The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White – 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Easy five stars. I loved this the whole way through, and better yet is that it made me want to pick up a classic tale I’ve never read and learn it anew! Darkness, cleverness, twists and growth and I LOVED IT. If you didn’t see already, check out some of the best bookstagrams I found for this book and get hyped.
Recommended: YES YES YES!!!
For fans of shamelessly dark plots and characters, for those who can appreciate difficult moments (think Game of Thrones), for a fascinating new perspective on the story of Frankenstein and his monster
Elizabeth Lavenza is on the verge of being thrown into the streets from her abusive caretakers, until she is sold 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.
Well clearly I loved it. This was a fantastic spontaneous October find, as it fit the “spooky” theme for the month perfectly. I’ve been really enjoying tales with darker tones lately (like Foul Is Fair), and this really hit the spot perfectly. The mysteries within the book twist and churn like a living things, reflecting the shadows that plague Elizabeth and Victor along the way.
It’s a really tough call between who my favorite character was: Victor or Elizabeth? They are both so twisted, though Elizabeth has growth throughout that was handled very well. Seeing her change and deal with the insane situations thrown at her was a key part of why I enjoyed the story the whole way through. Victor was a little more static, but we learn details about him along the way that build him up, as well.
Don’t come into this looking for a romance, because you won’t find one. That’s not to say there isn’t love, as we see that in a few other forms, but in a non-sexual way. Honestly, if you know anything about the original story of Frankenstein, you probably shouldn’t be coming into this expecting romance anyway!
I’ll admit that I don’t know the story of Frankenstein that well, so I can’t do much of a comparison here. For those who do know the original, I can’t say if this would be an annoying adaptation or an insightful reinterpretation of events through Elizabeth’s eyes. One thing I deeply appreciated was that Kiersten White included the original full text of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley‘s story after hers concluded. She made it so easy! And let me tell you, when I finished this book, I was READY to jump into Frankenstein and see what the alternative was. There were a few author’s notes about the original text as well that were fascinating to learn – and also, Mary Shelley was a badass.
Ending: deeply satisfying. 100% support. And that’s all I’ll say about that. ☺