“My origins are a prison graveyard, the cadavers of criminals – combined, revitalized, reborn.” - Deucalion
The myth of the evil scientist and his tortured, grotesque creations has fascinated us since Mary Shelley’s inaugural novel Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus
was published anonymously in 1818. It spawned variations on the same theme in print and cinema
, testifying that this story is now firmly embedded in our popular culture. Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein: Prodigal Son
reworks the classic Frankenstein story for modern times, adding in some great suspenseful elements, science fiction (a la the Stepford Wives), and elements of dark fantasy to make a rollicking read.
The story opens with Deucalion, the anguished, tattooed monstrosity who has sought solace away from condemning eyes in the mountains of Tibet. Deucalion receives a letter that brings terrifying news – someone evil, whom he thought was destroyed – is still alive and doing awful things in New Orleans. Meanwhile, a serial killer is hunting down women throughout the city, leaving each corpse with missing body parts. Detectives Carson O’Connor and Michael Maddison are on the case, horrified by each grisly discovery and perplexed by the lack of clues leading to a suspect.
The third plot line comes in the form of Victor Helios, a brilliant scientist and millionare who tinkers with creating a “perfect race” of obedient, deadly servants in his secret lab, the Hands of Mercy. Helios is very, very old and has been known by many different names, including Frankenstein. I’m sure you can guess the relationship between Helios and Deucalion, but there are many unpredictable twists to keep things interesting.
This is the first of the Frankenstein trilogy, followed by City of Night
and Dead and Alive
. The library owns the print and audio versions of all books.