Saturday, February 28, 2015

In Search of Lost Dragons by Elian Black'Mor and Carine M. This WONDERFUL! Book was just released on 02-03-15! Check it out in this review!

 Book Review by: Sharon Powers.

     Like many little girls, I loved to read about dragons in stories. As an adult my fascination, admittedly, has dimmed a bit--it happens to all of us as we grow into adulthood and responsibility. However, I found my excitement with dragons rekindled when I read a story about a blue egg delivered to a young boy; the boy bonded with the dragon, Saphira, and he became a dragon rider. [(Eragon) 2]

My Glaedr is 10" tall and
has a 12" wingspan.
     I was at a Barnes & Noble on the publica- tion date of an- other one of Christopher Pao- lini's books, saw a stuffed Glader [2] sitting on top of a stack of books, and grabbed it--it was the last one! I still have the golden dragon--it is on guard duty at my house--so trespassers and prowlers, BEWARE! Guard Dragon, on duty! OK. Enough of my lame jokes....    

The hero dragon, Glaedr from
Christopher Paolini's,
Brisingr. [3]
     The only other dragon items I have in my home are (1) a pop-up book about dragons that was given to me as a gift. It is a beautiful book that I pull down off the shelf from time to time to enjoy, and (2) a few very fine Oriental yixing clay teapots and cups (see the photo, just below) [4] given to me as gifts because of my love of tea. No. I do not have a dragon collection with statues and such, but I have liked reading stories about dragons. One of the most famous series of books I read was Anne McCaffrey's the Dragonriders of Pern series.

     Additionally, a few other notable dragons with whom I have crossed paths include: Smaug, an awesome dragon in The Hobbit; and, of course, anyone keeping up with George R.R. Martin's, Song of Ice and Fire will know about those famous dragons--even appearing on TV in an HBO series.

Left to right: A yixing "salamander" mug; a hand-crafted yixing  teapot with pewter accents (on the outside, only); an egg-shaped yixing tea pot, with the handle serving as the "mother" dragon and the lid (in front of the teapot) in the shape of a baby dragon--removed from the teapot so you can see the "baby" dragon, better; then another yixing teapot in the shape of a coiled dragon, and lastly a yixing mug with flowers and lid to keep the tea warm. All of these tea pots and mugs are used with only one specific type of tea. Usually yixing-ware are used with Oolong teas, Puer teas, or fine black tea (like Black Dragon Pearls--see even some teas are named after dragons.). For example, in the "Mother Dragon on egg with baby dragon," I only make my very best oolong tea. [4]
     Then there are the dragons in the Harry Potter Series (including Norbert); How To Train Your Dragon; the Temeraire SeriesA Novel of Temeraire--about a great black dragon called Temeraire (the name came from the famous warship, H.M.S Temeraire, dubbed, "The Fighting Temeraire" after service in the Battle of Trafalgar.); The Dragonlance Chronicles; Saint George and the Dragon; and even Puff the Magic Dragon.

The beginning of the journey includes a map with the marshes marked.
The journal also has a red ribbon with which to keep your place
marked for later reading. [1]
     As we open the pages of this journal we enter the world of Elian Black'Mor and Carine M. A first journal entry begins in Brittany and an "Unexplained Dis- appearance of an Antiquarian in the 'Marshes of Hell.'" The journalist places the newspaper clip- pings of the disap- pearance, photographs, pen and ink washes, and full color renderings, including a marked map, in his journal along with entries and notes detailing every experience in search of the lost dragons.

     As the journey progresses to different locations, each one provides a look of very distinct stories about lost dragons, along with a peek at strange guides and guardians, strange ship rides and experiences.  But none are stranger than the journalist; you see, the journalist has a gift of "seeing the invisible"! The journey takes the journalist "from Europe through the Middle East and finally to Saigon." [1] 
As you can see, the journal includes photographs along side the pen and
ink drawings with wash. Note the tape on the edges of the photographs,
and the detail provided such as shadows along the edges of the photos
to lend the appearance of a real photograph taped to the book! [1]

     In the end, the journalist ponders the journey and, unsettled, worries that it wasn't more than a "daydream." And just the way the journalist recorded the fantastical jour- ney around the world in search of lost dragons, will the "intrepid" journalist choose to "preserve" the dragondreams like the journal--by fleeing reality? Which will the journalist choose?

