Monday, August 26, 2013

REVIEW: ODDKINS: A FABLE FOR ALL AGES by Dean Koontz

Title: Oddkins: A Fable for All Ages
Author: Dean Koontz
Publisher: Mel Parker Books
Publication Date: September 4, 2012
Genre: Children’s Fiction
Reviewed by: Books4Tomorrow
Source: NetGalley
My rating: 5/5

SUMMARY

To the world, the Oddkins are just stuffed animals. But all of these soft, cuddly, sweet-faced toys share a wonderful, magical secret... they're alive!

Created by Mr. Isaac Bodkins, the old toy maker, the Oddkins are made only for very special children, those who must face something difficult in life and need a true friend. The Oddkins are given to these children to inspire them, help them, and love them as long as the children need them. Only now the toys themselves - Amos, the brave stuffed bear; Skippy, the rabbit who dreams of being a superstar; Butterscotch, the gently, floppy-eared pup; as well as Burl the elephant; Gibbons; and Patch the cat - are the ones in need of help.

Mr. Bodkins has passed away before he can give his life-giving powers to Colleen Shannon, the toy maker he had chosen to replace him. Yet before he dies, the old man takes Amos aside, appoints him leader of the Oddkins, and gives him a dire warning: Watch out for an evil toy maker -- and something much, much worse!

That 'something' is happening right now. Locked up in the dark subbasement, another group of toys is climbing out of boxes and crates and coming to life. These bad toys -- like Rex and Lizzie, the puppets with no strings; Gear, the vicious robot; and Stinger, the horrid buzzing bumblebee with his knife-sharp stinger -- were made to hurt children, not help them. Leering, laughing, and deadly, they are being loosed on the world by a terrible, terrifying force. Frightening as it may be, the Oddkins have only one choice: to go on a journey in search of Colleen Shannon's toy shop. The night is stormy and black; the way is filled with peril. And the Oddkins have to face a danger that threatens not only their existence...but the magic in us all.


REVIEW

What a lovely book for readers of all ages, especially those young enough not to be afraid of the proverbial monsters under the bed! As a huge fan of Koontz’s novels for adults, I was highly surprised to find he wrote a book for kids as young as middle grade, but also a story that can be enjoyed by his most hardcore adult fans. In true Koontz fashion, the story is filled with shockingly evil characters, but well-balanced by good and absolutely adorable characters, as well as a few subtle lessons to inspire the good in everyone.

The illustrations are spot-on and each character is depicted exactly as they are described and how I imagined their appearance to be. This is an exceptional story of bravery, friendship, magic and teamwork, and I highly recommend it to everyone, especially if you’ve enjoyed Neil Gaiman’s kid lit. With Oddkins, Koontz has proved he can also thrill and entertain younger readers, as effortlessly as he can his adult followers.


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