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Buy, Borrow or Bust

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  • Odd Thomas book cover

Jessica, Queen's Square | May 2, 2018

I love reading a series.  Don’t get me wrong standalone books are great, but there’s something special about revisiting a world and catching up with beloved characters. 

One series that is a particular favourite of mine is the Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz.  The series follows the adventures of Odd Thomas, a short-order cook who happens to communicate with the dead.  The first book kicks off when Odd is warned that something catastrophic is going to happen in his small town and he has one day to figure out how to stop it. 

While I love this series, like most series, not all the books in it are created equal.  Some are worth reading again and again, while others are skippable.  To help you navigate the series, I’ve ranked the books in a segment I’m calling “buy, borrow or bust”. 

The Odd Thomas series is made up of eight titles (I’m including a smaller novella type that appears in the middle).  The series is complete.  All the volumes are out so you don’t need to wait around for a conclusion.  Without further ado, let’s grade them!

Buy:

Odd Thomas:  The first book in the series is a masterpiece.  Everything works, there’s humour, heart, engaging characters and a high stakes situation that will keep you turning the pages.

Deeply Odd: The penultimate book in the series captures the same magic as the first book and sets up the series for the final volume.

Saint Odd: The final book in the series.  Without giving too much away I can safely say that it is the fitting ending to the series.

Borrow:

Forever Odd: The second book in the series is fine but reads like Koontz took another story idea and stuck Odd Thomas into it because the first book was so popular.  Not a bad story, a little like Die Hard where Odd is alone in a building trying to stop the villain. 

Odd Hours: Book four has a decent mystery but lacks that extra special something present in the titles in the “buy” category.  Worth a read as it sets up some story points and characters you’ll need for the rest of the series.

Odd Interlude: Technically book 4.5, this is a shorter novella type book.  An interesting villain but again that spark is missing.

Bust:

Brother Odd: The third in the series.  I wanted to like this.  Odd visits a monastery to take a break after the events of the previous books.  It starts off strong, but the villain was ridiculous to me so I couldn’t get into this one.

Odd Apocalypse: I barely remember what happened in this, the fifth book of the series.  Clearly not memorable or interesting.

Despite a few books in the “bust” category, this is a great series.  Well worth your time if you are looking for a new series to immerse yourself in.   

If you’ve read the series, let me know what you think of my classifications.  If you haven’t read the series, you can always borrow all the titles yourself, free of charge and come up with your own rankings!  Once you’re done reading, be sure to check out the movie starring Anton Yelchin. 

Die Hard movie coverOdd Thomas movie cover