Friday, September 28, 2018

Review: The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White

Book Blurb:

Elizabeth Lavenza hasn't had a proper meal in weeks. Her thin arms are covered with bruises from her "caregiver," and she is on the verge of being thrown into the streets . . . until she is brought to the home of Victor Frankenstein, an unsmiling, solitary boy who has everything--except a friend.

Victor is her escape from misery. Elizabeth does everything she can to make herself indispensable--and it works. She is taken in by the Frankenstein family and rewarded with a warm bed, delicious food, and dresses of the finest silk. Soon she and Victor are inseparable.

But her new life comes at a price. As the years pass, Elizabeth's survival depends on managing Victor's dangerous temper and entertaining his every whim, no matter how depraved. Behind her blue eyes and sweet smile lies the calculating heart of a girl determined to stay alive no matter the cost . . . as the world she knows is consumed by darkness.

Find out more about the book on Goodreads

My Review:

5 Out Of 5 Stars

Genre: Historical, Retelling, Supernatural, Suspense--

"I had accused Victor of creating a monster, but I had done the same."

I have now come to the understanding that Kiersten is perfect at creating the most terrible, heart-wrenching, gruesome of stories that you just can't look away from. Kind of like a car wreck. You know what the end result will be, but you just keep reading...

I, like so many, was forced for school to endure reading Frankenstein which was a very dark, yet compelling book (I hate to admit this but I was not a big fan of the book- possibly due to the fact I never like being told what to read, I must always pick!). Well, this retelling (sort of) of Frankenstein was wonderful! Still dark, still gruesome, but way more complicated and layered with a new perspective that was completely silent before. I think that Kiersten actually made me appreciate the original Frankenstein more after reading this alternate view. She completely did justice to the original story while making choices that made so much sense!

I loved how Kiersten can create important, detailed characters that did not exist in the original novel but they were so necessary to the end conclusion and they feel like the were always there. Elizabeth who seemed to be just a minor blurb became the driving force for this story, just as complicated and twisty a personality as I could have hoped. This is very much so a female character driven book (go girl power- even in a time where women were property and not people), placing focus on Elizabeth, and even Justine and Mary, more than anyone else.

Elizabeth is the ultimate survivor, willing to do whatever she needs to save and protect herself and even at times her actions are cringe-worthy, I absolutely understood her whys. She is fully aware that she is a liar, a manipulator, but she does what she needs and moves on and I respected her for that. She is not a great person but I rooted for her and was so wrapped up in her painful journey.

This was a fabulous Gothic horror that can stand on it's own but I highly recommend you read the original either before or after, both would work well. I like that the message still stays the same- who is really the monster, and what makes a monster? Was Victor just an overly ambitious student or a true psychopath? Pick this up and expect to be whisked away to the darkness inside man- or woman.

And ps, make sure you read the author's note at the end because it added new dimension to the whys of the book as well as really put to words everything I was feeling while I read the story. Well done Kiersten.

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