Friday, August 9, 2013

Prodigal Son

The first book in the Frankenstein series by Dean Koontz is entitled Prodigal Son (co-authored with Kevin Anderson). Having just had my first exposure to Koontz through his wonderful Odd Thomas series, I thought I would continue with another dose of Koontz. Prodigal Son was dark and disturbing, centering on a man who believes that he is a god. In fact, he believes that his creation, his new race, is far superior in every way than the weak and pitiable old race that plagues our planet. Folks, meet Dr. Frankenstein, aka respected New Orleans business man Victor Helios, who has amassed multiple fortunes in his 240+ years of life. He has also learned how to create life, life that is genetically engineered to his exacting specifications. Life that has taken him many years to perfect. He has slowly been sprinkling his progeny out into the population. His plan, when he has seeded an appropriate critical mass of his clones, is to take out the old race.

The story introduces us to two New Orleans police detectives, Carson O'Connor and Michael Maddison, as they pursue a serial killer known as "The Surgeon". This madman is butchering people around the city. Body parts are being harvested, reminiscent of the lingering images of a certain madman in the Transylvanian highlands. Yet this crude butchery is not the work of Dr. Frankenstein. It seems that it is due to an apparently stately man who is collecting parts and pieces for his ideal woman. Lips, hands, eyes, feet. Yet there is more going on here. In fact, it seems like there are two serial killers on the loose, but with very different intentions.

The story has multiple arcs that build and entwine throughout. The meglomaniacal Frankenstein, whose madness is that he believes that he knows better than God what this world needs, the relationship between detectives O'Connor and Maddison, the transformation of Frankenstein's first creation named Deucalion, and the percolating humanity and development of souls in Frankenstein's soulless creations. Many folks are playing very dangerous games. A great adventure to be sure. Now, onto the second book in the series City of Night.