Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
The Oddity is a metaphysical/fantasy fiction novella written by Kat Hawthorne. A young man visits a witch to have his cards read. Each time he visits, another card is displayed, and the two discuss its meaning. At times, the young man wants to hit the witch, who he thinks is hideous and sly. At other times, he’s enthralled by what she has to tell him, and he considers his options for what’s left of his life. There’s also a young woman, Katasuma, who lives with her aged father. She was one of the Oddities, children who were bred with special abilities. Katasuma is the only one of those gifted children who is still alive. Her gift is the ability to see the future, and she knows her father will soon fall prey to his illnesses and age, and leave her. She’s never been outside as her life is a secret only she and her father share. One day, he brings her a book, and her world begins to grow, and she clamors for ever more books.
I lost track of the time and the world as I read The Oddity, a metaphysical fantasy novella by Kat Hawthorne. It’s really one of the most remarkable things I’ve read in a very long time. Hawthorne’s writing style is spare and elegant, and the world she creates is oh, so real. You can hear the silences between the words of the witch and her young visitor and see each card through each person's eyes. Katasuma’s father looms large as a hero and protector, even if his outer persona is one of humility and frailty. Katasuma and her dreamlike existence are beautifully rendered. The Oddity is a most impressive work that will leave a lasting impression on any reader who takes the time to sit down and simply start reading. I was quite overwhelmed by this work, and I don’t get overwhelmed all that easily. Kat Hawthorne’s The Oddity is a masterful and stunning work.