Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Re-reading Dean Koontz's Frankenstein: PRODIGAL SON (book #1)

Prodigal Son (Dean Koontz's Frankenstein, #1)I've now read PRODIGAL SON three times since it was published in 2005 and despite my continued literary journey, exploring new genres, themes, authors, and series since that first read, PRODIGAL SON still works for me some ten years later*. 

Dean Koontz's Frankenstein series builds upon the classic book by Mary Shelley, using both Frankenstein and his monster as near immortals who each have lived in plain view of the public yet are hidden by the fictitious account of their evolution in the original book. As to not discard the concept, rather enhance and modernize it, the characters transition into a new landscape. Koontz maintains a thread of continuity while writing a new and fantastical setting for the monster and his creator. 

PRODIGAL SON is a blend of horror, police procedural, and thriller and serves as a great introduction to a diverse cast of characters. 

The plot largely revolves around a serial killer who takes parts of his victims and then evolves into a gruesome horror story with abominations walking the earth with strange abilities.

There really is no good verses evil typecasting in PRODIGAL SON as Koontz (and Kevin J. Anderson as co-author) establish the key players, each with their own motivations; just some more murderous than others.    

PRODIGAL SON is a quick read (something that I've found during all three reads) and really establishes this new take on Frankenstein quite well. Don't expect the same story as Mary Shelley, this series is new and follows a rather different path. 

Much like Ken Bruen's Jack Taylor series, I intend to re-read all the books in this series (excluding the graphic novels). Next up will be CITY OF NIGHT. 

*my reading habits ten years ago didn't constitute the vast sum of books I read now and were limited to mainstream crime fiction and the odd horror for diversity. I'd read in the vicinity of 20-30 books a year, whereas now, I'm likely to read between 150-180. 


  1. This is such a cool book! Have you read the whole series? I think the first few are still the best. They also made a movie of the first book which really wasn't great.

    1. I have and I agree, the first couple are the best. I felt the series really fell away in books 4/5. I still plan on re-reading them all though :-)

  2. Glad to hear he was able to make something of his aborted screenplay. I've been meaning to read this series forever, but just haven't found the time.

    1. The earlier books are the better ones.