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The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by [Kiersten White]
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The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 332 ratings

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“If you read Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and thought the ladies in that were getting a bad deal, then this is the book you've been waiting for….White is unafraid to dig in the graveyard and piece together a creature of her own design out of old parts, and the resulting tale is dark and chilling.” —NPR

"Exquisitely disturbingThe Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein is a beautiful tapestry of horror, sewn together with threads of madness, obsession, and murder. Kiersten White has written a masterful and monstrous retelling."—STEPHANIE GARBER, #1 New York Times and internationally bestselling author of Caraval and Legendary

"Visceral, sinister, and inescapably compellingThe Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein feels at once reverent of its inspiration, and entirely new. White's skill is scalpel-sharp." —VICTORIA SCHWAB, #1 New York Times bestselling author of This Savage Song

"In the hands of master storyteller Kiersten White, the bones of a familiar story are reconstructed to form an inventive, grotesque, and completely unexpected reimagining of FrankensteinMary Shelley would be proud."—MACKENZI LEENew York Times bestselling author of The Gentlemen's Guide to Vice and Virtue

“Kiersten White has breathed fresh life into a much-loved classic. Even Mary Shelley herself would be riveted by the dark lengths Elizabeth Lavenza would go to in order to survive. A dark and lovely midnight read.—MEGAN SHEPHERDNew York Times bestselling author of The Madman's Daughter trilogy 

★ "Breathtaking."—PW, starred review

★ "This novel indeed descends to “dark and hellish” depths, but captivated readers will avidly plumb them in the company of the complicated and compelling Eliza­beth Frankenstein."—Horn Book, starred review
 
 
“In this clever retelling of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, White neatly undercuts the original by making Victor’s narrative wildly unreliable . . . this character-driven novel with a healthy amount of gore should appeal to horror fans, too.” —Booklist
 
“White adds emotional depth to a character who was passive in Shelley’s original. She highlights, with feminist sensitivity, Elizabeth’s total dependence as a woman of her time, playing whatever part is necessary to ensure her future. The novel continues in the gothic tradition of the source material, and the title speaks volumes about the darkness of tone and content. The language is often surprisingly lyrical with the narrative flowing smoothly despite frequent flashbacks. Twists and tweaks, especially toward the end, may take readers of Frankenstein by surprise, but will not spoil either book. Recommended for YA collections traveling on the dark side.”—SLJ
 
“An all-around win.”—Kirkus


PRAISE FOR THE AND I DARKEN SERIES:


“A dark and twisty fantasy. . . . Think Game of Thrones . . . but with teens.”—Seventeen

“Sinister, suspenseful, and unapologetically feminist.”—Buzzfeed

“Will completely spin you into another time and place.”—Bustle

“Takes no prisoners, offering up brutal, emotional historical fiction.”—NPR.org

“Gleams with fierce, cunning characters—absolutely riveting.”—#1 New York Times bestselling author Alexandra Bracken

“As richly complex and glittering as the Ottoman Empire itself.” —Robin LaFevers

“Kiersten White is a genius.”—Justine Larbalestier, author of MY SISTER ROSA and LIAR --This text refers to the paperback edition.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

To be weak is miserable
 
 
 
Lightning clawed across the sky, tracing veins through the clouds and marking the pulse of the universe itself.
 
I sighed happily as rain slashed the carriage windows and thunder rumbled so loudly we could not even hear the wheels bump when the dirt lane met the cobblestones at the edge of Ingolstadt.
 
Justine trembled beside me like a newborn rabbit, burying her face in my shoulder. Another bolt lit our carriage with bright white clarity before rendering us temporarily deaf with a clap of thunder so loud the windows threatened to loosen.
 
“How can you laugh?” Justine asked. I had not realized I was laughing until that moment.
 
I stroked her dark hair where strands dangled free from her hat. Justine hated loud noises of any type: Slamming doors. Storms. Shouting. Especially shouting. But I had made certain she had endured none of that in the past two years. It was so odd that our separate origins--similar in cruelty, though differing in duration--had had such opposite outcomes. Justine was the most open and loving and genuinely good person I had ever known.
 
And I was--
 
Well. Not like her.
 
“Did I ever tell you Victor and I used to climb out onto the roof of the house to watch lightning storms?”
 
She shook her head, not lifting it.
 
