The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein
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.

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein Details

TitleThe Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein
Author
ReleaseSep 25th, 2018
PublisherDelacorte Press
ISBN-139780525577942
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Retellings, Horror

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein Review

  • Emily May
    January 1, 1970
    Sometimes we were strangers even to ourselves. For the first two thirds, I thought this book was pretty good. Frankenstein is one of my favourite books, and I like it when authors give a voice - and different perspective - to a side character. But it is in the final third when this book goes from pretty good to excellent.The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein is, essentially, a retelling of Frankenstein from the perspective of Elizabeth - an orphan taken in by the Frankenstein family and la Sometimes we were strangers even to ourselves. For the first two thirds, I thought this book was pretty good. Frankenstein is one of my favourite books, and I like it when authors give a voice - and different perspective - to a side character. But it is in the final third when this book goes from pretty good to excellent.The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein is, essentially, a retelling of Frankenstein from the perspective of Elizabeth - an orphan taken in by the Frankenstein family and later the fiancée of Victor. I think this book will work much better for those familiar with the original as it gives a lot of nods to the story. It's hard to appreciate some of the clever twists the author takes without knowing what it's based on.In this book, Elizabeth becomes an ever more complex character. She's smart and manipulative. And if she lingers in Victor's shadow, then that's because she knows that's where she needs to be to get what she wants.Through her eyes, the tortured genius of Victor becomes a sometimes frightening thing, and yet nothing is as terrifying as being a woman in 18th Century Europe. The stifling constraints placed on women and their ambitions are palpable as the story unfolds. It was so easy for a woman to be dismissed as whiny or silly, or worse-- mad.When Victor goes missing in Ingolstadt and writes no letters, Elizabeth begins to track him down. Her investigation leads her down dark paths to charnel houses and secret laboratories. What has Victor been up to? Knowing the truth didn't take anything away from reading. In fact, it made those mysterious dark shadows all the creepier. This story largely fills in gaps in the original tale, while shedding a completely new light on it. It's smart how Kiersten White has managed to keep a lot the same, while also creating a bigger and very different-looking picture.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.Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube
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  • Victoria Schwab
    January 1, 1970
    Well that was dark and delicious.
  • Melanie
    January 1, 1970
    ARC provided by Random House in exchange for an honest review. “Some nights, when even my child’s heart knew that what I had been asked to endure was too much, I would stand on the edge of the lake, lift my face to the stars, and scream. Nothing ever called back. Even among the creeping things of the lake’s night, I was alone. Until Victor.” Kiersten White wrote this book to honor the fact that 2018 is the 200th anniversary of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley! It has been ten years since I picked ARC provided by Random House in exchange for an honest review. “Some nights, when even my child’s heart knew that what I had been asked to endure was too much, I would stand on the edge of the lake, lift my face to the stars, and scream. Nothing ever called back. Even among the creeping things of the lake’s night, I was alone. Until Victor.” Kiersten White wrote this book to honor the fact that 2018 is the 200th anniversary of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley! It has been ten years since I picked up Frankenstein, and even though I didn’t completely love this with my whole heart, Emily May’s review not only made me want to pick it up again this fall, but it also made me realize that I probably missed a ton of beautiful homages within these pages!So, my review is coming to you from someone that’s no longer familiar with the source material. My rating is pretty much strictly based off the story that Kiersten White crafted. And even though I loved how beautifully feminist this was, and I was completely enthralled with the writing, tone, and setting, I just didn’t love the actual story. The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein stars young Elizabeth who finally feels safe living in the Frankenstein home. And she will do anything to ensure he place in the family, so she can continue to have that safety. And she does this by getting close to the oldest son of the manor, Victor Frankenstein himself. Victor is prone to