The creature awaited me at the entrance of a
long crevasse that crossed the width of the glacier.
I followed it to the city of the dragon people...
Like a ship drifting in a becalmed sea
the top of the budding stood in the
first light of a misty polar morning.
«So comes snow after fire, and even
Dragons have their ending [1]
     Such a poignant and wonderful statement of the journalist's feelings, perhaps summing up the whole of the journey. Coming full circle to the realization that dragons are no more. The very thing that prompted the beginning of the journey in the first place. And, like the cold and snow that puts out fire, the dragons have gone in the way of a calm, cool ending.
Another great example of the detail included in the book. The left page looks likke a brown paper with slightly frayed
edges, typewritten, signed, stamped and taped to the journal along with the envelope (below the document) and its
stamps. Also, shading around the edges add to the realistic 3-D experience for the reader. Additionally, the artwork,
done in washes with drips of ink (or wash) at the top of the page; the script is legible (except for the tiniest of words),
also making the journal look and feel like a real journal. Note that this page is typical of all book pages. [1]

     We find out at very end of the book, that the journalist has doubts about the journey taken. Was the search for something noble, terrible, and beautiful, all a "daydream"? So...does this help us to understand the end of the book, the journal, and the journalist, any more? Do you think the cold crevasse and the "misty polar morning" is Death?...or is it the end of a dream? And back to the original question, will the journalist choose to "preserve" the dragons by staying in the dream? I think you will have to read the journal yourself to make this determination. All I can say, further, is that I absolutely loved the twist this puts on the journalist's story. Well done!

Here's another beautiful page. Included
by the authors are full-color renditions
of the flower and a "real" flower plant flat-
tened and dried and taped to the journal.[1]

     Since I am an ARC reader for this book, from NetGalley, I received this book recently in exchange for a review of it (See the NetGalley Disclaimer, below). Well, when I downloaded my e-book to begin reading, I was flat-out amazed! I opened the first pages and couldn't put it down. I kept turning pages, turning, turning, staring at the book. Mesmerized by its beauty. I examined every page. The surprising amount of detail simply entranced me. It is the most beautiful, most well crafted, written, detailed book it has ever been my pleasure to read. In fact, I was so taken with the book, I purchased a hardcover edition for me to keep in my collection of wonderful books.

     The superlatives are NOT an exaggeration. Just take a look at the photographs I took of the book to see for yourself. I included as many photographs in my blog post, today, as I could, just because they are so beautiful and I want you to see what a fantastic job the authors and the DYNAMITE team (publishers) did to bring this book to market.

     A word about the publishers: Dynamite. I have many, many, books by Dynamite publishers. Every single book I own has a sturdy, beautiful cover, many of them with dust jackets; the pages are securely placed between the hardcover so as they will not fall out.  Dynamite Publishers are my favorite publishers, ever.
Here is the back cover of the Journal [In Search of
Lost Dragons
]. Note the realistic look to the
string and card attached by it. Even the "Dynamite
 label appears as if it were actually
stuck on the book. The rather "beat up" look is
really a "faux" look--only for appearances of a
realistic looking journal--one that has been
carried around and well-used. [1]

     OK. Back to what I think about this book. What I said in the paragraph, just above this paragraph, is also true of this book, In Search of Lost Dragons. That is to say, the hardcover book has a sturdy, hard cover and the pages are securely attached.

     These two things on my own personal check list, are very important because I have purchased books that have not had securely bound pages. The pages fell out and the book was ruined. You can see some examples of this by clicking on the link to a post I did of one hardcover graphic novel book with pages that fell out. Click, here or here.

     Finally, while I have already mentioned the general beauty of the book and the amount of detail the pages hold, I have not mentioned the artwork, specifically. The one, just below, is is quite beautiful.
One of the beautiful pages of art-
work is this watercolor of a dragon
flying above a canyon.

     Some of the artwork are like the one, here, just to the right--a watercolor with notations at the bottom. Other works included appear to be pen and ink, pen with washes, full color illustrations that could be electronically produced, done with pastels, or perhaps with artists paint and then photographed.

     Again, I cannot emphasize enough just how beautiful is the the whole book. Individually, some of pages are just stunning. But in any event, each and every page holds entertaining and eye-catching images.

NetGalley Disclaimer:


     This book is simply wonderful. I recommend this book to all ages of reader. I think, though, that adults would better appreciate the detail and amount of work that has gone into the creation of this book.


     It probably comes as no surprise to you, if you that I loved the book and have no qualms about telling you that it is the best, most detailed book I have ever seen. The entertainment factor is very high, as well. So...given all that I have told you, above, I rate this book 5.0 stars out of 5.


