Deeply Odd (Odd Thomas #7)

445a0ecc278d6a292f667da05a5c0719This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot. wordpress.leafmarks.com & Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

 

 

 

 

Title: Deeply Odd

Series: Odd Thomas

Author: Dean Koontz

Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Pages: 352

Format: Kindle

 

Synopsis:

Odd has a vision of a mysterious cowboy burning 3 children alive. To prevent that is the adventure that this book portrays.

Odd meets a variety of people, some really good, some really bad. He also realizes that the supernatural world that he has a limited access to is much wider and has a greater impact on our world than he previously realized.

 

My Thoughts:

Odd Thomas takes on a Satanic Cult.

I haven’t added the horror tag onto this series until now. But this one certainly deserves it. Koontz takes a very broad based Judeo-Christian world view and throws the demons full on onto Odd. Thankfully, unlike Stephen King, Koontz also emphasizes the side of Good, no matter how peculiar they might be. It is made abundantly clear that Odd couldn’t have taken on this adventure, and succeeded, without the help of many other Good people.

I like that.

Several things made me uncomfortable with this read though. I suspect it was Koontz’s intent, but I still want to note them.

The children. Anytime a story revolves around the pain, suffering and possible death of children, it puts me on edge. I do not subscribe to the belief that children are “innocents”. I was a child, once. I remember. I have also seen children through my adult eyes. Anyone who thinks children are innocent has never seen two 5 year olds fight over a toy and then lie like a politician about it when one of them gets hurt and the adults have to intervene. But I am a strong believer that children must be protected until such a time as they can take care of themselves, mentally, physically and emotionally. So it just makes it a hard read when children are the object of a satanic ritual.

Which brings me to the second thing that made me uncomfortable. The satanism and demons. I am a Christian and hence believe that the supernatural world is real. I believe in God. I believe that Satan is a fallen angel and that demons are other fallen angels. I believe that the devil hates God and His creation so much that he’d rather see it destroyed than exist and not be under his, Satan’s, control. I believe that the devil is immensely powerful and can give some of that power to humans to further his own aims. So to just casually write about this subject sets off alarm bells in my head.

Like I said above though, I think Koontz included both those subjects as uncomfortable subjects and not just because it was convenient for the plot. Or maybe it was. Either way, while they made me uncomfortable, I liked the way Koontz handled them.

There is one more book in this series, Saint Odd. While I’m sad that this series will end, as I’m enjoying the whole of it so far, I am glad that Koontz will finish this.  A good story needs an ending and a good author will not allow said story to be the story that never ends and to have it wither on the vine, so to speak.

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Odd Apocalypse (Odd Thomas #6)

 azure_b5e665308ec0cb369b06d048bb70d165This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot. wordpress.leafmarks.com & Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: Odd Apocalypse

Series: Odd Thomas

Author: Dean Koontz

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Battle Axes

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Pages: 370

Format: Kindle

 

 

Synopsis:

Odd and Annamaria are just hanging out at a billionaire’s mysterious house where things are weird.

Odd meets a ghost who wants him to help her son, sees some sort of human/swine hybrid creatures wandering the grounds and sees the sky turn yellow instead of blue.

Annamaria simply sits in her room and tells Odd to believe in himself.

 

My Thoughts:

As much as I don’t care for Annamaria, she really helps anchor Odd. She gives him a purpose that he can hold onto and a center that he can return to when things are simply beyond his understanding. I still don’t like her though.

While this is touted as book 5, it really is book 6, as Koontz interjected that serial novel Odd Interlude, into the stream of things part way through.

Things get really weird in this book. It seems like reality itself is shifting at random, but only on the estate. Koontz wrote these sequences in such a way that I felt just as confused and disoriented as Odd when these shifts happen. And bad things happen during these shifts as well, so the tension was ratcheted up pretty good.

The whole Tesla and time and copper thing was a means to an end for the story but it didn’t do much for me. I’m not one of those who think that Tesla was some sort of super-genius who got bypassed in history because of politics and business maneuverings.

The ending was a bit more violent than I was expecting, but that isn’t really a bad thing.

