Frankenstein: Dead and Alive

( 356 )

Overview

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. Now the mesmerizing saga concludes. . . .

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 ...

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Overview

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. Now the mesmerizing saga concludes. . . .

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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A rarity among bestselling writers, Koontz continues to pursue new ways of telling stories, never content with repeating himself. He writes of hope and love in the midst of evil in profoundly inspiring and moving ways.”—Chicago Sun-Times
Publishers Weekly
In this fast-paced third installment of his Frankenstein series, Koontz continues, without necessarily concluding, his modern-day reimagining of Mary Shelley's horror classic. Leaving his co-authors behind, Koontz makes the most of previous developments, which set the stage for an epic showdown in storm-soaked New Orleans between Victor Helios and the high-tech, artificial beings he created to destroy the human race. Many members of the unhappy, soulless "new race," created by Helios to kill his enemies, have turned their hatred back on their master. Deucalion, a centuries-old giant who was the madman's first, flawed human creation, leads an uprising of creatures that includes a naked troll and a slithering chameleon. Though big developments await fans, Koontz hints that he may not be done with this violent monster tale, a project that has taken him deep into sci-fi territory. Witty characters provide relief from the story's dark undercurrent, though Koontz knows, perhaps better than ever, how to scare his readers without resorting to gory details.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553587906
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 7/28/2009
  • Series: Dean Koontz's Frankenstein Series , #3
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 68,202
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 7.56 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Meet the Author

Dean Koontz, the author of many #1 New York Times bestsellers, lives with his wife, Gerda, and the enduring spirit of their golden retriever, Trixie, in southern California.

Biography

He is one of the most recognized, read, and loved suspense writers of the 20th century. His imagination is a veritable factory of nightmares, conjuring twisted tales of psychological complexity. He even has a fan in Stephen King. For decades, Dean Koontz's name has been synonymous with terror, and his novels never fail to quicken the pulse and set hearts pounding.

Koontz has a lifelong love of writing that led him to spend much of his free time as an adult furiously cultivating his style and voice. However, it was only after his wife Gerda made him an offer he couldn't refuse while he was teaching English at a high school outside of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, that he had a real opportunity to make a living with his avocation. Gerda agreed to support Dean for five years, during which time he could try to get his writing career off the ground. Little did she know that by the end of that five years she would be leaving her own job to handle the financial end of her husband's massively successful writing career.

Koontz first burst into the literary world with 1970's Beastchild, a science fiction novel that appealed to genre fans with its descriptions of aliens and otherworldly wars but also mined deeper themes of friendship and the breakdown of communication. Although it is not usually ranked among his classics, Beastchild provided the first inkling of Koontz's talent for populating even the most fantastical tale with fully human characters. Even at his goriest or most terrifying, he always allows room for redemption.

This complexity is what makes Koontz's work so popular with readers. He has a true gift for tempering horror with humanity, grotesqueries with lyricism. He also has a knack for genre-hopping, inventing Hitchcockian romantic mysteries, crime dramas, supernatural thrillers, science fiction, and psychological suspense with equal deftness and imagination. Perhaps The Times (London) puts it best: "Dean Koontz is not just a master of our darkest dreams, but also a literary juggler."

Good To Know

Shortly after graduating from college, Koontz took a job with the Appalachian Poverty Program where he would tutor and counsel underprivileged kids. However, after finding out that the last person who held his job had been beaten up and hospitalized by some of these kids, Koontz was more motivated than ever to get his writing career going.

When Koontz was a senior in college, he won the Atlantic Monthly fiction competition.

Koontz and Kevin Anderson's novel Frankenstein: The Prodigal Son was slotted to become a television series produced by Martin Scorsese. However, when the pilot failed to sell, the USA Network aired it as a TV movie in 2004. By that time Koontz had removed his name from the project.

Some fun and fascinating outtakes from our interview with Koontz:

"My wife, Gerda, and I took seven years of private ballroom dancing lessons, twice a week, ninety minutes each time. After we had gotten good at everything from swing to the foxtrot, we not only stopped taking lessons, but also stopped going dancing. Learning had been great fun; but for both of us, going out for an evening of dancing proved far less exhilarating than the learning. We both have a low boredom threshold. Now we dance at a wedding or other celebration perhaps once a year, and we're creaky."