outbursts of anger, and Elizabeth is the only one that can keep him calm. But Victor has been away for a while, and Elizabeth is scared to lose her place in the family. Therefore, her and the governess, who is also her good friend, go on a hunt to find Victor and bring him back home! “I have waded through hell to deliver you heaven.” And that governess? Justine Moritz is honestly the star of this book. I love her with the sum of my being. Kiersten White did such a wonderful job really fleshing out her character and making me feel even more for her. I truly think Mary Shelley would be so damn proud. My other favorite is the bookseller that is cutely and conveniently named Mary! These two girls were easily my favorite and probably the reason this book is getting three stars instead of two. And if I were Elizabeth I would have been doing everything in my power to date either or both of them. “I do not fear to die. I do not want to live in a world where devils can take such perfect, beautiful innocence without punishment.” But them going to retrieve Victor is truly only the first part of this story. There are two others that hold within them the events that take place when they return back home. Also, this story is told with constant flashbacks to events from the past, so you are kind of able to see why everyone acts the way they do. Sadly, I just feel like the biggest problem with this novel was the predictability. Again, it has been a hot second since I’ve read Frankenstein, but I don’t even remember everything being as obvious as it was in this. And again, I know this is an homage to the book, but I feel like the book still has to sort of hold up on its own for today’s audience, regardless of their familiarity to the original source material. “I dreaded another flash of lightning for what it might reveal of the person in the trees watching me. He stood at least seven feet tall, a hulking and unnatural creature. Fear drained my fury…” And that truly is the biggest problem with the book, for me. I really enjoyed the rest, and I feel like the setting of this book was completely mastered. And the writing? It’s wonderful. This is a relatively short book, but I was able to pull over twenty quotes that I could have used for that review. That’s seriously impressive. Kiersten White’s beautiful prose really shines through, and I think she really is a master crafter of words. And as I touched upon before, the feminism in this book is so very beautiful and so very unapologetic. In general, I think the inclusion of just creating Elizabeth, and making her the star of this tale, was genius. But, I mean, women still aren’t truly considered equal to men in 2018, but in the 1800s? Lord, help me. Elizabeth goes from one abusive home to another, but they are just very different kinds of abuse. This story constantly shows how women are only truly safe with protection from a man. Yet, even then, a woman can be institutionalized and put away in an asylum if they do anything to cross the man that is supposed to protect them. I feel like this story really shines a spotlight on toxic love, and how it can be the most destructive thing on Earth. The cycles of abuse that Victor shows, is something that I wish I could highlight for all young kids to see. Sometimes it's very hard for the person being abused to see, acknowledge, and realize that they are being abused. This story really showcases that and gaslighting and how hard it is to break the cycle and those abusive relationships, in the 1800s and in the 2000s. “You are mine, Elizabeth Lavenza, and nothing will take you from me. Not even death.” Trigger and content warnings for child abuse and abuse in general, medical experimentation, murder, death, heavy dictions of surgical practices especially different cutting and sewing procedures, animal abuse, animal cruelty, animal death, and talk of suicide.Overall, I was a little let down by this, because I truly did expect to love this. Yet, I think there is something here for every human to appreciate reading this retelling. Also, I think big fans of Frankenstein will probably really appreciate this rendition even more. Lastly, I just want to remind you all how much of a badass Mary Shelley, the queen of horror and science fiction, really was. What a damn blessing to literature, 200 years later, and for all the rest of time. Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Youtube | Twitch The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.Buddy read with Elise (My French Spider Queen)! ❤
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  • Kai
    January 1, 1970
    "I thought to puncture heaven and instead I discovered hell."Everything about this book screams READ ME. And yes, it does so in caps lock.It is so promisingly creepy and twisted, exactly what a perfect book sounds like to me. I am a big fan of Penny Dreadful (it's on Netflix and you need to watch it right now) and this book had some major PD vibes. It started out strong but the thrill of it all lost itself toward the ending. I immediately fell in love with Elizabeth, the main character. She was "I thought to puncture heaven and instead I discovered hell."Everything about this book screams READ ME. And yes, it does so in caps lock.It is so promisingly creepy and twisted, exactly what a perfect book sounds like to me. I am a big fan of Penny Dreadful (it's on Netflix and you need to watch it right now) and this book had some major PD vibes. It started out strong but the thrill of it all lost itself toward the ending. I immediately fell in love with Elizabeth, the main character. She was immoral, goal-oriented and did everything in her power to get what she wanted. Characters do not have to be likeable to be interesting. I sometimes think, the less likeable, the more interesting they are. The setup for the plot was perfectly constructed and promised - as the title suggested - to get darker and more desperate the further it went. But what I loved about the beginning - the gothic atmosphere, the mystery, the carefully constructed characters and plot - got lost somewhere along the way. Not only did I find many things to be predictable, I also lost interest in the main character. I think Elizabeth lost some of her fierceness and uniqueness along the way. She turned from a character that I admired to a character that was interchangeable with many other YA main characters out there. It felt like the opposite of character development. The same can be applied to the plot. It felt like chunks of pages had been ripped out to ensure that the book maintained an appropriate length. But I would rather have had 200 pages more, in which the pace of the plot was maintained and the characters had room to grow than a lot of action crammed into a few chapters. This is where the book lost its credibility or the illusion thereof, considering it is a fictional work.Overall, I was fascinated by the story and its characters. It was beautifully set up and captivated me at once. Sadly, I got lost around the 2/3 mark.Thank you to PRH International and to NetGalley for providing me with a review copy!Find more of my books on Instagram
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  • Elise (TheBookishActress)
    January 1, 1970
    Elizabeth Frankenstein could murder me and I would thank her for itreview to come!!⭐⭐⭐⭐HEY!! ⬆ check ⬆ out ⬆ the ⬆ release ⬆ date ⬆ I ⬆ just ⬆ added ⬆ and ⬆ the ⬆ new ⬆ cover ⬆💜 buddyread with my literal favorite person, Melanie Elizabeth Frankenstein could murder me and I would thank her for itreview to come!!⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️HEY!! ⬆️ check ⬆️ out ⬆️ the ⬆️ release ⬆️ date ⬆️ I ⬆️ just ⬆️ added ⬆️ and ⬆️ the ⬆️ new ⬆️ cover ⬆️💜 buddyread with my literal favorite person, Melanie
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  • Korrina (OwlCrate)
    January 1, 1970
    I finished it! But I can’t really decide how I want to rate it yet. I liked it, but I don’t think I was in the right mood to read it. But the writing was quite good, it was definitely creepy and interesting. And if you like the source material, you’ll probably find a lot to enjoy in this retelling.
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  • Nadhira Satria
    January 1, 1970
    *SCREAMS IN 80 LANGUAGES* I'd read anything historical by Kiersten white
  • destiny ♎ [howling libraries]
    January 1, 1970
    Oh god whyyyy is this not in my hands yet?! I need ALL of the Kiersten White hist-fic
  • Fables&Wren
    January 1, 1970
    I will read anything by this author. A. NY. TH. IN. G.
  • Nitzan Schwarz
    January 1, 1970
    Got an arc in SDCC!
  • Stacee
    January 1, 1970
    I struggled with this book and it legitimately breaks my heart. I liked Elizabeth. I like how devoted and well meaning she is. Victor was intriguing and somehow I was rooting for both of them. There are a few other characters, but I don’t want to say anything else here. Plot wise it was slow, but expected. My main complaint is the pages and pages and paaaaaages of description and passive action. There is very little dialogue. The story did pick up towards the end and within the last 70 or so pag I struggled with this book and it legitimately breaks my heart. I liked Elizabeth. I like how devoted and well meaning she is. Victor was intriguing and somehow I was rooting for both of them. There are a few other characters, but I don’t want to say anything else here. Plot wise it was slow, but expected. My main complaint is the pages and pages and paaaaaages of description and passive action. There is very little dialogue. The story did pick up towards the end and within the last 70 or so pages, I was captivated. Overall, I did like it, but from the friends I know who have read this {and given it glowing reviews}, I was expecting a lot more. For me, this didn’t have the excitement or suspense or even the gothic atmosphere I was was hoping for.**Huge thanks to Delacorte Press for giving me an arc at YallWest**
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  • Nastassja
    January 1, 1970
    Now tell me if it's not one of the coolest beginnings of a book, chapter title included!P.S. Cover reveal in the middle of February <--- knowing Kiersten's books covers I bet this one will be gorgeous as sin.
