“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, since I love the Odd Thomas character and don’t have an e-reader.
“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, Calif., to Santa Barbara on the Pacific Coast Highway. A strong force, however, draws them to Harmony Corner, a small hamlet that dates back to the late ’40s and early ’50s. 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.
Harmony Corner also is near Fort Wyvern, the closed Army base that has a hidden facility underneath it. Fans of Koontz will remember Fort Wyvern from the two Christopher Snow novels that were written more than 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 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.
With only the help of a 12-year-old girl named Jolie 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, 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. 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 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. 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.
Wayne C. Rogers is the author of the horror novellas “The Encounter” and “The Tunnels,” both of which can be purchased at Amazon’s Kindle Store for 99 cents each.