Friday, March 24, 2006

Dean Koontz's Frankenstein Prodigal Son

By Christina VanGinkel

When I first heard about Dean Koontz's Frankenstein Prodigal Son, it was in relation to how the author had pulled the story from being made into a movie. It had to do with how strongly he felt about the manuscript in the form he had written it, and how those involved in the movie wanted to take it into a very different direction than the book. I later heard that it was released on the USA network, but could not find out much about it. After reading a copy of Dean Koontz's Frankenstein Prodigal Son, I could fully understand why he would feel so strongly that the plot not be changed, as it is a well-built story, with each part depending on other parts to hold up, and hold up well it does. For any fan of any past Frankenstein rendition, from any author, buckle your seat belt tight, as this is as unique a look at this long famed subject as you will ever read.

The book, actually broken into three parts with the third yet to be released as I write this, starts with the first edition, Prodigal Son. Before delving into what the story is about, let me first tell you that I am a fan of Dean Koontz's work to begin with, but I loved this book. My only regret was that it was published as three separate books, and unlike a series, where you can often read one without reading the others, this is not so with this story. It is one story, and at the end of Frankenstein Prodigal Son, you are left hanging, waiting for the next book to come out. The second book ends the same, and I am currently waiting for the release of the third book. If you find it hard to wait from week to week for a second part of a two part sitcom to arrive, then I would highly recommend waiting until all three parts of the story are published, and then picking them all up at once to be read as one big continuation.

In the beginning of this book, you meet Deucalion, a man, or maybe monster, of mystery unlike any you will ever meet again. A tattooed creation, he walks through the folds of time, in search of something ort someone from centuries ago, when he was just created.

Not long into the book, you are also introduced to Victor Helios, otherwise known as Dr. Frankenstein in older books on this subject. Living, or should I say existing, in New Orleans high society, he is going through wives unbeknownst to those around him, as he creates them in hopes of making the perfect wife, discarding them just as easily as most of toss the daily paper in the trash. A monster himself created through evil and by his own hand, the reader will learn to hate this man enough to gain understanding of Deucalion.

Carson and Michael are the detectives on the case looking for one of the worst serial killers ever to strike anywhere. What they uncover is worse than even they could have imagined. When they meet Deucalion, life, as they knew it and believed it to be, suddenly no longer seems like it will ever be the same again. Chances are they are right. Because once they see things with their own eyes, and know that their own loved ones lives are at stake, they also know beyond a doubt that life is not what it seems. For what could be worse than a serial killer? How about someone who spends their whole life plotting and creating the perfect killers!

I actually found this book to be somewhat spiritual in nature, not in the fact that is was a preachy book, not even close, but that it made me think about my own mortality and where we as human beings came from and where we might be going.

I highly recommend this book to an Dean Koontz fan, or any fan of a story that not only is a good read, but one that will make you think outside the pages, and keep you wanting to turn the next page long after you know you should have turned out the light and went to sleep.

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