If we’re talking the monster of all Halloween monsters, Frankenstein’s monster out-scares most. A creature stitched together with multiple body parts from several corpses, given birth by lightning, and having no soul, the Frankenstein monster is a true fright of nature.
Dean Koontz, master of imagination, rewrote our classic tale with a scientific upgrade meant for modern minds. With a god-complex the size of America, Victor Frankenstein is convinced he will replace every flawed human with one of his perfect specimens (creatures born in tanks who are nearly immortal). If not for one opposition: his first creation freed from imprisoned willpower, Deucalion. With the help of two homicide detectives, Michael-the-comic-relief-Maddison and Carson-the-bad-ass-O’Connor, Deucalion stands a chance at defeating the madman who created him.
Book 1: Prodigal Son
Wow! What a book. First, to tackle…no, to even contemplate tackling such a classic story and put a scientific, theological twist on it is ballsy. But then to execute such a daring attempt with expertise and finesse is breathtaking talent. Koontz definitely told a better Frankenstein story than I’ve ever heard in my life.
His tone and voice are refreshing, his writing is sheer brilliance. I’ve never read anything so simplistically genius in my life. His insight to psychology, science, and anatomy strike life to his plot, but it’s his presentation of his knowledge that provides a clear-cut resonance with the audience. What an amazing read. Definitely recommended to any and everyone, regardless if you enjoy science fiction or not.
Book 2: City of Night
The well-written journey I expected, with twists I never saw coming. A tragedy of emotional and soulful deprivation woven into this non-stop, action-packed adventure.
I love his style. I love his language. I love his creativity and imagination. I would love to live in this side of his imagination. It’s genius. There are some parts—rather it be Koontz as a writer or his editor—but some scenes where the words fit so right it was blissful. It was the exact word I needed to feel that experience. It was an incredible read. Would definitely read it again. Can’t wait for the next book.
Book 3: Dead and Alive
The ending of the book was obviously not the end of the series, even though I had been convinced it was only three books in length. One of my favorite techniques of Koontz is his ability to end his stories unexpectedly. I honestly anticipate every book to turn out differently than they do, and each time I’m more satisfied with his ending than I ever would be if he proved my assumption correct.
Book 4: Lost Souls
The science in this book wasn’t quite as realistic as the science in the first book. Then again, I’m unfamiliar with nanotechnology, so this could be a very well-thought, scientific statement. As a common reader, unfamiliar with science and technology in quite the same depth as Koontz, the ability of the Builders was too alienistic for my taste. It diminished the fear I felt toward the antagonists.
I was also not thrilled with Carson and Michael’s development. In the course of one book, they transitioned from bad ass partners as cops to a married couple with a baby, working as private investigators. It was a dramatic character change, and I feel like us getting to see them as a married couple would have been sufficient character development. Leaping right into parenthood was too big a step from one book to another, considering at the end of book 3 they weren’t even dating.
Granted, there was a significant time gap between books three and four, which wasn’t specified, it was supposed to be assumed by the audience. If that time gap had occurred in the first three books, I would have expected that and been more accepting of the dramatic change in Carson and Michael’s lives. But because the first three books consisted within a tightly woven schedule, the fourth book coming in suddenly at years later without forwardly stating this made it challenging.
I would have been more content leaving the characters in the state they were in at the end of book 3. It would have been a great trilogy. This book was my least favorite of the installment.
Book 5: The Dead Town
So glad I finished this book. The nail-biting suspense combined with the kick-ass cast made this book the ultimate climax of the series. Combined with a satisfying death of our all-time resented mastermind behind world purification and destruction, monsters immune to injury, and enough well-established points of view to create an entire town’s perspective of this crumbling catastrophe, the story played out divinely and wrapped up perfectly.
Grabbing this book was easy, putting it down was hard.
With the death of so many good townspeople, including children and those we rooted for, and the survival of so many characters we had come to know and love, the reality of the incident was my favorite aspect to this installment of the series.
The ability of the Builders became more frightful in this installment, mostly because I feel as though realizing what aspect of science they were made their ability clearer. In the previous book, it was harder to imagine small robotic structures capable of what they were doing to others. But in this book, Koontz had a more precise explanation. The fact that they were indestructible aroused a fear that every villain should be comprised of. Their only true death was by the death of their maker.
The different perspectives of the characters and their oblivious interaction with one another added to a climactic ending chapter that had me on the edge of my seat. I watched this book play out like a movie. This was the experience of a lifetime.
Koontz’s writing was by far the best in this book. His allusions and descriptive language painted the picture so vividly and fluently that I was able to relax while reading. Nothing was hard to imagine, and everything was so realistic, so fruitful to grasp that it created an enjoyable adventure.
I loved this book, it’s my favorite from the series, and I would read it a hundred times again. Perfect ending to an incredibly well-written, original series.