Tag Archives: Horror

Dead and Alive by Dean Koontz

This entry is part [part not set] of 3 in the series Frankenstein
Book Review
Book Review

Book Review of Dead and Alive: 1 Trash Can
Frankenstein, book 3
Publisher: Random House Audio; Unabridged edition (July 28, 2009), (352 pages), ISBN-10: 0739317172, ISBN-13: 978-0739317174

Dead and Alive continues the story of the modern day Doctor Frankenstein. The premise is that Doctor Frankenstein, now known as Victor Helios, has created a way to prolong life, including his own and that is why today he still appears to be relatively young. Not only has he created a way to prolong life, but he is also creating an army of genetically modified humans. 

I was not able to finish this story. I found the writing atrocious, and the story improbable, as well as gruesome. But what I disliked the most was how undeveloped the characters were, especially Victor Helios, who was one-sided, all evil. I do not recommend this story, I thought the book would be better used as tinder.

To purchase: “Dead and Alive” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

City of Night by Dean Koontz

This entry is part [part not set] of 3 in the series Frankenstein

Book Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
Frankenstein Book 2
Publisher: Random House Audio, Listening Length: 8 hours and 29 minutes (400 pages), ASIN: B000ALAL5S

The creator of Frankenstein is creating and enslaving his own private race of super beings. The only problem is he is crazy and his beings are starting to break down. It is now current day and police detectives Carsen and Michael with a little help from Deucalion are trying to stop this insanity, but Victor’s influence is causing the evidence to disappear and no one believes there is a problem.

Dean Koontz has written numerous books, primarily suspense thrillers, but City of Nights falls into the horror genre, it is the second of five books written in his Frankenstein series. He co-wrote the first novel in this series with Kevin J. Anderson and City of Nights with Ed Gorman.  It is told in the third person narrative from the point of view of the various different characters in the book.

Victor is the ultimate in evil. In the original he was a good guy and suffered greatly at the hands of his creation. But 200 years of power has corrupted him, or perhaps the adjustments he did to himself to prolong his life have caused him to become insane. His creations are all self destructing but there’s no real explanation as to why and why now. We get an inside view of some of the characters that Victor has created.  There was some amusing banter between Mike and Carsen and they are both great characters.

There is still no conclusion to the story, this novel is more like the end of a part than the end of a book.  It definitely falls into the horror category with some pretty gruesome scenes but it also had lots of action and an intriguing story. I am wondering how Carsen, Michael and Deucalion are going to stop Victor.  I will be reading the next installment to see what happens next and how this tale unfolds.

To Purchase: “City of Night” from Amazon, click here or on picture above
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Prodigal Son by Dean Koontz and Kevin J. Anderson

This entry is part [part not set] of 3 in the series Frankenstein

Book Review: 2 Treasure Boxes
Frankenstein Book 1
Publisher: Books on Tape (January 27, 2005), Listening Length: 10 hour(s) and 21 min. (496 pages), ASIN: B0007OB4F4

Frankenstein, the monster,  now called Deucalion,  is hiding in a monastery and after more than 200 years of life and has found a sort of peace, until he learns that his creator is still alive.  Dr. Victor Frankenstein has remade himself and is now Victor Helios and he is creating pod people who are genetically modified to be his slaves.  Throw into the mix a crazy man who is carving up pieces of  women and keeping what he considers the perfect female attribute from each one in his freezer and you have an intense story.  Detectives Carson and Michael are on the case trying to track down the murderer of the missing women but once Deucalion comes to the detective and lets them know what is really going on, they get pulled into a far more complex situation than they ever imagined.

Dean Koontz has written numerous books, primarily suspense thrillers, but Prodigal Son falls into the horror genre.  It is told in the third person narrative from the various different characters in the book.

I liked the concept of the story, especially the idea that Frankenstein the monster is still alive after 200 years.  I thought his character was great and I loved how he evolved into a caring and interesting person. I liked the two detectives, especially that each is sweet on the other, but not willing to act on it. I found Victor Helios to be extremely evil and what he was doing was repulsive.  I did not like the ending, I felt it stopped in the middle of the story. There is lots of action especially towards the end which I found exciting.

I did enjoy the story and I am curious to find out what is going to happen to all the various characters, since nothing was really resolved in the first book.  I will be reading City of Night, the next book to find out.

To Purchase: “Prodigal Son” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

What the Night Knows by Dean Koontz

Book Review: 3 Treasure Boxes
Publisher: Brilliance Audio on MP3-CD; MP3 Una edition (December 28, 2010), ISBN-10: 1441818375, ISBN-13: 978-1441818379

What the Night Knows is more than a ghost story. It is the haunting tale of a psychotic killer (Alton Turner Blackwood) who has returned twenty years after his death. He has returned to torment homicide detective John Calvino who shot and killed Blackwood when John was only fourteen years old and found him standing over the dead bodies of the Calvino family. Now, John is terrified for his wife and kids, knowing there is no way to stop the dead man.

