Sunday, May 12, 2013
Review: Oddkins: A Fable for All Ages by Dean Koontz
Oddkins: A Fable for All Ages by Dean R. Koontz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I first read Oddkins when I was a kid. I don't remember exactly how old I was, but I must've been at least ten. I remember being frightened, but also very impressed, and absolutely enamored of the illustrations. So, when I saw it was available on Kindle, I picked it up without hesitation.
Oddkins is about a group of stuffed animals who have to go on a journey to find the new toymaker. There are toys bent on stopping them so the toy workshop will go to the forces of evil, instead. Meanwhile, the nephew of the former toymaker and current owner of the workshop spots the animated toys, and is also chasing them to find out of they're real.
The illustrations in the story are lovely, and I recommend the full color versions, if you have a device that can support it. The story, itself, is full of dangers and tension, though the dialogue often sounds wooden or contrived.
Oddkins is written as a middle grade novel, which can make its target age hard to pinpoint. It's too mature for 8-year-olds; it starts with a death, and its references to The Dark One, violent toys, and Nick Jagg are a bit much for that audience. Its use of sentient stuffed animals as the protagonists and a storybook tone makes it a hard sell for the preteen crowd. I would advise any parents considering giving this to their kids read it first and make the call about whether it's too mature or scary. It could be an excellent bedtime story to read to your kids, provided you help your kids understand that it's just a story, and their toys aren't going to come to life to hurt them.
Nostalgia value counts for a lot, and I'm sure I like this as much as I do because I loved it when it first came out. I'm very forgiving of the flaws, and I honestly can't tell if the plot is predictable or I just remembered it that well. If this was a part of your childhood, it may well be worth the investment. If it wasn't, though, I wouldn't blame you one bit for skipping it.
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