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General Category >> General Board >> TWO MINUTE REVIEWS: Saint Odd

Message started by Gary A. Markette on Apr 21st, 2015, 12:05pm

Post by Gary A. Markette on Apr 21st, 2015, 12:05pm

The "last" installment of the Odd Thomas books disappointed me. Don't get me wrong: the writing was a strong as ever. Phrasing was poetically Koontzian; style engaging; pacing swift and eminently readable. Disappointment came from my expectations--few met; many not. For example, I expected Odd to engage in MacGuffinish banter with the shade of Alfred Hitchcock. Remember Alfy was an entertaining part of Deeply Odd. I liked him lots better than Elvis and even better than Frankie. Never appears here. Poop. I also expected Koontz to take my advice and jettison Annamaria. (She was relievedly absent in the prior tale.) Unfortunately, that character appears in this novel and lends it her needlessly mysterious stench. Double poop. I expected dangerous foes with diabolical and brilliant plans for mass destruction. I got an almost-cliche of a poorly-explained plague threat. Triple . . . well, you get the idea.  I expected excitement, adventure, derring-do. I got lots of violence instead--surprisingly dull, predictable violence. At that point I nearly stopped reading I was so nonplussed. I can only think that Mr. Koontz was tired of writing this series and wanted to move on.

A few expected things did happen. Since Koontz has practically smacked us in the face with his protagonist's death premonitions, I expected Oddy to die. He does--rather anti-climactically, I thought. The story ends as Odd moves on to his second life with Stormy in a reunion that is both touching and uplifting. It's so good that it almost redeems the book.


I can only hope that one of the best action/adventure/ horror writers of our age has gotten this out of his system. While Saint Odd isn't a total loss, it certainly lags the other Odd Thomas installments and falls short of Koontzian excellence. I suspect that Koontz ended the series this way to leave a "back door" for future Odd Thomas adventures. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Rating: 2 smiles :-) :-) .

Title: About the police procedural story
Post by Jeangoldstrom on May 15th, 2015, 12:38am

It was a good story -- well written, suspenseful, etc. -- sf/f/h? What gives? Over at Whortleberry Press, I am seeing somewhat of the same phenomenon -- people sending stories that are _not_ sf/f/h. Don't they read the Writers' Guidelines? Are sf/f/h writers an endangered species? What is going on here?

-- Jean

Title: Re: TWO MINUTE REVIEWS: Saint Odd
Post by Webbie on May 16th, 2015, 9:44pm

I think reality is becoming sci-fi fast enough that writers now have a hard time keeping ahead of technology. Here is an example:

Killer robots. Not "SKYNET" not "Bladerunner" but reality.

Writing a story about the ethical repercussions of a technology that has been deployed while your still writing the story kinda makes the point of the story moot.

We are approaching the singularity faster than we think.

Of course by definition, yea I know.

Title: Re: TWO MINUTE REVIEWS: Saint Odd
Post by Jeangoldstrom on May 17th, 2015, 12:09am

You could be right, Webbie. You could be right.

But if Cordwainer Smith were still with us, I'll bet he would still find something dazzling and unpredictable on Alpha Ralpha Boulevard, even as he did in the past.

OTOH, it seems the widespread popular thinking seems to see a darker world -- the dystopic view worn to a shred after Blade Runner -- resulting from living in the world we know today. It _is_ pretty depressing! Whereas the "old" sf world (the one I once knew) was formed primarily in the pre- and post-WW2 venue, when people seemed to have hope for the future. After all, we just got through a horrible Depression and a terrifying war. But today's readers live in a world where those horrors seem almost minor compared to climate change, government collapse, judiciary corruption, etc etc etc.
   Golly, I'm glad I started reading s-f in the (relatively) Good Old Days!

Title: Re: TWO MINUTE REVIEWS: Saint Odd
Post by Webbie on May 23rd, 2015, 7:13pm

I think your on to something here. Science fiction of the "Golden Age" is mostly hopeful, uplifting, positive etc. We got invaded by giant radioactive rabbits or some such thing but we found a solution and moved on. Ta-da!!

A lot of it now is much darker. No real solution or advancement of "Mankind" either. Much gloom and doom.

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