Skin Deep (Legion #2)

b48c509575fcc2d2ecf6c2a49e535944This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.leafmarks.com & Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: Skin Deep

Series: Legion

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Rating: 3 of 5 Battle Axes

Genre: Paranormal

Pages: 208

Format: Kindle

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Stephen Leeds is back, this time to find a body that might be infected with dna tech that could give cancer or the plague, to every single person on the planet.

As are his splintered mind psyche fragments. Old and New. With Old and New Problems.

 

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed this more than the first book and had more issues with some of the philosophy spouted out, which is why the rating is the same as the previous book, Legion.

I liked how Sanderson showed the problems that Leeds has and how they are growing. Being a super-genius isn’t all that it cracked up to be. ha. Leeds has issues with the number of psyche fragments and even greater issues with a random one showing up. My first thought was “What would it do to Leeds if he simply had one fragment take out a bunch of others to give himself room”? He’d lose skills, but would he take a step back from the edge of completely losing it?  The fact that Sanderson can make me even think these questions is great.

The story itself was pretty good. Potential world plague, intrigue, corporate espionage. All good thriller stuff.

The main issue that brought this down for was the philosophy and the idea of Time being Infinite. Sanderson is at least nominally a mormon and hence I know we share a large amount of philosophy in common. However, I do use the word nominal and the idea of Time being Infinite is not something that is Biblical [not sure if that issue is addressed in the Book of Mormon or not].  In fact, while it might seem like a small issue, the reason it is so big to me is that so far in existence, only God Himself is infinite. Saying that anything else is is tantamount to saying that that is God as well. Wrong theology is one thing, but claiming Divinity [in a real world situation, not in a fantasy story] is Blasphemy.

To finish up, I sure do hope that Sanderson keeps up writing these Legion novellas. They are just plain interesting and engaging.

 

Blood and Silver (Deacon Chalk #2)

1c24dd82b0ebb343bddf0f9de725680bThis review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.leafmarks.com & Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: Blood and Silver

Series: Deacon Chalk: Occult Bounty Hunter

Author: James Tuck

Rating: 1 of 5 Stars

Genre: Paranormal

Pages: 305

 

 

Synopsis:

Deacon has to deal with a group of Were, one part of which want to rule and dominate all other Weres and the other part is preaching pacifism and “let’s all get along”‘ism.

Of course, the pacifist is a hypocrite.

 

My Thoughts:

Deacon’s Angel Powers, Homosexual Ninja Rabbit, Rapist Pacifist, Crack Mommies selling their children as sexual favors for more crack, it was all just too much.

In regards to Pacifism. I really, really, really respect a true Pacifist. Not resisting evil doers, valuing their lives above your own. I find that very high on the “Love Others” scale. And having that turned on its head just pissed me off. Not everyone should be a pacifist, Evil does need to be resisted, but those who are called to it, it reminds me of what those of us who do fight, are fighting for.

Another waste of a book for me.

 

The Golden Elephant (Rogue Angel #14)

60268219e8db41495fcdd163d9551d77This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.leafmarks.com & Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: The Golden Elephant

Series: Rogue Angel

Author: Alex Archer

Rating: 1 of 5 Stars

Genre: Paranormal

Pages: 315

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Roux loses all his money and sends Annja out to recover a priceless artifact so he, Roux, can sell it to a collector.

Annja gathers a team, and in a race against a tomb raider, finds a lost city, beats off 2 armies, saves the treasure and becomes BFF’s with aforementioned tomb raider.

 

My Thoughts:

This series has lost me with this book. I don’t expect much from ghost written action girl series, but this went beyond “a mess” into full on “terrible”.

First, Roux losing most, or all, of his money. That is so much garbage that I don’t even know how to respond to it. The man has had 500 years to perfect his poker face and yet we’re expected to believe he’s almost broke? Ridiculous Number 1.

Second, Tomb Raider girl. An african princess, with severe daddy issues, has deux machine pistols and robs tombs. A tip of the hat to Lara Croft? Only if you’re a senseless dolt. This was ripoff, pure and simple.

Thirdly, the “philosophical” talks between Annja and Miss Tomb Raider consisted of T.R. saying her piece and Annja going “oh yeah, I guess you’re kind of right…” Bad philosophy, or even wrong philosophy, is one thing but LAZY philosophy isn’t acceptable. I wanted to jump into the story and just rip apart Tomb Raider’s supposed arguments.

