Thursday, April 16, 2015

Book Review: Odium by Frank McManus

by Frank McManus
Publisher: Frank McManus
Published: May 25, 2014

Odium has been nominated for an award in the Young Adult Fiction Category in the USA Best Book Awards. Winners will be announced in November 2015!

Amazon Synopsis:

 Age Level: 9 - 18 | Grade Level: 5 - 12
Lost in time and dimension, is an island known as ODIUM.

It is said that this land called ODIUM holds the keys to our existence, our past and our future. To find the island and rediscover its secrets will bring about a time of great prosperity, wonderment and peace upon all lands.

However, through the millennia all of the charts and records to ODIUM have been lost. All that remains are the strange stories that elders will tell to their young at bedtime. Hence, ODIUM was to remain forever a myth, a story told to children, or so we were led to believe.

This is the tale of two extraordinary best friends, who discover a great secret and become adventures. Friends who never gave up, who dared to challenge reality and their own awareness in order to rediscover and explore ODIUM. For the good of the many, on the hopes of a few, they embarked on a journey of a lifetime. 

Book Links

My Thoughts:

Bob was told a story of a place called Odium by an old lady named Mrs. Openhimer one day while he was taking a break from pulling weeds in her garden. Moments later he found her dead and noticed her necklace looked like the island she described as the island of Odium. Stranger yet, it appeared to be changing, developing more details. So he took the necklace and then called the police to report her death.

Fascinated with the idea of finding this land called Odium, he talks his friend Frank into figuring out a way to go there with him. They manage to get a job on a small boat where the owner dies the day they set out. They bury him at sea and carry on to look for Odium.

From there it's adventure after adventure. For a while it doesn't even look like they will find the island. Once they do, there are plot twists and turns galore that put their lives at risk many times.

While the story is interesting enough, I did not feel a great connection with the characters. They were a little one dimensional to me. I felt that they needed more development in order for me to have any kind of emotional attachment to them.

I also noticed quite a number of grammatical errors in the text including using "aghast" when the author obviously meant "awestruck", "then" instead of "than" etc. the author originally wrote this story for his own children so references to television shows and movies may not hit the mark with today's youngsters.

Odium is very much a work of creativity. Included in the text are a few maps and images to help the reader visualize what the author is talking about. This is most helpful, for as the adage goes "a picture is worth 10,000 words". The adventures the two boys take are unique as is the ending of the story.

I gave Odium 3 stars out of 5 for its interesting adventures. Boys ages 9-12 should enjoy the adventures even if they don't get the references to the TV shows and movies.

Thank you to the author for providing a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion was not required. All thoughts are my own.

About the Author:

     Born in the 20th & 1/2 century, Frank is a mostly sane individual who has lived most of his life in the wilds of California. During his many trips around the sun, he has had the ability to travel extensively throughout this third planet and seen first hand many of its delights and rarities.

     His children, (whom he read to while they still possessed that wonderment of youth and saw mystery and adventure at every turn), are why most of his books were written. To further amuse and titillate their creative spirit; before the onset of adolescents pushed it far back into the deep recesses of their minds and then became lost with the dawning of adulthood, he wrote stories for them, about them and about the things happening in their lives.

     It is his hope that a new generation of creative, adventure-seeking youth will take up the torch and boldly experience life with eyes of wonder once again. And with some intervention, perhaps of an unworldly nature, his fellow adults may to re-experience this bliss they have misplaced in those cavernous recesses.

Author Links
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Odium II: Master of the Maze
Will be making it’s debut in July 2015!

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