on May 31, 2011
To say I was disappointed with this book is putting it lightly. I've loved this series since the first book, but starting with Lost Souls and now this... I've been really let down.
That isn't to say that there aren't good parts to this book. Erika V and Jocko are still great characters, and there are a few interesting scenes, but in the end the book is a mess. Victor is a laughable antagonist, whose so arrogent that he never really feels like a threat. The Builders are interesting, but they get overused, and the book lacks the darker, violent edge that made the first two so interesting.
The biggest problem is the sheer number of plotlines. When new characters and storylines are still being introduced during the last 75 pages, it just screams of padding. Then the ending, which should be pulse pounding and exciting, is glossed over and tied up with a "and they all lived happily ever after."
Really not very good, and a disappointing way to wrap things up.
on May 27, 2011
The fifth and final book in the Frankenstein series has reminded me of why I am such a fan of Dean Koontz. It is gripping from beginning to end and really hard to tear yourself away from.I had been losing faith in Koontz, as more and more of his books had left me with a "what a waste of my time" kind of feeling, and when I began reading the 4th book I was very concerned I was again going to be disappointed, but Koontz really pulled it off. My complaint with some of his recent novels has been that he has spent so much of the novel developing and building up, that I find myself 30 pages from the end with no hint of a resolution, and the conclusion feels like he was running out of time and tried to wrap everything up too quickly. Thus was my worry as I delved into book 4. It seemed like he was introducing too many characters and too many settings to be able to adequately be able to flesh each out and bring back in to a neat conclusion, but he DEFINITELY succeeded! I would have liked to hear a bit more on the resolution (on both the good and bad guys sides) but all in all I felt that most of the questions were answered, and the story was brought to a very well rounded out conclusion. I'd like to see Koontz return to writing novels this gripping as the standard, as opposed to this being a rare gem in an increasingly disappointing line up.
on December 14, 2011
Here be major spoilers.
Like most everyone else disappointed about this and the fourth book, I REALLY wanted the payoff to go well. Reading the back of this book was what got me interested in the Frankenstein series to begin with and so since this was the last one, I was hoping that it'd be an ending worth remembering.
I was wrong.
But I'm going to go ahead and say, this was LOADS better than the fourth one. That wouldn't be too hard. But even I could've forgiven the fourth book if this one had been better. The fourth book felt like it was setting everything up. So, I'm going to list why I was disappointed and then talk about what I'd have done better.
1. The trilogy was fine - The first three books were great. It had an ending that was nice. The heroes won, the villain lost, there weren't too many characters clogging up the book, I could keep up with all the plotlines and I actually cared about most of the characters. Sure, I felt the ending was a little weak but I still liked it. More on the ending later.
2. The villain wasn't easy to identify with - Villains are the most important thing to a story. These days we like villains that make us laugh or scare the crap out of us. The Joker from Batman is a great example of that. Victor Helios...was okay. He wasn't the best villain ever, but he wasn't the worst. He was creepy (I mean, he ate live baby rats because he was bored and got off on raping his wife) but he wasn't outright scary. I prefer the original Victor because of his goal. He wants to replace the world with clones and position himself as their `god'. Not the most original goal in the world, but with a story like this it works. Victor Leben, or Victor Immaculate is an entirely different story. Basically, he wants to kill everyone and everything and then die himself leaving the world empty. Okay....um....how does that benefit him? Another good way to identify with the villain is if you can identify with their goal. Now, I really don't identify with Victor Frankenstein's goal at all, but at least his goal made some sense. This....does not. How does he benefit if everything's dead? Was this explained?
3. It destroys the message in the trilogy - The first three books pound it over our heads that it's important to have free will and hope. The lack of that is what destroys the clones faster than Victor can spit them out. The fact that he gave his wife hope was what separated her from the rest and kept her sane after his death. It doesn't seem to mention this again much in the fourth books. The builders start breaking down because...I don't know why honestly, it doesn't seem like something that was explained either. It couldn't really be lack of hope because you'd think that it'd affect the Communitarians too, but they seem to be fine. So, what was going wrong? Or did he just build the builders up to be too powerful and this was the only way he could think of to keep the heroes alive?
