Cover Image: Od and Ed

Od and Ed

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Member Reviews

I was immediately attracted to that cover and that odd little title. The vibe is very much in the line of the Thief of Always by Clive Baker, Think preteens in a haunted house, though if I trust my memory this one has a lot more gore and Repulsive scenes - anything that evokes the disgust that King suggest is essential to build up horror. Those were too much for me, trigger warning about animal cruelty here. Some of the ideas are neat, some are a nice reference to classic comics, but I wasn’t very taken by the characters. The opening scene had me too focused on disliking one of them to really form an idea on the others. 
While the atmosphere and pace was well done, I think the jumping around different point of views at the beginning made it harder for me to get to know Od when it counted. She’s a great character, but it took a moment to realise that fully… which made it hard to get into the novel for me. 
This is for you if you like the haunted house theme and if you are looking for that retro feeling you get when reading teen 80s and 90s horror, even-though the darkness is upped here.
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This book caught me by surprise  - I don't know why I was expecting more of a younger YA horror novel but whew! The imagery here is not for the faint of heart, but not in a bad way. I genuinely spent most of the novel feeling more than a little unsettled, which for a book in this genre is a real compliment! The concept is very original, and the beginning 2/3 of the book are a very strong and engaging read that instantly pull you in. Interesting characters, strong dialogue, creepy imagery, and a pinch of 80s nostalgia all made me heavily invested in where the author was going with the plot. Unfortunately I found the remaining 1/3 of the book started to flounder - the soul swapping concept was super interesting, but aspects of it became so needlessly complicated that I started to lose interest in it as a point of conflict. I found myself starting to skim through many of the chapters towards the end, trying to get to the conclusion faster.
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I've seen quite a few people compare this book to Stranger Things, specifically in regards to the atmosphere and the overall 80's feel. I completely agree. This book is quirky and out there and I was not always quite sure what exactly was going on while reading. It was an interesting experience with a fun writing style. It won't be for everyone, but I recommend it if only for the experience of it.
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This was a weird and wonderful book.  Ed’s soul is rejected from his body and Od has to figure out a way to put it back together. There were a couple of graphic scenes that may be triggering for some, overall, it was an interesting read and nothing like I have ever read before.
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Book Review: Odd & Ed-An Odd Read

Genre: Horror

TW: child endangerment, mentions and depictions of violence towards children, child death, mentions of animal abuse
 
When I first opened the book on my Kindle--I had no idea what to expect. The excerpt was vague, and the premise was well, odd. A child who lives in a real haunted house with his adopted sister gets the soul scared out of him, and his sister has to find a way to reconnect his body and soul. This deceptively simple premise serves as the skeleton for a very surreal experience. For example, right at the start, we are treated to a chapter where the cousin of the titular Odd and Ed has a fantasy of opening Odd’s underwear drawer with his mind, and the book only gets more disturbing and fascinating from there. It’s definitely not meant for the faint of heart, (heed the trigger warnings, people!) but the further I got into the book, the more I felt like I couldn’t put it down. 

Sometimes, however, it is painfully obvious that this book was written by an adult trying to re-create a childhood from the late 80’s. (A Commodore 64 features in the plot heavily, and there are references to the original He-Man and She-Ra, for example.) This childishness was definitely at odds (ha!) with the way that the narration described the children’s bodies (the word ass and certain other swear words being used comes to mind). I understand that children do swear, (and Odd and Ed are 12-13, so this would be their primary time to start) but to hear the narration engage in this as well was a bit jarring. The narration is in limited third-person singular, so we only truly see the perspective of these characters one at a time which does heighten the tension, but the perspective shifts are confusing if you are not expecting them. In addition to this, the plot can seem a bit out of left field sometimes, and some of the elements of the plot are not fleshed out at all (to possibly leave room for a sequel?)

Another thing that may give readers whiplash is the amount of graphic imagery that the book contains, which I alluded to above.Seriously heed the warnings, people.  There are dead bodies dragging around their intestines, many eyed souls grasping for release, needles being stuck into children to drain their souls, and permanent child death. There are terrible, ghoulish adults and shadows around every corner. Some of the imagery will undoubtedly stick with me for a while. 	

Aside from the imagery, the child leads are relatively believable, and Od and Ed have a genuine sibling relationship, which is rare. (I do wish they fought a bit more, but maybe it’s because I fought with my sister a lot.) They seem like believable protagonists. However, the book also does not have any characters of colour. The two main characters are two explicitly white and blonde children, and so are the people that help them. I only wish that there was more diversity in the cast.

All in all, I recommend the book if you like slightly ham-fisted 80’s nostalgia, zombies, dead bodies, well-written sibling bonds and scares. Just be warned, this isn’t a light story.
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Od and Ed is the perfect weird horror of my heart.

Strange, fun, gross and charming all rolled into one. This is right up my alley and I’d happily have more!

Ed’s soul is pushed out of his body and it’s Od’s job to get it back in. With the unusual Loney Scrobe (and the stories that surround him) to help her out, we’re on a trip around a small town during the 80’s. Hitting both the graveyard and an ice cream shop.