     Thank you for joining me this week as we were privileged to become acquainted with this beautiful book, In Search of Lost Dragons by Elian Black'Mor and Carine M. I loved showing you this book, and hope you consider getting a hardcover copy for yourself. Also, please don't forget to read a few minutes every day, its good for your mind and your spirit. I also want to thank you for taking time to consider all that I've presented to you, today. Your time is precious and want you to know that I appreciate you spending a little time here to consider possible reading material. You won't go wrong with this book.

     Please join me, again, next week as we take a look at a totally different book. One I'm sure most of you will enjoy. So...

Until next time...

...many happy pages of reading.

All my love,


[1] "In Search of Lost Dragons." [Elian Black'Mor and Carine M.] Retrieved 02-27-15.
[2] "Eragon: The Inheritance Cycle, Book 1." Retrieved 02-28-15.
[3] "Brisingr: The Inheritance Cycle, Book 3." Retrieved 02-28-15.
[4] "Yixing Teaware." Retrieved 02-28-15 [Primarily, zisha pottery is also called yixing--taken from its place of origin: Yixing, Jiangsu Province, China--is a very unique pottery with a highly porous surface that takes on the flavors of the tea that is brewed within it. For more on this wonderful pottery, see this websight:]
[5] "Return to Mateguas Island." Retrieved on 02-28-15.
[6] "Flowers: White Roses." Retrieved 02-22-15.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Heir to the Jedi: Star Wars by Kevin Hearne. Book Released 03-03-15! Book Review by: Sharon Powers.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away....

     We could say, "Once Upon a Time." But, however we say it, Star Wars has become a legendary story, a myth, that has become part of cultures around the world. The Star Wars stories are far from over. As you can see, we have a brand new story to add to the expanding mythos surrounding the Skywalker Clan and the Jedi Knights. The author of this new novel is none other than Kevin Hearne, well-known author of the Iron Druid series. Kevin Hearne is absolutely one of my favorite authors. 

     I was captivated when I first picked up Hounded, The Iron Druid Chronicles (Book 1), and immediately was entranced by Atticus O'Sullivan who wielded a magical sword Fragarach, and later on, Granuaile (who eventually becomes an Iron Druid); but the character I loved most was Oberon, the sausage craving canine, of the Irish Wolfhound variety--you've just got to LOVE Oberon! 

     Anyway, when I saw that Kevin Hearne was authoring this new Star Wars book, I readily volunteered to be one of the privileged few who would read the novel and present an impartial review of the book. The book is slated for release on March 3, 2015. So, let's dive right into the book with a quick synopsis.

     The Death Star's destruction gave hope and energized the Rebel Alliance to move forward in their resolve. With Darth Vader still pursuing the Alliance they hide in an Outer Rim orbit while they quickly search for a more permanent base; they, also, seek allies to provide material sources (notably, in the form of weapons) to the struggling Rebel Alliance.

One version of the exploding Death Star.
     Luke Skywalker helps in whatever way he can, mostly by taking on smaller piloting assignments, while he worries about how to become more proficient in the Force. One such assignment by Admiral Akbar and Princess Leia takes him on a rescue mission that could be instrumental in assisting the Rebel Alliance. 

     Luke takes on a small crew to help him with his task: trusted robot, R2-D2, and a daughter of a biotech mogul, Nakari Kelen. Nakari brings to the board a very sleek high-speed cruiser--not heavily gunned, but fast. Very fast. Now the only question is how do they pull off the "high-stakes" undercover spy mission that challenges everything Luke has learned thus far on his road to becoming a Jedi Knight. Luke feels inadequately prepared and daydreams about Obi-Wan Kenobi and how, if he were there, Obi-Wan could give him good counsel and additional training. 

     Somehow, Luke, Nakari, who, by the way, wants payback of her own against the Empire, and R2-D2, must save a renowned cryptographer's family. In ex- change for saving her family, the gifted cryptographer will assist the Rebel Alliance in breaching the Empire's communications sys- tems. Along their way Luke and company will face Imperial bodyguards, scurry away from enemy battleships, elude ever-resourceful bounty hunters, avoid brain-eating parasites, and, of course, to channel the wisdom of his old mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi, to trust him and "Use the force, Luke!" to see them all through all the dangers they must face.

