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Prodigal Son (Dean Koontz's Frankenstein #1)

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  28,134 Ratings  ·  1,355 Reviews
From the celebrated imagination of Dean Koontz comes a powerful reworking of one of the classic stories of all time. If you think you know the legend, you know only half the truth. Here is the mystery, the myth, the terror, and the magic of . . .

Every city has its secrets. But none as terrible as this. He is Deucalion, a tattooed man of mysterious origin, a sleight-of-rea
Mass Market Paperback, 469 pages
Published July 28th 2009 by Bantam (first published January 25th 2005)
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Community Reviews

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Dirk Grobbelaar
Feb 03, 2013 Dirk Grobbelaar rated it really liked it
Out of the last of the twilight came Deucalion with a suitcase, in clothes too heavy for the sultry night.

Koontz does a pretty good job of extrapolating the Frankenstein mythos. He doesn’t do much to alter the original history, but instead focuses on a “what if” scenario. What if Mary Shelley’s novel was an account of actual events? What if Victor and his creation were still around today? How could that have come about? What would they be doing? Etcetera. This kind of thing has a multitude of po
Feb 06, 2012 Marvin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I occasionally get the urge to read a Koontz novel. Some of his earlier works like Watchers are quite exciting. I keep hoping his current novels will return to his earlier high standards. However his later books, Relentless being a prime example, simply do not work well and hints of a writer who may now be writing to a formula and for the money. I hope that's not true but it is my suspicion.

Dean's Koontz Frankenstein pastiche of which this is the first part does not reduce that fear. In fact, th
I have heard many times from fans of Dean Koontz that they were upset because Koontz used "no-name" writers to co-author his retelling of Mary Shelly's classic story, FRANKENSTEIN. Let me put some of this nay-saying to rest. Kevin Anderson is not a no-name author. He has written numerous novels for the Star Wars universe (the bounty hunter trilogy is a lot of fun), and he has also written for X-Files. I'd say that's two pretty solid foundations to stand upon.

As for the story itself, I really en
Mike (the Paladin)
Hummmmm...... Well, I'm one of those people, possibly one of the few people who wasn't enthralled by Mary Shelly's classic. So even though I like "much of" Dean Koontz's writing I put off reading this one for some time.

Bottom line on it is that it's pretty good.

The book is readable. Koontz can do good serviceable writing, sometimes his prose is almost inspired. Here it's largely the former. Building on the general idea from the Shelly book he expands the story. We're led to believe that Shelly s
Nov 27, 2011 Helen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Wow, this was a fun and a surprisingly interesting continuation of the Frankenstein story that ties directly into the original. Deucalion, the original monster, has been living in a Tibetan monastery where he has found a sense of peace. Of course, he eventually learns that his creator is still alive under the name of Doctor Helios and travels to New Orleans in preparation for the eventual confrontation and discovers that he is not alone and that Doctor Helios has been very, very busy.

May 24, 2008 Amanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Koontz fans/Frankenstein fans/horror lovers
Recommended to Amanda by: My mom
Shelves: horror, mystery, fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 10, 2010 Logan rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: My enemies.
Recommended to Logan by: My enemies.
Shelves: books-i-hate
Having never read a Dean Koontz novel and intrigued by the C.S. Lewis quote at the beginning of this book (I'm a huge Lewis fan), I picked this up, thinking that maybe this would be a good first exposure to Koontz's writing.

It wasn't. If I had to describe it in one word, the word I'd pick would be "ridiculous." The word fits every character, scenario and action in the entire book.

We have Frankenstein's monster who, apparently, found God and joined a monastery. We have Dr. Frankenstein himself,
Jul 09, 2012 Salymar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first Dean Koontz novel I read so I decided to do a little research about him; and here's what I read: According to his official website and book blog sites, Dean Koontz is one of the good authors who brought several of his books to appear on the New York Times Bestseller List. He is famous for his novels which can be perfectly described and categorized as suspense thrillers with elements of classic horror, science fiction and satire.

Frankenstein (Book One: Prodigal Son) is one of De
Jun 07, 2007 Jessica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
When I picked up this book at my mom's house and read the back cover, I literally said out loud, "Oh no he DIH-uhnt!" Thank you, Dean Koontz, for making me channel Ricki Lake reruns.

