The first book about Odd Thomas was so awesome I had very high expectations for the second book! Forever Odd was a good book, but it didn’t really live up to my expectations. For a start, there were no bodachs. They did get a passing mention half way through the book but that was it. And the hole left by them didn’t really get filled.
As with the first book we open with Odd being called upon to avenge a murdered man. But we quickly find that this isn’t all he’s called to do. His best friend, Danny, is missing and it is assumed that he has been kidnapped by his father. Then Odd takes a phone call from a strange woman. He brushes it aside as a wrong number.
We spend quite a bit of time exploring Odd’s talent / gift of psychic magnetism. We learn how it works (or doesn’t as the case may be) and how it is used. We get to spend some time with the amazing supporting characters of Wyatt Porter, Little Ozzie and Terri Stambaugh who really carry the first 100 pages of the book.
And it takes that first 100 pages before we actually start to feel like we are moving. Slow and steady wins the race seems to be the motto of this book! We head down into the flood control tunnels under Pico Mundo as Odd follows his psychic magnetism in search of Danny. As Odd trudges through the underground he receives a telephone call from the woman who claims to have his friend. She creates more mystery by telling Odd “I want miracles”. We finally start to ask some questions and get hooked – who is this woman? Why does she have Danny? What miracles does she want?
The rest of the book takes place in an old casino that suffered from an earthquake and fire. Many dead people still inhabit the hotel and this is where the mystery woman is holding Danny. We find Danny and we learn more about the mysterious woman. We learn why she took Danny and why she wants Odd.
Without giving too much away I will say that in the end I feel like the mountain lion stole the show. And I feel really let down that we didn’t get to explore the nature of mystery woman’s sidekicks more. All in all this book had so much untapped potential. It was, again, an easy read. But Odd is still a very unreliable narrator and I just hope that the next book proves more fulfilling than this one!
Harper Collins Publishers, 2005