October 08, 2011

Dead and Alive by Dean Koontz

Wow, what a horrendous ending to a series that started out good. To start, the book had about ten pages worth of Koontz's acclaims before you could get to the story. Its almost as if he was trying to prove something, and in doing so, lost sight of how to write a decent story. He also had no co-authors for this edition of the trilogy and maybe that's why it was so different as the coauthors must have been pulling all the weight before. There are two books that come before this, and they're both pretty good, and the series should be read in order. For those unfamiliar with the tale (and possibly a spoiler, you are warned), Deucalion (Frankenstein's monster) has discovered his creator still lives and is in New Orleans. He travels there and discovers that Victor has created many more beings and they are slowly taking over the city. Cops Michael and Carson have been trailing a serial killer and when they meet Deucalion, they realize there's a much bigger threat to the city in the form of Victor's creations and the penchant they have started to have for going out of control and crazy. They struggle to keep alive despite assassins and bring us to this book, Dead and Alive.

Dead and Alive takes place shortly after the 2nd book and there is so much going on and it's all over the place that its hard to describe the plot. Carson and Michael drive around a lot and meet up with Deucalion when they discover there's something at the dump that could help them out in ways unimaginable. Mostly the book focuses on Victor and his creations that are losing their minds and going against their programming.

The characters were horrendous in this book. We barely see the main characters of Deucalion, Michael, and Carson, which is surprising considering they were the main focus in the first two books. Victor goes even more and more unbelievable, and his creations are even stranger. There is a glimmer of light in Jocko, but really, his character didn't actually fit with the story.

The writing was pretty awful as well. Koontz jumps all over the place and adds things that don't need adding. He also unleashes a pretty big, definitely inappropriate, deux ex machina in his story that just made me groan and shake my head in disbelief. But hey, at least there weren't too many pop culture references in this book (something that drives me nuts in the first two). This book abounds with tons of gore and violence and murders and may be a little too much for more sensitive readers.

This book definitely doesn't inspire me to go read anything else by Koontz for awhile. Its amazing that he could take such a good series and turn it into a deplorable book like this.

Dead and Alive
Copyright 2009
352 pages

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