"On my desk is a photograph given to me by my mother after Gerda and I were engaged to be married. It shows 23 children at a birthday party. It is neither my party nor Gerda's. I am three years old, going on four. Gerda is three. In that crowd of kids, we are sitting directly across a table from each other. I'm grinning, as if I already know she's my destiny, and Gerda has a serious expression, as if she's worried that I might be her destiny. We never met again until I was a senior in high school and she was a junior. We've been trying to make up for that lost time ever since.

"Gerda and I worked so much for the first two decades of our marriage that we never took a real vacation until our twentieth wedding anniversary. Then we went on a cruise, booking a first-class suite, sparing no expense. For more than half the cruise, the ship was caught in a hurricane. The open decks were closed because waves would have washed passengers overboard. About 90% of the passengers spent day after day in their cabins, projectile vomiting. We discovered that neither of us gets seasick. We had the showrooms, the casino, and the buffets virtually to ourselves. Because the crew had no one to serve, our service was exemplary. The ship dared not try to put into the scheduled ports; it was safer on the open sea. The big windows of the main bar presented a spectacular view of massive waves and lightning strikes that stabbed the sea by the score. Very romantic. We had a grand time.

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    1. Also Known As:
      David Axton, Brian Coffey, K.R. Dwyer, Deanna Dwyer, John Hill, Leigh Nichols, Anthony North, Richard Paige, Owen West, Aaron Wolfe
    2. Hometown:
      Newport Beach, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 9, 1945
    2. Place of Birth:
      Everett, Pennsylvania
    1. Education:
      B.S. (major in English), Shippensburg University, 1966
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Half past a windless midnight, rain cantered out of the Gulf, across the shore and the levees: parades of phantom horses striking hoof rhythms from roofs of tarpaper, tin, tile, shingles, slate, counting cadence along the avenues.

Usually a late-night town where restaurants and jazz clubs cooked almost until the breakfast hour, New Orleans was on this occasion unlike itself. Little traffic moved on the streets. Many restaurants closed early. For lack of customers, some of the clubs went dark and quiet.

A hurricane was transiting the Gulf, well south of the Louisiana coast. The National Weather Service currently predicted landfall near Brownsville, Texas, but the storm track might change. Through hard experience, New Orleans had learned to respect the power of nature.

Deucalion stepped out of the Luxe Theater without using a door, and stepped into a different district of the city, out of light and into the deep shadows under the boughs of moss-robed oak trees.

In the glow of streetlamps, the skeins of rain glimmered like tarnished silver. But under the oaks, the precipitation seemed ink-black, as if it were not rain but were instead a product of the darkness, the very sweat of the night.

Although an intricate tattoo distracted curious people from recognizing the extent of the damage to the ruined half of his face, Deucalion preferred to venture into public places between dusk and dawn. The sunless hours provided an additional layer of disguise.

His formidable size and physical power could not be concealed. Having endured more than two hundred years, his body was unbent bone and undiminished muscle. Time seemed to have no power to weather him.

As he followed the sidewalk, he passed through places where the glow of streetlamps penetrated the leafy canopy. The mercurial light chased from memory the torch-carrying mob that had harried Deucalion through a cold and rainless night on a continent far from this one, in an age before electricity.

Across the street, occupying half a block, the Hands of Mercy stood on an oak-shaded property. Once a Catholic hospital, it closed long ago.

A tall wrought-iron fence encircled the hospital grounds. The spear-point staves suggested that where mercy had once been offered, none could now be found.

A sign on the iron driveway gate warned private warehouse / no admittance. The bricked-up windows emitted no light.

Overlooking the main entrance stood a statue of the Holy Mother. The light once focused on her had been removed, and the robed figure looming in darkness might have been Death, or anyone.

Only hours earlier, Deucalion had learned that this building harbored the laboratory of his maker, Victor Helios, whose birth name was legend: Frankenstein. Here members of the New Race were designed, created, and programmed.

The security system would monitor every door. The locks would be difficult to defeat.

Thanks to gifts carried on the lightning bolt that brought him to life in an earlier and more primitive lab, Deucalion did not need doors. Locks were no impediment to him. Intuitively, he grasped the quantum nature of the world, including the truth that on the deepest structural level, every place in the world was the same place.

As he contemplated venturing into his maker’s current lair, Deucalion had no fear. If any emotion might undo him, it would be rage. But over these many decades, he had learned to control the anger that had once driven him so easily to violence.