4. Heroes turn useless - I liked Michael and Carson in the original trilogy as the focus. They were clichés but they were likable. In the third book I kind of noticed that they didn't do much of anything. And it was a bit disappointing because Deucalion seemed to think that Carson was going to be the one that helped him kill Frankenstein. And I really liked that idea. She'd get revenge on the murder of her parents and he'd get closure since he couldn't kill Victor himself. Instead, in the third book, the clones kill him by burying him alive and as ironic as it is, it was a tad disappointing. Especially since all Carson pretty much does is tell him to "go to tell." Really? That's all this hard hitting, guns blazing, caffeinated badass has to say to the man that ruined her life? In the last two it's even worse. Thanks to the barrage of too many characters, all Carson and Michael do is kill a clone and then hang out with the church catching them up on the plot. They had nothing to do and I have to wonder why Koontz even bothered bringing them back. They had their ending, and the characters didn't want to do anything dangerous in fear of orphaning their baby.
5. Too much padding- Do we really need to hear how the builders kill every other page? Because it sounded stupid the first time he described it. Did we really need that many characters? It really bogged the story down. If anything, he should've let some of the characters that we got to know die. Most of the characters that did perish were people that we didn't even know. There were too many happy endings for a story as supposedly dark as this one. I would've kept Bryce and Travis for the hospital exposition, but I would've killed the boy's mother off. And I would've kept the radio team in the story because they were important and I would've kept Rusty the war veteran in and his kind-of girlfriend because I liked their story, but I would've introduced them a lot earlier. And that would've been it.
But would I have done differently? Well, I would've just kept it a trilogy first of all. As weak as the ending was, it was still loads better than this one, but if I felt I HAD to write another book, I would've made it a prequel. Victor and Deucalion had WAY too few scenes together and it would've been great to actually read about their history instead of just having it told to me. It would've been nice to see Deucalion make mistakes and have faults instead of being this godlike being who can teleport and heal autism (Oh, the way, way to walk into the light before you take the kids home from the monastery hero. I'm sure their parents appreciated THAT one). But all in all the payoff wasn't worth stretching it into two books.
on May 25, 2011
I love Dean Koontz's depiction of the classic Frankenstein tale. So, since reading Lost Souls I have anxiously been waiting for the next installment.
The Dead Town was an enjoyable book. Koontz has a way of bringing characters to life that keeps me coming back. Carson and Michael are as quick-witted as ever. Erika and Jocko are still amusing in their oddities. Deucalion shines in this novel. And Victor Immaculate, who was barely glimpsed before, shows the mindset of absolute domination and total arrogance that defines him. A lot of side characters had plenty of action, which has good and bad points.
It did get repetitive, however. The Builders are interesting, but it seemed to go over the same scenes with them over and over. The ending was not as dramatic as I hoped, but it was a long way from disappointing.
Overall, I liked the book. If you liked Lost Souls, you will probably enjoy The Dead Town.
on January 24, 2012
I am glad this series is over after reading this last book. Victor Immaculate is supposed to be smarter and superior to the original. When in fact, he is more screwed up than the first. It was hard enough for me to believe that Victor wanted to replace all humans with his human clones. Now I am expected to swallow this ludicrous idea that he wants to destroy all intelligent life on the planet as well as himself! Through out the story Victor continually ignores signs that his plans are once again going awry. His new clones are too fantastical and likewise are just as screwed up if not more than his previous creations. Maybe a few hundred years more in the future a could believe this yarn. In the end Victor just idioticly stands there and lets Deucalion kill him. The worst of it all is we are expected to think this madman's agenda reaches up to the highest person in our government. The best part of the book was Mr. Lyss and Nummy, the bum and dummy duo. Koontz how about writing a book about those two? Sorry for the review. Still a fan...
on December 14, 2011
If you haven't read books 4 or 5 in this series yet, let me some it up for you in a few sentences what it took Dean Koontz two books to write:
Dr. Frankenstein's "clone" is back to cause trouble, this time with a plot to destroy the entire world.
Two escaped convicts by the name of Nummy and Mr. Lyss inadvertently stumble across a "malfunctioned" creature of Victor's creation, who tells them of Victor's present location.
This information is passed on to Deucalion.
Deucalion looks up Victor, exchanges pleasantries with Victor for a couple of pages, and then destroys him.
