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on 13 June 2015
The third volume of this world famous series of supernatural themed love tragedies is both a classically wonderful and traditional ghost story (set in a centuries old monastery), as well as an introduction to Metaphysics, taught at your leisure, by Professor D. Koontz. This book works on several levels. At times it is gloriously spooky, and at other times it is heartbreakingly sad. It can be laugh out loud funny, too, especially when the ghost of Elvis makes an appearance, in several successful attempts by the author to lighten the mood. At times it might be said that he goes too far with the light heartedness, but if you don’t find something funny, then no one is going to notice.

Having said that, this book can also be profound, uplifting and educational, too. The forty to fifty percent mark of the book is where it starts to get really interesting (and heavy) from that perspective, with just about every plot twist inserted by this prolific and much loved author underscored by recurring themes of redemption, eternal damnation and the ever lasting battle between the powers of good and evil. As for the quality of the writing itself, you may want to look at kindle locations (KL’s) 662, 1748, and 2059.

I have said before that the decision to kill off Odd’s girlfriend (Stormy Llewellyn) at the end of book one was a mistake, both in a story telling and marketing sense of the word. But given the nature of the series, it is relatively easy for the reader to imagine how she can be brought back into the series, and in BROTHER ODD, Mr Koontz has done this, but only to a minor extent.

Superficially, however, the book is about a disappearing monk. Brother Timothy has vanished, and its only thanks to the bravery of our hero, who was attempting to follow his gut instincts through a vicious snow storm, that the reader has any idea of what has happened to him.

Odd has some friends at the monastery that know him - and his background - completely. They can, however, be counted on one hand. Each of these people have their own colourful history; and speaking of this, another excellent feature of the writing is the depth of the characterisation. In fact, the people who populate this book are so well drawn that the reader is not completely sure of the degree of their integrity. And the character names are at times quite joyous to discover, too.

So then - BROTHER ODD is interesting on many levels. It is deep, it plays very well on the reader’s emotions. Some people love the author’s writing style in this set of books, but I find it needs patience to have maximum effect. But who doesn’t love a good mystery? Especially when it is set in the spooky surrounds of a centuries old monastery, complete with incredibly life like and colourful characters that have the potential to fill the mind of the reader with an overwhelming sense of wonder.

And fear. And horror.

But this *is* a Dean Koontz book after all. What else can we expect?

A solid and highly entertaining four stars from me.

Anything less would be sacrilegious.

BFN Greggorio!
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VINE VOICEon 20 December 2014
In this his third outing for Odd Thomas Koontz finally returns to form with a book of nuanced terrors.

Odd has retreated to St Bartholomew's monastery high in the Sierra Nevada mountains to recover from the trauma of grief and being compelled to help the lingering dead only he can see. As Odd says: 'Living in a monastery, even as a guest rather than as a monk, you have more opportunities than you might have elsewhere to see the world as it is, instead of through the shadow that you cast upon it'. His spirit and his love for the beauty of this world are beginning to recover.

Odd has enjoyed months of peace, and he hasn't been lonely. St Bartholomew's monks are contemplative and mostly silent men who appear benign, although Odd has his suspicions that some are not what they seem. The men live in the new part of the monastery, just across the meadow from the original buildings which house the nuns and a school for physically and mentally disabled children. And as ever Odd has the company of Elvis, and a new sometimes companion, Boo the white Alsatian mix. Oh and there's also the poltergeist ghost of Brother Constantine who hung himself from the bell tower.

Bodachs are terrible wraith like creatures who appear in the Odd Thomas books before death, not just the death of one person but natural or manmade slaughter, suffering and terror. Only Odd can see them, and now they have appeared in the halls and rooms of the school. Odd has only hours to identify the oncoming disaster and to prevent it. A white snowstorm has come down on the mountain and the blizzards are not empty.

What distinguishes this from the previous two books is that this is Koontz writing at his best. The writing is full of lyrical profound metaphor and the narrative pace never sluggish or rushed. Koontz's characters are brilliantly drawn: there are no clearly evil people as in the previous books. Brother Odd is not a simple battle of good (Odd and the people he loves) versus evil (the ones trying to commit violence and murder). Koontz skilfully hides the truth as to who in the nunnery, school or monastery is the real threat, and when he does show us the line between the two is less than clear.

Koontz succeeds in seamlessly bringing together thriller action, meditations on faith and spirituality, the great and terrible that humanity is capable of, and a rewriting of classic Gothic thrillers with contemporary relevance.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 28 February 2014
I really wanted to give Brother Odd another star in this review. I really do like the Odd Thomas series but sadly I can't satisfy my inner fan and must instead err on the side of impartiality.

