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Forever Odd (Odd Thomas) Hardcover – November 29, 2005

4.1 out of 5 stars 822 customer reviews
Book 2 of 7 in the Odd Thomas Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Besides having an unusual moniker, 21-year-old Odd Thomas (whom readers first met in Koontz's 2003 novel of the same name) has some very unusual powers, chief among them his ability to see the dead. He can see, feel and talk to them, too (though they don't talk back: "Perhaps they know things about death that the living are not permitted to learn from them"). These days Odd is still hosting the ghost of a morose Elvis Presley, still grieving for his dead girlfriend, Stormy, and still worrying about his very fat friend P. Oswald Boone, whose cat, Terrible Chester, likes to pee on his shoes. Late one night, Odd is summoned by the ghost of Dr. Wilbur Jessup to the Jessup home, the site of a gruesome murder. Dr. Jessup is the father of Odd's best friend, Danny, who is afflicted with osteogenesis imperfecta, also known as brittle bones. Odd finds Dr. Jessup's body, but Danny is missing. Since Odd has what he describes as "psychic magnetism," he can follow an invisible mental trail, which in this case leads him to his endangered friend. After he finds Danny in a spooky, burned-out Indian casino, it is Odd who becomes the quarry. The beautiful and stunningly evil Datura, aided by two frightening minions, wants to use Odd for his supernatural abilities—and then kill him. Odd's strange gifts, coupled with his intelligence and self-effacing humor, make him one of the most quietly authoritative characters in recent popular fiction. (Nov. 29)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Grieving the loss of his fiancee, killed during the climax of his eponymous debut despite anything he and his supernatural intuition could do, Odd Thomas returns in a more suspenseful but less piquant adventure. Only a year older (21), he feels almost ancient and more rueful than ever about his gift for seeing ghosts, Dr. Wilbur Jessup's in particular. The loving stepfather of Odd's brittle-boned friend Danny was alive yesterday, so Odd investigates, as the "psychic magnetism" that attends his ghost-seeing compels him to, and finds the physician brutally murdered and Danny missing. Odd tracks Danny and his abductors to an abandoned casino-hotel, closed by an earthquake that killed dozens five years ago. It's a trap. Danny is bait to draw Odd to Datura, a spookily self-absorbed, wealthy porn entrepreneur and New Age nut, who, obsessed with violent death, wants Odd to make ghosts visible to her. He can't, but there are eight ghosts in the casino, one of whom comes in handy when Odd escapes Datura and her two gorillas, rescues and hides Danny, and engages in the protracted, lethal game of cat-and-mouse that makes the novel good-to-the-last-page enthralling. Quite apart from Odd's moroseness (understandable given his circumstances and endearing youthfulness), the tale's stranglehold suspense allows for less of the offbeat humor that lightened Odd Thomas (2003). Datura is a creation that allows Koontz some sledgehammer polemicizing against alternative religion and spirituality, which additionally darkens things. Not to complain, though. This is only slightly less than top-drawer Koontz. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • Series: Odd Thomas (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; First Edition edition (November 29, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553804162
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553804164
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (822 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Terry Mesnard VINE VOICE on January 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Note: As you can see from both the polarizing response my review has gotten (25 helpful, 29 unhelpful) and other reviews here, this book is a love it or hate it. Ignoring for a moment that it is an Odd Thomas book and looking at it as simply a thriller, I still believe it isn't a very good novel. The writing is sloppy, the villains insipid. Deus Ex Machina abounds, the ending is melodramatic. But I can over-look most of these if the novel thrills me. Forever Odd didn't. Not once was I fearful, not once did a passage grip me and pull me along. In fact, this is one of the first Koontz books that had me skimming to get the gist of what happened.

For those who don't know whether to read this or not, no one can honestly say. I, for one, did not like this book. Others here did. Personally, if you are going to read it and aren't collecting, I would wait for it to come out on paperback. Its just not up to Koontz's (or Odd's) thriller top. And I don't see why we should support weak work; particularly when Koontz is spitting out books so quickly (Husband is coming out next month) and, in my opinion, sloppily.

