Book Reviews

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein

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Author: Kiersten White

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

“I sought to puncture Heaven and instead discovered Hell.”

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is one of my favourite books in the world. It was so beautifully crafted, so well-written, and posed such an extraordinary question that… threw me off (which I talk about more here). Many people might be quick to point out that it is indeed Victor who is the monster, as he was cruel enough to bring the creature into existence, but for a while I battled with that thought, because I felt immense empathy for Victor, seeing how he became so utterly depressed and miserable afterwards. But in the end, I did have to conclude that Victor was indeed the monster, that arrogance to think that you could imitate God’s creation, is one that can be unforgivable, if it leads to such catastrophic circumstances.

It may seem obvious, as it seems obvious to me now, but before it really threw me off and I had to step back and take a good minute to think about it. And I love books that make me think. I love books that throw questions at you that make you say “gosh, I don’t know!” and then spend the next few days thinking about it… and that’s how it was with me for Frankenstein.

And this was not the only question that Mary Shelley posed through Frankenstein, I think, although I think this definitely may have been the main one, and the one that I, the trivial reader that was no scholar of analysis or anything else, was able to catch on, but I would love to study this book in more depth and detail.

When I heard that there was a retelling that everyone was going on about, I knew I had to join the party and see what the hype was about. This book is beautiful in the fact that it mirrors Frankenstein in some important ways, but then morphs the rest of it into a completely different design. As Emily May said in her Goodreads, “The original Frankenstein calls into question what it really means to be a monster and, indeed, who the real monsters are. I think White might have answered that question.” I one hundred percent agree with this which is why I had to include this in my review.

The different lens that Kiersten White takes on the story is an interesting and intelligent one. In Frankenstein, Elizabeth is a beautiful and devoted girl that is just… well… devoted but nothing more, nothing less. However, in this book – she is beautiful, but she takes advantage of that. She is clever and manipulative and has a strong sense of determination. She is one female protagonist I love.

The last part of this book was especially brilliant. It showed the clash of two quick-witted people who know each other all too well. It is truly the last part of the book where everything falls into place. Believe me, I was gawking at the dinner table once again (because I was reading while having my food haha).

I did not expect this book to go down such a dark path, despite the warning from the title. However, I was never absolutely creeped out, and this may be because Frankenstein itself already had. There were certainly many bits which had me absolutely shocked, there are twists and turns that jump up on you out of nowhere.

The writing is brilliant and beautiful. It shifts unnoticeably to reflect the different atmospheres of the book. Everything flows so well, and the words are perfectly chosen. I really enjoyed the writing.

This is one dark and captivating book that will draw you in from the beginning and release you at the end as if you were in a daze. I would highly recommend it to all fans of Young Adult horror, or anyone who loves Frankenstein or just a brilliant story.

21 thoughts on “The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein”

  1. Great review, this book honestly sounds so good! I’ve never actually read a horror book, but this seems like a good story to start with!!!! And also the dark atmosphere, I really have to put it on my TBR list!😍😍

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I would highly recommend doing that first not just because Frankenstein is one of the best books I’ve read in my life but because you will be able to appreciate the story more that way 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve never *properly* read Frankenstein, but can I just say a massive “Wow” and “Well done” to you because your review is quite consistent what I’ve heard other say about the book itself and Victor being the actual monster. The theme of creation (more specifically, imitation of creation) is bang on. And now I have an even more compelling reason to actually pick up that book and read it through to the end… 😅😅😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. 😅😅😅 my bad … 😅
    But in all seriousness, I’ve found that sometimes, in order to fully appreciate the style of the author’s writing, his/her ability to manipulate perspectives in order to contribute to the climax, I sometimes need to just hear others’ thoughts on it. So hopefully, when I’ve read it, I can appreciate it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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