- Hardcover: 368 pages
- Publisher: Bantam; First Edition edition (June 15, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 055380801X
- ISBN-13: 978-0553808018
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 382 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,127,487 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Frankenstein: Lost Souls Hardcover – June 15, 2010
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Dean Koontz on Frankenstein: Lost Souls
When it comes to predicting the future, I am Nostradamus's idiot great nephew. In the 1980s, I believed that by 2010, we would all be traveling regularly to no-sales-tax shopping malls on the moon and zipping over to Mars for a Frappuccino. I thought we would be enjoying genetically engineered house pets like cadogs (half cat, half dog, all affection), miniature eaglebbits (flying rabbits), dry chihuahuas (little dogs that never need to pee), crocodobers (highly effective home guard dogs), and spongerbils (sponge gerbils that not only can be cuddled but will mop your floors and wring one another out in a bucket of water).
I also predicted that by now we would be flying everywhere with personal jet packs, and carrying clever autofloss machines to strip the bugs out of our teeth in thirty seconds flat after landing. Back in 1980, I predicted that by now John Belushi would be president, but I don't count this one a complete miss, because Al Franken is a United States Senator, which I admit surprises me considering that Mr. Franken isn't nearly funny enough to hold high office.
When I finished the third Frankenstein novel, Dead and Alive, I foresaw that it was the end of the series. As it turns out, I was as right about this as I was about my prediction that the annual Academy Awards TV special would be hosted five years running by Muammar Gaddafi.
My original trilogy brought to an end a story cycle, but the themes of Shelley's novel are more timely by the month. I realized that I could do much more with the concept than I had done thus far. Furthermore, an entirely new kind of technology of creature-creation occurred to me, and it was a lot more terrifying than the messy-gooey, strictly biological New Race that Victor developed in the first trilogy. By moving the setting from New Orleans to Rainbow Falls, Montana, I was able, as well, to change the atmosphere and to have fun with Armageddon occurring in snow-and-cowboy country.
As always, if readers hadn't been so enthusiastic about these books, I wouldn't have been able to proceed with the series. I appreciate your support more than I can say. I've received a lot of mail from readers who said they didn't read these novels for the longest time because the whole Frankenstein thing turned them off, but when they finally tried them, they discovered these weren't at all like what they expected, and they loved them. I always try not to give you the same old same old. Lost Souls has the flavor of my first three Frankenstein titles, but otherwise it does not clump over familiar territory. This time, Victor is much scarier and smarter than his predecessor, and his war against humanity is a blitzkrieg that comes on like a storm.
Lost Souls, like the books after it, is self-contained even though it is a part of a larger narrative. You can plunge into it and, if you like it, then go back to Prodigal Son, City of Night, and Dead and Alive if you wish. I am currently working on The Dead Town, recounting the next phase of the war against humanity, and I suppose it might sound a little strange to say I'm having a good time chronicling our doom.
From Publishers Weekly
Set in Rainbow Falls, Mont., Koontz's goofy, grisly fourth riff on the Frankenstein theme (after Dead and Alive) finds Victor--previously presumed dead but apparently as easily resurrected as cinematic incarnations of his monster--perfecting his "New Race" of humanoid replicants. As affectless pod-person lookalikes gradually replace the town's citizens, the task of saving humanity from Victor and his megalomaniacal plans to "destroy the soul of the world" fall once again to husband-and-wife detectives Michael and Carson Maddison; Victor's soulsearching original monster, Deucalion; and a host of local yokels who provide both sympathy and comic relief. That the "good guys" are instantly recognizable by their abundant compassion, generosity, and sense of humor and the "bad guys" by their fussbudget fastidiousness and dedication to efficient extermination of inferior humans helps lay the foundation for the humanitarian homilies that punctuate the narrative.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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I liked the first 3 books in the Frankenstein series so I went ahead and bought the last two, but was sorely disappointed in book 4. Especially since I paid $10 for this book, which is elongated in height just a bit (compared to standard size paperbacks) to apparently justify the higher cover price. But I will read book 5 to see the series through, and sure hope it's more interesting.
After reading Lost Souls, I would say that it would have been better to end the series after book 3, rather than having a Victor clone recreating his own army. At this point in the series, it feels like we are just recycling the same story we got in books 1-3. The story feels forced and thin at this point.
Michael and Carson had relocated to California, married, had a baby, and opened their own detective agency. Deucalion also cured Arnie of his autism. Deucalion contacts the duo once again when he thinks Victor is somehow still alive. Meanwhile, Erica Five and Jocko have relocated to Montana and Ericka runs into someone on the street who she thinks is Victor. She contacts Michael and Carson for assistance as well.
Our new characters are Montana locals caught up in the new Victor's schemes. Most are doctors and law officials who have been replaced (called Replicants) and are now rounding up other people in the town to have them exterminated (Processed and Killed) by someone who calls himself a "Builder." We have Bryce and Travis, an old man and a young boy, who discover something is going on and escape from a local hospital. And then we also have a couple of escaped convicts, Nummy and Mr. Lyss, who are also on the lamb after witnessing some folks being exterminated at the local jail.
End of Spoilers.
Our best storylines are the two sets of characters who are on the run. Bryce is a published author and his compassion for Travis shines through. There are a lot of sentimental moments between them as they try to escape to find Travis's mom. Then, you have Nummy and Lyss. Nummy is slow and dumb and offers quite a bit of humor, while Mr. Lyss is a hardcore criminal who pulls Nummy along only for his connections in the town.
The rest of the repeat characters are just pushed around on the page waiting to find Victor. But the new Victor only shows up about three times in this book. While you are made aware of his plan to control the world again, his connection to the new replicants is never really revealed. He has no interaction whatsoever with anyone else here. And the replicant characters running around putting nails in people's heads and chanting "For the Community" was just lack luster. The Builders who are responsible for killing everyone off are a tad bit interesting in that they can replicate themselves, but their chemistry and creation are kind of left out, unlike all the interesting creations we met in the first three books. There's also a set or rogue FBI officials loosely introduced in the middle of the book but forgotten about until the very end.
At this point in the series, I feel like I'm about 600 pages into a 1,000 page Stephen King novel and the author is just toying with us and killing time. I realized I literally only had 25 pages left in the book and nothing major had happened. Maybe I was wrong by calling Book 3 the worst in the series. Lost Souls is definitely not much better. Koontz's problem is introducing too many new characters to carry this 4th book, but he just doesn't know what to do with them. They never really come alive like in the previous books, and while his senior characters that we've grown to love are here, he loses sight of them too.
I'm new to Koontz, and I'm constantly reading reviews where everyone praises his earlier work and doesn't think too highly of this series either. I'm going to finish it but I'm definitely ready for it to end so that I can get on to something better.
I had my Dean reading engine primed for the start of the new Frank continuation. I really tried to like it. After a couple of false starts, I began bumping it farther and farther down the nightstand reading book pile. Not a good sign. This Frank's Helios Clone was just too weird (and I really like weird),one dimensional and all together uninteresting. The other characters (even the ones I really liked in the prior Frank series) I found unable to connect with as I had been able to previously. I was so NOT into the book, when it ended abruptly, I found myself relieved.
A 2.5 Star rating for previous 5 Star supremely talented author is a true shame and disappointment to all of his longtime fans.
No more Franks for me.