The rest of these two books was nothing more than filler and drivel. This series should have stopped after book 3, because books 4 & 5 were just essentially the same type of story being rehased again, except this time there was too little substance and it was spread WAY too thin. Parts 1-3 are worthy of reading.. 4 & 5, not so much.
Ever since I read Mary Shelly's Frankenstein when I was a teen I've always identified with the creature. I wanted to know more about him. Not his creator who I thought was conceited to have created him, and then negligent when it came to equipping the creature for the world he was to live in. In his character, Deucalion, Dean Koontz thoroughly answers my question: Whatever became of the creature? In the fifth and final book in his series we find Deucalion along with Carson and Michael Maddison in Rainbow Falls, Montana hunting down Victor Frankenstein's clone, Victor Immaculate, who is hell-bent on destroying all of humanity. The action picks up where book four, Lost Souls, left off. Deucalion uses his talent at bending time and space by teleporting wherever his mind takes him. Carson and Michael, cops deep down whether they're actually employed as cops, bring their special charm to the narrative. While Deucalion works on uncovering Victor Immaculate's whereabouts, they are informing the citizens of Rainbow Falls of the threat to their lives, and helping the residents to arm themselves. Erika and Jocko are also in the story line but not in the midst of the action regrettably. Jocko provides a lot of the comic relief. Mr. Lyss the reprobate hobo who has taken Nummy, a mentally challenged young man, under his wing also has some amazingly funny lines to deliver. That isn't to say the story isn't suspenseful, because it is. Koontz keeps the tension taut and with the viciousness of Victor Immaculate's Communitarians (the duplicates who are set in place of citizens who're killed) and his Builders (nanotechnology monsters who devour the bodies and create new builders) the horror factor is also high. You will find yourself rooting for the citizens of Rainbow Falls who have chosen to fight their invaders. The body count will be high in the end, but their resolve to win never flags. Very inspiring!
Another wonderful read from the highly creative mind of Dean Koontz.
on May 28, 2013
I gave book 1 and 2 of Dean Koontz' Frankenstein series 4 stars. I found them interesting, new and fast paced. I did have some eye rolls, especially at the goofy police partners and what felt like lazy, juvinile writing, but the good out weighed the bad. The friend who had lent me the first two didn't have the last 3 books, because he said he thought they were stupid, especially book 3. I thought, they couldn't be that bad, but went to my local used book store rather than pay full price, and man am I glad I did. I kept thinking - Koontz couldn't really have written these books. Then, I thought, maybe he wrote them years ago, that they are some of his first and in a drawer somewhere. Then, I read a description of a nurse in a white skirted uniform, and I thought I had my answer. My mom and two of my step sisters are nurses, and they wear scrubs. I remember my mom, when I was VERY young, wearing the white uniform in the seventies, but in the last twenty years for sure, all I've ever seen are scrubs. So, I thought I had my answer, they were written YEARS ago when he was newer to writing, and that's why they are no where near his current level. Then, there was a reference to something recent, and belw that theory out of the water.
Book 3 was terrible, just terrible. A huge let down of a disappointment after books 1 and 2, and it doesn't get any better with books 4 and 5.
The juvinile writing takes over the whole mess. The cliched characters, their unrealistic dialogue and uncharacteristic actions, the eye rolling descriptions and events just overwhelm any remaining good qualities the last of the series might have had. The new (old) bad guy is supposed to be new and scarier (I think) but he's not. The new (old) race is supposed to be bigger and badder and scarier, but they fall far short. They are weaker, easier to kill, more stupid and make MORE mistakes and fall apart faster than the their predicessors. The dialogue is cliched and fake to the point of disbelief - people just don't talk like they talk in this book. Rationalization takes on a whole new turn into absurdity with characters going through mental back flips to justify uncharacteristic moves or stupid decisions all for the sake of moving the completely predictable plot.
