Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Dean Koontz's Frankenstein, Volume 1: Prodigal Son

Rate this book
Every city has secrets. But none as terrible as this. His name is Deucalion, a tattooed man of mysterious origin, a sleight-of-reality artist who's traveled the centuries with a secret worse than death. He arrives as a serial killer stalks the streets, a killer who carefully selects his victims for the humanity that is missing in himself. Detective Carson O'Connor is cool, cynical, and every bit as tough as she looks. Her partner Michael Maddison would back her up all the way to Hell itself - and that just may be where this case ends up. For the no-nonsense O'Connor is suddenly talking about an ages-old conspiracy, a near immortal race of beings, and killers that are more - and less - than human. Soon it will be clear that as crazy as she sounds, the truth is even more ominous. For their quarry isn't merely a homicidal maniac - but his deranged maker.

144 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 2005

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Dean Koontz

647 books34k followers
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, the author of many #1 New York Times bestsellers, lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, their golden retriever, Elsa, and the enduring spirit of their goldens, Trixie and Anna.

Facebook: Facebook.com/DeanKoontzOfficial
Twitter: @DeanKoontz
Website: DeanKoontz.com

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
13,196 (44%)
4 stars
9,069 (30%)
3 stars
5,245 (17%)
2 stars
1,392 (4%)
1 star
666 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 281 reviews
Profile Image for Kristen.
2,173 reviews50 followers
June 3, 2016
I do not like the original Frankenstein book. It bored me. I also do not like Koontz's books. So when a friend told me I "HAD" to read this re-imagining of the Frankenstein story, by Dean Koontz, I flatly refused. But my friend wouldn't stop nagging me about it, and once there were more books in the series out, she wore me down and I agreed to read the first book on the agreement that if I hated it, she would quit bugging me. She won!

This is absolutely one of the best books I've EVER read!! Once I started this, I literally could not put it down until I finished inhaling it. So clever, so unique, and such an intriguing re-positioning of the original characters into a present-day setting!!!

Loved, loved, LOVED this book!!! Highly recommend it to anyone who likes action/thrillers with well-written characters and a kick-ass story that will keep you on the edge of your seat from the first page to the last!!
Profile Image for Christian Nikitas.
259 reviews49 followers
December 7, 2022
This is a very interesting continuation of Frankenstein. It tells of what happened to him and his monster and what he is up to 200 years later.
I listened to the audiobook while I cleaned. I recommend it. I'm about to start listening to the second book in the series. Stay tuned 😉
Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,625 reviews5,067 followers
October 17, 2017
I went into this graphic novel so freaking excited, because I fully expected to love it. It's based off of Dean Koontz's Frankenstein series, which I've read the first "version" of (if you're unfamiliar, it's a 5-book series, but Dean originally intended it as a trilogy, so I've only read the first 3 books). I digress - I really enjoyed the full novels, and thought it was such a creepy and interesting story with such fun and lovable characters.

Unfortunately, the graphic novel just really fell short of my expectations. First, the illustrations were an immediately frustration to me, because Deucalion legitimately looked like some sort of Fabio knockoff with a tattooed and scarred face, and... really? He's composed of a bunch of dead bodies. Moving on...

Besides the illustrations, it felt sooo disjointed and rushed. I haven't read the first book in many years and found myself struggling to piece together bits from my memories of it, because the graphic novel really only gives you snippets here and there. I can only imagine that anyone who hadn't read the full novels would feel fairly lost if this graphic novel was all they knew of the series.

