Hannah Scribbles

Review: Brother Odd (2006)

In Career, Fun on February 28, 2014 at 9:25 am

The forces of pride and humility clash in Dean Koontz’s third Odd Thomas novel.

brother odd review, dean koontz odd thomas, odd thomas books, odd thomas monastery, brother odd thomas,On retreat at St. Bartholomew’s Abbey high in the Sierra Mountains, Odd Thomas’s gift won’t allow him to escape his problems for long. On the eve of a snowstorm, Odd spots a bodach slinking through the night. With a sense of impending doom, he rushes to investigate the bodach’s destination and prevent the disaster its presence implies.

Within minutes of the bodach sighting, Odd trips over a body in the snow and is attacked from behind. Later, he sees an unnatural bone-creature and learns the destructive monsters are somehow attracted to Jacob, a boy with Down’s Syndrome living at the Abbey’s orphanage. With bodachs gathering by the minute, Odd races to protect the children at the orphanage and find a connection between the boy and the bone-creatures who want him dead.

Koontz uses Odd Thomas to point out the unassuming nature of humility while he explores pride’s insidious influence over otherwise good people. From the bone-creatures, which are literally the poisonous product of pride, to the Abbey itself, Koontz crafted plot and setting to highlight the humility’s struggle to overcome the destructive nature of pride.

“The world is beautiful and glorious. Humanity can be mean, and turn away from what’s good.”

 Brother Odd shows a view of religious life that emphasizes how the power of true humility conquers pride. Despite varying backgrounds, the monks and nuns at St. Bartholomew’s Abbey received the same calling to sacrifice themselves in order to help others. One of the most prominent characters of the book, Brother “Knuckles”, was an enforcer for a crime family before a children’s book humbled him.

People from all walks of life are called to God. While “Knuckles” is proof that anyone can change if their heart is sincere, every character in Brother Odd has a conversion story. Including this aspect, which is a real part of consecrated and non-consecrated religious life, grounds the characters. Showing a realistic portrayal of the faith life, the monks and nuns of Brother Odd are not placed on pedestals; they are flawed humans who strive to be saints.

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Brother Odd is almost a rest stop in Odd’s psychic journey that was established in Odd Thomas and expanded upon in Forever Odd. The third novel removes the protagonist from his comfort zone and introduces him to an entirely new experience. With new scenery, new friends and new ghostly companions introduced throughout, Brother Odd builds toward the next book in the series, Odd Hours, with promises of greater adventures and a higher purpose.

Rating: 5 Stars

Favorite Character: Brother Knuckles

Favorite Quote: “When we hope, we usually hope for the wrong thing.”

Most Chilling Quote:  “Loop me in, odd one.”

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