Dean Koontz has written numerous books, primarily suspense thrillers, but What the Night Knows falls into the horror and thriller genres. It is told in the third person narrative from many different characters throughout the book including the main protagonist; John, his wife, children and the evil ghost as well as the many different people the ghost possesses.

This was a very scary book, in fact at one point while I was reading it late at night, I got so frightened, I had to close the book until the next day, to read it in the daylight! There were numerous scenes where Blackwood’s psychotic personality came through with explicit gruesomeness. Some of my favourite scenes were the ones between John’s two young daughters; I thought they were well written and believable. I liked how the story unfolded, and I thought the insight into Blackwood was intriguing and interesting.

This is a standalone story, with a great ending.  I highly recommend this book, if you like horror and enjoy being frightened; you should read What the Night Knows.


My favourite quote from the book:

Or if it continued to seem crappy, often it was the kind of crappy that had the potential to be transformed into something quite wonderful if only she could shift her sluggish talent into a higher gear, find that sweet spot between bitter self doubt and dangerous overconfidence and get it done.

Questions to ponder:

What did you think of What the Night Knows?
How do you think it compares to other Dean Koontz Books?
What is your favourite Dean Koontz book?


To purchase: “What the Night Knows” from Amazon, click here or on picture above

The Waste Lands by Stephen King

This entry is part [part not set] of 7 in the series The Dark Tower

Book Review: 3 Treasure Boxes
The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands
Publisher: Penguin Putnam (2003), EBook: 2,023KB pages, Language: English, ISBN-0-7865-3754-X

This book starts out with an exciting battle against a gigantic, crazy, cyborg bear who has been defending his forest for thousands of years.  The bear is now at the end of his existence and it is up to Susannah and Eddie to put him out of his misery before he destroys all of them. The story continues several weeks after Roland has joined up with Eddie, who is from our world in 1987 and Susannah who is from our world in 1964. Roland realizes that the bear was one of the Guardians and he deduces that if they go back to his lair they will be able to follow the beam of the portal which will lead them to the Dark Tower. This is the closest Roland has ever been in all his long travels to reaching the Dark Tower. Soon after they start on this new adventure many things occur to distract them along their path.

This is the third book in the Dark Tower series, there are currently a total of seven books, and Stephen King announced in 2009 that he is currently working on the eighth book, The Wind Through the Keyhole which will be released at some point in the future.  Stephen King is primarily known as a horror author, but this book does not fall into that genre.  Instead it is in the fantasy genre and sometimes considered a western.  The story is told with a third person narrative and focuses primarily on Roland Deschain of Gilead.  Although at times it is also told from the other characters who have joined Roland on his quest to find and heal the Dark Tower. They are all Gunslingers and his fellow questees are Eddie Dean of New York  (from 1987) and his wife Susanna Dean of New York (from 1964) as well as their adopted son, Jake Chambers of New York (from 1977).  The Dark Tower is at the centre of the universe and connects all the varying worlds and time-lines together. These books take place in a post-apocalyptic world where things are running down and time has become weird.

I really enjoyed this book, I loved reading about these people and their adventures as they work their way towards the Dark Tower. More light is put on the world they live in and why the world has moved on, why things are wearing out and changing for the worse.  We learn that these problems not only affect Roland’s world, but all worlds because there is something seriously wrong with the Dark Tower and the Dark Tower is at the centre of all existence in all the worlds. We learn that all the worlds are inter-related and can be access through various mystical doors as well as through the Dark Tower.  We find out that the Great Old Ones discovered the Dark Tower and found a way to access to it by creating twelve interconnected portals known as the Guardians.

Eddie and Susannah fall in love and under Roland’s tutelage truly become gunslingers. Due to Roland changing events in our world in 1977 in the previous book, Jake does not die but instead is drawn to join again with Roland in this book at a different time and place. There is a very interesting, exciting and frightening unfolding of events which allow this happen. The group continues onto a dilapidated city that is ruled by gangs and cruel crazy people.

There is lots of action and excitement once they arrive in this new location.  However, the story did not come to a conclusion; instead it ended in the middle of the story, which I do not really like and for this reason it lost one treasure box rating.  The good thing was that the next book was available for me to pick up and read so I was able to see how the story ended in the next book, Wizard and Glass. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good story, but please read the prior books first as this book is not really a stand-alone book.  If you enjoy reading fantasy/science fiction books then you will definitely enjoy this book since it has a bit of both within it.