This book took a long time to get started. It is the third outing for Odd and the first book in the series that is set outside his desert home. This time we find him in amongst nuns and monks at the end of a period of self reflection. This could have been an opportunity to create a new cast of really interesting characters and new situations but sadly the start of this book read just like the other two Odd Thomas stories, only the familiar characters had different names.

About the half way mark this story began to pick up and became much more interesting. It didn't tackle any of the bigger issues that have been hinted at in this series but instead was just another strange outing for our beloved odd protagonist.

The real strength of this book and the saving grace, was once more in the innocent characters. I realised in this book what it is about this series that so catches my interest and it's because the primary characters in this series are so innocent. Odd is a very simple and straight spoken person and it makes him easy to like and root for. The innocence in her character was one of the reasons why Stormy's story line in the first novel was so powerful.

It goes beyond the main and recurring characters. There was also Odd's friend in Forever Odd whom he rescues, a disabled boy who made a terrible mistake out of loneliness. In this story the innocent characters come in the form of disabled children who are being cared for by the nuns, each with their own terrible back story.

This level of innocence really grabs your attention as when the bad things start to happen you just can't bare to see it happen to the lovable innocent characters.

All in all this was an enjoyable book but it is definitely the weakest of the three so far. I can only hope that this isn't a downward spiral for this series as each book seems to be a little worse than the last. There is only so far attachments that were forged in the first book can carry a series and already some of the quirks that were endearing in Odd Thomas have become tired and worn out by Brother Odd.

Still, I am eager to read the next one and I hope that Mr Koontz takes this story to another level in the next book.
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on 1 August 2007
Really enjoyed this one, never really doubted Dean Koontz or the Odd character, but you sometimes start to feel when a story/character might have reached it's natural end and subsequent stories don't feel right - I did fear that might be the case here.

Not so!

I loved the original book and wanted to love Forever Odd, but somehow I just couldn't, it was a good read, but not a great one. The first book was spellbinding, and although I can't see my review, I agree with the majority of the reviews on Amazon about it now.

You have to "fall" into books, and while I don't presume to think myself uber smart I like to think I'm clever enough to spot plot twists and turns, I must perhaps dull down for Odd Thomas, as I never saw it coming in the first book, just like a couple of the twists in this one. These books put me in mind of an M. Night Shyamalan movie, which can't be a bad thing.

Ok, so the story; mad professor, underground lab, uncontrolled experiments etc isn't exactly new, but that's not the point with an Odd book, you get lost in the charm of the character and his ways, he endears himself to the reader as he has with the other characters in the book and you simply want to find out more about him and his gift.

Dean Koontz is an exceptionally good character writer but his output always worries me, how can someone who seems to put out a new novel ever three months put out a succession of good books? Witness Dean Koontz.

I still yearn for a follow-up to Dark Rivers, and recently have really enjoyed Life Expectancy and The Taking (I have other books to read too you know!) but for now am happy with this and hopefully more Odd novels.

The book itself has a slow beginning (not half as slow as Potter 7!) but ambles along quite well to the second half when the slightly linear story starts to unfold much quicker - as I said there is not much story to the book but the wonderful characterisation is what keeps you hooked and there are plenty of signs that there are more stories to come.

This is well written in the first person, with Odd himself, as before, providing the narrative, in that you could pick it up cold and there are enough explanations as the story goes to give you an outline idea of who and what Odd is, but also some clever nods to the previous books that might encourage first time readers to head back to them, as well as enough to keep existing fans happy.

All in all I would put this one head and shoulders above Forever Odd and almost on a par with Odd Thomas - and I feel that was a very special book - looking forward to the next incarnation.
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VINE VOICEon 8 January 2007
We have met Odd Thomas twice before. Firstly in "Odd Thomas", one of Koontz's finest novels and secondly, in the follow up "Forever Odd". "Brother Odd" completes the trilogy. The two sequels can be read independently, however to get the full benefit it is desirable to have read "Odd Thomas" first.

Odd Thomas is one of Koontz's most interesting characters. He has powers that allow him to see spirits of the dead before they go to the afterlife. Such spirits have not yet chosen to go to the afterlife for a variety of reasons. One such spirit that has been with Odd through the trilogy is Elvis. Other spirits include every day people who have died recently. Although these spirits are good and cause Odd no harm the same cannot be said for bodachs, evil spirits that thrive on human misery.

"Twilight Eyes" is possibly my favourite Koontz book. Part of the reason is because of the goblins that can be seen by Slim in that story. The goblins are very similar to the bodachs that Odd can see. The main difference is that the latter are spirits whereas goblins were physical beings beneath humans.

