From Publishers Weekly
In this grisly thriller, the first in a new series by bestsellers Koontz and Anderson, Dr. Frankenstein has survived into the 21st century, masquerading as biotech tycoon Victor Helios. Helios wants to replace flawed humanity with his New Race, people born and fermented in pods, their personalities programmed by him, their imperfections removed in the lab. But at least one of his creations has become a serial killer, trying to assemble the perfect woman from parts of many. Like expert plate-spinners, the authors set up a dizzying array of narrative viewpoints and cycle through them effortlessly. These include one of Victor's creations who suffers from autism and is trying to understand it; a cloned priest who serves as a clandestine member of Helios's army; Helios's custom-made wife, unique among his creations in that she's allowed to feel shame; and, tying it all together, a classic buddy-cop set of homicide detectives who slowly come to understand that the butcher they're chasing isn't quite human. The odd juxtaposition of a police procedural with a neo-gothic, mad scientist plot gives the novel a wickedly unusual and intriguing feel. The familiarity of the Frankenstein myth makes much of the story arc predictable, but it's still a compelling read, with an elegant cliffhanger ending. (Feb.)
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*Starred Review* Some 200 years after creating his monster, Victor Frankenstein, alias Helios, is settled in New Orleans. Continuing research and experimentation have allowed him to obviate robbing graveyards to fashion his creatures, and to enhance himself so that he indefinitely remains a vigorous fortysomething. He is seeding the city with his perfect (i.e., perfectly obedient to him) New Race, intending to eventually replace and exterminate "imperfect" humanity. Helios has been identified, however, and photos have been sent to Deucalion, in retreat at a Tibetan monastery, who hastens to see whether he can unmake his maker this time. Deucalion is Frankenstein's original monster, granted virtually indestructible longevity, he thinks, by the lightning that brought him to life. If Frankenstein has become monstrous, the monster has become human in the best sense, also cannier and more powerful. Unfortunately, with New Racers in mufti all over New Orleans, many more need to be gotten. Fortunately (as it happens), one New Racer is rebelling, murderously, and his killings overlap with those of a serial killer, bringing the attentions of homicide cops Carson O'Connor and Michael Maddison. And, known only to the reader, one of Frankenstein's new experiments is going awry, not to mention AWOL. With Anderson's help in this book (and Ed Gorman's in its continuation, coming this spring), Koontz realizes his original concept for a cable TV effort from which he withdrew. It was TV's loss, for, filmed utterly faithfully, Prodigal Son
could be the best horror thriller and, hands down, would be the best Frankenstein movie, ever. Ray OlsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved