The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein Review | Who is She?


[sc name=”Disclosure Notice”]
Author: Kiersten White
Publisher: Delacorte Press (Random House)
Publication Date: 2018
Genre: Fiction; Historical Young Adult, Supernatural
Source: Amazon PreOrder
FIND the BOOK ELSEWHERE: Amazon | Goodreads
FIND the REVIEW ELSEWHERE: Amazon | Goodreads | WordPress
Rating: ★★★

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White | Book Review

THE STORY | Elizabeth Lavenza’s childhood is one of hunger and mistreatment. Until the day she meets Victor Frankenstein. From this day forward, Elizabeth is taken into the Frankenstein household and raised as the sole companion of the eldest Frankenstein child, Victor.The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein

Victor is a strange boy. His experiments and unusual proclivities leave his parents unsure what to do with him. Elizabeth becomes the only one he’ll listen too. As she grows, she realizes her place in this household is on thin ice, a realization she desperately wants to remedy. This is why she works to make herself indispensable in the home, and eventually, as Victor’s wife…

REVIEW | I don’t mind telling you this isn’t my typical read. Still, when the cover art debuted and the release date came just prior to All Hallows Eve, I decided this might be a good, atmospheric autumnal read. Turns out this is true. Though The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein is far from a favorite read, it’s entertaining.

As is true of any famous literary masterpiece, I have not read Frankenstein. However, this re-imagines the story in honor of the novel’s 200th anniversary. Written by a young girl named Mary Shelley, this is, in all likelihood, the iconic “first” supernatural story. Everything that comes in its wake (vampires, zombies, etc.) is likely in some form or another inspired by the imagination of this young girl. If there’s one thing that can be said about this character’s story, it’s that Frankenstein IS an imaginative narrative.

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Though darker than the normal YA novel in my reading rotation, ‘Elizabeth Frankenstein’ (fortunately) isn’t what I’d call a spooky novel. It has a few moments of tense possibilities, but nothing is ever “too” dark or creepy. This is something I’m particularly grateful for. The dark and depressing genre is not my cup of tea. This is also an interesting story because it’s one that really features no clear-cut hero. For me, as a reader, this is far from an ideal read since I’m the kind of reader who respects and roots for all those who wear the badge of hero.

I like the “layers” the characters have even if I cannot always root for them. Even though this book is dark in a gruesome (descriptive) sense, there is darkness in these pages. Multiple deaths later, it seems like the kind of book that makes the reader wonder who will be alive by the final page. Once we reach this plateau, the end deflates a bit before a short epilogue leaves us wondering, “What’s next?”

As someone who’s most fond of happy endings, this isn’t my ideal. However, when you understand this genre and nature of the book, the story really cannot end any other way. If you’re a reader who likes a supernatural story that isn’t dark, you’d enjoy The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein. It’s atmospheric and a little bit creepy (because of the theme) without plunging a reader into darkness.

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Content: there is some disturbing discussions about death (and more than one death), and bringing someone back to life. There may also be a few minor profanities and innuendo.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

One comment

  1. Great review. I’ve heard such mixed reviews on this one. I’m looking forward to trying it but have no idea how it will go. It is something I’d typically pick up but I like it really really dark, so fingers crossed.

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