     I've already acknowledged that I love Kevin Hearne's books, The Iron Druid Chronicles, and really looked forward to reading this book by him. Mr. Hearne is a really wonderful writer; the pacing in his books, outstanding. I also love his balancing of humor with action and the easy-flowing text that give his writing a comfortable familiarity that other writers have difficulty imparting to the reader. OK. Enough of the Kevin Hearne promo. Let's get to the book:

     At the outset, Luke and R2-D2 (Artoo) are in the Outer Rim and the time is just shortly after the destruction of the Death Star (Star Wars) and before The Empire Strikes Back. In the synopsis, above, I gave you the names of the primary characters (Luke, Artoo, and Nakari, these three are later joined by Drusil (the cryptographer).

     My second impression (my first, later), was a flashback to the movie, Battleship--a movie that didn't really fare that well in theaters. Anyway, I was reminded of a short dialog between Taylor Kitch's character, Lieutenant Alex Hopper and Tadanobu  Asano, Captain Yugi Nagata, that goes as follows: Nagata: We're going to die! Hopper (Agreeing with Nagata--calmly): We're going to die. You're going to die. I'm going to die. We're all going to die. . . . Just not today. [7] Like the movie, Battleship, Luke Skywalker, Artoo, Nakiri and Drusil go from one near capture or near death adventure to the next. And, just like the alien space ship that "hops" across the water, Luke and his company, seem to hop from one location to another, narrowly evading capture or death.

I also thought it ironic and funny that
Liam Neesan starred as Obi-Wan
Kenobi as well as starring in
the movie, Battleship.  [9]
     The cryptographer seems to play the part of Captain Nagata, utilizing complicated mathematical formulas to "mysteriously" call out the next location they should jump to. In the movie, Nagata called out the locations for targeting the alien space ship, intuiting the location where it would be and when. Just so in Heir to the Jedi, only this time it was a cryptographer doing the calling. I actually thought that this section of the book was pretty cool and thought it hilarious when I thought of the similarities to the movie, Battleship.

     OK. So now we are down to the nitty-gritty...what I really did and didn't like. This part is tough for me because I really like Kevin Hearne's writing (as I've stated, above). The first, oh, approximately 20% of the book was a snooze-fest. I had such a hard time with it that I couldn't remember what I had read after I had read it. So, regrettably, I started the book over. I reread the first 20% and lo and behold, it really was boring. I could hardly believe one of my favorite authors wrote material that was so boring I had to first, reread it, and second, continue to read the rest of the book.

     I am glad, however, that I finished the book, because it did get better. Kevin Hearne's writing style with its irreverent humor punctuated with terrific action sequences brought the book alive, again. While the plot was thin, and, like I said, above, seemed to jump from one sequence of events to another, Hearne brought the book back to life, again, saving it from complete death.

     Part of the problem for me was that I just didn't see Luke the way Hearne had written him. Yes, he still had a lot of the farmboy still in him, but it just wasn't there for me. This is taking into account that the story is told in first person, so we are privy to Luke's thoughts and motivations; it just wasn't enough to save his character.

     Actually, my favorite character was Drusil, the cryptographer. I loved hearing about how some communications were done in mathematics--one person would ask the other a mathematical question, and the answer to the problem was the response. I also really liked how she could "predict" the locations of stars that had not, yet been discovered, the locations where bounty hunters were hiding in the landscape, and the way past electronic booby traps. Very interesting! I loved her!

     The one part of the book that I felt had redeemed itself, I cannot relate to you because it would be a colossal spoiler. The scene left me in tears. That's all I can say.

     As I said, the book did get better, but folks, come on...20% of a book that is virtually boring to the point of tears cannot be fixed by having one scene that brings you to tears (in a good way).

     This book is in the genre of sci-fi; as such, it has in it, action sequences that include deaths, blood and gore, kidnapping, pursuit scenes, etc. These scenes are suitable for the targeted audience, adult readers. As such any other readers of a sensitive nature should be cautioned to consider the material before reading.

Given all the reasons I have provided, above, both positive and negative, I award this book three stars out of five.

     Thank you for stopping by this blog site, today, to check out this new NetGalley book, Heir to the Jedi: Star Wars by Kevin Hearne. Remember that Mr. Hearne's book is scheduled for release on March 3, 2015; you still have time to preorder this book from your local book purveyor.

     I deeply appreciate you taking time from your busy day to check out the reading material that I have reviewed for you, today. I always appreciate you taking time to evaluate the material presented and consider the points of view I present to you.