Needless to say, I don't believe I'll be continuing the graphic novel series, but it did renew my desire to reread the novels, so I guess there's that?
Profile Image for Reading is my Escape.
838 reviews45 followers
January 9, 2021
Frankenstein's "monster" has been alive for over 200 years and he goes by the name Deucalion. He has been living at a Monastery until he finds out that Victor Frankenstein is still alive and continuing his evil work. Deucalion travels to New Orleans and teams up with Detectives Carson O'Connor and Michael Maddison to try to stop Victor.
Wow. This book is fantastic. Carson & Michael's banter can be a little annoying at times, but they are endearing enough to make up for it. Deucalion is fabulous and determined to stop his creator and end his plans to destroy humankind.
The characters are terrific and the story is amazing. Koontz did a fabulous job bringing the story of Frankenstein into the current century. The series is 5 books long.
Profile Image for Carolyn.
Author 14 books236 followers
September 26, 2018
I don't read graphic novels very often - almost ever, really. But I grabbed this from the library because I thought my teenage son might like it, and it would fulfill one of his requirements for the library's summer reading program. (And, having heard good things about Dean Koontz's Frankenstein series, I was curious.)

This book raises some interesting ideas about humanity, responsibility, and ethics. I enjoyed it enough that I've added the novel to my want-to-read list.
Profile Image for Giovanni Gelati.
Author 31 books884 followers
October 8, 2010
The graphic novel is based on the New York Times bestselling novel by Dean Koontz & Kevin J. Anderson. This is my first read on a Koontz work and I really enjoyed it. His update on the old story just fit together so well and made so much sense it was hard not to enjoy it. I want to share with you a few pieces of the graphic novel that I really enjoyed. Here is Dean Koontz from the intro: ”This is why it seemed to me appropriate to update the Frankenstein legend to our time. We live in a hubristic age, when politicians imagine themselves to be messiahs and when many in the sciences frankly discuss their dreams of creating a “post-human” civilization of genetically engineered superman, ignorant of the fact that like minds have often come before them and have left no legacy but death, destruction and despair.”
Powerful words and it resonates throughout the graphic novel. The spin on this from the old time story is that it is modern time and there is a serial killer loose in New Orleans, taking body parts from victims. The original Frankenstein lives now somewhere in the frozen mountains with some monks. He is summoned to New Orleans to find out what is going wrong and to solve the riddles that others cannot. Fitting in and looking normal with his immense size, rugged good looks, long flowing hair and buff body, make him look like Fabio with way too many stitches. It makes for some humorous moments. Here is a little piece of the dialogue , don’t worry, it isn’t a spoiler. Frankenstein is speaking to a detective: ” Your quarry isn’t a crazed murderer. Your real enemy is his maker-and mine. He created me from cadavers from a prison graveyard. One heart is from an arsonist, the other from a child rapist. My hands from a strangler, eyes from an axe murderer. My life force from a thunderstorm. That storm gave me gifts Victor couldn’t grant. For one thing…I’m not a monster anymore….I’m your best hope.”
The graphic novel was adapted by Chuck Dixon and illustrated by Brett Booth. I enjoy doing things backwards some times: reading the graphic novel first makes it easier for me to enjoy my first read of new writer in a genre I am not totally comfortable with. I can now relax and enjoy Koontz work having read this. I guess I can just visualize it better. It has worked for me that way with the Dresden Files, Stephen King and now Koontz. I think that no matter if you are a fan of Dean Koontz or have never read his work like me, the update tale of Frankenstein is worth the time to read. I enjoyed the twist, the viewpoint of the modern Frankenstein and the insightful narrative of the author. Pick it up and give it a try, not because it is Halloween season, but because a good novel is always in season.
What are you reading today? Check us out and become our friend on Facebook & Linkedin. Go to Goodreads and become our friend there and suggest books for us to read and post on. You can also follow us on Twitter, and the Gelati’s Scoop Facebook Fan Page. Did you know you can shop directly on Amazon by clicking the Gelati’s Store Tab on our blog? Thanks for stopping by today; We will see you tomorrow. Have a great day. http://www.gelatisscoop.blogspot.com

