Thursday, April 16, 2009

Book Review: Odd Hours by Dean Koontz

Book Review
Dean Koontz first introduced us to this likeable character in Odd Thomas. Odd Hours is the fourth in this series, and follows Forever Odd and the third installment, Brother Odd.

Odd Hours is in ways unlike the first three books of the series. If you've joined Odd throughout his journey, you might notice in Odd Hours that Odd spends much less time dealing with the spirits of the dearly departed and, practically, the entire book trying to rescue the world from the certainty of nuclear destruction.

Odd Hours is at times compelling and at others merely entertaining, though it dishes up just enough to make the reader want to keep reading. Especially if you've followed Odd along his journey since the beginning.

In Odd Hours, America's favorite seer of the dead is faced with an entirely new challenge, as he finds himself literally seeing the future when coming into contact with those who are planning a mass attack on four American cities. Odd finds himself committed to rescue a woman he doesn't know -- has never even met -- who seems to know so much about him. His oath to die for her results in Odd taking matters into his own hands as he attempts to hi-jack four nuclear weapons destined to wreak havoc on four major cities and cause untold thousands of deaths.

I enjoyed Odd Hours, better than some of the series, but not quite as much as Forever Odd. One thing that stood out to me -- and as an author myself maybe I notice this more than the average reader -- was what I considered to be a pretty major inconsistency in the tale. In chapter 32 on page 224 of the hardback edition of the book, Odd is receiving a weapon from Birdie Hopkins, a woman who appears out of the fog to rescue him. {emphasis mine}
The weapon was a pistol. I examined it.

"No safeties," she said. "Double action. Ten rounds in the magazine. You know how to use such a thing?"

"Yes ma'am. I'm no Bonnie's Clyde, but I won't shoot my foot, either."
When I read this, I expected to find there would be some significance to the fact that the gun had no safeties. Maybe Odd would end up firing the weapon by accident at a time that it would put him in grave peril.

Later, in chapter 42, on pages 290 and 291 in the hardback edition, Odd draws the weapon, and I was sitting on the edge of my seat, wondering what would happen because of the missing safety. {emphasis mine again}
In case the redheaded gunmen had come visiting Hutch, had not been convinced by his performance, and had settled down to wait for me, I examined the compact pistol. The ten-round magazine held nine. I switched off the safety.
It continues on the next page.
When I peered cautiously through the open parlor door, I saw Hutch in the armchair where I had left him. The chenille throw lay across his lap and draped his knees; but he had put the book aside. He snored softly.

I engaged the safety on the little pistol, and pocketed the weapon.
Again, I figured maybe I would find something later in the story to indicate that Odd had not actually engaged and disengaged a safety, but that he had done something else by mistake. Unfortunately, there was no more mention of the mysterious safety. I think what bugs me most about it is that the act of engaging and disengaging the safety adds nothing to the story. Both underlined sections above could have been omitted from the book without detracting from the story and, in fact, might have eliminated this confusion.

Dean Koontz's Odd Hours is published by Bantam Books, and I find it inexcusable that such a large publishing house doesn't have someone who can catch such inconsistencies before the book goes to publication. Nothing major, just a pet peeve of mine. It didn't take away from my enjoyment of the book, and I'm sure it won't take away from yours, either.

Your comments?


1 comment:

Darrin Dant said...

I just read ur review on "odd hours" and wanted to put in my own comments.

The only thing that i thought was odd about the guns was when he picked up the gun off the dead girl. I had to look back and see where the hell he picked that up.

I think the tempo was way differ in this book then the rest. The last one was a very slow read but entertaining. i read this book in little over 5 days.

Seems every thing is hinting that this girl is a re-incarnation of Stormy..

Why did the goons want to jump him on the peer? That still makes no sense to me. If they were trying to do this quietly then there was little no need for them to attack him (them).

Why kill the guy and his girlfriend (flash light guy) that didnt make sense either.

Average Joe's Review Store