Oddkins: A Fable for All Ages by Dean Koontz is a book that readers from elementary school ages through adults can understand and enjoy, with beautiful illustrations and a story that feels very real. Isaac Bodkins was a magical toy-maker who creates toys that can come to life in order to help children trough difficult times. He calls his creations Oddkins. However, Isaac has passed away sooner than expected, and before he could train the next toy-maker. The race is now on to see whether a good or evil magic toy-maker will wield the power. A team of Isaac’s Oddkins are on the move to find the toy shop of Isaac’s chosen heir, while evil toys from the hidden sub-basement try to stop them from reaching their goal before the evil toy-maker can purchased Isaac’s toy shop.
Oddkins: A Fable for All Ages might be Koontz’s first book intended for more than just adult readers, but you would never know it from the read. Living toys are a new idea, but Koontz instilled a new life to the idea, with strong personalities for each of the living toys. I loved the idea that the toys are intended to help children facing special difficulties, although I wished all children could have one rather than just the ones with the ‘potential for greatness’, since I think everyone has that potential. However, that would make for one busy magic toy-maker! The Oddkins that face the action, both good and bad, have quirks and personalities that often made me smile or shudder, depending. The good Oddkin’s quest for Colleen Shannon’s shop, Isaac’s nephew’s search for the truth, and an ex-con in search for more ways to inflict pain intersect with the evil Oddkins intent on securing their future and the success of the dark toy-maker. There are epic battles, internal debates, and characters that will take hold of your heart. What else do you need?
I recommend Oddkins: A Fable for All Ages for adults that are fans of Koontz works as well as adults, teens, and the middle grade set. On a scale of one to five, I would give Oddkins a full five stars. There is a combination of fast passed action with enough introspection and personal discovery to keep readers of all ages and all genre preferences entertained and turning the pages.
(This review was originally published on Sharon the Librarian.)