Let Me Put My Suggestions In You: The Dean Koontz Frankenstein Series
I think I have mentioned before that Dean Koontz has really grown on me as I have aged. As a younger teen I was scared of his novels much the way that I feared Stephen King stories. But as I have grown older I have come to find that Dean Koontz novels have a lot going on and are worth the fear they might cause. In fact, in the case of the initially three novel and now five novel series I want to talk about today, the Dean Koontz Frankenstein series, that perfect combination of horror and excitement was what makes it one that I am happy to suggest to you all.
I’ll start by confessing that I have only read the first three novels in this series, which originally was all the series was supposed to entail. Koontz then added the last two in order to completely tie up any lose ends, and I intend to read them in the future. But for now I really do want to tell you that this series in general is worth the investment.
Many of Koontz’s novels are dark, though there is an element of light as well. It’s obvious that Koontz believes in some higher power, and both karma and miracles are themes that have come up in many novels. But this series starts out much darker than many of the others. The series mostly takes place in New Orleans, which is most often the center stage for vampires. Yet this story starts out following two homicide detectives reminiscent of Castle and Beckett. They end up involved in a complicated murder case, but as the puzzle pieces reveal themselves it turns out to be more than just a straightforward homicide. They uncover the conspiracy that a man named Victor Helios (formerly Frankenstein) is creating a new race of human-android hybrids to replace various people of interest and eventually build an army to control the world.
Our dynamic duo end up joining forces with Deucalion, who was Frankenstein’s original and most famous monster. This character is where things get a little spiritual, in that the lightning bolt that gave him life also gave him a soul and several super-human powers. But if you can suspend your disbelief a little he is quite a complex and intriguing character, dedicating his life to fighting evil and specifically tracking down his former maker.
There are several things I love about this series. Firstly, I love the interwoven elements of Southern culture. Again, I have been until recently a Northeastern girl, and though I have transplanted to California in the more recent years, I remain woefully naïve about how day to day life is different from what I am used to. The restaurants, food, humidity, surrounding fauna and yard work was all so believable I could picture myself transplanted to this southern world.
I also enjoyed the horror. I am not much of a fear loving person. Yet the creepiness, suspense, and terror in this series was great. The bad guys were a whole race of people, and much like in Battlestar Galactica you never knew who could be trusted or who was a replaced person of interest. And rather than just kill you with one blow as they probably could, these monsters developed psychoses like some people do. They seemed to delight in torture, and wanted to dissect many of their victims like a deranged serial killer. It was terrifying, and I loved it.
I should also comment that our two homicide detectives, Michael and Carson (Carson being a woman) are delightful. They are witty, sarcastic, smart, compassionate, open-minded, and wonderfully complex characters. I adored them. I think seeing their interactions on screen would be my number one reason for wanting this series made in to a TV show or movie. They make you smile, cry, and laugh throughout the series. And they aren’t even the main characters! One of my favorite scenes took place in the pouring rain as two fully naked, psychotic, and super-powerful humanoids chased after the duo in their police cruiser. It was so surreal yet well described that you could picture the entire scene perfectly, and Michael just added to the scene’s absurdity and primal fear with his amazing comments and reactions.
Lastly, I love how Koontz makes you question good and evil, as well as your judgments based on appearance. There are several creatures and characters in the novel, including Deucalion himself, and some other hybrids made by Victor, that seem hideous and vile by nature, yet turn out to be kind, caring, compassionate creatures that contribute to the fall of Frankenstein. One character, Joko, is this disgusting troll like creature that sprung from the belly of one of the male hybrids early on in the series. His birth monster was evil, he appears like a monster, so naturally you expect him to be traitorous or diabolical. Instead, he is misunderstood and timid, and just looking for someone to not be revolted by him.
And yes folks, right there was my biggest spoiler of the review: eventually the rebelling or rejected hybrids along with our crew of misfits defeats Victor Helios. Of course, that leaves several monsters and fake humans to try to make lives for themselves. Which leaves you to wonder how they will integrate with society or go about their business unnoticed. And I guess that might be one of the reasons why Koontz went on to write more novels in the series. I felt it was a nice stopping point, but there were several loose ends that gave Koontz the ability to milk more out of the series. As much as I kind of want to leave it at a close with the third book, I will go on to read the others some day. For now though, let me tell you, these first three books are worth every minute you spend reading them. Enjoy geeks!
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Posted on March 26, 2015, in Books, Let Me Put My Suggestions In You and tagged Books, Dean Koontz, Frankenstein, Horror, let me put my suggestions in you, mad scientist, monsters, new orleans, the prodigal son. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.