Wednesday, February 6, 2013

In Odd We Trust: a manga review

By Queenie Chan and Dean Koontz
1.5 / 5 Gnomes

A review in 10 words or less: A fun novel gets lost in translation.

Odd Thomas is a regular nineteen-year-old with an unusual gift: the ability to see the lingering spirits of the dead. To Odd, it’s not such a big deal. And most folks in sleepy Pico Mundo, California, are much more interested in the irresistible pancakes Odd whips up at the local diner. Still, communing with the dead can be useful. Because while some spirits only want a little company . . . others want justice. 

When the sad specter of a very frightened boy finds its way to him, Odd vows to root out the evil suddenly infecting the sunny streets of Pico Mundo. But even with his exceptional ability–plus the local police and his pistol-packing girlfriend, Stormy, backing him–is Odd any match for a faceless stalker who’s always a step ahead . . . and determined to kill again?

~Amazon Description~

This is the perfect example of trying to force a good story on a different format.  The smartly written, compassionate Odd Thomas who sees dead people gets lost in translation from novel to manga.  I'm a HUGE fan of Dean Koontz, especially the Odd Thomas series, but his did nothing for me.  Having read so many Japanese manga with exquisite artwork, the Americanized illustrations of In Odd We Trust seemed cartoonish and the attempts at wit and sarcasm by the characters was just laughable.

Now all of that being said...if I hadn't read the originals and formed my own opinions of the characters and plotlines, maybe it wouldn't have been so bad.  It's a good storyline.  A young man has the often unfortunate ability to see the dead (including Elvis which always made me laugh.)  Dark and sinister happenings start to occur in the town of Pico Mundo, and Odd uses his talents to help the police force solve crimes.  If that sounds at all interesting to you, definitely pick up Dean Koontz's Odd Thomas and leave In Odd We Trust for when you're pressed for time.

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