“The way the lighting would play off the mountains, throwing them into sharp relief, as though we were watching the creation of the world itself. Or over the lake, so it looked like it was in both the sky and the water. We would be soaked by the end; it is a wonder neither of us caught our death.” I laughed again, remembering. My skin--fair like my hair--would turn the most violent shades of red from the cold. Victor, with his dark curls plastered to his sallow forehead, accentuating the shadows he always bore beneath his eyes, would look like death. What a pair we were!
 
“One night,” I continued, sensing Justine was calming, “lightning struck a tree on the grounds not ten body lengths from where we sat.”
 
“That must have been terrifying!”
 
“It was glorious.” I smiled, placing my hand flat against the cold glass, feeling the temperature beneath my lacy white gloves. “To me, it was the great and terrible power of nature. It was like seeing God.”
 
Justine clucked disapprovingly, peeling herself from my side to give me a stern look. “Do not blaspheme.”
 
I stuck my tongue out at her until she relented into a smile.
 
“What did Victor think of it?”
 
“Oh, he was horribly depressed for months afterward. I believe his exact phrasing was that he ‘languished in valleys of incomprehensible despair.’ ”
 
Justine’s smile grew, though with a puzzled edge. Her face was clearer than any of Victor’s texts. His books always required further knowledge and intense study, while Justine was an illuminated manuscript--beautiful and treasured and instantly understandable.
 
I reluctantly pulled the curtains closed on the carriage window, sealing us away from the storm for her comfort. She had not left the house at the lake since our last disastrous trip into Geneva had ended with her insane, bereft mother attacking us. This journey into Bavaria was taxing for her. “While I saw the destruction of the tree as nature’s beauty, Victor saw power--power to light up the night and banish darkness, power to end a centuries-old life in a single strike--that he cannot control or access. And nothing bothers Victor more than something he cannot control.”
 
“I wish I had known him better before he left for university.”
 
I patted her hand--her brown leather gloves a gift Henry had given me--before squeezing her fingers. Those gloves were far softer and warmer than my own. But Victor preferred me in white. And I loved giving nice things to Justine. She had joined the household two years earlier, when she was seventeen and I was fifteen, and had been there only a couple of months before Victor left us. She did not really know him.
 
No one did, except me. I liked it that way, but I wanted them to love each other as I loved them both.
 
“Soon you will know Victor. We shall all of us--Victor and you and me--” I paused, my tongue traitorously trying to add Henry. That was not going to happen. “We will be reunited most joyfully, and then my heart will be complete.” My tone was cheery to mask the fear that underlay this entire endeavor.
 
I could not let Justine be worried. Her willingness to come as my chaperone was the only reason I had managed this trip. Judge Frankenstein had initially rejected my pleadings to check on Victor. I think he was relieved to have Victor gone, did not care when we had no word. Judge Frankenstein always said Victor would come home when he was ready, and I should not worry about it.
 
I did. Very much. Particularly after I found a list of expenses with my name at the top. He was auditing me--and soon, I had no doubt, he would determine that I was not worth holding on to. I had done too well, fixing Victor. He was out in the world, and I was obsolete to his father.
 
I would not let myself be cast out. Not after my years of hard work. Not after all I had done.
 
Fortunately, Judge Frankenstein had been called away on a mysterious journey of his own. I did not ask permission again so much as . . . leave. Justine did not know that. Her presence gave me the freedom I needed here to move about without inviting suspicion or censure. William and Ernest, Victor’s younger brothers and her charges, would be fine in the care of the maid until we could return.

--This text refers to the paperback edition.

Product details

  • ASIN : B0796DRYWJ
  • Publisher : Delacorte Press (25 September 2018)
  • Language : English
  • File size : 13400 KB
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
  • X-Ray : Enabled
  • Word Wise : Not Enabled
  • Print length : 305 pages
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 332 ratings

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Top review from India

Reviewed in India on 14 November 2018
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Top reviews from other countries

amysreading_nook
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable and dark read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 30 October 2020
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Emily
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant retelling of Frankenstein
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 28 December 2020
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Sophia
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 29 September 2020
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Sarah
5.0 out of 5 stars Spine Chilling!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 5 March 2019
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Kindle-Kunde
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark and compelling
Reviewed in Germany on 5 November 2018
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One person found this helpful
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