He stepped out of the rain and into the main laboratory in the Hands of Mercy, wet when he took the step, dry when he completed it.

Victor’s immense lab was a techno-Deco wonder, mostly stainless-steel and white ceramic, filled with sleek and mysterious equipment that seemed not to be standing along the walls but to be embedded in them, extruding from them. Other machines swelled out of the ceiling and surged up from the floor, polished and gleaming, yet suggesting organic forms.

Every soft noise was rhythmic, the purr and hum and click of machinery. The place seemed to be deserted.

Sapphire, primrose-pink, and apple-green luminous gases filled glass spheres. Through elaborate coils of transparent tubing flowed lavender, calamine-blue, and methyl-orange fluids.

Victor’s U-shaped workstation stood in the center of the room, a black-granite top on a stainless-steel base.

As Deucalion considered searching the drawers, someone behind him said, “Can you help me, sir?”

The man wore a gray denim jumpsuit. In a utility belt around his waist were secured spray bottles of cleaning solutions, white rags, and small sponges. He held a mop.

“Name’s Lester,” he said. “I’m an Epsilon. You seem smarter than me. Are you smarter than me?”

“Is your maker here?” Deucalion asked.

“No, sir. Father left earlier.”

“How many staff are here?”

“I don’t count much. Numbers confuse me. I heard once—eighty staff. So Father isn’t here, now something’s gone wrong, and I’m just an Epsilon. You seem like maybe an Alpha or a Beta. Are you an Alpha or a Beta?”

“What’s gone wrong?” Deucalion asked.

“She says Werner is trapped in Isolation Room Number One. No, maybe Number Two. Anyway, Number Something.”

“Who is Werner?”

“He’s the security chief. She wanted instructions, but I don’t give instructions, I’m just Lester.”

“Who wants instructions?”

“The woman in the box.”

As Lester spoke, the computer on Victor’s desk brightened, and on the screen appeared a woman so flawlessly beautiful that her face must have been a digital construction.

“Mr. Helios, Helios. Welcome to Helios. I am Annunciata. I am not as much Annunciata as before, but I am still trying to be as much Annunciata as I am able. I am now analyzing my helios, Mr. Systems. My systems, Mr. Helios. I am a good girl.”

“She’s in a box,” Lester said.

“A computer,” Deucalion said.

“No. A box in the networking room. She’s a Beta brain in a box. She don’t have no body. Sometimes her container leaks, so I clean up the spill.”

Annunciata said, “I am wired. I am wired. I am wired into the building’s data-processing system. I am secretary to Mr. Helios. I am very smart. I am a good girl. I want to serve efficiently. I am a good, good girl. I am afraid.”

“She isn’t usually like this,” said Lester.

“Perhaps there is an im-im-im-imbalance in my nutrient supply. I am unable to analyze. Could someone analyze my nutrient supply?”

“Self-aware, forever in a box,” Deucalion said.

“I am very afraid,” Annunciata said.

Deucalion found his hands curling into fists. “There is nothing your maker won’t do. No form of slavery offends him, no cruelty is beyond him.”

Uneasy, shifting from foot to foot like a little boy who needed to go to the bathroom, Lester said, “He’s a great genius. He’s even smarter than an Alpha. We should be grateful to him.”

“Where is the networking room?” Deucalion asked.

“We should be grateful.”

“The networking room. Where is this . . . woman?”

“In the basement.”

On the computer screen, Annunciata said, “I must organize the appointment schedule for Mr. Helios. Helios. But I do not remember what an appointment is. Can you help, help, help me?”

“Yes,” Deucalion said. “I can help you.”

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 356 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(153)

4 Star

(87)

3 Star

(65)

2 Star

(26)

1 Star

(25)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 359 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Humph! Beyond Frustration

    I waited three years for this? What happened? I am totally heartbroken. The first two books were so good; I mean really really really good, I could hardly contain myself waiting for this book's release. Did Koontz just spit this out to appease his fans not caring what it contained? I was soooooo let down. I am a monstrously huge Dean Koontz fan and I have never been more disappointed with his work until I read Dead and Alive. I expected so much from this book and got nothing but a TIPPY-TOING, JUGGLING, SKIPPING, JUMPING, CART WHEELING, PIROUETTING, TOE SUCKING, BUG EATING, ALBINO, TROLL. What in the world was that all about? What about Deucalion, Carson, and Michael? The first two books primarily featured those three characters, but in this third and last installment they were hardly spoken of at all. And talk about a disappointing ending. I expected a huge battle or something close to it, but all I got was...Well it was all just way too easy. If anything ever deserved a rewrite it's Dead and Alive.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 6, 2009

    we waited years for this

    What an enormous let down. We have all had better campfire stories. Jocko the troll, really? The two previous books to this trilogy deserved a much better effort to end what was building into a great story. If I had more than two thumbs to point down I surely would.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 16, 2010