Odd's powers haunt him and have now led him to a monastery. However, even here he cannot escape. One monk apparently commits suicide. However, Odd can still see his spirit that suggests that the spirit is troubled and that it was not suicide. A second monk goes missing and Odd is convinced that there is foul play at work.

Only a small handful of monks and nuns are aware of Odd's powers. As the story unfolds Odd helps these monks and nuns solve the murders and also prevent murder on a much larger scale.

One monk that Odd does not trust is Brother Romanovich. Originally from Russia the supposed monk is not what he appears to be.

Also in the monastery are a group of children who have physical and mental disabilities. Some of these children work with Odd to fit the pieces together that lead to the murderer.

The strongest part of this book is the characters. Odd Thomas is a brilliant character and the dialogue with others, especially Romanovich, is entertaining. Having the spirit of Elvis back for a third time is like meeting an old friend again. The children in the monastery really shine and Odds' developing relationships with them are very moving.

There are many stereotypical Koontz characters here. People with pasts that they want to leave behind. Someone with special telepathic/spirit world powers. Children with disabilities. A cute intelligent dog! A mad scientist. They are all here and have been in numerous books before.

There are plenty of twists along the way, particularly a couple of small ones right at the end!

There are no real faults with "Brother Odd". It's not quite as strong as the original "Odd Thomas" (could anything ever be?). However, it is a more complex book than "Forever Odd" mainly because of the addition of so many new characters and relationships.

Interestingly the ending leaves up wondering if there will be a fourth instalment for Odd Thomas.....

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on 13 January 2007
One would think a monastery would serve as a nice, safe place for those that attract trouble to their lives as reliably as Odd Thomas manages to. Seeing dead people is part of the every day for Odd, but trying to help the departed who can't even speak out loud can somewhat disrupt your Sunday to Saturday week. Odd Thomas, short-order cook extraordinaire, urban defender and man in mourning has put himself in exile from the town he has repeatedly saved and once sworn never to leave. The King of Rock and Roll accompanies him still, Odd not yet having figured out a way to have Elvis go on up to the next level and meet those who wait for him. A reclusive physicist has made St Bartholomew's Abbey his home also, so there's always the possibility of a stimulating conversation with someone else who has found the modern day too full of people and chaos to cope with. There's a couple of ghosts hanging about the monastery - nothing too alarming for Odd who is used to waking up in the morning (or night) and having indignant dead town folk waiting impatiently to communicate with him.

All goes well for Odd Thomas. He has had to apply his own interpretations to entities that he sees, or at least senses. The Abbey houses special needs children who have been rejected by family and community for having specific and confronting physical impairments and ailments. It terrified Odd the first time he spied a bodach, a dark wraith that appears just prior to events of death and terrible destruction. It terrifies him even more when many appear at one time. They begin to surround the children.

BROTHER ODD is the third outing of the funny, endearing and somewhat sickeningly nice Odd Thomas. He's a reluctant modern day superhero and that's just the kind we like. He packs no weapons other than a sharp sense of humour, superior pancake making skills and a faulty psychic switch that operates a bit like a shopping trolley with a dodgy wheel - he'll get there eventually, though the trip probably won't be direct. You directly get the feeling that the character is close to that of Dean Koontz, the author who is hysterically funny in his interviews and never, ever, gets all pompous on us.

There is a lot of the "dark and stormy night" foreboding sense of atmosphere in the book. Yes, it is formulaic but in the hands of Dean Koontz, it is a delicious sense of doom that settles over the reader as they involve themselves further in the life and not so normal times of Odd Thomas. We basically know that something catastrophic will happen with plenty of good people rising in the face of adversity to stare evil in the face, with many, many choice wise-cracks along the way. Trademark Koontz here (and this reviewer hasn't read a bad Koontz novel yet) in that the central character is terrified witless yet has enormous reserves of emotional strength and a strong moral compass. It happens that all the Koontz characters are somewhat alike - if they're one of the good guys, they are going to be continually drifting off into conversational tangents that serve to amuse but don't have much to do with what is going on. All are little Zen masters of comic observation, just as all the bad guys don't appreciate that talent.

Fans will love this read, and new readers will probably have a chuckle too, despite the many side trips in the read that don't really need to be there. Anti-climatic build-up isn't necessarily rewarded but then it doesn't really have to be in a Dean Koontz read. As always, enjoy.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 25 March 2015
Brother Odd is book three in this Dean Koontz series, if you haven't, you should definitely read these two first:

1 - Odd Thomas.
2 - Forever Odd.

