“In Odd We Trust”
Written by Queenie Chan & Dean Koontz
Illustrations by Queenie Chan
Published 2009 by Del Rey

Have you ever read a comic book?  I love comic books.  Stephen King turned his “Dark Tower” series into a comic book series, Clive Barker has some comics based on some of his stories and so has Dean Koontz.  It looks like Dean Koontz “Frankenstein” series is out in comic book form.  What a great genre for authors such as these.  There is a specialized genre of comics originated by the Japanese called “Manga.” Manga comics not only tell great stories but feature some very unique illustrations.  At the same time Manga comics have some fun quirks, like large eyes, extremely large tear drops to show sadness or exasperation, but they are very fun to read.

That’s what this review is about.  Dean Koontz created the series of “Odd Thomas” books (4, so far) that tells the story of a young humble every man that has 2 special gifts.  The first and foremost is that he sees dead people.  Not only does he see them but he does something about it.  Let me explain further for the uninformed.  Odd Thomas (yep, that’s the name his parents gave him) sees the recently departed or rather, souls that have died but haven’t yet moved on.  Usually the reason they haven’t moved on is that they’ve been murdered and Odd must solve their murder before they can move on.  There is the exception of one soul, that of  “The King,” Elvis himself.  Odd doesn’t know why “The King” hasn’t moved on or why he has chosen Odd’s home town of Pico Mundo, California, to hang out, but he is pretty good company.  The recently departed cannot talk, Odd doesn’t know why and this makes things a bit harder when it comes to solving murders.  By the way, in the later books by Dean Koontz, Elvis moves on and Frank Sinatra hangs out with Odd.

This manga comic is a prequel to the books written by Koontz and is co-written by Manga author/illustrator Queenie Chan.  Queenie Chan has published several manga novels through TokyoPop.

This story is full of the twists and turns that Dean Koontz puts into every Odd Thomas novel.  A child in Pico Mundo has been murdered and since Odd can see the boy’s ghost, it is up to Odd to solve this crime.  It turns out the kid’s nanny is being stalked and when the stalker tried to deliver an eerie letter to the nanny the little boy was home from school early and the stalker killed him.  What happens next is that Odd must find out who the killer/stalker is and keep him from killing another easy target.

Remember this is a Dean Koontz novel as well as a Queenie Chan manga and just when you think you have it solved, another turn in the story comes up and throws it all out of whack.  The illustrations that push the story along are brilliant and the story follows great in the Odd Thomas collection.

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