Profile Image for Dollie.
1,133 reviews26 followers
November 21, 2021
This is the first time I remember Koontz teaming up with another author. I think they did a good job. I whipped right through it. Carson O’Connor and her partner, Michael Maddison, are cops in New Orleans. Carson has got an autistic brother who builds castles out of Legos and has got a crush on Michael. Michael also has a crush on Carson, but neither wants to make a move on it because they would have to get new partners and they really like being partners with each other. They are investigating a series of murders of young women in which the killer always takes a souvenir – eyes, lips, ears, etc. Then there is another murderer who is taking people’s internal organs. One of the killers (internal organs) ends up being one of the “New Race” developed by Victor Frankenstein. The original monster has been living in Tibet in a monastery, but when a friend of his from his carnie days dies and leaves him an old theater in New Orleans, Deucalion goes there. Deucalion was the son of Prometheus, who happened to be Atlas’s brother – got to catch up on my Greek mythology. Deucalion meets Carson and Michael and is trying to convince them that he is telling the truth. There are some people in this book who seemed so familiar to me, though, like the priest and Erika. All of these new race people are feeling incomplete so they feel they have to look for what they want inside humans. They want to see what we have that they don’t. They have no purpose, no happiness, no satisfaction from anything. One of them is autistic, Randall Six, who is after Arnie, Carson’s brother. He wants to take Arnie’s happiness and as the book ends, Randall Six is hiding underneath their house, figuring out how he is going to steal Arnie’s happiness. Deucalion is there to protect Arnie.
Profile Image for George.
179 reviews4 followers
May 2, 2022
I enjoyed this and I'm going to have to hunt down the next one. The extra story was interesting too.
Profile Image for Lainy.
1,645 reviews63 followers
June 29, 2020
Time taken to read - in and out over 4 days

Pages - 496

Publisher - Harper Collins

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

In the nineteenth century, Dr. Victor Frankenstein brought his notorious creation to life, but a horrible turn of events forced him to abandon it and slip away from the public eye. Two centuries later, a serial killer is on the loose in New Orleans, gruesomely salvaging body parts from each of his victims, as if trying to assemble a perfect human being.

Detective Carson O’Connor is cool, cynical, and every bit as tough as she looks. Her partner, Michael Maddison, would back her up all the way to Hell itself–and that just may be where their new case leads. For as they investigate the strange killings, O’Connor and Madison find themselves drawn into a weird underworld of deception and secrets where a man named Victor Helios has created an entire race of perfectly engineered people who are meant to take humankind’s place one day. But something is happening to some of Helios’s creations, and it may be that this bizarre serial killer is the least of the detectives’ worries.

My Review

EVERYBODY know the story of Frankenstein, rather Frankenstein's monster. A few hundred years after the legend and low and behold both where real, Frankenstien and the monster. Known in the book as Deucalion, living away in a quiet existance until he is alerted that his creator, Victor Helios, still lives. Deucalion has learned to control his anger and now he is going to complete the job he failed at, killing his "father".

On top of this we have a kick butt cop, Carson O’Connor - strong female lead who has a love interest she tries to keep at bay whilst investigating a horrific serial killer. Her partner Michael Maddison is willing to follow her anywhere, both will soon be confronted with beings that shatter their preconceptions of humanity as they know it.