Koontz has apparently run out of ideas for trite, one-dimension characters, and he's abandoned all pretense at being original. Instead of taking a break from publishing utter crap, he copes with this by cannibalizing fucking FRANKENSTEIN.
3.0 to 3.5 stars. This was a really fun, fast paced read. I thought the main character of Deucalion was well done and gave you a character you could really cheer for in the story. The human characters were pretty two dimensional, except for Victor Frankenstein who was a good villian. This minor gripe aside, the story is worth a read.
Rebecca McNutt
Jun 06, 2015 Rebecca McNutt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, thriller
Once again Dean Koontz has amazed me with his horrific and vibrant writing, in this case coupled with the talents of Kevin J. Anderson, giving a fantastic retelling of the horror classic Frankenstein. This book is definitely worth reading if you're a horror or thriller fan.
Martin Maher
`The Prodigal Son`is Dean Koontz`s modern tale of the well known classic; Frankenstein. I wasn`t sure whether I would like this, as remakes often aren`t that good, but decided to give it a try as I like Dean Koontz`s writing.

`The Prodigal Son`is a modern tale of Frankenstein set in modern day New Orleans in the USA. I really liked this book because he totally re-invented the story of Frankenstien in a way that made it work for modern readers. I was glad that the giant-monster-bolts-in-the-throa
Red Fields
Jul 13, 2009 Red Fields rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
INCREDIBLE! Once I started reading, I wondered how an author's mind could wrap around a story and tell it like Dean Koontz did with his first installment of his trilogy, "Frankenstein." Once finished, you HAD to know what happened next! Let me tell you the about the hold this book held over me.

My national chain bookstore stays open here in Richmond VA till 11pm, right? Its now 10:45 p.m., I'm calling to see if they have in stock Book 2, they do, I'm gone!!! I make it back home around 11:30pm, d
I was interested in reading this book because it featured two of my literary interests in it; Frankenstein and a serial killer. While this book was entertaining, I just couldn’t enjoy this book at all. I kept comparing it to the original Frankenstein book and keep wishing this book referenced it more or had the same level of complexity. This book was simply a mad scientist creating his own race for his own gratification. Then you have the work obsessed detective and their partner who is in love ...more
Jul 13, 2011 Joseph rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 02, 2014 Angie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: horror, monsters ,
Recommended to Angie by: no one
I first read this years ago when it was newly released and it was better than I remembered. The story is about Victor Frankenstein, who 200 years after he created his monster is still creating his new race in modern day new Orleans.

I liked how messed up his people are, so confused about why they are and most it seems, feeling like there is part of them missing. This ends up causing one of them to rebel and start murdering old race people( ordinary humans)

All the different ideas in this book seem
Oct 11, 2014 Siobhan rated it really liked it
Koontz takes the original Frankenstein story and creates something wonderful. Taking the idea of the classic story, Koontz places Frankenstein and his monster in the modern world. This story leaves you asking who the real monster is – whether it the grotesque monster happens to be the real monster or whether the creator of such a creature was the real monster.

In the usual Koontz fashion we come to love and hate the necessary characters, watching as the story unfolds. With new modified versions o
Michelle (The Crazy Cat Lady)
I have GR friends who liked this book, and I'm very sorry to them, but I just couldn't finish this novel. I don't have anything against retellings, so that isn't my problem. My problem is that I just didn't like Frankenstein being portrayed as a sexual sadist; how he was mortified by the silliest things his wife did (her flower arrangments!), how he was just an odd duck in general. There are other things I didn't like either, but I just don't know how to word it at the moment. Just not feeling t ...more
Feb 13, 2013 Matthew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Seems to be a pretty good start to this series. It opens more doors than it closes. I do not feel that someone could be satisfied reading just this book alone. I am interested to see what book 2 will bring. Once again, Koontz has created maniacal madmen driven by the torment in their minds and their desire to conquer at the cost of humanity.
Jan 08, 2013 Marc-Antoine rated it really liked it
I think I'm really going to enjoy this series, the first is a true pleasure to read.
Karen B.
I am a big Dean Koontz fan, having read some books I rated with 3 stars, to 5 stars. This book was not a disappointment.
Koontz takes the classic Frankenstein story and builds on it as though it really happened. In his book both the Monster (Deucalion in this book) and Victor Frankenstein (calling himself Victor Helios) have survived. There is a rash of serial murders in Louisiana and Deucalion returns when he finds out Victor is still alive. In the two hundred years that have passed Victor found
Ken Consaul
Jan 18, 2012 Ken Consaul rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: hard core Koontz fans
Recommended to Ken by: daughter, a hard core Koontz fan
I'd actually meant three and a half stars but no option.
Let me preface this by saying I'm not a big Koontz fan. To me, his bad guys are boring and one dimensional. The Surgeon in Prodigal Son was just another in a long line of blah bad guys.
However, the other characters are fleshed out nicely with the exception of Helios/Frankenstein, another cookie cutter villain (I'm so smart, I can do as I want because I'm special). The segments from his point of view I just skimmed because I know what's com
Jul 13, 2012 JBradford rated it really liked it
I’ve gotten so that I think anything Dean Koontz writes has to be good, and this one has all the requirements: a doing good couple falling in love, combined with unimaginable horror--and in this case, the horror is compounded beyond belief. Suppose Frankenstein’s monster did not die out on the Alaskan ice floes, but had managed to survive, even unto today’s world? More, suppose Dr. Frankenstein, who was the real monster, had also found a way to survive--and to continue his ungodly experiments? W ...more
May 31, 2010 Stacey rated it it was amazing
Thank you Cindy for recommending this to me!!

