Frankenstein 3: Dead or Alive – Dean Koontz

Two hundred and forty years ago Victor Frankenstein created a monster who was imbued with more humanity than he was.  And all the subsequent monsters that Victor Frankenstein created in his two and a half centuries of life came to show more humanity than their creator.


It would take a person of incredible hubris to play god.  Victor Helios, as he was known in New Orleans during the time of this story, has been creating the New Race of humans.  They are faster, stronger, more agile, and have splices of genetic code from various other animals such as spiders and dogs.  They are meant to take over the world and therefore do away with the institution of the family, answering only to Victor himself in a brave attempt at a million year Reich of the kind that his dar friend Adolf Hiter was not able to achieve.  And this will be achieve by the Alphas, Betas and Epsilon legions that are raised in creation tanks and educated by direct-to-brain data downloading.


For all its faults (the childlike prose of some characters which becomes hard to read after two chapters) and derivates from other literature (Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Brave New World among the most obvious) Dead and Alive is yet another book that can bring up some interesting philosophical questions such as what makes us human, the ethical issues surrounding the ability to ‘play god’, empathy, the idea that ideas are much harder to quash than violence, and the importance of individualism.


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