Pitched as Stranger Things x something spooky, this is also touching at times. Reading from the perspective of a child was well done and I quite frankly loved every single thing. Reading this in one sitting, I could definitely see this as a series but it’s still a satisfying standalone.

If you have a genuine interest in the weird and wonderful, creepy and disturbing, this is a must have little read. I’m keeping my eye on you Shanti Leonard!

Thanks to the author and NetGalley for this quirky read now.
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The concept of the book and a possible coming of age story and friendship was what made me pick it up. 

At the beginning we meet Od and Ed. They are good friends that make a discovery that will change their lives. The story was so unique and interesting at the beginning that I was really invested. However it soon started to slow down and add in some unneeded distasteful animal cruelty and I was out. 

 I liked the writing, and the story concept was really intriguing. What starts as a simple "let's get my brother's soul back in his body" escalates really quickly. However it was just not a book I could enjoy and perhaps it was just not the type of book for me.
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This is..... odd.  Which is fitting, I suppose.  But it didn't quite work for me.  I enjoyed its individual parts, but as a whole... it missed the boat.  I did, however, love the descriptions.  They were, by far, the best part.  The language used to create such visceral imagery was superb.
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The writing style of this book was different and the plot was unique.  It kinda gave me the *stranger things* vibe but I enjoyed it! :) This book focuses on the siblings- Ed and Od. One day, something goes wrong with Ed. His body does walk and talk, but it does not leave the graveyard. Od being the sister, tries really hard to save her brother and tries various things. Throughout the novel , we can see their journey with a lot of twists and a few graphic scenes, 
It was a quick read and I recommend this to young adults!  Thank you for the arc, NetGallery!
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When their house is spiritually unsettled, Od pushes a button on scarebox in attempt to calm their residence. This launches her brother Ed’s soul out of his body and leaves his body moving around, but vacant. That is just the beginning.

Throughout the book, the spiritual world or “the pale” is explored, the horrifying Scrobe family is introduced, the undead rise and a general amount of chaos ensues. 

The best part of this book is by far the relationship between Od and Ed. There is a scene where the two are casually chatting at an arcade that captures a true likeness of the simplicity and wonder of conversations that kids have. Loney is also a good addition to the crew as a sweet and awkward boy, born into a messed up family. They bring a sense of humor to horrifying events. 

A lot of the supernatural world building was intriguing, but there aren’t really enough details about what is happening. For example, Loney’s mother makes souls, which feels like a big deal, but the reasons why she does such are glossed over with a “because she can” I think this book would have been great as a trilogy where the backstories could have been more grounded in the events that are happening in the book.

While the storyline gets confusing at times, it has distinct Gooneys, Stranger Things, Ghostbuster 80s vibes that make you feel nostalgic. The pair of Od and Ed and their attempt to right their world is definitely the heart of the story.
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I quite enjoyed reading Od and Ed. I found it to be a quick and easy read. It took me a bit to get into it, but I was engaged and entertained the whole way through, which is the reason I gave it this rating. 

I felt like the narration was fitting for a young adult horror, even though it's been labeled general adult. The few grotesque descriptions stuck out from the rest of the usual narration; I think they were simple but affective, though. 

As I was reading it, I felt like this book would make a really good campy horror TV show or movie. There is high potential with some scenes and gags that would be really amusing and fun to see in a visual/audio medium. 

I do wish the last chapter (especially the very ending) was a bit longer. I think it had the potential to be quite emotional but it doesn't really explore that at all, even though Ed essentially died. 

Besides this, it was overall a very fun read!
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This is not a book for everyone, (it was for me!) but if you are into the strange and unusual it will be for you. Some scenes will probably be triggering for some folks. The strangeness reminds me of Neil Gaiman. Very well written. A great book to read if you want to get in the fall/Halloween mood.
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Growing up, I lived in permanent fear that my house was haunted. It wasn’t like I had ever seen any ghosts in my house, or had any kind of supernatural experiences there, I was just convinced my house was haunted. It took me til I was nearly 15 before I was willing to sleep alone in my room and that I was finally sure that there were no ghosts living rent-free in my family home.

For twins Od and Ed, they know their house is haunted. By what, they’re not quite sure but it doesn’t stop the house from throwing tantrums and needing the slightly clairsentient Ed to pacify it. But when Od accidentally scares her brother’s soul out of his body, she needs to figure out a way to put him back inside before their parents find out.

But Ed’s soul and body seem to want different things, and they won’t fix themselves. Od now needs to call in reinforcements, but the other person she can rely on is ‘Loony’ Loney and his sinister family.

With Ed floating around the Pale (as he calls the untethered area where souls drift freely), Od is really the shining star of this novel by Shanti Leonard. Despite the unorthodox situation, she is really gung-ho about everything—willing to try just about anything to get her twin back. I loved the depiction on the twins’ relationship, especially from Od’s point of view. She is spunky and surprisingly clearheaded, despite the fact her brother’s soul is missing, and is almost reminiscent of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline.