  • Bitchin' Reads
    January 1, 1970
    I am happy to announce that I, Bitchin' Reads, ended up liking this book much more than my one update would lead you to believe. :)The update I mention ranted about believability of Elizabeth piecing together previous moments to realize (view spoiler)[that Victor had stolen away Justine's body to create a mate for the monster. (We end up finding out that wasn't what was happening, Victor was just practicing for when he would remake Elizabeth into a creature much like the monster, reborn and able I am happy to announce that I, Bitchin' Reads, ended up liking this book much more than my one update would lead you to believe. :)The update I mention ranted about believability of Elizabeth piecing together previous moments to realize (view spoiler)[that Victor had stolen away Justine's body to create a mate for the monster. (We end up finding out that wasn't what was happening, Victor was just practicing for when he would remake Elizabeth into a creature much like the monster, reborn and able to survive death, defy God and nature. But that is a digression.) However, the way Justine rationalized what little she knew to come to the conclusion that Justine's body was intended to be a mate to the monster--there were some glaring holes. With what she knew--which is also what we knew, mind you--that leap in logic doesn't make sense. All she knew was: 1) Victor and the monster had a brief conversation among the glaciers by their home in Geneva, none of which Elizabeth heard from how far away she was and how loud the howling wind was. She only saw how calm the monster was, how agitated Victor was, and that no move was made between the two for attack. 2) Someone had killed Victor's younger brother, William, and the blame was laid at Justine's feet; Elizabeth believed it to be the monster and knew, just knew, of Justine's innocence in the matter, since Justine loved those boys as her own. 3) Victor had told her that Justine's body was refused burial on sacred ground, she would be cremated, and they could not have her ashes to bury her. [end of prior knowledge] So with all that, Elizabeth is tracking Victor after he disappears from the home in Geneva, and she follows him to Scotland and then the Orkney Islands off the coast of Scotland. It is there that she finally finds where he has hidden himself and discovers another lab, and inside that lab she finds Justine's mutilated body. Her mind is working in overdrive trying to piece together everything she knows has happened up until this point, which really isn't everything, and as her mind is whizzing away she gets the thought that Victor is being manipulated to create a mate for the monster. Now I'm about to get super nit-picky, and full disclosure I know--I *KNOW*--this is nitpicking, but this logical jump irritated me. (Hence the update rant, haha.) At the time I read that moment, the sudden jump to "the monster clearly wants a mate and is forcing Victor to make one" just didn't work. Even now, having finished reading and knowing everything that took place, I can kind of see that logical jump but struggle to come to terms with it--it is a precarious jump, one that almost doesn't make it. In retrospect, I can see it a little bit. In the moment, I was a pissed off reader raging that there is NO WAY Elizabeth came to that conclusion with her limited information. (I'm actually laughing about it now, because I was off the hinge fuming.)Actually, true life, I think I'm just going to buy a copy of the book and reread it, because I'm beginning to wonder if *I* just missed something and became irrationally angry. (hide spoiler)]I ended up loving this book. There were a few minor stylistic choices that I wasn't a fan of (i.e. using the "Well. [something said/written here"), but they didn't happen often. Otherwise, I loved the homage to Mary Shelley and Frankenstein, the recreation of a literary period that compliments the period in life young adults are experiencing, and I think