Frankenstein: Prodigal Son by Dean Koontz (2005)

United States
March 18, 2008 10:06pm CST
Lately, it seems that Dean Koontz has found his way once again. Back in 2004 he wrote a splendid book, called Life Expectancy. It held a terrific story and had the suspense and intensity, that made it a wonderful reading experience. Now reading Frankenstein: Prodigal Son, we get, not a classic like Life Expectancy, but surely a book that gives you a few of the same things. The great things that you get are things such as great story telling, suspense, and an old story with a fresh feel. Frankenstein: Prodigal Son Book One is the first book in a trilogy. It is basically reworking of the Mad Doctor Gone Wrong story but it has been twisted to fit in our day in age. Dean Koontz does a fine job in creating a world where we find this old story continuing and reemerging in the twenty first century. In it we still find the old characters Dr. Victor Frankenstein, the original monster that he built.. and a bolt of lightning brought to life, all while still including Mary Shelley... who originally wrote this horrific tale. Frankenstein's monster is alive and well. In our modern day we find him as he is now called Deucalion (wich is the name of Prometheus' mythical son). At the start of the story we find him living in Tibet, where he gets word that his maker (Dr. Frankenstein) is not dead as he believed but up and running.. very much alive. So the journey begins as he heads to New Orleans were his maker is. To realize, what he believes to be his destiny, which is to bring an end to the evil which is this Mad Doc.. his maker. In addition to old characters from the old story, we find new and rather interesting characters. All beginning with a pair of crime controllers. These two police detectives are called Carson O'Connor and her cynical (but always funny) partner Michael Maddison. They are the ones that help us with the unwrapping of the tale. The great thing about reading a Dean Koontz novel is his uncanny ability to create new and fresh situations. His originality, makes most of his stories different and keeps his work from becoming redundant and an ongoing series of books that are essentially about the same thing. In the end that is why his writing excels.. because you don't know what he will paste on the page next. Different is always better because Same gets boring quick. In this book Prodigal Son, he takes something that we have read in books and seen in movies many times, but he has made it different. In that he appeals, to those like me who other wise would be indifferent about reading another book about something that seems way to old to relate to. Not to try and place any type of negative feeling on Frankenstein as an old tale, its just that I never really gave a hoots nanny about it. Now, that I have read this modernized version of it, I have a new found respect for the story of old. Plus, the new incarnation of Frankenstein's monster who is called Deucalion in this book is a serious and deep individual. A monster who thinks too much and has inner conflicts that pulls his inner strings.. between being a monster and his desire of being a human with a soul. A emotionally complicated monster is a lot more interesting, than a neck bolt, grumbling incoherent, stiff bodied monster that is powerful in image but lacking much in mind. In the front portion of the book Koontz provides us with insight about a movie that he is connected with. Originally he wrote a story for a two-hour television series pilot for USA Network. When major changes where requested, Koontz changed his mind and decided to no longer continue in the project. What he did decided to do, was to rewrite the story in book form in order to preserve the original concept. (A concept which brought in acclaimed director Martin Scorsese.. which also pulled out of the project because of creative differences) This book is the first in a trilogy about Frankenstein and his progeny. In the movie, while the concept is credited to Dean Koontz, John Shiban is credited for the actual screenplay. Dean Koontz Frankenstein is filled with suspense and is a story worth seeking out. It is incredibly clever and has a new age feel. It is deep enough intellectually, even if it is predominantly an action adventure story. Speaking of action, it has crisp and creative narration that keeps the pace fast and furious. Even if we are greatly familiar with the myth, which makes it a bit predictable, it's still a super compelling read, with a cliffhanger ending, that leaves you satisfied and ready to continue in the trilogy series. ZeN
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