I loved when we heard more from Deucalion as the movie(s) I seen growing up you didn't really get much from the monster, no insight. Here we are a few hundred years on from the version I know and you get back story, up to present day and the mad scientist is even more off his banger. He has taken his "science" so much further, money is no issue so he has free reign pretty much. He has perfected his creations so much so he know has a wife (he abuses her horrifically) and has zero value for human life. I really liked it and as soon as I finished it I ordered book two, it is a five book series so will buy the third sometime soon, 4.5/5 for me this time.
Profile Image for Ellen.
637 reviews
November 9, 2018
3+ I gave up reading Koontz 20+ years ago because he is too formulaic for me, though I read a ton of his early stuff. Whispers was the first book of his that I read, and it really got to me. I loved it, re-read it more than once, and has stayed with me. I heard good things about his recent works, so decided to read more of his work. I found this very engaging. It kept pulling me back in, and I enjoyed reading it. I will read the next next book.
Profile Image for Lilly Blake.
90 reviews1 follower
November 23, 2021
Molto lontano dal l'originalità di Dean Koontz. Vuoto e banale, una scopiazzatura di cose già viste e sentite.
Pessimo e deludente!
3 reviews
March 12, 2023
This is a ridiculous but fun popcorn level read.
The pacing is punchy and makes it a light and enjoyable.
Profile Image for Pat Harris.
390 reviews14 followers
June 4, 2019
The writing was scattered but the story finally started to come together about midway. I will probably read another in the series but in no big hurry.
Profile Image for Alicia.
7 reviews2 followers
October 28, 2022
enjoyed this wayyy too much & could not put it down
1,180 reviews13 followers
April 16, 2011
I am kinda surprised I had not heard of Koontz’s Frankenstein series before. I am a big, big fan of the original. I was excited to read it. However, the first book is very disappointing.
I don’t think I have read Koontz before. I am not big on pop lit. It’s a page turner for sure, the pacing from the gate is high. But I found it predictable and lacking any depth.
Spoiler alert: Who could not see that one of the other detectives would be dirty? Who could not see the we’re-partners-but-secretly-love-each-other cliché coming? For all the talk of Erica 5 waiting in the tub to be made, what a surprise that she is made!
Deucalion, the original monster, was the only character that interested me. He had some depth and mystery. No one else did. Even Dr. Frankenstein seemed a bore.
I read a number of Anne Rice’s vampire tales. Her vampires have lots of depth and her explanation of their movement in the world at least starts off seeming plausible for a couple of books. Koontz trying to bring Frankenstein into modernity fails. It is nowhere near believable. How did he get so far advanced in technology? How would he stay so far out of the media light when he doesn’t age?
Perhaps the worst storyline for me was Randal 6. For someone who is terrified of leaving his small personal space, he sure knows a lot based on what the author says he overheard others talking about. If he lives in isolation, who is he hearing?
I don’t know if I will keep reading the series or not. I probably will give the second book a try at some point, but not soon.
148 reviews23 followers
September 23, 2012
This is my review of the whole series.

for me Koontz is "Stephen King for grownups"

This series picks up an alternate reality to Shelley's novel about the creation of a new man by a mad scientist.

In this one, Dr. Frankenstein lives on, &, through funding by various megalomaniacs through the ages, & his discovery of a means to personal longevity, has perfected his new race & the assembly line type system for creating these new humans, who self-heal, have no emotions(when no malfunctions), & are programmed to fit the role they were created for.

In this series the role is still focused on the taking over of humanity & replacing them with these new humans.

The one exception to emotionlessness was programmed by the evil doctor: these new men delight in those opportunities to slaughter old humansm wehn the doctor gives them the opportunity.

The protagonists not only have to survive, but need to figure out how to kill the seemingly unharmable new species, if they get in the way of tracking down Dr. Frankenstein to his lair & manufacturing plant.

Defionitely worth having to read it in multiple volumes.
Profile Image for Angel .
1,346 reviews46 followers
September 25, 2009
I had heard of the book (the novel this is based on), but I did not give it much thought, figuring it was just another Frankenstein remake or such. I picked up the graphic novel on a whim, and I am glad I did. This is not just a remake, but a very thoughtful look at the classic in a new way. It is framed as a mystery/detective story, but it has a lot more. Who are the detectives really chasing? The homicidal serial killer, or the doctor who made him? And what does Deucalion, the mysterious tattooed man with a long past have to do with everything? This book is engaging. It catches you from the start, and it does not let go. I read this in one sitting. I have not found the second part yet, but I will certainly pick it up when I do. Definitely a very good graphic novel. Who knows? I may go back and pick up the novel as well.
Profile Image for Christopher Jones.
74 reviews13 followers
April 25, 2018
Nothing much I need to say here. Prodigal Son was a good novel and it translates pretty well here.