    Short

    I gotta admit after waiting so long it seemed a little short and quick. I still liked it, finished it in one day. The first 2 are definately better. I think he went a little overboard with the new characters. Very different from first 2; I guess thats what happens when there is a such a gap between books in series. It was very annoying reading most of the characters talking like morons for many many pages. Jocko needs to get killed off immediately in Book 4.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Brisk Pace to Koontz's Frankenstein: Dead and Alive, Book 3 of Trilogy

    Buckle up and get ready for an exciting ride into the imagination of Dean Koontz. Book 3 has long been anticipated by Dean's fans, and "Dead and Alive" delivers a worthy finale in the Frankenstein trilogy. The story is fast-paced, with touches of humor, tenderness, and gore. Victor Helios Frankenstein is the ultimate personification of evil and narcissism as he unleashes his New Race in New Orleans to eliminate the Old Race and to rule the world. You can't help cheering for Carson O'Connor, Michael Maddison and Deucalion as they race to stop Helios's deadly creations. Several New Race characters will touch your heart as well. "Dead and Alive" is jolly good fun and is a thrilling page-turner of a story. Is it possible that Deucalion will appear in another of Dean's stories in the future? Only time will tell. In closing, I recommend that Books 1 and 2 in the trilogy be read first ("Prodigal Son" and "City of Night".) You may also want to re-visit them if it's been a while since you've read them. And thanks to Dean for making the wait for Book 3 worthwhile.

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2009

    A great disappointment after a long wait

    The series started off with promise, but the wait for the conclusion was too long. After reading the final book, I feel like I was "brushed off" by the author... the book lacked depth, had a hard time remembering who the principal characters were, and introduced superfluous plot twists and characters that felt more like a bad movie than an indulgent read.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 17, 2010

    Disappointing;Preachy;Gory;Shallow

    Koontz thinks he now oozes life wisdom to pass on to his readers and obviously he is much more interested in sharing his narrow & naive philosophies (most people get over the Ayn Rand/Government Bad! stage in their twenties when they realize we live in communities that are dependent on interaction and the public sphere)-than in crafting a good story. Reading his books increasingly is like taking an entry level poly sci class from a not very enlightened Libertarian pit bull who just "wants everyone to think like him." Page after page of preaching. Reads like a Meritocracy primer; he overcame, so any one can... blah, blah; just get a super dog... blah, blah
    Koontz has been sheltered in his isolated authors life and Orange County/Newport Beach !THE LAND OF THE ENTITLED! (where I also live - so I know - just go shopping after all. you earned it!)
    This narrowness in his life and perspectives is expressing overwhelmingly in his books...Instead of becomeing richer and more complex - they are just getting boring, shallow, repetitive and tired.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 26, 2009

    Let Down!

    Not as good as the first two!! I was let down. It felt rushed through and not as much detail put into it as there was in the first two Frankenstein books. After waiting as long as I did, I felt cheated.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Can't believe Dean wrote this

    I am a huge Koontz fan, but I can't believe what he did with this final piece to an otherwise terrific story. This was the worst edited and written book I have ever read from him and to do this after years of waiting for the final chapter was a huge disappointment to me. As I said, the editing was horrible, with mistakes it seemed almost page by page. Dean always does a great job of setting the "scene", but it was ridiculously overdone on multiple occasions. And I felt like the ending was too easy. One of the great things about Dean's stories is you are always guessing on exactly how it will end, how the ending will come about. I felt like I knew from the first few chapters, and it just seemed like he took a shortcut.

    If you took the time to read the first 2 books of this series already, then the last is obviously a must read. But if you have not, I wouldn't recommend reading the trilogy at all. That's how disappointing this final chapter is. It ruined the whole thing for me.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Loved it and hated it!