Unhelpful votes, here I come!

My Review:
Two years ago, Dean Koontz released Odd Thomas and created his most memorable and lovable character ever. That story fascinated me and the characters pulled me along. It was by far one of the most endearing and tender stories, while at the same time tense and dark. When I heard that Forever Odd was coming out and would be another story centering on Odd, I was over-joyed.

What pulled me along in the first book was Odd's use of language. Koontz did a great job making Odd's voice unique and the first person narrative was perfect.
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Format: Hardcover
Odd Thomas was perhaps one of my favorite lead characters in ANY recent book I've listen to (Yes, I'm an audio book fan). The first book was awesome. You really got to know Odd and cared for him and what happens to his friends. The fact that Odd sees ghosts and more hilariously, talks to Elvis, was very compelling to hear. Great concept. But......and I hesitate to say this, only because I know people don't like to hear that one of their favorite authors has dropped a stink bomb...........but Dean has. And boy, does this one stink. ALL the things I loved about the first book (his relationship with Stormy, the black shadowy ghost things (can't remember their names) that come out when bad things are going to happen, his many interactions with Elvis, bumping into dead people......etc) are ALMOST non existent in Forever Odd. It's like he decided to take everything that was great in the first book and throw it out the window. Which really @#$%^ me off, because the first book was so damn good.

In Forever Odd, you just don't CARE what happens to Odd or Dr. Jessup's son he's trying to save. Which leads me to another problem with the book. Dr. Jessup's son has brittle bone disease and has had it most of his life. Dean goes on to give several examples of how Danny broke bones throughout his life. One of which was when he broke his wrist by flicking playing cards. Now, I don't doubt that that can happen, but if he's THAT brittle, how could he have been kidnapped? I mean, the struggle alone would have crushed him.

What happens in the end to the kidnapper is ridiculous and completely uneventful. But what happens to Odd and where he ends up is even WORSE.

I know that many people will most likely click on the button that says this review was not very helpful.
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2 Comments 82 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you love Odd Thomas I guess you'll have to buy this book - but I warn you - don't bother!

Suddenly Odd has a best friend we never heard of in the entire first book, whose life he has to save from some meglo-maniacal new-age wanna-be witch lady protected by psuedo-zombie male followers, all holed up in an old Indian casino. For some reason Odd must transverse an underground drainage system to get there, which takes up half the book, why Koontz thought this would be interesting is unknown to me. Once he gets there his psychic magnetism and numerous failures of architecture thwart his rescue attempts. Unfortunately this creates little more suspense than does 100 pages of running through drainage tunnels.

This sequel totally lacks the gut-wrenching twists of fate that defined Odd Thomas, and all of the humor that made that book so wonderfully readable. The plot limps along to a boring climax involving a villain we are never frightened by. I truly enjoyed Odd Thomas, and I want more of this eccentric, haunted character, but please, let's give him something half way interesting to do!

I hope the next chapter in this series, Brother Odd, will prove much more entertaining.
12 Comments 65 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
Koontz could be considered to writing what Kinkade is to art. He is formulaic in all of his writings that I've ever read. There's always a girl in trouble and there's always someone there to rescue her. Despite this I still enjoy reading his novels because every so often something he writes really grabs me. Odd Thomas was that book, and character, as of late.

When I originally read Odd Thomas I was drawn into the book by the central character. But it wasn't only the central character, Odd, but the assortment of secondary players that also drew me into the story. By the time I finished reading the book I felt I should have paid more for it.

Sadly, Forever Odd is not the first book. I don't like to draw comparisons (OK, I really do but I'm trying to make this even more believable) but I think this book is suffering the Matrix complex. You know? The complex where sequels don't really fit that well to the original seemingly pushed out quickly and with not much regard for the first happening.

I wanted to love this book, desperately so. I wanted this to be something other than the sophomoric slump for Odd. But it wasn't. The story's side characters aren't as capturing this time and the central plot isn't really worth the character that was originally written.

If you're a die hard Koontz fan then this book is for you. If you're a mediocre fan that was hoping for the second coming of Odd Thomas this isn't the book for you.
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