Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Frankenstein: Lost Souls - Book Review

“The October wind came down from the stars.  With the hiss of an artist’s airbrush, it seemed to blow the pale moonlight like a mist of paint across the slate roofs of the church and abbey, across the higher windows, and down the limestone walls.  Where patches of lawn were bleached by recent cold, the dead grass resembled ice in the lunar chill.”
Or if you prefer,
“The October wind came down from the stars.
With the hiss of an artist’s airbrush,
it seemed to blow the pale moonlight
like a mist of paint
across the slate roofs of the church and abbey,
across the higher windows,
and down the limestone walls.
Where patches of lawn were bleached by recent cold,
the dead grass resembled ice in the lunar chill.”

The words, filled with beautiful, almost ethereal, poetic imagery, are the first paragraph of Frankenstein: Lost Souls, the fourth book in novelist Dean Koontz’s reboot, if you’ll pardon the use of the vernacular, of the Mary Shelley classic, Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus.  I have to confess my addiction to the series from the very beginning, Frankenstein: Prodigal Son, and through each of the successive entries into Koontz’s unique, clever retelling of Shelley’s story.  Koontz breathes new life into a great tale already well told, and makes it even better.
This one, however, grabbed my attention as no other in the series, leading me to believe Koontz is just hitting his stride with the story.
Lest you be confused, the second setting of the paragraph – the poem like one, is of my own creation and structure, and not that of Mr. Koontz.  But it was the sheer poetic beauty of Mr. Koontz’s prose that drew me into the story.
All the usual suspects are back.  Carson and Michael, now retired from NOPD, married, living in California as private eyes, and proud parents of Scout, their precocious (gifted, if you ask Michael) seven month daughter, Erika 5, Jocko, and Deucalion.  Gone are the replicants shut down with the death of Victor (Frankenstein) Helion in Frankenstein: Dead and Alive.
Erika 5 now lives in Montana with Jocko.  She is returning from a trip into town when she sees something that simply isn’t possible.  Victor is alive!
This is a new Victor, with a new agenda and new kinds of replicants.  Only the evil of his former self remains, and even that has changed and become more diabolical.
Yes, I know – cliché.  But that’s me, not the author.  At least I didn’t say he brought with him a new brand of unspeakable horror.
Lost Souls, which, by the way, is not the last of the series – Mr. Koontz promises at least one more sequel coming to a bookstore near you later this spring, 2011, is certainly the best so far.  As I said.  This reads like the work of a writer who has found his niche and perfected his craft.
Frankenstein: Lost Souls, by Dean Koontz, © 2010 is available in the greater Tampa-St. Pete area at Barnes and Noble, Borders, and Books-A-Million, online at the author’s website, Amazon.com, Borders.com and BN.com, and in all the major e-pub editions.  I read mine on my Sony PS-300.
I give Frankenstein: Lost Souls the rare 5 out of 5 stars.  If you liked the first three, you’re gonna love this one.
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