And, the strong, blatant religious overtones really annoyed me. The new race are apparently without souls all because they were grown in a lab, which makes them miserable, which makes them inherantly evil, which makes them undeserving of life, which makes them want to die. Plenty of people believe in a different god, or gods, or no god at all, and that doesn't make them inherently evil, it doesn't mean they think they have no purpose, no reason to life, so they want to die. And our new villian doesn't for a second think or realize there could be anything wrong with his plan, for a brilliant scientist and control freak, he is so completely oblivious, even when he KNOWS something is wrong, he dismisses it as meaningless because his plan, his people, and he himself, is too perfect to fail. Really? I found this rendition of our villian even less interesting and less scary than the previous one. And our hero, the monster himself, is so awesome as to be invincible, killing bad guys with ease - which he never even hesitates once to think or feel bad about because, hey, they were grown in a lab, they aren't human, they don't have souls, so killing them isn't murder at all, right? Even when we are confronted with those of the new race who exibit human characteristics or feelings, we are told they don't matter, they don't believe in god, they were lab born, and therefore are worth less than bugs and slautering them is as meaningless as burning grass clippings. Now, don't get me wrong, I like a good tale of good vs evil where the good guys kick butt and take out the bad guys, but the whole "you don't believe in god and weren't born through natural conception, therefore you are not life at all and do not deserve even an fraction of thought or feeling and deserve only to be extinguished" rather over the top religious lecturing. The points what was stressed wasn't that the bad guys were being killed because they were evil beings bent on total destruction of earth, but because they were souless, that they were evil because they were souless and without god.
And, Jocko still has his many silly hats with their bells, and he still tumbles and flips and dances. Being short is described more than once as being a disfigurement as well as linked to deminished mental/emotional capacity, as with Jocko, and apparently have the need to be JESTERS complete with a compulsion to wear funny hats with bells encoded in their DNA.
A boy with autism is cured with a laying on of hands sort of healing.
There is a connection between Erika and a handsome man, that really doesn't go anywhere.
There are multiple characters, and the book switches from one to the other, sometimes with only a page and a half to a chapter, for no apparent reason then to stretch out an otherwise short and empty and predictable book.
Carson and Michael are just as annoying and silly in their banter as ever. NOT funny. NOT interesting. NOT sympathetic. NOT professional or particularly effective in the least.
Books 3 thru 5 were painful to read, just painful. I went from sighs to eye rolls to wincing to snorting in disgust. My review sounds rather snarky and sarcastic, but inside, I am truly just greatly disappointed. I have enjoyed a good number of Koontz's books, but not these.
on November 12, 2012
Let me begin by saying, the first three books were amazing. I loved them. I could see a Hollywood blockbuster being created from them. I really love Koontz' writing, however it seems like he was either lazy or lacked imagination on the last two books, opting for a quick sale based on previous successes (does this remind you of most lackluster movie sequels?)
The fourth book could be summed up as, "So Victor is alive?" and not much else. Lots of padding, I had hope for the fifth.
Not so. As one reviewer commented, there are new characters/plots being presented well past the halfway point in this book that add absolutely nothing to the story.
For some examples:
1) You are introduced to "Rusty", who gets a sense of dread while walking down the street, runs into the bad guys, and wants to save his girl. He does so, and never meets or intertwines with the "main" characters at all. This happens after the halfway point of the book. What is the point of this? It adds nothing to the story. It is a side-story, nothing more than filler.
2) The Radio Station is the means to "get the word out", much time is spend building this up. You get to know the characters, Deucalion is ready to help them hold the station personally, it is so vital. They gather weapons for a big show-down so that they can protect this very important piece to the plot. "Getting the word out" amounts to absolutely nothing. Nobody comes to their rescue. You are not told of anyone listening to the broadcast apart from those characters which already know what's going on. There is no "final last stand", as the story is over before anything major happens.
3) Victor's demise is Deucalion's mysterious lightning-flashes which simply... burn him up? Very lackluster. For a book that spends so much time on the physical/real/scientific (nanotechnology, satellite uplinks, etc), it instead opts for some never-explained solution to his demise.
In short, I loved the first three books so much that the last two were terrible letdowns. I expected more.
on September 11, 2011
This final book in what started as a promising series was a major disappointment. I wasn't surprised because the trend had been apparent since the third book of the series. The ending became apparent early in this fifth book but I kept hoping that Koontz was just scattering red herrings and that he would come through with a blockbuster ending.
That didn't happen. In this slow-motion train wreck, the (literal) deus ex machina and the hokey post-dénouement closing scenes wouldn't have been accepted from a junior writer and shouldn't have been accepted from this well known master of horror.