Odd Is On Our Side

Odd Is On Our Side By Dean Koontz
This is the second of Dean Koontz 'Odd Thomas' graphic novels and, not having read the first one, I wasn't sure what to expect but it's a thoroughly enjoyable, fast and light read that makes a decent fit for adults and teenagers alike. The writing is crisp and well paced and, as you'd expect from Koontz, very well structured, and the pen and ink artwork is, for me at least and I'm no expert, nicely retro in feel like something I'd have read as kid, and that was a looooong time ago.

For those who don't know, Odd Thomas is a fry cook that makes a mean pancake and can talk to the dead. Mostly his deal seems to be to help them on their way to 'the other side' but occasionally he gets a sense that something 'bigger' is on the way and he needs to deal with it before the bad things happen. In this instance we discover that the town's kids don't do door-to-door trick or treating anymore because years ago some miserable old man poisoned his candy and a bunch of kids died. When a youngster appears to Odd he appears to predict something equally as bad about to happen this Halloween and so Odd must try and figure out the mystery.

For a graphic novel there's a fair amount of exposition which didn't bother me too much as I was new to the characters and their schtick but does wear as the book goes on and in places I couldn't help thinking that there was a little too much detail and that it might have been originally conceived as a novel - apparently Odd Thomas is also available in novel format - and not trimmed sufficiently for graphic novel purposes which benefit enormously from the 'show, don't tell' maxim that screenwriters adhere to.

On the whole though this is a nice little book and if you're looking for a stocking filler for a teenager in your house, something that'll prize them away from the XBox for a bit, then this could well be the thing.

Odd is on Our Side is published by Harper Collins and is available from Amazon, Blackwell and all good book stores.

Dean Koontz has the expected website.

Around the web