Sunday, October 14, 2012

Frankenstein: Prodigal Son (Book 1) by Dean Koontz

I like Dean Koontz's books because he's able to take a nugget of scientific fact or the tiny glimmer of a science fiction idea and craft it into an engaging story. My first Koontz was Mr. Murder (thanks, Heather) about creating hitmen by cloning regular people. (Imagine the cops after you because your DNA turned up at a murder scene.)

With only a little bit of Googling I found out that his Frankenstein series began as a pilot for a TV show. After generating quite a bit of initial interest, the show never aired and Koontz took the idea and ran with it in novel form.

So what's it all about? This first book in a five part (?) series, Prodigal Son, is based on the idea that Victor Frankenstein is still alive, living in New Orleans, and practicing his craft. But he's no longer crafting monsters, he's perfected the lab-based growing of a new race of human beings and he's populating the city with them for an eventual extermination campaign.

Fortunately, the pair of guy-gal detectives (with the requisite romantic tension) get help from an unexpected source - Frankenstein's original monster who's still kicking (and quite philosophical) after 200+ years. There's no quibbling with the central theme here - the man who's become a monster and the monster who's become a man.

I bet you're smirking by now. Trust me, the novel never veers into farce and it actually quite enjoyable. Enjoyable enough that I've already checked Book 2 out of the library.

See his website for more on Dean Koontz's Frankenstein books.

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