Book Review: Brother Odd by Dean Koontz (2/5)


I read Odd Thomas in about a week. I read Forever Odd in about a three weeks. It’s taken me almost a month and a half to get through Brother Odd. It started with promise, and slowly deflated.

I like Odd; he’s an interesting, likable, if not at times unbelievable character. My only problem with him is that through the book he doesn’t seem to change. He undergoes no character development; everyone else does. In a way, I suppose that’s a “development.”

In Brother Odd, we are presented with a “situation” in the beginning. Something is about to happen, although Odd doesn’t know what, and neither did I. Every chapter presented a plot point that felt pointless. We are introduced to characters who don’t really do anything. Odd’s voice is at times charming in its simplicity, but is otherwise dull; it doesn’t engage me; it reads almost like a textbook, flat and emotionless. He goes through the motions of unraveling some mystery, the clues to which leave me confused.

When I say Odd sometimes feels unbelievable, it is because he’s so humble, and so cautious, that he doesn’t feel like a real person. I’ve known plenty of men in my life, and I’ve never met anyone like that. I realize he is a fictional character, but all fictional characters need to have one foot in reality.

My other beef with Brother Odd, as well as the past two books, is that Odd monologue a lot. His internal thoughts fill paragraphs, and the action of the plot fades into the background. Maybe this is because of my taste for a quick pace. I like books that keep moving. Now, that’s not to say I don’t enjoy a well-placed, purposeful internal monologue, usually when a character has important thoughts to think, but Odd thinks too much.

I am glad, however, (spoiler) Boo the dog does not die. That was my biggest concern as I read the first chapter. Is that bad of me? I, personally, would love a ghost dog friend.
The ending of this book leads into the next in the series, and in my opinion is the best part of the book because it moves without Odd talking about something that doesn’t seem to matter. He is doing something, moving and exploring, not meandering.

I rank Brother Odd as a two out of five because I had to force myself to read it. The plot felt nonexistent. The characters didn’t grab me. Odd talked too much. At times it felt more preachy than story. I will, probably, read the rest of the series, but right now I’ve got other, more appealing, books on my list.

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