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Brother Odd by Dean Koontz

Brother Odd by Dean Koontz: The third of the books about Odd Thomas, a man who sees the lingering dead, witnesses demon-like creatures that thrive on violence, and can find anyone via “psychic magnetism.” Here, Odd is on sabbatical at a local monastery, figuring there shouldn’t be much death or violence in the area. Of course he’s wrong, or we wouldn’t have a story. But he’s wrong in a terribly contrived and unconvincing way. I guess I probably should have stuck with the first book and not bothered with the others, but Koontz does occasionally churn out a real gem (like, for instance, the first Odd Thomas book) and hope springs eternal. But the characters were flimsy, not to mention the preachy theology mixed with the obnoxiously earnest pseudoscience really got on my nerves. The whole thing felt really forced.

I know I shouldn’t get irritated with an author for using quack science to further the plot of a novel that already starts with a pretty outrageous premise, but it still annoys me because so many people think it’s true. Say it with me now: human will does not alter reality, even on a subatomic scale. Sure, it makes for an easy out in fiction, but I’d much rather people gave it up entirely.

All in all, I think I’ll skip any further Odd Thomas books, as there are sure to be more, unless someone recommends it highly. I’m tired of being disappointed.

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