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4.6 out of 5 stars58
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on 28 April 2005
Another good book from Mr Koontz, following on from his last book 'The taking'.
The characters were well formed, interesting and had a touch of humour to them considering the underlying subject of the storyline.
This is not simply a remake of the original frankenstein book. It's basically continuing from where the author left off, developing the plot in the current day.
Bear in mind also, that the story does not end in this volume. Yo are annoyingly left wondering what will happen next. But I suppose this is a good thing; if you didn't like the book you wouldn't be bothered half as much.
If you are a Koontz fan, then you will like this book as would any enthusiast of the horror genre. Looking forward to the next installment
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on 5 July 2007
'Prodigal Son' is the first book in a modern trilogy about Frankenstein and his monster. It is 200 years after the monster has been created and it turns out that Mary Shelley's book was based on near fact. The monster has retreated to a monastery, but he must leave his sanctuary when he discovers that the man he knew as Frankenstein is still alive and that young women are being found murdered with body parts missing. Can the monster survive in modern day New Orleans to hunt down his former master? With the police on the hunt for a serial killer a 6ft 4 man made out of corpses could be their prime suspect!

I was not too sure about this novel before I read it, but it actually contains some interesting ideas that move the Frankenstein story on. The Doctor is now interested in creating cloned creatures and this fits with modern knowledge. I really enjoyed the storylines that followed the master, the monster and the police. If the book had only followed these paths it could easily be a 4 star book. However, we are also given a couple of additional storylines that are not as strong and detract from the action.

I also have an issue with the increased sexualisation of the story with Frankenstein being particularly at fault. I know that living over 200 years could make you a bit mad, but I thought that Koontz and Anderson took this madness in the wrong direction. Despite this, the book is fast paced and full of interesting ideas. As long as the next books follow the interesting storylines and do not descend into the poor action similar to the end of this book, they should be worth a read.
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on 21 August 2005
I am a big Koontz fan and this is possibly the best of his books I have ever read, bar the second one in this series. I could not put this book down. Its just a shame that I now have to wait until Summer 2006 for the next one in this series!
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on 27 March 2007
When you think how many remakes of the old Mary Shelley Frankenstein have been made you shudder and think oh my god not another one. When I first saw this book that was my reaction, couldnt understand it for a minute but loving Koontz I bought it. That was my undoing. From the first pages I was hooked, the story has so many twists and turns I was left giddy. I could not put the book down until I had finished it. Why this version was passed by the film makers is totally beyond comprehension. What an ingenious man Koontz is, if you havent already read it you have missed out on a darn good read.
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on 25 August 2006
Just one critisism, then on with the praise! The start to the book could have been better. The first chapter puts you in some mountains with a rather confusing situation between a monk and some kind of strange human (Frankenstein's monster). It confuses slightly, but from that point on, this book is a real page-turner.

An outstanding set of complex characters and a grand setting is painted for a plot which smoothly picks up Mary Shelly's characters, fast-forward's them 200 years and places them in New Orleans for a real showdown. The tension and suspense in the book has been built really well and the pace of the action keeps you hooked.

Cant wait to read the next one! (Which is surely the sign of a good first book to a trilogy?)
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on 9 June 2005
I thought that this book was one of the most gripping I've read for ages. It was quite uncomfortable in places due to the nature of the story/tale. However, I found the notion and reworking of the "Frankenstin" story fascinating and interesting.
I thought it was going to be a general "horror - American police - Crime fiction" novel. However, it combined these themes with a philosophical and psycholgical viewpoint that was amazing. Finally, there was also a bit of Sci Fi thrown in there for good measure!
Looking forward to 2nd in the series & hope that more of Deucelion's earlier experiences feature, and the continuation of Randal Six's experiences.
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VINE VOICEon 23 April 2007
Dean Koontz' three-part take on the Frankestein story is some of the best work he has ever written, very fast paced and addictive this book is impossible to put down. I read the last 250 pages of it in one sitting it was that good.

Highly reccomended.
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on 27 October 2007
Koontz's attempt to revive Shelley's classic literary masterpiece could easily have ended in disaster, instead it is a triumph. Koontz takes the demented Frankenstein and his hapless creation, and drags them screaming and kicking into the modern day.

Interestingly in the 200 years since their exploits were last recorded by Shelley, Frankenstein has become more disturbed and ruthless in his pursuit of supreme creation. No longer does he need to root through prison graveyards for grizzly remains. Technology has developed to the stage of far more human-looking creations.

Only his first-born son knows who he really is, and has the means or the will to stop his Father...

Just like the original, Koontz's update contains many interesting themes about humanity and what it means to be human, if indeed it means anything. In an age that has become obsessed with materialism, and the empty pursuit of wealth, has the monster become more human than human?

Fascinating stuff, and dare I say it, some of the ideas expressed explored in this modern update are more relevant than when Shelley wrote the original.

Bold words indeed. There again, I'm a human being and I can say what I like....
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on 26 March 2006
I must admit when this book first come out I thought "just what is koontz thinking" He was thinking "lets continue the frankenstein but put it in modern times" and he does it brilliantly. Ducalian is frankensteins monster, who after years of torment, has become almost human. The story is based around fantastic characters ie ducalian, victor helios (victor frankenstein), j harker (detective) randal 6, oconnor(detective) and roy prebo. I cant say to much about this book as it will spoil it for the reader, but the sub plots are fantastic, and it does leave you wanting more so thats why you go out and buy book 2 city of night. I will be reading this 2nd book asap.
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on 15 November 2015
Well, this book is certainly unique. What opens as a classic new age crime novel soon turns into something that may well turn your stomach, or simply delight you depending on your opinion of a good horror story. But PRODIGAL SON is more than a great horror novel, or an awesome crime story. It is homage to the classic writers of the past; the books and writers that our literary heroes of today studied when they were in school.

A series of murders has struck the gorgeous city of New Orleans and it is not long before we learn that the victims are killed for nothing more than a single piece of their anatomy. Mr Koontz soon places pieces of the book’s puzzle before the readers eyes, but some of these may well turn out to be nothing more than clever decoys, whilst others are essential and clues pivotal to the books solution. It turns out there is more than one psycho sicko in this book, and even background on the story's good guys is revealed as you go. And characters that are introduced early on that the reader may presume to be evil may well turn out to be part of the force for good. Or they may not. And even the players of the bad team may well turn out to be victims in their own right, so who knows if they will have their own capacity to rebel against those who chose to manipulate their destiny? Some of the book’s major characters are autistic, and the book even hints at a possible cure that it.

Just like any modern day cop story, there are good cops, bad cops, rumours of bad cops, and the daughters of dead cops fighting to clear their names. And doing so whilst trying to find and destroy the forces of heinous evil that have taken the people of New Orleans hostage.

This book is deep. The bad guys are clever. Hopefully the good guys are even cleverer. But PRODIGAL SON ain’t perfect. The chapters are on average very short. Most are four to five pages long, and whilst this doesn't normally bother me, I expect a Dean Koontz book to possess thought provoking and profound verse that you can really sink your teeth into. This one tends to get started, but jumps around to the next plot point before you can get your thinking cap on. But on the plus side, the story flows smoothly (and very, very quickly) and the atmosphere builds up on (or should that be, sneaks up on you) almost as quickly as it does on our heroine Detective.

So overall this is a solid and highly entertaining (even educational) read. Horror fans, rejoice. So to, crime lovers. Aficionados of classic literature may well get a kick out of reading this one, too.

So i am happy to give it four stars and I can’t wait to start book two.

Bye!
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