest guy." IN other stories he spoke of people who had guided him and attributed much of his wisdom to him- "Chief Porter told me..." this seems missing. The "You are such a special young man" moments seem overdone as well- but then again, perhaps others will disagree.

Third, the ending seems contrived. I kept waiting for the twist that wasn't there. (If I knew what twist I was talking about, I'd be a great writer like Koontz, so I've got to be a bit vague here). The book plays out according the story line established by the first chapter. I won't give spoilers, but well, the crises moment works out too easily. I did like the final resolution in many ways, however.

Odd's obsession with Stormy continues to be brought up, but again, in words, not in story. I guess this is supposed to be sweet, but in some ways it seems contrary to the basic underlying premise that live in Odd's world is worth living- but then again, perhaps he is more depressed than I realize.

I guess we'll see what happens when the story closes back on itself in the next book. I will be eagerly awaiting it safe in the knowledge that even a mediocre Koontz book is better than most author's crowing piece.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on July 17, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Really liked Odd in his first books. Now, whenever I start to lose myself in the story, a cranky old man starts spouting right wing talking points out of Odd's mouth. It pulls me right out of the story and, to me, it doesn't sound like the Odd I know who keeps his life simple and just wants to do good. It sounds like the mean old man down the street who just comes out of his house to yell at kids to keep off his lawn. I can still see the old Odd I like most of the time, but the political rants are so jarring (and in my mind so out of character for Odd) that I can't finish this book and won't buy another.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon April 1, 2013
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Odd Thomas has a following amongst Koontz fans, and there's no doubt why: he's a quirky, truly unique character, the kind that only comes along every so often. He's the epitome of innocence, thrust into a corrupt world steadily spinning out of control.

The problem is, Odd is something of a one-trick pony. ODD THOMAS ranks among Koontz's best work; however, despite everything that happened in that volume (and since), Odd hasn't changed. He's gone from naive to...well, still naive. It's not a realistic progression, and Koontz's prose and plots don't do him any favors. Take DEEPLY ODD: our young hero finds himself pursuing a rodeo-wannabe truck driver. Odd gets a freaky vision of three children being burned alive, and follows this madman through eerie dimensions of space and time. There's a very deep, almost psychedelic tale here...but Koontz glosses it over with mundane prose and an overly-complex plot. Koontz's writing used to leave me floored; at times he bordered on poetry. But now he's sunk to referencing his own work--in this case, TWILIGHT EYES, which you should definitely check out--and going off-topic to bring us moral and spiritual lectures. Not to mention the dang dogs. They were great at first; WATCHERS is still his best work. But every...single...book...

Perhaps the greatest stumbling point of DEEPLY ODD is the lack of characterization. This is something that has plagued Koontz's work for roughly a decade now; I'll admit, I don't pick up every one of his books like I used to. I wait until I can get them for a discount, if then. Why? Because Koontz's characters are no longer morally complex. He's still tackling the same themes--good/evil, love, the triumph of the human heart--but he's doing it with characters who are so one-dimensional, they're practically cliches. Even Odd has suffered; Koontz has replaced "substance" with "quirkiness," leaving characters that are shallow and predictable. His villains, ever since FROM THE CORNER OF HIS EYE, have been basically the same cliched psychopath; and his supporting characters are either blatantly good or blatantly evil, and not a single one of them is in any way realistic.

Why give DEEPLY ODD a whole 3 stars, then? Because I refuse to give Koontz less; I know the spurts of brilliance he's capable of. Also, it's hard not to like Odd. He isn't nearly as interesting as when he was first introduced, but he's still a unique presence among popular literature. Perhaps there's nothing that's very "realistic" about him, but then that's part of his charm. If only the other characters, and plot, were realistic enough to make up for it, then DEEPLY ODD would be a first-rate thriller. As is, it's for Odd Thomas lovers only; fans of Koontz's older work should probably steer clear (although, by this point, they probably already know to do so).
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on September 20, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Before I get into the review, let me first say that I am a fan of Dean Koontz, though I have not read every Odd book. I read the first two and enjoyed them and picked back up with Odd Apocalypse. I disliked Odd Apocalypse but read enough positive reviews to give this book a chance. The original Odd Thomas is a bit of a distant memory for me, so I recall more the senses of the book and the characters rather than specific things. I do know that Odd was likable in the first two books, and that has changed with the past two books. This book is so poor it makes me question Dean Koontz as a writer as well as a storyteller.

Every person Odd ever meets would likely be the most unusual person you or I would ever meet. He meets an old woman (after having a food fight in a grocery store, chancing across a running Ford Explorer that was being used as a getaway vehicle for a bank robbery, and being run-off the road and flipping the vehicle) who seemed to be the size of a dwarf among her many eccentricities. As well, Odd meets a woman with the whitest teeth he's ever seen, another woman who had the constellations in her eyes, men who were so handsome they looked like living Ken dolls, and so on and so forth. Every single sentence of this work feels forced. The grocery store food fight feels forced. The rhinestone cowboy feels forced. The dialogue between Odd and his new employer is so unnatural, and repetitive it felt like no editor had even glanced at it. "Call me Edie, dear." "Yes, ma'am." That exact exchange happens probably twenty times.

And maybe all of this would be okay if there was some semblance of a story lurking beneath the ramblings and diatribes. As a parent I should be terrified at the prospect of children dying by being burned alive. That aspect of the story gets so lost in purple prose and Odd's internal dialogues and musings on the world it almost never feels like a horror book. Any action Odd takes, be it entering a room or killing someone, leads to paragraphs or pages, literally, of lamenting about the sad state of the world. If you stripped away Odd's internal musings and reflections on the past there is probably a boring novella left over. One more thing, and please feel free to comment if you agree, how tiresome is it to read what are supposed to be Odd's memoirs, written as if they're going to be graded by a high school English teacher? His use of prepositions is correct, but no one speaks or thinks in this way, especially not a 21 year old fry cook. Alfred Hitchcock returns and we are regularly treated (bored with) details about his professional life. At one point we learn that Alfred Hitchcock had a daughter "...upon who he doted." Just say he doted on! No one says "upon who/m he doted" in regular speech!

As others have remarked, the story is rather thin. Odd meets bad guy. Odd follows bad guy. However, the bad guy seems secondary to Odd's musings and the limo-driving, gun-toting, disguise-having, pixie of an old woman and her banter about being "smoothed out and fully blue." It's ridiculous.

This does not feel like a horror novel. This does not feel like the Odd Thomas from the first two books. This feels like Dean Koontz's bitterness about the world and politics and religion bleeding through his once likable character.
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