I wouldn’t have picked up this book, if not for Julie’s thought-provoking discussion about the whole series. Back in junior high, thanks to a fellow bibliophile, I discovered Dean Koontz as I was in the midst of reading everything Stephen King had written. Why horror? Looking back, I think it’s because the romance thing just didn’t take. It was too, well, not my style. I was always the tomboy. Tales of bodices ripping and sordid love affairs were so fifth grade (not that that’s where they belong either, mind you), and by sixth grade and my delightful lights-on-all-night experience with The Shining, I was hooked on King.

Koontz was a natural extension of this, and I have to give him credit: he spooked me so much more completely than King that I had to stop reading him. I parted ways with him, oh, back in my late high school or early college years because I just couldn’t take it anymore. It was too much. Being an adult and now a mother is fraught with enough fears without introducing more fodder for those bleeping tempters. And there are plenty of books in the other genres, and classics that have been dubbed that for a reason – lots of room on the playground without going near the scary slide.

Finding out, thanks to interviews in Faith & Family magazine and the National Catholic Register, that Koontz’s Catholicism plays a big part in his writing (!!!) was too intriguing to let me pass this book.

So, after having it sit ever-so-patiently on my to-read bookcase, I finally picked Odd Thomas up.

It started off slowly, and I thought to myself, “Ah, this isn’t so bad.”

And then it was.

One night, curled up on my end of the couch, I actually had to close the book. I had to go back to the bookshelf-of-many-waiting-books and find myself something neutral and read for another hour to settle down my mind. It wasn’t the horror, it was the suspense…had I kept reading, I would have been up well past midnight on a “school night” (we usually tuck in long before then!). Had I kept on racing along, I would have not been able to settle my mind unless I kept feeding it – it was like eating a great dessert on a nearly-empty stomach and knowing that you can keep going (your stomach’s nearly empty, after all) and get really sick or you can stop while you’re still pleasantly

That said, I don’t mean to imply that Koontz’s writing is anything less than stellar. This book was so fabulous that I have already bought the second, and it beckons me from across the room. Since I borrowed the first one, I’m going to have to get a copy for myself. It was just too good not to have my own copy. And that, my friends, is the highest recommendation I can give for this book. I want to own it, I’ll gladly fork over the money to have my own copy, and I plan on reading all the rest of the books in the series.