     Please take some time this week to read a little bit. Reading helps you stay young and is good for your brain. From the bottom of my heart, I offer my thanks to you for stopping by my blog, today.

     Please join me, again, next week, as we can all examine a new book and see for ourselves if we should spend our well-earned money to purchase a book, or spend our more valuable time reading it. It is always good to evaluate your reading material; if you have any questions or comments for me, please leave a comment below, or contact me through Twitter [See the side bar on the right.].

Until next time...

...many happy pages of reading!

My love to you all,


[1] "Star Wars." Retrieved 02-23-15.
[2] "Heir to the Jedi: Star Wars." [Kevin Hearne] Retrieved 02-21-15.
[3] "Destruction of the Death Star was an inside job in this weird video." Retrieved 02-23-15.
[4] "Obi-Wan Kenobi Wallpaper." Retrieved 02-23-15.
[5] "Luke Skywalker WP." Retrieved 02-23-15.
[6] "Hounded and Hexed (The Iron Druid Chronicles #1 & #2)." Retrieved 02-24-15.
[7] "Battleship (2012) Quotes." [emphasis added] Retrieved 02-24-15.
[8] "Battleship--A Review." Retrieved 02-24-15.
[9] "Meme Generator: I've Trained Jedi." Retrieved 02-24-15.
[10] "Original Trilogy--Luke Skywalker." Retrieved 02-24-15.
[11] "How to Block Spoilers From Ruining Your TV Fun!" [Carolyn Nicander Mohr] Retrieved 02-25-15.
[12] "Like Success: Michael Gruber Quotes." Retrieved 02-25-15.
[13] "DMC: Devil May Cry Review." Retrieved 02-25-15.
[*] "Flowers: White Roses." Retrieved 02-22-15.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Saint Odd: The Climax of the Entire Odd Thomas Series; Also, The Prequel: You Are Destined to be Together Forever [from the Odd Thomas Series], by Dean Koontz.

Book Review by:
Sharon Powers.

     It is here, at last. Saint Odd. The Climax of the entire Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz. The long-awaited novel everyone has longed for; on one hand we get to read about Odd, again, but on the other hand, we fear both Oddie's death, and that the final book won't tie up all the threads that were woven throughout the series, and that we will hate the ending (for not living up to our expectations).

     Here follows a quick recap. These are the novels that preceded this final installment of Odd Thomas:


A short and poignant story
about young love. Learn
about the catalyst that shap-
ed Odd and Stormy's lives.[2]

(.5) A prequel: You Are Destined To Be Together Forever, Odd Thomas Series Prequel: 
     The prequel that readers longed to read, takes us all the way back to the beginning--Odd's pivotal relationship with Stormy Llewellyn. Read this short story to learn about the prophecy that made the young couple believe that they would be together forever. When a carnival came to town, the pair go to visit the "Gypsy Mummy," a prognosticator that dares them to believe. Watch out readers, we will see the "Gypsy Mummy," again, in the final book: Saint Odd.

Odd Thomas: The Odd
Thomas Series, Book 1.
(1) Odd Thomas: Odd Thomas Series, Book 1:
    The first book of the series introduced readers to the young man, Odd Thomas. Odd's character thought of himself as an ordinary guy, a short-order cook who loves making pancakes. We quickly discover, though, that Oddie has a strange gift. Odd knows an impending disaster is about to hit his beloved town of Pico Mundo. Frantically, Odd uses his gifts to try to prevent the worst from happening--Odd never counted on the love of his life (Stormy Llewellyn) to be in the middle of it all. We frantically read to find out whether Odd stops the disaster or becomes part of it. I reviewed this book on March 11, 2014. If you would like to read my full review of Dean Koontz's first Odd Thomas novel, click on this link.

(2) Forever Odd: The Odd Thomas Series, Book 2:
Forever Odd: Odd
Thomas Series, Book 2
One of the numerous
covers for the book. [4]
     The first sequel to the most remarkable (book 1) seemed to fall a bit flat for most readers. Many readers commented that the book, although NOT bad, just didn't live up to Dean Koontz's best writing. In this second book, Odd, as revealed in book one, sees and talks to the dead. Oddly enough (pun intended), one of his ghost friends is none other than Elvis Presley. Odd talks to ghosts and tries to help them, worries about his friends (notably, P. Oswald Boone) and mopes about the past.