that this was a fantastic retelling of a tale I love so much. (If you can't tell how much I love it by how nit-picky I was with that one moment, I'm concerned for you... :) ) Kiersten White does a fantastic job with the surprise factor, with the twists, and with the building of suspense in this somewhat mystery of a story. Oh how very dark it gets, the lunacy you see, how far a man's brilliance can take him into madness... Creep-tacular, I say. I also want to take a moment to appreciate the bits of truth Kiersten includes. A woman's life in the Victorian age was very limited by the men around her. She was a non-possession treated like a possession, which we see plenty of with Victor's claiming of Elizabeth again and again and again, and even so far back with the Frankenstein's taking her in to handle Victor for them. Women were at the mercy of first their fathers or guardians, then their husbands, and their needs and wants were often disregarded--(view spoiler)[this was touched upon first with Judge Frankenstein staking claim to part of Elizabeth's inheritance for all the "kindness" the Frankenstein's had bestowed with their taking her in, and again when Victor fabricated Elizabeth's madness to land in the asylum where, we learn, women seeking safety, independence, and happiness were a threat often met with imprisonment and committance to said institutions. (hide spoiler)] The entire book is about a very strong and capable woman pretending to be the complete opposite, but she had to continue pretending despite her intelligence and self-efficient capabilities to protect herself against destitution. This sentiment still rings true today, because women are still not afforded the same expectations, honors, and opportunities as men. So take heed strong women! We may not be committed to asylums for seeking safety from abuse, or reading (har har on those damn Victorians!), but we still have society telling us to fulfill these unspoken antiquated roles. Let's not give in, shall we? We must fight our own monster!I'm really not sure how this turned into a feminist rant, but I find it a fitting way to end this review. I hope you gentle ladies (and men) feel empowered. And don't forget to check out this book.Happy reading!
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  • Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard
    January 1, 1970
    thank you to Penguin Random House for the ARC.full disclosure: I DNFed And I Darken and I've never read FrankensteinDark, creepy, messed up and suspenseful.i think White's writing did a great job of painting a dark yet alluring setting and tone--even for someone like myself that doesn't like horror. There were several twists and reveals that I didn't see coming which really influenced my enjoyment. I particularly loved the historical detail given to the role of women and how Elizabeth bonds with thank you to Penguin Random House for the ARC.full disclosure: I DNFed And I Darken and I've never read FrankensteinDark, creepy, messed up and suspenseful.i think White's writing did a great job of painting a dark yet alluring setting and tone--even for someone like myself that doesn't like horror. There were several twists and reveals that I didn't see coming which really influenced my enjoyment. I particularly loved the historical detail given to the role of women and how Elizabeth bonds with these other women despite being a kind of unlikeable person. I think the ending was done a little frantically and without the detail it should have but I enjoyed the book none the less.Maybe I want to give And I Darken another try? *thinking face*
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  • Meli
    January 1, 1970
    No estoy bien, bye.
  • Kristen
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 Stars probably Ooooh that was a creepy, great retelling! So captivating- so DARK and gruesome. Very impressed with how White retold the famous Frankenstein story and yet made it unique and hard to put down.
