|Image from Amazon.com|
(Can't you tell? Hah!)
Frankenstein is a modern imagining of the classic story, positing that the monster (Deucalion, a name I'm still not sure how I'm supposed to pronounce), Victor Frankenstein, and the whole original setup was real. What's more, both are still alive in modern-day America. Lost Souls is actually chapter four in a series of novels. Parts one and two were written by Dean Koontz with co-writers, and part three was written by Koontz solo. The story was originally written for television, and the first book apparently was made into a TV movie (which I still have not seen). Part one was good enough, certainly engaging enough to make me want to read more. Part two was better, and part three even better than the first two. After that, I thought the story was over.
So, I was surprised to see Lost Souls on the shelf at Sam's Club, but intrigued enough to buy it. Diving in, I was quickly reacquainted with the characters of the series, now two years later. The man and woman police team were now married to each other, and living in a different state as private detectives. Victor Frankenstein--killed in the third book--is found to be somehow still alive, and bent on world domination. He is hunted by the detectives at the behest of Deucalion (Deuce-a-Lion? Doo-kaleon? Dough-salee-on?). Koontz is much more descriptive and vivid in his word craft, and the characters (even the comic/horror-relief character, Jocko) are wonderfully drawn. Koontz's stock plot devices (golden retriever, plausible explanation for otherworldly events) aren't relied upon as much, which is good. I love Koontz, but some themes can repeat too much.
That said, there is still the "funny banter while under attack" trope, the "mentally challenged kid with a heart of gold" thing, and a few other standard Koontz themes. In Lost Souls, it all works, but just as in Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, just as the characters are basically suiting up for battle, the book ends. I'm not saying this to spoil it, only to warn you. This is chapter 4 of a series, or possibly part 1 of a second series. If you go in knowing that, you'll enjoy the book much more. I'll definitely pick up book 5, no question. It really is a fun read. But knowing that this is a further part of the series, I'd suggest getting books 1-3 before reading Lost Souls. By the time you're done with all four parts, part 5 should be on the way!