     In a brief synopsis of this book, a ghost, Dr. Jessup, summons Oddie late one night, and lets him know that his son, Danny, was kidnapped. Not enough just to be kidnapped, Danny has brittle bone disease. Using his "psychic magnetism," Odd places himself in danger of the evil villains and henchmen to bring Danny home. Odd's supernatural abilities are as appealing as his wholesomeness. Even so, Odd, is not naive, and battles evil wherever he finds it. Now, bringing Danny home is all that matters. Will Oddie and his strange talents be enough to save this fragile child and help Dr. Jessup to cross over?

(3) Brother Odd: The Odd Thomas Series, Book 3:

Brother Odd:
The Odd Thomas
Series, Book 3.
     Having trouble dealing with life, loss, and his psychic gifts, Oddie retreats to St. Bartholomew's Abbey hoping a contemplative life will help him cope. At first, he finds surcease in living the life of a contemplative monk. However idyllic a life Oddie was living in the monastery, it was simply not meant to continue--trouble had a way of finding him. The "bodachs" that he had observed in previous encounters with evil began showing up in droves. Odd has his hands full in attempting to solve the murder of a monk, Brother Constantine, and to put an end to more killings of the religious brothers. This time out Oddie is helped in his quest by a librarian (an undercover NSA agent) and a new friend--a ghost dog named "Boo." Can Oddie solve the murder of Brother Constantine and put a stop to the continuing murders at the abbey?
Odd Hours:
The Odd Thomas
Series, Book 4.

(4) Odd Hours: The Odd Thomas Series, Book 4:
     In, Odd Hours, Odd Thomas begins having nightmares of a terrifying red tide. Not understanding the dream, it, nevertheless, pulls Oddie to a small town situated on the coast, where things seem "oddly" out of place. Odd puts his psychic abilities to the test to make things right in this sleepy little town. Oddie's ghost-friend, "Boo" (How charming a name for a ghost dog!) returns, and while Elvis is now out of the picture, Oddie has a new (or should I say "old"?) ghost friend to help him. Yet, Oddie faces his biggest and most challenging baddie in this sinister city--challenging himself to step up to the plate and deliver...but will Oddie overcome his own "dark night of the soul"?

(4.1-4.3) Odd Interlude: A Special Odd Thomas Adventure:
Odd Interlude #s 1-3
are included in this
three-part collection
as, Odd Interlude. [7]
     This short collection, originally published in three separate parts, is entirely Dean Koontz charming. The three short installments comprising one single story originally were titled Odd Interlude, #s 1, 2, and 3. So, don't get confused by the different titles.

     Oddie is once again in another small town, on the coast, again. The quaint little city even has a quaint name, "Harmony Corners." Unfortunately, for Oddie, when he checks into a charming little hotel and mysterious events begin to happen, the reader begins wondering if Oddie has met his match--will he ever be able to check out of the hotel? No, friends and neighbors, the hotel is not "The Bates Hotel"!

Odd Apocalypse: The
Odd Thomas Series,
Book 6.
(5) Odd Apocalypse: The Odd Thomas Series, Book 5:
   Just coming from the difficult situation in Harmony Corners, Oddie and his traveling companion, Annamaria, (who also has her own spiritual gifts), gladly accept an invitation from a rather reclusive billionaire to spend time on his palatial estate, Roseland. Once again, all is not what it seems and the palatial estate begins to look more like a house of horrors. Odd Thomas must face lethal adversaries and uncover shocking secrets that just might reveal an estate whose real location is Hell. What kind of consequences will be exacted? Will it be a "pound of flesh"? Odd Thomas keeps the answers to these questions close to the vest.

(6) Deeply Odd: The Odd Thomas Series, Book 6:
     I titled this section of the book review, today, as "Odd Thomas: The Journey." First, I did that to refer to the journey we all have taken in reading the series of books. Second, I titled the section for somewhat obvious reasons: Oddie starts on a journey in Pico Mundo, his home town, and is drawn by the "magnetism" to go in search of evil in other locations than Pico Mundo. Book six heralds the coming end of the journey.

Deeply Odd: The
Odd Thomas Series,
Book 7.
     In Deeply Odd, Odd Thomas encounters a cowboy truck driver, bedecked in rhinestones and sparkles. Soon, Odd begins having shocking visions of a whole series of murders from California through Nevada and then back. But, just one tinsy little problem: the murders haven't been committed, yet. Odd journeys down a road to prevent the multiple tragedies from happening. Once again, Odd acquires new friends and allies--my personal favorite is "Edie." She is one of those gun-toting little old ladies that, in part, charms your heart just because she is so quaint and no-nonsense. Edie also goes way out of her way to help people. What does a little old lady have to do with Oddie's "road chase" to stop a sociopathic truck driver? Just wait and see.