  • ☆★Tinja★✮ A Court of Pizza and Laziness
    January 1, 1970
    Holyyyyyyyyyyy shit what is thiiis!!!??¿?¿?WHAT IS THIS!!!!!???? *jumps up and down*AAHHHhhhhhh😍😍😍❤❤
  • Britt
    January 1, 1970
    This is the first Kiersten White book I've read and I have to say, I'm incredibly impressed with her writing. Her prose is beautiful, meaningful, and often haunting in The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein. I have always been obsessed with Mary Shelley and the original tale of Frankenstein, so when I heard there would be a fictionalized version of Elizabeth's POV, an expansion on her character, I jumped at the chance to read it.Each and every character was fleshed out in this story, but no This is the first Kiersten White book I've read and I have to say, I'm incredibly impressed with her writing. Her prose is beautiful, meaningful, and often haunting in The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein. I have always been obsessed with Mary Shelley and the original tale of Frankenstein, so when I heard there would be a fictionalized version of Elizabeth's POV, an expansion on her character, I jumped at the chance to read it.Each and every character was fleshed out in this story, but none more so than Elizabeth and Victor. Their relationship is a chilling, honest reflection of toxic love, and it was done SO well. Elizabeth's every emotion, decision, and action is influenced by her background and who she wants to be in Victor's life. Ultimately, Elizabeth's story arc is guided by her desperation to survive as a woman in 18th century Europe, with no money or title to her name. I truly understood her motivations, even when I disagreed, and her growth towards the end of the book was hard won.The author's take on Victor was...incredible. Readers glean information about who he truly is through flashbacks, and as they are from Elizabeth's point of view, her determination to be with Victor paints them in a certain light. Despite this, there is an underlying current of mystery, unease, and fear during all of Victor's scenes (throughout the whole novel, really). It was...amazing to journey through all of it. Although I already knew about the horrible science that Victor Frankenstein practices, I was still on the edge of my seat when it was all revealed, which is a testament to White's writing. The pacing, descriptions, and characterization are all excellent.I'm a little unsure about the ending, which is why I took off one star, but I'm not exactly upset by it. I actually kind of like it, but it's not what I expected, so I was thrown off at first. I wonder if the ending has another implication to it. I think it's possible to interpret the last few pages in a darker way, which is pretty cool - I guess that's up to the reader. I'm just not sure how I feel about the last 20 pages or so, but it's not a bad ending at all.I would highly recommend this book - it's a spooky tale about manipulation, abuse, obsession, toxic love, and the desperate need to survive. There are also some wonderful themes about family, friendship and finding yourself, all that good stuff. Definitely worth a read!
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  • Jenn
    January 1, 1970
    It's been 200 years since Mary Shelley blessed us with the amazing Frankenstein. So what a better way to honor that than have one of the top YA writers on the scene give us her take - but not on Victor or the monster, but on Elizabeth, Victor's wife. When I heard that Kiersten White was going to be giving out ARC's of this at Comic Con, you bet your ass I was first in line for that! This has been on my radar since she announced it last year and to finally have it in my hands!!And I was not disap It's been 200 years since Mary Shelley blessed us with the amazing Frankenstein. So what a better way to honor that than have one of the top YA writers on the scene give us her take - but not on Victor or the monster, but on Elizabeth, Victor's wife. When I heard that Kiersten White was going to be giving out ARC's of this at Comic Con, you bet your ass I was first in line for that! This has been on my radar since she announced it last year and to finally have it in my hands!!And I was not disappointed.Not much is known about Elizabeth Frankenstein and I applaud White for giving a voice to this character and adding depth to the woman we knew as a devoted love of Victor. But because this is following the Frankenstein model, the story is not sunshine and rainbows. This was dark and twisted from beginning to end. “You are mine, Elizabeth Lavenza, and nothing will take you from me. Not even death.” One of the things I absolutely loved about this book was the imagery. I was reading this book in 90+ degree weather and I felt like it was rainy and cold. The locations from the book were so powerful, they were overtaking my actual location. And that is talent. And that is why I love Kiersten White.On top of the setting, there were the characters. We all know Victor and his madness, but this time we got to see it through Elizabeth's eyes and feel what she feels - including the guilt that she may actually be responsible for what Victor became. We follow her from childhood where she is given to Victor as a gift almost - there to make sure he stays calm. She grows up in the Frankenstein house but never really feels like she belongs. She only belongs to Victor. And their relationship becomes this codependent one where you can see how unhealthy this is on both sides, but Elizabeth stood strong and never wavered...until the end. If you love horror and a dark, twisted story, this is definitely for you. Grab a blanket, a cup a tea, and just curl up and let this book take you away. Cause I guarantee that it will.
