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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.
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Top Customer Reviews
Where the three first books tells the overall story while a plot and ending also appears, the fourth book immediately sets the bar high and creates and even scarier atmosphere. When you have read the first three, you know that the story doesn't end, but I swear, you could never have imagined how much worse and evil it can get, before you read the book. The thing I really love about nr. 4 (and nr. 5 as the obviously need to be read both of them, as nr. 5 contains the "ending" to it all) is that you get even deeper in the character level whilst being introduced to new ones - the time span is as well a lot different from the first three books.
If you loved the three first book, then I would recommend you to read the two finishing books. It is the best (and scariest + most evil) series of horror I have ever read - and far the best Frankenstein story since the original. Dean Koontz is the uncrowned master of horror and he has really become my favorite author instead of Stephen King, because Koontz can scare you like no one can.
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.
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