Saint Odd (Odd Thomas, #7)
(7) Saint Odd: The Odd Thomas Series, Book 7--FINAL BOOK OF THE SERIES:

   Do you remember that I promised that the Gypsy Mummy fortune-telling machine that appeared in the prequel to the series (and mentioned numerous times throughout the series) would reappear in this volume? Well, here she is...the very same, exactly the same, carnival has returned to Pico Mundo that made an appearance when Odd Thomas was only sixteen-years-old. Oddie can't resist seeing her, again--he wants to find out when he will get to be with Stormy.

     But, as Oddie grapples with what he feels is his own impending death, the same satanic cult returns to Koontz's pages with which Oddie must deal a second time. This time, Oddie's prophetic dreams consist of his beloved town with all its citizens and homes, streets and streetlamps, being submerged and drowned under lots and lots of water. But that seems just short of crazy to Oddie, how could that happen?

     Let's not forget about all the wonderful characters Koontz has created for us readers to enjoy. Who will survive? There are many, many deaths, yet there are survivors. Who will walk away from the approaching deluge and live to tell about it? Will Odd's old friend, P. Oswald Boone survive? What happens to Annamaria? What about all the people Oddie loves in Pico Mundo...? Will Oddie walk away from the impending disaster to live a quiet life or will he meet his death?



     To set the stage for the quote, Oddie has returned home to Pico Mundo, "to die and to live in death." Oddie had been feeling the pull of magnetism towards Pico Mundo for a while. His feelings led him to believe that he was going home to die. Before he dies he wants to save his beloved town. Here, he muses on what he thinks is death and the circle of life.
That I had come full circle shouldn't have surprised me, for we are born into time only to be born out of it, after living through the cycles of the seasons, under stars that turn because the world turns, born into ignorance and acquiring knowledge that ultimately reveals to us our enduring ignorance. The circle is the essential pattern of our existence. [Kindle location 216]
[Graphic image 11]
Joseph Campbell is often associated with the Hero's Journey, 
but as Dan Harmon puts it, "Joseph Campbell was a compara-
tive mythologist, not a corny screenwriting guru. Nevertheless,
here is where I, Dan Harmon, feel that the chapters of Camp-
bell's famous "monomyth" or "hero's journey" would fall if you
forced them into my circle." The circle of which Dan Harmon
speaks is in the image, just above, here. [12]

     I like the above quote not only because Dean Koontz has his protagonist, Odd Thomas, tell us about his philosophy of life, but also because Koontz brings the reader back to the beginning of the story. This is a wonderful technique for writers and, Mr. Koontz utilizes it most effectively!

     We are reminded of the beginning of the whole series and we are able to better comprehend the whole of the series by this going back. Moreover, this technique helps the author tie up loose ends and the protagonist and reader alike, have a sense of completion. When Koontz's writing is good, it is really good!

     Although the circular plot is not the only way to set up a plot for a novel, it can be one of the most effective. This approach to plot structure appeals to readers because it gives a sense of order, a sense of familiarity and most importantly, it helps the reader identify with the protagonist (Because every reader is said to be on their own hero's journey, the reader psychologically understands the trials and struggles of the protagonist.). In the chart, just below, Dan Harmon's steps for a circular plot can be seen on the left while the concrete example from Dean Koontz's Odd Thomas Series are listed on the right side.

For a more in-depth explanation, please see Dan Harmon's web site. The link is below under source #[11].
     So, now you know my favorite quote and that I really liked the story structure Dean Koontz used in creating his series, and specifically, the final book, Saint Odd. What else worked for me in Saint Odd? Well, one of the things that got me to start reading Dean Koontz's books in the first place was his writing style. I like his easy flowing text and the pacing that goes with it. 

     I also like that in these fantasy/mystery/thriller novels, Koontz doesn't employ a stuffy tone. Koontz uses words that are commonly known so as to not make the reader slow down. The reader is able to read at a pace that suits him as an individual--and, is able to do this, in part, because no complicated words or extensively long sentences are used. The more "intellectual" style of writing is better suited to other types of literary works.

