Frankenstein: Lost Souls * Dean Koontz

SOMEONE NEW IS PLAYING GOD

THIS IS BOOK 4

The Frankenstein story updated to the 21st century by the great American storyteller Dean Koontz. In a powerful reworking of one of the classic stories of all time, Dr Frankenstein lives on, seemingly indestructible, more malignant than ever. Frankenstein’s first monster, Deucalion, has spent two hundred years trying to put an end to his creator. Now he learns that a new Frankenstein clone, Victor Helios, is out there again, somewhere.

Terrifyingly, with each incarnation the sinister doctor draws closer to the possibility of succeeding in his ambition to create a new human race – which he will control. He has found an enigmatic backer and is working in a secret location. Together with the two ex-cops who helped him destroy the previous Victor, Deucalion is drawn to the small Montana town where Victor’s grotesque new creations are taking shape.

Victor’s New Race is spectacularly different, a product of cutting-edge technology and stem-cell circuits, and when things go wrong, they go wrong in very unexpected ways.

Frankenstein is unleashing a new menace on the world, whether or not he can control it. It may be too late, even if Deucalion can bring him down.

4/5 stars

Action packed until the last page, this book is the much awaited ending to the Frankenstein series.

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“There is no light in my revelation. It’s a dark tide in my blood–dark, cold, thick, and insistent, telling me he’s alive.”

No one could expect Victor Frankenstein/Helios to stay quietly dead and give up his plans to replace humanity with his “perfect” new race. So you can guess what happens in “Frankenstein: Lost Souls,” a slow but solid thriller which Dean Koontz picks up the plot threads left hanging by his first trilogy.

For the past two years, Deucalion has been living at a monastery… until he senses that somehow Victor Helios is alive. Meanwhile, in the small Montana town of Rainbow Falls, cold-hearted replicants are replacing all the people, except for a handful who manage to escape notice. One of the townspeople just happens to be Erika 5, who catches a glimpse of a very familiar face — Victor Helios.
So Deucalion tracks down his onetime allies Carson and Michael, now happily married with a baby daughter — and with a tip from Erika, they set out for Rainbow Falls to stop Helios once and for all. However, this is not the Victor they defeated and killed in New Orleans, but something far more terrifying in every way…

“Frankenstein: Lost Souls” is apparently the first book of a new trilogy, so unsurprisingly it feels like the first third of a very, very long novel. It takes most of the book for Koontz to tie together all the plot threads and get everybody going, so the pace is kind of sluggish up until the last quarter. I kept wishing Deucalion, Carson and Michael would JUST GET MOVING.

However, he does an excellent job mingling mystery, bloody horror, science fiction and a hint of religious symbolism, and Koontz’s prose is soaked with sinister moments (oh, the little nails in the brains!). He builds up the suspense steadily as the replicants take over Rainbow Falls, until they finally clash with the good guys — but there are some funny moments as well, usually from Jocko.

Koontz also takes time to explore how his characters have changed. The mighty, melancholy Deucalion seems to be more at peace with himself now, while Michael and Carson have settled into pleasant domesticity (and start babbling like idiots whenever they talk about their baby). He goes a bit overboard with the overprotective parent shtick (baking soda?), but it’s very touching to see how now they not only fight for the world, but for their daughter’s future.

It takes quite some time for “Frankenstein: Lost Souls” to kick into gear, but Dean Koontz’s fourth Frankenstein novel is a nicely suspenseful start to a new trilogy. Just hang on through the slow parts.

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