Thursday, January 27, 2011

What Are You Reading Between the Covers? - #5

FYI: Before I get to the heart of my topic, just have to gush that David Wellington got back to me and liked my post about him! Thanks, Dave!

Now to business...

I have become a not-sleeping, well-oiled, book-reading machine in the last week. Toshio and I have poured over hundreds of pages with many a cup of good tea into the wee hours of the morning. (Well, I have the tea and he has a feather toy to chew on, but a cat has his priorities too, you know!)

Years after starting Dean Koontz's Frankenstein trilogy and getting distracted by other books along the way, I finally finished the last book in the series, Dead and Alive. 

Here's a short synopsis of the trilogy: Victor Frankenstein, now known as Victor Helios, has survived over two hundred years and is still trying to perfect his master race of engineered creatures in New Orleans, Louisiana with his vast acquired fortune while Deucalion, Victor's first creation, has sought revenge against his maker and the abominations trying to make the human race extinct.

In the third book, Deucalion, along with the help of a wily dog named The Duke of Orleans and two detectives also featured in the first two books, is rushing to destroy Victor Helios's work. The engineered race is planning mass annihilation of the human race in just a few days. It was a quick, amusing read, with good commentary on genetic engineering and the responsibility of science for it's advances, etc. However, I was kind of disappointed in the ending. After all that happened, I wanted to savor the torture at the end of the book a little more. I won't give it away, in case anyone plans on reading it, though. I hate book spoilers!

As far as being a modern take on Mary Shelley's classic work, I think Koontz achieved his goal with prowess. Setting it in New Orleans, was the perfect creepy cherry on top of a bloody sundae! I would recommend it as a good, light read.

I then sunk my teeth into Wendy Webb's author debut from 2010, the modern gothic tale, The Tale of Halcyon Crane. This was a haunting, beautifully written tale about a young woman who inherits the estate of a mother she did not know existed and the unsolved murder of a young girl from her past. The book is set on the fictional island of Grand Manitou on Lake Superior, modeled after the real Mackinac Island, an excellent choice for a dark, gothic rendezvous! Having grown up playing on the shores of Lake Michigan, I couldn't resist such a lovely story set on a Great Lake. In fact, I loved it so much I read early into the morning until I was too tired to keep my eyes open and then picked it back up as soon as I awoke.

There was a bonus at the end of the book -- an interview with the author discussing her novel and her inspiration for the story, etc. as well. That was a nice touch. I highly recommend this one.

And now back to the writing and reading grind...

As always, happy writing and happy reading to all!

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