rating: 4 of 5 stars
I put off reading the fourth and most recent Odd book because I knew I would be sad to say goodbye to him for a while. And I was right. I miss him already. And while this was not my favorite, it was a solid hit. The story was suspenseful and mostly satisfying. But it is Odd that I really love. This was a difficult journey for him because so much violence was necessary at his hand. It was interesting seeing him struggle with perpetuating the greater good through violence. He needs a serious vacation! A couple of times I thought I was reading an episode of 24. There were some situations in this one that weren't fully clarified for me (it was very early in the morning when I finished it and it's possible I missed something!). Just some loose ends that I thought would be explained but that weren't--at least not completely.
Since I met him, I've loved Odd's perspective of his "gift." He recognizes it as a gift even though it is the source of most of his problems. He not only accepts it as part of who he is, but even arranges his life so as to accommodate it. And he doesn't just accommodate it, but feels obligated to honor it.
I also love that Odd doesn't understand everything and doesn't pretend to. But he also accepts that he doesn't understand everything. Or accepts that he doesn't need to have to understand everything in order to believe that there are good forces and evil forces and that he is for the good.
Of course it goes without saying that Odd has a little insight into the world of death. But that doesn't mean that he doesn't feel loss and its effects. In Odd Hours he met Birdie Hopkins. While discussing the loss of her husband and death of a loved one in general he said: "The answer to the mystery of existence is the love you shared sometimes so imperfectly, and when the loss wakes you to the deeper beauty of it, to the sanctity of it, you can't get off your knees for a long time, you're driven to your knees not by the weight of the loss but by gratitude for what preceded the loss. And the ache is always there, but one day not the emptiness, because to nurture the emptiness, to take solace in it, is to disrespect the gift of life." Thank you, Odd.
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