Odd InterludeOdd Interlude
Dean Koontz

Bantam Books, 2013, $7.99, 279pp
ISBN: 978-0-345-53659-4
Review by Wayne C. Rogers

Odd Interlude by Dean Koontz comes chronologically between Odd Hours and Odd Apocalypse, and was originally published in three different parts as e-books. Thankfully, the three individual parts were turned into one paperback novel, or I might not have read it. I don’t own a Kindle or Nook or Ipad, and it’s extremely difficult the lug my desktop back and forth from work. A paperback, however, is just right for carrying. And, since I’m addicted to the Odd Thomas character, Odd Interlude came out at the perfect time to help me through the long interval between Odd Apocalypse and Deeply Odd, which comes out in May of 2013. In other words, my jones has been quenched for the next few months.

The story of Odd Interlude picks up where Odd Hours ended. Odd and his new friend, Annamaria, the golden retriever, Raphael, and the white German shepherd ghost dog, Boo, are on their way from Magic Beach, California to Santa Barbara on the Pacific Coast Highway. A strong force, however, draws them to Harmony Corner, which is a small hamlet with a diner and cottages to rent that date back to the late forties and early fifties. Both Annamaria and Odd sense there’s something dark and evil lurking in the shadows of Harmony Corner. Unfortunately, Odd Thomas is probably the only person who can deal with it.

It should also be noted that Harmony Corner is near Fort Wyvern, the closed Army base that has a hidden facility underneath it. Fans of Dean Koontz will remember Fort Wyvern from the two Christopher Snow novels that were written over a decade ago.

Renting a cottage for himself and one for Annamaria, Odd leaves his friend (I’m dying to find out who and what Annamaria is because she’s never afraid and seems to know about things before they happen) alone while he explores Harmony Corner. What he soon discovers is that the family who owns much of the hamlet is under the stern control of a scientist who once worked at the hidden research facility below Fort Wyvern, studying alien DNA. Only now, the scientist has turned into something that’s not human and has extraordinary psychic abilities that are capable of bending most human beings to its iron-like will.

With only the help of a twelve-year-old girl named Jolie (the author needs to team Jolie up with Christopher Snow) and an Artificial Intelligence known as Ed, Odd decides to take on the creature and to hopefully free the Harmony family from its dark, perverted power. Odd will definitely have his work cut out for him because nothing is ever easy for the young lad. As usual, Odd is the underdog here and only has the force of good on his side.

Sometimes that’s enough.

As far as I’m concerned, Dean Koontz can do no wrong with the Odd Thomas series. The more the reader learns about Odd, the greater the mystery of what the future holds for him and what will eventually bring him and his dead soul mate, Stormy Llewellyn, back together. I remember when Stormy died in the first novel, and I wrote the author a letter, asking how he could kill off poor Odd’s soul mate, the only woman he has ever loved. Even then, the author knew he would eventually reunite Odd with his true love, but boy it has been a long journey. The series is supposed to be wrapped up after eight novels. If Odd Interlude is included, that just leaves one more book after Deeply Odd comes out in May.

Also, as with any Dean Koontz novel, the writing is utterly crisp, the dialogue true to the ear, the character development is rich and in-depth, while the storyline keeps you guessing right till the jaw-dropping end. With Odd Thomas, however, the author has created a very special character that speaks to millions of his fans and is even the source for an Odd Thomas movie, due out this spring or early summer. Odd Thomas is the type of character you wish you knew in real life. Forget how great his fluffy pancakes would be, this young man is someone you could sit down with and have a long conversation about life and how the very nature of it is magical and awe-inspiring. Now, that would be a fun day to have.

Okay, four more months to go before Deeply Odd comes out, but who’s counting?

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