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  • Lauren [DontGoBrekkerMyHeart]
    January 1, 1970
    To start this review off, I’m really upset that I didn’t enjoy this book. Frankenstein is my favorite classic, and I love Kiersten’s Conquerors Saga. I wasn’t expecting to finish this novel with a less than loving rating. Things just happen though.I love watching authors take liberties within historical fiction or reimagined tales, but this one felt all sorts of wrong to me. I expected to see Elizabeth growing up with Victor and her noticing his darker side, but the way this story was written fe To start this review off, I’m really upset that I didn’t enjoy this book. Frankenstein is my favorite classic, and I love Kiersten’s Conquerors Saga. I wasn’t expecting to finish this novel with a less than loving rating. Things just happen though.I love watching authors take liberties within historical fiction or reimagined tales, but this one felt all sorts of wrong to me. I expected to see Elizabeth growing up with Victor and her noticing his darker side, but the way this story was written felt like they went the easy route. I can’t explain much more than that because it would spoil, but it just felt EASY. It took away the deeper questions you’re left with after reading Frankenstein. If you’re a fan of the original book, I would say steer clear from this story because.. just you’ll have similar issues to mine.I think a lot of my issues stem from my absolute, intense love for the classic Frankenstein. It felt as if she took the original story and overly sensationalized it. It felt like a fan fiction and quite frankly one of those dramas on TV that amplify everything to high and higher levels of ridiculousness.Also Elizabeth in the beginning had this really unhealthy and weird devotion that made me super uncomfortable, which could’ve been the point, but for me it just didn’t work. The shift as well away from it wasn’t realistic. It was instantaneous instead of believable.The story ends up being COMPLETELY different from the classic, which was another point of contention for me. Mary Shelley had put all this hard work into creating two tragic “heroes” and “villains” in her original tale, and to see that taken to base levels.. upset me.The story did have some good dark and creepy moments, but other times it felt as if the author was trying too hard to be gothic. It felt unnatural and took me out of the story immediately.The saddest part to me was how the depth to Victor and the creature got taken away. They were always my favorite part of the original because you can sympathize and relate to both on certain levels. Though because of their revenge and malevolent emotions, they turned themselves into shadows of their former selves. Plus, the whole Antarctica aspect was taken away, and just NOPE I LOVED THAT NOPEDY NOPE NOPE.I understood her creation of Elizabeth as a strong female character, but it didn’t feel right to me. Mary made all her females weak to show how man takes away their rights and their livelihood through the atrocities of Victor and his creation. It’s was to criticize the time period because her family certainly exemplified strong feminism since her mom was Mary Wollstonecraft. Women during this period showed strength in other ways than just the trivial ones represented in this.The ending also just- *shakes head*This is getting too long, but I’m so sorry for such a negative review. I just have so many emotions about it. As I said I do love Kiersten’s other works, but this one was not for me. I had such high expectations, and I was sadly disappointed. Maybe if you have never read this classic you can enjoy it, but it took out all the elements I love from the classic. That’s something I can’t ignore.
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  • ✦ Maica ✦ [mini hiatus]
    January 1, 1970
    I am very intrigued.Future (can we fast forward to September 25 pls) BR with these lovely ladies: Diana and Helena
  • hannah ✧/ᐠ-ꞈ-ᐟ\ (on hiatus)
    January 1, 1970
    wow, this was a WILD RIDE. it was so delightfully creepy and dark... and I basically adored it so much? I mean: ✓ morally ambiguous antiheroine✓ even more morally ambiguous love interest (and i say this veryyy broadly)✓ deliciously gory descriptions ✓ frankenstein!!also, just look at that beautiful cover. I want to marry it.blog 💞instagram 💞twitter 💞email yours truly review to come closer to the release date! 💜
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  • Alana • thebookishchick
    January 1, 1970
    I will sell my soul for 2018 to be here and this book delivered to my doorstep.
  • Allison
    January 1, 1970
    UHYEAH so ..... make sure this is on your 2018 pre-orders when it becomes available.
