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Bookends: The Estate where time stands still, except when it doesn’t January 16, 2017

Posted by klondykewriter in Bookends, mystery, Science Fiction.
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Bookends: The Estate where time stands still, except when it doesn’t

By Dan Davidson

February 10, 2016odd-apocalypse

– 638 words –

 

Odd Apocalypse

By Dean Koontz

Bantam Books

370 pages

Kindle Edition                    

$11.99

 

Dean Koontz has been developing Odd (his actual first name) Thomas since 2003 and has featured him in eight novels, three graphic novels, a movie and a four-chapter web-based drama. This is the longest run on any character by an author who doesn’t usually do sequels.

Odd has several abilities. He can see the ghosts of people who need his assistance in some way. They cannot speak to him, but they can communicate. He often assists them in working through some trauma that has prevented them from moving on. So far he’s worked with Elvis and Frank Sinatra, and I can’t wait to find out why Alfred Hitchcock turned up in this book, towards the end of things.

He also often accompanied by a ghost dog that other dogs can see.

He is able to find anyone if he concentrates on them hard enough. It’s not like he gets directions; he just seems to wander to where they are. He has a knack for finding trouble, and that has driven a lot of his adventures so far. He is also able to see dark evil spirits called Bodachs, though there are no sightings in this book. Where there are clusters of these creatures, bad things happen.

Lately he has been travelling with a pregnant young woman named Annamaria. She is a mystically mysterious person full of enigmatic wisdom. As this book begins they have been invited to stay in the guest house of an estate called Roseland Manor. Something is very wrong there, something involving an experiment in time manipulation and dimension crossing which was attempted, we learn, by Nikola Tesla, many decades earlier.

At various times, usually at night, weirdly animalistic humanoid creatures roam the estate. Sometimes night happens in the middle of the day. A ghost woman on her spirit horse makes it known that her son needs to be saved. There is an underground tunnel full of the perfectly preserved bodies of dead women. It seems that any damage or normal wear and tear on the estate resets itself to a default appearance on a regular basis.

Odd is a first person narrator who spends a lot of the book reflecting on the strangeness of the world. He is full of wry observations couched in ordinary language. He is something of a philosopher and is often somewhat amused by the irony that a peaceful person such as himself is forced to live through such difficult times.

He is a fry cook by profession and would like nothing better than to avoid all the strangeness that comes his way.

He is looking forward to dying some day so that he can be with the spirit of his lost love, Bronwen “Stormy” Llewellyn, who was killed in the first novel.

So far he has prevented a mass murder, rescued children being stalked by paranormal creatures, stopped a terrorist plot, and put an end to the cruel reign of a vicious, scientifically enhanced madman.

The apocalypse of the title seems to be one of the future realities that keep cycling inside the gates of Roseland. Whether the beasts come from some inevitable future or not is uncertain. What is clear is that the immortal murderers who have managed to live for so long past their allotted three score and ten need to be stopped, and that the ancient boy who has been frozen in pre-adolescence needs to be saved.

There are at least two more books after this one, and they do seem to be building to some sort of conclusion. I’m curious enough to check them out, but I can wait a while.

 

-30-

 

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