I can't really critique on the quality of the artwork. I can write, but if you put my visual art up against a grade schooler's, there's a good chance I would lose. The art seems more of the "Western superhero" kind rather than the Japanese graphic novel. I especially love the illustrations of Deucalion and my boy Randall Six!

My only criticism is that it's too short. I haven't read the novel version of Prodigal Son in over a decade. Volume 1 stops after a member of the New Race murders a serial killer, which I think happen around the halfway point. I want more!
Profile Image for Leslie.
15 reviews
November 14, 2014
I have never rated a book (much less give it 5 stars) prior to completing it. Normally I mull over how I feel about any given book and rate it, most often, a star less than my decision. If I think it's 4 stars I'll give it 3 unless it's a 1 star book...those are face value. It may be incredibly rash of me but I really love this book. Koontz has such interesting points of view and is able to articulate his thoughts and opinions in a clear, concise manner...what more can a girl ask for? He even manages to add CHEEZ-ITS! That's flat out art----> Frankenstein + CHEEZ-ITS! If I am wrong about my too soon review I promise I will appropriately chide myself and correct the mistake.
Profile Image for Debbie.
461 reviews
April 10, 2021
*NOTE: I listened to this book via Audible. Probably a mistake as I find out there are graphics in the novel that I totally missed.
this is my first Dean Koontz novel and I really got into the characters. Deucalian, who was the original monster created by Dr Frankenstein, still lives and is on a mission to kill his 'master'. Victor Helios, aka Dr Frankenstein is the epitome of evil!!! The two detectives, Carson and Michael, are adorable together. Carson's brother has autism and seems to be the target for one of Frankenstein's monsters... On to Book #2
Profile Image for Clark Hallman.
371 reviews13 followers
June 27, 2015
Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein, Prodigal Son, #1 by Chuck Dixon (adapter), Dean Koontz (author), Brett Booth (illustrator), et al. – This is the first volume of a very interesting and keenly illustrated graphic novel adaptation of Koontz’s Frankenstein Prodigal Son. It provides very interesting, mysterious and ruthless characters and much violent action. How can you go wrong with gruesome bodies with missing body parts and organs? I will be reading the other volumes.
7 reviews
September 21, 2009
I had never read any of Dean Koontz's books until now. Incredibly creative and beautifully descriptive language. "She was wound up tighter than a dreadlock"! I like the way this book reworks the "who is the monster" question. I'm having a hard time finding the sequel but when I do, it's going to be another fast and great read.
Profile Image for Dan.
1,501 reviews24 followers
September 9, 2010
Great story and amazing art combine to make this a must read for fans of the supernatural. Koontz takes Shelly's original story and updates it for the 21st Century. Gotta love Frankenstein's monster (note: the monster is NOT named "Frankenstein") hanging out in a Buddhist monastery near the Himalayan mountains as a story opener.
56 reviews1 follower
May 31, 2011
This book is an interesting and modern twist on an old story. I found the book to be engrossing and very entertaining. There were numerous characters and sub plots that were woven together nicely. The author also explores the human mind and the source of happiness. I definitely plan on reading more books from this series.
Profile Image for John.
386 reviews10 followers
September 16, 2015
I'm a big fan of Frankenstein and Dean Koontz, so reading this was a no-brainer. I really enjoyed the villain, Victor Helios... he is absolutely diabolical. It's hard not to be a fan of Frankenstein in this tale either! I look forward to reading more of this series. I would highly recommend this book to fans of Frankenstein... he lives on!
Profile Image for Sheila Beaumont.
1,102 reviews143 followers
July 3, 2018
This is a good graphic adaptation of the original novel by Dean Koontz & Kevin J. Anderson. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I would go on to the sequels, but they're not available from the library. Fortunately, I've read the original novels twice, so I do know what happens next and how the story eventually turns out.

Displaying 1 - 30 of 281 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.