Od and Ed took so many twists and turns that it’s hard to guess where the novel is going; any reader would be hard pressed to guess what the ending of the twins’ journey was. The horror aspects of the novel were also genuinely scary and I found myself holding my breath during some of the riskier bits in the story.

My main complaint about this book is about the logic—or rather the laws of the Od and Ed universe—behind the story. From the very first page, we have established that the rules within this world don’t quite align with our everyday lives; the twins talk about magic and ghosts, and later when Od is trying to save Ed, her main source of information about what’s going in is a self-published comic written by Loney’s mother.

The story only gets more confusing from there. At one point, Od and Loney decide the only way they can save Ed is by digging up another person’s corpse and getting Ed to possess their rotting body. Could we chalk this up to the unexplained rules of the Od and Ed universe? Maybe. But even so, I would love to see a little more exposition from Leonard to piece everything together.

Whether we are in the Pale or back on Earth, it was hard to follow exactly the thread of logic within the book. I don’t quite understand the decisions the characters made to save Ed, not in a morally “oh why did they do that” kind of way, but in a “are we sure this is the only plan we have” kind of way. Even with the explanation being given to us at the climax, I still felt cheated of a lot of details and the colour of the book’s universe.

A sequel to Od and Ed is supposedly planned, so maybe more backstory will be given in the second novel. The twins are definitely loveable enough that I would consider revisiting them again; hopefully their adventures would make a little bit more sense when they’re older.
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[ Thanks to Netgalley for giving me a copy for an honest and unbiased review ] 


This book just wasn't for me. It definitely wasn't the book's fault! This is more of a "it's not you, it's me' situation. I wish other readers would be engaged by this in the future, if they ever do pick this up.
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Couldn't get into the storytelling and the characters at all unfortunately! It's not necessarily a bad book, but this specific strangeness wasn't for me.
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I really enjoyed reading this book, it was pretty fast paced and easy to understand. The characters were well rounded (and loveable) and I’m glad I had the opportunity to read it!
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Dynamic brother/sister duo, Od and Ed have a fascination with magic and the abnormal. They play innocent tricks on their friends in the name of magic and feel that their house contains a beastly untamed magical presence. At first it’s simple to dismiss this fascination as juvenile and the product of the children’s imaginations. It isn’t until Ed’s soul is ripped from his body, sending him to The Pale (basically the upside-down), that we learn that there is definitely something supernatural about this house. From there, the book follows a determined Odlyn and her oddball neighbor Loney as they turn to highly unorthodox methods in order to return Ed’s spirit to his uncooperative empty body. Though the book is written in the perspective of children, it contains dense flowery descriptions and dark themes that prove why this is an adult novel instead of middle grade. 
         The language is actually where I encountered my first issue with the book. The flowing descriptions are beautiful and paint a vivid picture of what’s happening, but at least in the beginning the literary language is over used. It makes the story drag, and I kept having to re-read passages after getting lost in the copious similes and metaphors. My other big issue with this book was the vivid descriptions involving animal cruelty. If you are sensitive to that kind of material I would advise against Od and Ed. I powered through anyway, and eventually the descriptions became essential to understanding what was happening in the plot. The words soon began to suck me in and suddenly it was impossible to put down. 
         Even though I did have some issues with the pacing and the gore of this book I really appreciated that it was something different. I also really liked the fact that the book centered on sibling love, instead of falling into the romance trap that nearly every other book seems to. Od and Ed certainly isn’t for everyone due to it’s dark themes and wacky premise, but the writing is excellent and I do recommend it if your looking for a wild ride that makes you think.
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This is a hard one to review. I liked the writing, and the story concept was really intriguing. What starts as a simple "let's get my brother's soul back in his body" escalates really quickly to... well without spoiling anything, it reeaaally gets out of hand, but without losing its believability. The story kept me interested, wondering how much worse it could get and how they're going to fix this 

However, there were a number of graphic scenes that I just didn't enjoy. Maybe it's because I wasn't prepared for them, and didn't think it would be that kind of writing, but it was too much (especially the part where everyone is throwing up... You really don't need to spend a whole page or two talking about it and the smell).

But ye... I liked it, but there were parts I could have done without.
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A great read for those who watched Stranger Things and thought ‘hmm, this isn’t weird enough for me’. This book is one of the strangest I’ve read in a while and it was a delight to follow Od and Ed through this bizzare rampage.

It was initially kind of off putting for me that the book had such a nostalgic, eighties childhood feel to it, but also prominently featured some truly gory stuff, but in the end I think it worked really well. It reads like a B list horror film, and I consider that a high compliment.

But the aspect that really brings this book together is it’s characters. Od in particular is a really well realized protagonist and her relationship with her brother feels natural and anchors the story nicely.
I’ll definitely be watching this space for more Shanti Leonard works in future
(Published on goodreads and story graph)
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A mostly engaging, mostly fantasy tale that has some nicely written moments. This is the author's first published book and it didn't show the mature writing of a more experience author. But I'd recommend it for a nice read.

Thanks very much for the free review copy!!
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