    Like the rest of you I had been anticipating this book since finishing City of Night. I found the characters and story interesting but I was definitely disappointed. I had read somewhere that Dean didn't want to write this book. I think it showed.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Simply put....

    A waste of time. I'm not sure what went wrong, but it seems like a lot of us here feel the same way.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 12, 2009

    I cannot believe Dean Koontz put his name on this!!!

    Awful ending to the series. I think Dean Koontz put this out there to end the series. He did such a disservice to this story! The first two books were awesome. I am a Dean Koontz devoted reader and I am EXTREMELY disappointed with this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 11, 2009

    Awful

    I waited almost 3 years for the ending to the Frankenstein series and it seems as though Koontz just threw this together to get it over with. Simply awful. It will be awhile before I come back to his writings. He really disappointed me with Dead and Alive.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2010

    Koontz in a slump?

    Sadly, not much to add to the insights of the patient and disappointed readers of the 3rd Frankenstein trilogy. Koontz seems to be in a slump - and it happens to everyone. However - he did set this story up at the end (I think) to bring together Brother Odd and Deucalion - now, that could be fantastic if Koontz can leave behind his increasingly preachy/political ways and if he can develop his quirky characters without the cliches.
    Koontz claims to despise politics/politicians, but Koontz, what a fraud! Politics is literally hemorrhaging from your pages - that is- your Ayn Randian/Libertarian/anyone can pull themselves up from their bootstraps if they have enough gumption and the talented deserve what they get politics. All writers write their personal philosophies into stories - but pleeeeez! if you need to moralize this badly just get a bully pulpit. Give me a good story. And work on your dialouge; young people really don't talk like you write it. Sorry - it's almost as if your books get more shallow as you try so hard to be the wise sage of life.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 26, 2010

    Dust Collector!

    I waited years for this book & well I would rather still be waiting on a exciting ending then have wasted my money.

    If you visit Dean Koontz site he says that he has waited so long because he didn't want to let lose Victor in New Orleans right after Hurricane Katrina hit (Which I respect).

    However I started reading this book & within the first few chapters it was nothing but meaningless / pointless killing by the new generation. I was so disgusted by the killings that I have quit reading this book & can't pick it back up again.

    I feel this book was just shoved out there as to keep the "Frankenstein" fans at bay & then I hear that there are going to be more Frankenstein books relased as of June 15th, 2010. Since I was so let down by this series & I can't finish it, I'm not sure I will start the other.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Not the Dean Koontz I'm used to.

    Mr. Koontz seems to have just written this book to shut up the fans who have been hounding him for it for years now. He didn't seem to put his usual strong writing style into it. He had some notes on what he wanted to do, but with his disappointment of book two, he didn't want to continue. I think he would rather have started over from book one, and gone another direction. Good book, but not the great book I was expecting from "Dean Koontz".

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 26, 2009

    Ugh

    I have read cereal boxes more interesting than this.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 21, 2009

    WHAT A SERIES!!! I couldn't put it down!!!

    A-typical of Dean Koontz. I didn't realize it was #3 in a series so I had to go out and get one and two right away. I couldn't put them down. Of course I'm a fan of Koontz anyway. When you read this series keep in mind the monster is the monster from the original Frankenstein and Victor is Frankenstein from over 200 years ago. What's the best is that neither realizes the other is still alive which heightens the suspense. Victor is playing with science and creation and things are not going as he planned. His creations become more "human" then he expected, reacting differently then "programmed" and of course problems occur. I highly recommend the whole series. Don't read this one until you have read the first two. You probably could but you'll miss so much!!! Enjoy!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2009

    I love Dean Koontz!

    I've been a huge Dean Koontz fan since my teens and can't ever wait for a new book to come out. When this 3rd (and final???) book finally came out, I read all three in the series in one weekend. I love the way Koontz can take something that seems so extraordinary and make it believeable. I would highly recommend anything by Koontz.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2009

    Great title.

    The story is unique and classically strange-Koontz, but as a trilogy, this book takes a turn away from its heroes. Deucalion, the avenger, has the reigns stolen by some mystic monster. The intrepid cops, Carson and Michael, who fight the battle for humanity are lost in the gone-wrong plotline. It's a bit of a let down for saving the world.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 19, 2009

    DISSAPOINTING

    for 3 years or more i looked forward to this 3rd book. i was so dissapointed it was no where near as entralling as the 1st too

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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