Fourthly, the “token” lesbian. I’m a Christian and don’t accept the homosexual lifestyle as something that is ok, but even I was embarrassed at just how shallow and pathetic this 2 paragraph part of the story was. Change it “token christian” and you would have had a black woman hollering “Jesus save me!” once or twice and that would have been that.  Write it well or go home.

Finally, the collateral damage. I’m a big fan of lots of death in action/adventure stories. But when just about everybody dies simply to clean up the story and Annja is weeping hysterically one moment over them and the partying the next, well, it is pathetic.

So in conclusion, this was just a sad sack of a story and with the lacklustre of this and the past couple of books, I think I’ll be done. I need to find some good series instead of settling for pathetic and mediocre.

 

Blood and Bullets (Deacon Chalk #1)

13f316f2010e247b540703e79558171cThis review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.leafmarks.com & Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: Blood and Bullets

Series: Deacon Chalk: Occult Bounty Hunter

Author: James Tuck

Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

Genre: Paranormal

Pages: 350

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Deacon Chalk is a haunted man. Vampires killed his family years ago and that set him on the path of so many other Hunters. Deacon rescued an angel and died because of it. Now he has angel essence to help him in his fight.

Today, somebody ambushed Deacon, with 50 vampires.

Deacon doesn’t know of anybody, or anything, strong enough to do that!

 

My Thoughts:

This was really a 4 star read for me, except for the following two items.

1) The F-word was dropped way more liberally than I was really comfortable with

2) The “almost” sex scenes. I don’t need sex thrown in to make a book interesting. Tell me a good adventure story instead.

 

If more paranormal was written like this, I’d probably be reading more of it. I really liked the intro where Deacon name drops a bunch of other fictional vampire hunters. I only got about 1/2 of them, but that was a fun tidbit.

Non-stop, adrenalin pumping action. Ambush, rescue and finally, Destruction! Deacon talks a lot and I could see that getting on peoples’ nerves, but besides two instances of almost word for word repeat of info [one about guns and the other tattoos], I found it quite bearable. The whole “my wife and kids are dead” angst thing was done just enough but not too much.  I didn’t feel like rolling my eyes at it, which means it was done right.

I did like the twist about the Wandering Jew and his connection to vampires. The so-called theology was thrown in to explain some stuff but it was so empty that I couldn’t even find the “harrumph” to lambast the shallow triteness of it. And the smoking, drinking, womanizing, super killer/exorcist priest is old hat. EVERY vampire hunter knows one of those!

Overall, enjoyable with some edges I didn’t care for and would cause me to not out right recommend this series. I will be, however, reading the next 2 books in the series. Guess I’ll be finding out if this is a trilogy or a series. Oh, and that series name. It is way to long. Just call it Deacon Chalk, kind of like I did *wink*

 

Gabriel’s Horn (Rogue Angel #13)

ed8970bb85989c33fe3e3abacabcb178This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.leafmarks.com & Bookstooge’s Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: Gabriel’s Horn

Series: Rogue Angel

Author: Alex Archer

Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

Genre: Paranormal

Pages: 314

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Roux, Annja’s erstwhile mentor, is hunting down a painting that might lead him to Gabriel’s Horn. An artifact of power that will end the world, and end Roux’s guilt over the death of Joan of Arc.

Garin, Roux’s other apprentice, wants the artifact for himself.

Annja is caught in the middle of her “family’s” squabble and is pretty much blown to and fro.

 

My Thoughts:

This time around, the author doesn’t make Annja doubt the supernatural side of what she has inherited with the sword. She plunges into the adventure without all the inner whining and self-doubt we’ve run across before. Thank goodness!

The “romantic” under current between Garin and Annja was a bit ridiculous. In many ways, they are like step-siblings with a rascally, unruly father. The tension between them is more animalistic than real. Two powerful people coming to terms with the other while jealously guarding the relationship they have with their father figure. The “family” aspect was really played up in this book and it should have been, it is a great plot device.

The overall layout of the story is the exact same. I think there is a template that all the authors must use. Something, something, something, wrap it up in the last 10% of the book. Things just get solved in all the books in the last 10%, without fail. It is good to keep that in mind.