Brother Odd continues a little bit later from it's predecessor with Odd Thomas, a unique young man who can see ghosts staying as a guest at a monastery. He is there trying to retreat from the world after tragic events affected him so deeply. The monastery is not quite what it seems though and when Odd stumbles onto an unconscious monk in the snow and is then attacked he does his best to uncover what is going on.

The start of this book is kind of slow, doesn't feel all too engaging and at moments here and there feels a little pretentious in Koontz's descriptions. Before long though the book does pick up, the location is great, some of the characters were really interesting and I especially loved the interactions between Odd and another monastery guest, an enigmatic Russian, those moments put a real smile on my face.

Overall if you have enjoyed the Odd Thomas series so far, I suspect you may also enjoy this one. It has some pacing issues still like Forever Odd but is an enjoyable read by the end.


+ Nice story location.
+ Some good character interactions.
+ Interesting adversaries.

- Takes a while to get going.
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on 16 January 2007
I was determined to like this book out of principle - primarily because the one person who has reviewed the book before me, reviewed (and categorically condemned) the novel before they had even read it. Thankfully for me, I didn't have to try too hard to like the book - infact, I couldn't put it down.

Briefly (and quite shamelessly quoted from the blurb) "Odd, a charasimatic young man with a sense for the otherworldly and the downright strange, is in self-imposed exile. The tragic events that took the love of his life have led Odd from his sun-bleached desert home from Pico Mundo to a monastry in the High Sierra. It's December and the remote abbey is beseiged by icy winds and snow. As ever, where Odd goes, strangeness goes too. A white dog names Boo befriends him - as does the ghost of Elvis. And a world famous-physicist is conducting experiments in the catacombs of the abbey. Could this be why Odd can once again see bodachs, shadowy harbingers of violence? They prowl the halls, suggesting terror to come. But what form will it take? And how will Odd defeat any enemy that eclipses any he has met before?"

For me, what makes this part of the triology more enjoyable than the second is that it can be taken much more easily a single novel. In my review for "Forever Odd", I mentioned the lack of dimension given to any of the characters in the book other than Odd, because Koontz assumes that we have read "Odd Thomas". Characterisation reappears very effectively here, primarily because we have moved aware from the familiaritites of Pico Mundo to the isolated, snowy-climbs of a monastry, and thus all of the characters (with the exception of Elvis and Ozzie) are new to the reader - an an observer, you always get the impression that you are discovering the true nature of characters along with Odd.

I am not saying that the book is perfect by any stretch of the imagination - you only have to read the first fifty pages to guess who will turn out to be the "baddie"; the apparitions that stalk Odd and his brother's are unconvincing both in their nature, and ultimately, they way that they are conceived; and the ending itself seems to be a little too convenient. Yet despite these flaws, the story is still enjoyable - like the kind of film that allows you to leave the cinema thinking it has been money well-spent and has you penciling the DVD release in your diary.
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VINE VOICEon 19 December 2014
This is the third in the adventures of Odd Thomas, the titular hero who more than lives up to his name. Odd isn't like most people, he sees and communicates with spirits (though they can't speak to him), her is followed around by the ghost of Elvis and he gets a "psychic intuition" that leads to him being drawn in when bad things happen.

This episode sees odd holed up in a monastery trying to get some peace and quiet and recover from the traumas of his last couple of years. Sadly for odd trouble is never far away and his rest is broken by nefarious and dangerous goings on at the heart of the monastery.

I found this to be another fun slice of Odd. It isn't the most gripping but it flows along nicely, the characters are good again and Odd is as compelling as ever. Very much worth a read for fans of the series but start with the first book "Odd Thomas" to get into the character if not.
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on 6 August 2009
This is the third book in the 'Odd Thomas' series by Dean Koontz and although not as good as the previous two books in the series, it does keep you interested. This time around Odd has left his home of Pico Mundo to find peace and solace in St Bartholomew's monastery in the High Sierra on the California side of the border. Odd finds some peace and solace until a bodach shows up (a Scottish Gaelic term for 'old man' and a mythical spirit or creature, rather like the bogeyman), Odd knows they are not actually bodachs but it is a word he uses after learning it from a friend who also saw the living dead like Odd.

As always Odd has the company of the spirit of Elvis and a spirit dog called 'Boo' who he meets at the monastery, Odd finds himself again facing things that are difficult to understand but Odd does what he can.

I enjoyed 'Brother Odd', I found the premise of the monastery particularly interesting, there was something calming reading about the nuns and brothers of the monastery and the good work they did, plus the isolation of the monastery read well, you could feel the isolation, at times, I did think, 'how will they get away'. The downside of the book was that it wavered slightly at certain parts, it was readable but under duress readable but it did not put me off the book, and it was a good read.
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