This was way different than I thought it was going to be. I guess I was expecting a straight horror story about modernized Frankenstein Monsters. However, instead it was a very scary murder mystery and I thought it was genius!

I couldn't put it down and practically read the whole book in one sitting. The plot is spellbinding and the characters are fully developed and interesting. I liked Deucalion, but I have to admit that I loved Carson and Michael. M
Bark's Book Nonsense
Jan 26, 2010 Bark's Book Nonsense rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, horror
This was a fast paced read for me and not many are these days. Koontz takes the two pivotal characters from Shelly's "Frankenstein" and brings them forward to modern times. Dr. Frankenstein is still up to his unethical tricks and has managed to prolong his own life through various methods while his first creation named "Deucalion". Deucalion has spent many years searching for purpose and has quietly been living among monks to find peace. He is brought out of his world of tranquility when he lear ...more
Sep 27, 2016 Sam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well I'll be honest, I had my reservations about this but it turns out they were totally unfounded. Koontz takes Shelley's characters and brings them to the modern era while keeping in line with how they were in the original novel, so we find that the Monster is not one and has in fact found peace leading the life of a monk while Frankenstein has taken his idea leaps forward thanks to modern science and technology. Add to this the presence of a serial killer that likes to collect body parts and ...more
Valerie the bookworm
This one reminds me of why I love Koontz. This read was quick and easy. It had lots going on and even left some threads hanging but I am ok with that since I will now be on to book 2!
Retelling of the Frankenstein mythos but modernized.
Excellent characters well developed. Lots of action! It is worth the read.
Tim Buck
Oct 21, 2014 Tim Buck rated it really liked it
I like this style of Koontz book best of all; it is not so much about dreams and fantasy, but more about real things like man-made monsters, disembodied animated hands, and tanks where people are made. Plus I loved the descriptions of the sultry Big Easy!
Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
This good, but not as great as I had hoped. Hopefully the rest of the series either stays as good or even better.
Greg Z
I found this at a used book store for a quarter, and I've liked a number of Koontz's early works like "Lightning." But the idea that Frankenstein and his monster are still alive in the present day is not new. The idea of wiping out the entire human race and replacing it with a "New Race" of monsters has potential (on many levels) but it's mostly blood and gore. And ultimately what we get is very large print and lots of half-empty pages (Patterson-style) which is irritating: someone came up with ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Surrounded (Tucker Series, Book 2)
  • Dean Koontz's Frankenstein, Volume 1: Prodigal Son
  • The Fall of the Dream Machine / The Star Venturers (Ace Double, 22600)
  • Invasion
  • Dragonfly
  • Demon Child
  • The Dean Koontz Companion
  • Black Creek Crossing
  • Dean Koontz: A Writer's Biography
  • King Blood
Acknowledged as "America's most popular suspense novelist" (Rolling Stone) and as one of today's most celebrated and successful writers, Dean Ray Koontz has earned the devotion of millions of readers around the world and the praise of critics everywhere for tales of character, mystery, and adventure that strike to the core of what it means to be human.

Dean R. Koontz has also published under the na
More about Dean Koontz...

Other Books in the Series

Dean Koontz's Frankenstein (5 books)
  • City of Night (Dean Koontz's Frankenstein, #2)
  • Dead and Alive (Dean Koontz's Frankenstein, #3)
  • Lost Souls (Dean Koontz's Frankenstein, #4)
  • The Dead Town (Dean Koontz's Frankenstein, #5)

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“The concept of a weary severed hand, exhausted from relentless creeping, made no sense.” 6 likes
“People who were perfectly sane on Tuesday sometimes go nuts on Wednesday.” 3 likes
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