Book Chat: Dead & Alive (A Frankenstein novel)
by Dean Koontz
The 3rd fascinating novel in the Frankenstein series. Victor’s creations continue to spiral out-of-control, while the heroes in this tale race to put a stop to the madman’s plans for humanity.
MYRA’S HORROR BLOG REVIEWS : I wanted to write reviews as if I were sharing the love of a book with a friend. What I liked about it, from storyline to characters; to include any parts that had a negative impact on me as a reader. Join me on the couch as we explore today’s exciting read.
As a devastating hurricane approaches, as the benighted creations of Victor Helios begin to spin out of control, as New Orleans descends into chaos and the future of humanity hangs in the balance, the only hope rests with Victor’s first, failed attempt to build the perfect human. Deucalion’s centuries-old history began as the original manifestation of a soulless vision–and it is fated to end in the ultimate confrontation between a damned creature and his mad creator. But first they must face a monstrosity not even Victor’s malignant mind could have conceived–an indestructible entity that steps out of humankind’s collective nightmare with powers, and a purpose, beyond imagining.
Victor Frankenstein’s creations continue to break down, almost as if they are going insane. Janet and Bucky are public figures in the community; a married couple and replicants. Janet abruptly slaughters the pizza delivery guy, and then goes on a killing spree in their neighborhood. At first hesitant, Bucky joins in later.
In the middle of the murderous rampage of Janet and Bucky, they are confronted by the German Shepard the human Bucky owned. He confuses them with his intense stares and they are convinced he “knows something”. They start chasing the dog down the street. Officers Carson and Michael see the two running naked after the Shepard. Tracking them to a park, they shoot Bucky when he attacks them. They know he is a replicant because he was very hard to kill. Janet slips away while the dog jumps in the car.
Meanwhile, the New Race member, Werner, has escaped the room he was imprisoned in at Victor’s lab. He continuously morphs; reptilian, humanoid, cat-like, etc. Werner is one of Frankenstein’s creations that went wrong. Werner convinces one of the other super humanoids to join him, by absorbing his brain. As the book progresses the monstrosity has absorbed all the staff.
Back at Victor’s mansion, Ericka 5 has made the acquaintance of a strange dwarf, what she calls a troll. He is an odd looking creature, but seems sweet and innocent. They slowly become friends and you can see a different kind of relationship developing – mother and child. In another part of the mansion, Victor receives a bizarre phone call. It is Ericka and she claims to be number 4, who he had killed and had disposed of in his dump. As she continues to call him repeatedly, he realizes it really is wife # 4 and she has somehow returned to life.
Interestingly, another creation of Frankenstein’s, is the Chameleon, which is able to blend into the environment so it’s invisible. It escapes the lab and almost kills Victor. But noticing a “ripple” on the table, the madman knows Chameleon is loose, and sprays his body with a concealer scent he concocted for just such an accident. Chameleon targets only humans. Later, while traveling in Ericka’s car, behind Frankenstein’s vehicle, Jouko, the dwarf, can see the Chameleon. Ironically he kills it just before it goes for Victor again, when the concealer scent wears off. When Jouko realizes what he has done, he is very upset, because he wanted his maker dead.
Throughout the book, Deucalion has been trying to find a way to stop Victor’s mad plan to replace humans with replicants. He discovers a detonation program in the computer for the lab and sets it into motion, destroying the whole complex soon after he leaves.
In the meantime, Ericka 4 and other New Race members want Victor dead. She arranges for the police officers, plus Deucalion, to meet at the dump. Ericka introduces them to a strange entity, one of Frankenstein’s accidents. The creature can read minds, plus send out “emotional waves”, which take away all the hatred and fear inside each replicant. They now feel happy. The New Race members at the dump set a trap for Victor, killing him in a fitting, horrific manner. But they did not realize their creator suspected things were getting out of hand, triggering his clone to awaken. Terrifyingly, the New Victor is stronger, faster and more intelligent than his creator.
You can tell things are escalating out of control. I am very interested in continuing this saga. Highly recommended for Dean Koontz fans, and those who love mystery and monster elements mingled together.
NOTE: All my reviews are published in Uncaged Book Reviews emag. This review will be in the February issue.