"Ozzie Boone"
P. Oswald Boone--Oddies 400
pound friend who often
helped him.  [15]
     Although, in general, I enjoyed the book, it isn't a perfect book by any means. And, although Koontz did pretty well at tying up the ends, a few things bothered me:

     I would have really liked to see an appearance from one of Oddie's best friends, P. Oswald Boone and his cat, Chester. And, Annamaria was in the final book to show Oddie the "trick" with the flower, I would have liked to see more of her talking with him in that mysterious and enigmatic way she always spoke. 

     I also wondered why, after Oddie seeing ghosts of one sort or another throughout the series, the reader really didn't get to see a ghost in this final installment. I know we wouldn't see Stormy's ghost because she had already crossed over, but how about someone else?...maybe someone else who had died in the mall shootings. For that matter, if this were going to be a disaster that would have destroyed the town and all the people in it, where were all the bodachs?

     And, although there were a number of small things I didn't like, one major flaw troubled me  the most. The end seemed anticlimactic and tired. It just didn't have the punch I was waiting for and expected. I thought that Koontz could have put more effort into writing a really great ending for this great series. The main story was fine, but the ending just fell flat for me. A good ending, just not a great one.


I created this graphic in the
MS Word Program. [1]
     This book contains violence of various sorts including, but not limited to shootings and murder. The tone, because it is of the fan- tasy/mystery/thriller genre, quite naturally contains scenes where the characters show fear, anger, bitterness, and other negative emotions. I would only recommend this book for the target audience of readers, adult readers. Any adult who is of a sensitive nature should be cautioned to consider the material before reading the novel.

     I enjoyed the book and was quite happy that Koontz tied up all the major threads. Based on my views presented above, and my enjoyment reading Dean Koontz's novel, I am happy to award the book with 4.0 stars out of 5. Thank you Mr. Koontz for a great series.

     Please join me again, next time, as we get to look at another wonderful book. This next book is a book from NetGalley, so it should be fun to see what the author and NetGalley have in store for us.

     I thank you from the bottom of my heart for joining me this week to read and consider Dean Koontz's book, Saint Odd, the final book in his Odd Thomas Series. I very much appreciate your effort in taking part in today's book review, in taking time to read and consider my views, and just for reading. I hope you are encouraging your family and friends to read by giving them new books and by showing them how much fun reading can be. You are setting a good example by just letting others see you read.

Until next time my dear friends...
Here is a Rose of Sharon plant with white double blooms. Just look at those
beautiful flowers and vibrant green leaves. I only wish this were in my garden.
This flower is a full double white Rose of Sharon. I  place it here for my
beautiful new granddaughter (and namesake) Sharon Ele'a. [18]
...many happy 
of reading!
All my love,
dear friends.


[1] "Saint Odd: The Odd Thomas Series, Book 7." [Dean Koontz] Retrieved 02-15-15.
[2] "You Are Destined To Be Together, Forever." [Prequel, Dean Koontz] Retrieved d02-15-15.
[3] "Odd Thomas: The Odd Thomas Series, Book 1." [Dean Koontz] Retrieved 02-15-15.
[4] "Forever Odd: The Odd Thomas Series, Book 2." [Dean Koontz] Retrieved 02-15-15.
[5] "Brother Odd: The Odd Thomas Series, Book 3." [Dean Koontz] Retrieved 02-16-15.
[6] "Odd Hours: The Odd Thomas Series, Book 4." [Dean koontz] Retrieved 02-18-15.
[7] "Odd Interlude: The Odd Thomas Series." [Dean koontz] (includes Odd Interlude, #s 4.1-4.3) Retrieved 02-19-15. 
[8] "Odd Apocalypse: The Odd Thomas Series, Book 5." [Dean Koontz] Retrieved 02-20-15.
[9] "Deeply Odd: The Odd Thomas Series, Book 6." [Dean Koontz] Retrieved 02-21-15.
[10] "Keep Calm It's the Circle of Life." Retrieved 02-20-15.
[11] "An Example of Storytelling: Penny Pinchers." Retrieved 02-20-15.
[12] "Story Structure 104: The Juicy Details." Retrieved 02-20-15.
[13] "Illustration of Woman Reading." Retrieved 02-21-15.
[14] "At Your Own Pace." Retrieved 02-21-15.
[15] "Ozzie Boone." Retrieved 02-21-15.
[16] "Casper the Friendly Ghost Cartoon Clipart." Retrieved 02-21-15.
[17] "Four Walking Stars." Retrieved 02-21-15.
[18] "Pictures From My Garden." Retrieved 02-21-15.