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Prodigal Son (Dean Koontz's Frankenstein #1)

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  22,409 ratings  ·  1,141 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, 389 pages
Published July 28th 2009 by Bantam (first published January 25th 2005)
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Community Reviews

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Dirk Grobbelaar
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
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
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
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
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 31, 2008 Amanda rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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.
Red Fields
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
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
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
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.
Apr 08, 2010 Logan rated it 1 of 5 stars
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,
Apr 06, 2014 Angie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
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.
Ken Consaul
Jan 18, 2012 Ken Consaul rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
I really liked this story on Frankenstein yet I haven’t read the original so I can’t compare. I probably would have like a regular appearance from Deucalion (the first Frankenstein Monster) but he seems to be observing events from distance (or in the theatre). But he does come out more often towards the end and I’m hoping he will have a bigger part to play in next book.

I didn’t find the crime an ‘edge of you seat’ type drama but it was fascinating because it was a mixture of supernatural and se
Bark's Book Nonsense
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
One of the better Koontz books, in recent years. Not quite as good as his Odd Thomas books, though. My problem with Koontz is, in the last 10 years or so, because he spends so much time telling us what's going on inside a character's head, little actually happens in the book.

Prodigal Son has a lot of that going on, but not insufferably so. A lot happens in this book and the writing is, in general, outstanding. I don't care for a lot of the silly dialogue between the two lead detectives, but it
Tim Buck
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!
I think I'm really going to enjoy this series, the first is a true pleasure to read.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

Frankenstein is back and living in New Orleans under the name of Victor Helios. “It’s just a National Enquirer wet dream”, one skeptical homicide detective says, because people are being murdered all over the city with specific body parts missing.

Helios has constructed his own wife, Erica 4. The first three did not work out. Divorce was not necessary. At night Victor is back to his old bad habits working on an entire race of perfect beings in the basement. Home alone at night; Erica 4 notices s
Perry Reed
I'm writing one review for all four (so far) of Dean Koontz's Frankenstein books.

In the Koontz take on the Frankestein story, the old Mary Shelley novel was based on true events. And old Dr. Victor Frankenstein (now called Victor Helios) and his monster (who now goes by the name Deucalion) have survived to the present day. Deucalion is no longer a monster in thought and deed, but has learned a lot about the universe and his place in it, some of that knowledge coming from Tibetian monks with whom
It's never easy to give a review to the 1st book in a series of 5. Since there is still so much of the story to be told, it's hard to get a good grasp on the entire situation. It's a little easier with this book, however, since it's just an incredibly well written book.

What if Dr. Frankenstein hadn't actually died 200 years ago? What if he was still alive and constructing his private army? That's the basic premise of this story. Frankenstein has switched his operation to New Orleans, and he has
Richard Szponder
Just as we don’t watch films like “Spider-Man” and television shows like “Heroes” for their brilliant acting and creative cinematography, we don’t read Dean Koontz novels for their literary value. How else could you explain the ability to read a novel that nears 500 pages in a matter of two days? That being said, we still enjoy those types of films and shows for the value they do offer: they help us escape our mundane lives through fantastic storytelling and fast-paced action. This is what you s ...more
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
Mellie Dumas
Oh Dean Koontz, you are my goto guy when i am sick of reading posh novels yet this time you disappoint. I've heard so much praise for this trilogy yet i am currently just over 300 pages in and NOTHING has happened! I see how Koontz tries to keep your curiosity going chapter after short chapter but 300 pages in and frankly i do not care what happens. It;s rare i get to a point in a book where i feel like reading it is more like a chore. Sometimes i lose myself so much in thought thinking about al ...more
Christine (booktumbling)
Did you know that Mary Shelley actually wrote Frankenstein based on facts – actual events? Dr. Frankenstein really did create a monster from body parts of murderers, thieves and other hooligans. He did – true story. Oh, and did you know they are both alive today? In New Orleans.

Leave it up to Dean Koontz, with Kevin J. Anderson, to hatch a story where characters created years ago are alive and well and wreaking havoc to this day. Frankenstein: Prodigal Son is an entertaining look at how these tw
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  • Icebound
  • Shadow Fires
  • The Face of Fear
  • Dean Koontz's Frankenstein, Volume 1: Prodigal Son
  • The Mask
  • The Door to December
  • Shattered
  • Children of the Storm
  • Invasion (Laser Books, #9)
  • Nightmare Journey
  • Dean Koontz: A Writer's Biography
  • The Dean Koontz Companion
  • Black Creek Crossing
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)
Odd Thomas (Odd Thomas, #1) Watchers Intensity Forever Odd (Odd Thomas, #2) Phantoms

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“The concept of a weary severed hand, exhausted from relentless creeping, made no sense.” 4 likes
“When Mary Shelley took a local legend based on truth and crafted fiction from it, she'd made Victor a tragic figure and killed him off. He understood her dramatic purpose for giving him a death scene, but he loathed her for portraying him as tragic and a failure.
Her judgement of his work was arrogant. What else of consequence did she ever write? And of the two, who was dead - and who was not?”
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