  • Bethany
    January 1, 1970
    Actual Rating: 4.5 starsA chilling re-telling of the horror classic Frankenstein, The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein is a novel of obsession and tainted love, told through the perspective of Elizabeth (the love interest and obsession of Victor Frankenstein). I love complex female characters and Elizabeth certainly fits the bill. Despite her sweet, innocent appearance, she is an orphan with a brutal past who will do almost anything to survive and has become a master of lying, manipulating Actual Rating: 4.5 starsA chilling re-telling of the horror classic Frankenstein, The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein is a novel of obsession and tainted love, told through the perspective of Elizabeth (the love interest and obsession of Victor Frankenstein). I love complex female characters and Elizabeth certainly fits the bill. Despite her sweet, innocent appearance, she is an orphan with a brutal past who will do almost anything to survive and has become a master of lying, manipulating, and pretending. Victor is painted as a true sociopath and Elizabeth as the childhood friend who helped him learn to mask his true nature. As the story progresses, any reader with passing knowledge of the Frankenstein story will know what Victor has been up to in creating his monster, but Elizabeth is unaware and her slow discovery is very creepy. This is a beautiful homage to the original work of Mary Shelley, asking the same questions about who is truly monstrous in the quest to play god, and capturing the uncertain lives of women in her day. This made me want to reread the original work (it has been a number of years) and I hope it will inspire young readers to discover Shelley for the first time. The perfect book for the Halloween season! This is my first book by Kiersten White, but now I definitely want to read more from her. I received an advance copy of this book at BEA for review. All opinions are my own.
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  • Christy
    January 1, 1970
    This is more than I could have imagined - not a retelling but a companion. The story had the patriarchy not existed. This is the book you need for fall!
  • Rachel Strolle
    January 1, 1970
    *heavy breathing*
  • Linda ✿
    January 1, 1970
    i have never read anything by kiersten white before but my curious soul is a lover of the genres historical and retellings so, i want this very bad
  • Christina
    January 1, 1970
    After reading the first two books of the And I Darken series, I confident your ability to do "dark" 😍. CAN'T WAIT!
  • Clephiro
    January 1, 1970
    As a disclaimer, it's been about a decade and a half since I actually read Frankenstein. So I'm judging this book on its own merits, and what little I remember of the Frankenstein story. To be fair, I also think that most people aren't likely to have read Frankenstein recently either. It's a wonderful classic, but it's not exactly making the best seller list on a regular basis anymore.I like the fact that this book follows Elizabeth. Exploring some of the minor characters from the tale was a goo As a disclaimer, it's been about a decade and a half since I actually read Frankenstein. So I'm judging this book on its own merits, and what little I remember of the Frankenstein story. To be fair, I also think that most people aren't likely to have read Frankenstein recently either. It's a wonderful classic, but it's not exactly making the best seller list on a regular basis anymore.I like the fact that this book follows Elizabeth. Exploring some of the minor characters from the tale was a good way to take on a classic without making it a straight up retelling. The cover of the book is absolutely gorgeous as well. Unfortunately, this is where my praise for the book ends.I get that the author was attempting to go for a character that was morally ambiguous, or an anti-hero, but I didn't find the execution worked for me. I found the character of Elizabeth to be incredibly inconsistent. For example, she might, in one scene, be upset over the death of animals, yet in the next, she'll be actively helping Victor butcher. I expect her character to do what needs to be done, but her internal monologue doesn't reflect the conflict I'd expect to find there. There was also a lot of exposition of her internally thinking about how everyone thought that she was so beautiful, which was a pretty big turn-off for me.There was also a lot of telling, not showing. The use of flashbacks was disconcerting and broke up the flow of the story. While I can appreciate a non-linear story, the flashbacks in this book took us out of the story to add needless exposition. The transitions between the past and present are not particularly well-done either. They typically end with a character saying something like “Where are you?” she asked, putting a gentle hand on my shoulder.I sighed. “In the past." It just rubbed me the wrong way, especially as there are dozens of these flashbacks interspersed with the story randomly and the transitions are almost always equally clumsy.If you're a huge fan of Frankenstein, you might like this better than I did. I hope you do. For me, this was a pretty big disappointment, since I've read some particularly good 'dark' books lately.
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