- Author: Dean Koontz
- Performed by Luke Daniels
- Published: Brilliance Audio, released on Audible August 2013
- Category: Children’s Fantasy/Fairytale
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 Isaac Bodkins, the toymaker, was dead. His magical toy animals, who he nicknamed Oddkins because they were odd (as in alive) and kin (because they were his family) were sad and scared. Isaac had made the toys especially for children who are suffering in some way and need a special and secret friend. A friend who will guide and support, and help them fulfil their potential. Isaac thought he had a little more time but died before he could talk to city toymaker Colleen Shannon about taking over his shop, Leben Toys. Continue reading
- Author: Dean Koontz
- Performed by MacLeod Andrews
- Released: December 2013 by Brilliance Audio
- Category: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
He lives in solitude beneath the city, an exile from society, which will destroy him if he is ever seen.
She dwells in seclusion, a fugitive from enemies who will do her harm if she is ever found.
But the bond between them runs deeper than the tragedies that have scarred their lives. Something more than chance—and nothing less than destiny—has brought them together in a world whose hour of reckoning is fast approaching.
Addison lives in complete seclusion under the city, only venturing above ground at night. He is not like other people and has known nothing but hatred and disgust all his life. Even his mother cannot bear to look at him and, although she loves him, it doesn’t stop her from attempting infanticide several times.
Eventually she gives him a backpack with supplies and tells him to leave. Addison is rescued by a man like himself and together they survive under the city streets until his ‘father’s’ death.
One night as Addison visits the library he sees a young girl fleeing from a man. After she manages to give him the slip Addison finds her and they strike up a conversation. Gwyneth has a social phobia and does not want to be touched in any physical way. They make a bargain, Addison doesn’t touch and Gwyneth doesn’t look. And so begins a friendship of sorts which soon turns to love.
The story alternates between the present day and Addison’s life leading up to his meeting with Gwyneth. This builds the tension nicely and also the compassion for a human being shunned and forced to live in such an unnatural way. Bit by bit the mysteries are revealed and it’s heartbreaking and shocking.
Just as you think the story has reached its tragic conclusion there is a glimmer of hope……
The pacing and articulation of the narration enhances the emotion and suspense of the story almost beyond bearing sometimes. Each character is portrayed to perfection. And I loved the very descriptive writing, especially of the snowy city scenery which, coupled with the narration, was hauntingly beautiful.