Johnny's Reviews > Lost Souls

Lost Souls by Dean Koontz
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Jul 21, 10

bookshelves: own-it
Read from July 14 to 18, 2010 — I own a copy, read count: 1

** spoiler alert ** The announcement of the fourth novel in Koontz’s Frankenstein series came as a bit of a surprise. With the first trilogy about to be finished with “Dead and Alive”, we suddenly learned that the story would continue. “Dead and Alive” wrapped up the main story arcs but with the release of Victor’s clone we knew things weren’t over completely. In “Lost Souls”, we learn how Frankenstein’s plans have actually taken a turn for the worst, and are seemingly much more difficult to overcome – even impossible, perhaps – than the events in New Orleans.

“Lost Souls” is a basic introductory novel. We get a short recap of what happened in the first trilogy, but luckily Koontz doesn’t go overboard with repeating himself; he’s getting better and better at the sequel stuff. We revisit some already familiar characters – Carson and Michael, Erika and Jocko, and of course Deucalion – and are introduced to several new ones.

The story has moved from New Orleans to Rainbow Falls, Montana. This town reminded me of Black River in “Night Chills”, but with New Race clones instead of brainwashed people. In fact, a better comparison might be with the changed inhabitants of Moonlight Cove in “Midnight”, or the infected people of “Moonlight Bay” in the Chris Snow books.

Since many people in Rainbow Falls have already been replaced, we get a bunch of lesser villains like the mayor and the chief of police. In the course of the novel, we follow their plans of replacing the entire population of Rainbow Falls at several key locations: the hospital, where we get to know Bryce and Travis, the local jail which introduces us to Mr Lyss and Nummy, the school, and the town hall which features the novel’s action-packed finale.

This means that the story jumps between four different duos, and also features chapters with the lesser villains and Deucalion and Frankenstein. There are many characters to keep track of, and sometimes it takes a while before Koontz returns to a particular set. The heroes of the first trilogy, Carson and Michael, get far less screen time and even though the new characters are very interesting and display Koontz’s trademark humor and great dialogues, I was mostly curious to see what the old cast was up to. Carson’s brother Arnie in particular, who was cured by Deucalion of his autism at the end of “Dead and Alive”, left me wanting. He only had a small scene at the start of the novel and made me think of a lesser version of Skeet in “False Memory”, but probably only because that book is fresh in my own memory.

I was also surprised by Victor’s clone; even though the real Victor uploaded his memories to him, he totally forgot about the personality bit. The clone is a totally different Victor, with his own ideas and thoughts. I’m sure the real Victor would never have created him if he had known he would turn out this way. Victor’s flaw in this plan was that he was too superficial and believed copying his memories alone would grant him this weird form of immortality. It’s interesting on one side, but on another it’s also sad and disappointing since this isn’t the real Frankenstein anymore. It’s a new creature that just happens to share his memories, nothing more. So indeed, the soul of the real Victor Frankenstein is literally lost.

The most disturbing development in “Lost Souls” must be the creation of the so-called Builders, entities existing out of nanobots (a subject Koontz used before in “By the Light of the Moon”, but with a more benign function). These creatures literally eat people and duplicate themselves in the process. More than the New Race, these Builders will become formidable enemies and I really hope their fate will have a satisfying outcome in the next volumes.

As a standalone book, “Lost Souls” doesn’t work. There’s no resolution, no real development, and to be honest not much content either. It’s all buildup, but that also means that as the opening chapter of a much longer story, it’s excellent material. It succeeds where it’s supposed to.
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Reading Progress

07/15/2010 page 83
21.0% "When the maybes started, they didn't stop."
07/16/2010 page 181
45.0% "Fascinating. If they ever made a TV show about your life, it would be a colossal hit, so riveting, so glamorous."

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