Dan Brown on Fire, Odd Thomas, and a bit of Odd Ray

Hello all, I know it’s been more than a week since my last post, and it’s not even Tuesday, but here I am trying to make things right.  I’ve been a little out of it lately, and reading has taken over my life!  Boo hoo hoo, you say, I agree, no excuse.  But here’s something that will light a fire, Dan Brown’s Inferno, a world class book by a world class author.

Inferno revolves around Dante’s Inferno, a well known piece of epic poetry, and how, it seems, anything can be turned to nefarious uses.  Robert Langdon makes a return appearance in this book and does his best to right the wrongs and follow the rabbit hole no matter where it goes.  It’s a good book, and definitely kept me reading until the wee hours of the morning, but sadly, there are a few points that just seemed missing.  The efforts of the author to try to keep you in the dark at times hits a wrong note, and at other times just seems plainly forced.

Don’t get me wrong, the book is still an excellent read, and if you’ve suspended belief long enough, these small items may fly right by you without you ever really noticing.  As always, an entertaining romp through Italy is involved, near death, and all sorts of clues that have to be decoded.  A lot of fun to read!

Before I read Inferno, I read Odd Apocalypse, an Odd Thomas novel by Dean Koontz.  Odd seems to find himself in odd places ever more easily as he travels along the coast of California, and find himself associating with ever incredible people.  This one is a little different, I feel, than the past few novels, and may be a bit of a shock for some readers.  Odd is pretty much the same, and handles things in his usual way, but Odd Apocalypse has some different sort of problems for Odd to figure out, and stretches the imagination is different ways that in the past.  The demons are not so much mythical and fantasy come to reality, but more so as almost aliens from a sci-fi novel, come to visit on Odd’s turf.  True, in the episodic piece Odd Interlude, sci-fi seems to have played a role, but that was supposed to just be a sidebar along the Odd journey.  Now it seems that sci-fi has come to visit, and may not be leaving any time soon.

I’m a big sci-fi lover, and have read my fair share of sci-fi novels, so it’s not impossible for me to believe that these genres of horror, fantasy and sci-fi can intermingle, but I will admit that it was a bit of a surprise to see it featured here.  It works well, and feels almost right, but to me, it was a different story because of it.  Odd still feels like an old friend come to tell you a tale, but it seems now that may be Odd has run out of old tales, and is making up some new ones to keep us entertained.

All in all, two wonderfully distracting books, would I recommend them to anyone else, absolutely, but be forewarned, both of these books are not as good as their predecessors.