Friday, July 5, 2013

Prodigal Son by Dean Koontz and Kevin J. Anderson

Prodigal Son is the first book in the Frankenstein series by Dean Koontz. The premise of the story, at first glance, does look promising. Frankenstein, the scientist who created life in Mary Shelley's novel is actually based on an actual scientist. Now, more than two hundred years later, both him and his first creation are still alive. Victor is now scheming to take over the world, and his first creation, who now calls himself Deucalion, is opposing him. And to be honest, the book itself isn't a bad read.

However, given what Dean Koontz has to work with, it kind of comes across as a disappointment to me that I found it merely satisfying. It's not bad, but it's certainly not something that I'm gushing over either.

Character development-wise. Wait. What character development? There's none. Despite having a monster who murdered his creater's wife turn into a mystic, and a scientist who turned into a power-hungry egomaniac. Over two hundred years. There's no character development. There's such a wonderful angle for Dean Koontz to explore, and he just skips over them. It's pretty much a lost cause to expect him to develop the other characters.

Plot-wise, it's meh. Dean Koontz does work in a few surprises, and there'll likely be a few twists that you didn't see coming, but I was left with the feeling that it could have been better.

Overall, I would say that it's a good read, but it's not a good buy.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Great Thinkers On Great Questions, Roy Abraham Varghese(Ed.)

Looking at the title of the book, and the blurb at the back of it, I expected a book that took hotly debated questions, threw them at "great thinkers" and then gathered up what came out.

If I reviewed the book based on these criterion, I would say that the book failed spectacularly.

It's quite obvious that certain viewpoints and theories have been left out, but at the same time, questions are being asked of the "great thinkers" that relate to viewpoints not found in the book.

And if I review the book for what it really is, a book aiming to provide Christian answers to Christian questions, it still falls short of the mark.

Reading the book, I feel as though I'm listening to half of a conversation, as if I'm in a room with a person talking on the telephone. It sounds as if they are having quite a discussion but I'm unable to hear what the other person on the line is saying.

If I were a Christian searching for answers, reading the book would only leave me with more questions.

I wouldn't recommend this book at all, whatever your beliefs.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Dead and Alive by Dean Koontz

The appeal of a thriller is in the suspense, the plot twists, the near-misses. Sadly, that's missing in this book. Throughout the book, the heroes encounter not even a hint of danger. There's no sense of urgency, no dangerous situations, no resistance at all. Their plans to undermine the villain proceed without a hitch in sight. Meanwhile, the villain's minions either self-destruct, abandon him or are killed by the villain himself. It almost seems as if he's racing the heroes to put a nail in his own coffin. If the heroes had all stayed home, one gets the feeling that it wouldn't have made a difference in the end.

Unless you are a die-hard fan of Dean Koontz who doesn't care about the content, only that he wrote it, don't bother with the book.

How it started

Two words. Dean Koontz. One of my friends had recommended Odd Thomas, with her exact words being her "all time fav fiction book" and so I checked it out from the library.

And I liked it. Not "Oh, wow it was totally great", but more "I like it, not enough to knock my favorite authors off their spot, but enough to check out his other books"

Which was what I did.

Another trip to the library yielded Books 3 to 5 of the Frankenstein series.

After reading them, I was left with a sneaking suspicion that a ghostwriter had been involved . Wondering if anyone had had the same thought as me, I went looking for reviews online. (And in case you are wondering, yes I did find a couple of people who had drawn the same conclusions)

Which was when I thought of checking to see if there was some sort of site with book reviews catering to Singaporeans.

There was one, just one, and it had quite an impressive looking editioral board to boot, but the number of reviews were dismal enough that I simply could not visualise it being the place Singaporeans went to for reviews anytime soon.

And so I started this. What I plan is to have a group of reviewers, but for now there's just me.