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A retelling of Mary Shelley’s classic work ‘Frankenstein’. Only this time told from the perspective of Elizabeth Lavenza, the young orphan girl who was taken in by the Frankenstein family as a companion for their son, Victor. From the moment we are introduced to Victor, we know there is something not quite right with him. The coldness in his eyes, the darkness around him keeps people at a distance. However, even as a young girl, Elizabeth is aware that without the Frankenstein family she has no hopes for a future. This is the 18th century; a time when women were considered property and without family or money, her survival is at stake. So, Elizabeth sets out to be the Elizabeth Victor wants her to be. He is her ticket to a better life. But when the monsters in Victors mind are brought to life and the only people she has ever loved are snatched away from her, Elizabeth finally reaches her breaking point.
It’s always interesting to see a fresh take on a beloved classic by a modern day author. Kiersten White rose to the challenge and how! I The author manages to put a unique spin on this classic horror story with many nods to the original. She takes a popular misconception about the classic and makes in true in this version. The highlight is of course having Elizabeth as our main character and seeing the events unfold from her perspective. A morally gray female protagonist in a Victorian horror novel, you say? Take my money right now. The writing is evocative and gives you all the hair raising creepy feels you expect from such a book. The dialogues feel authentic to the time period. The author brilliantly puts the spotlight on Elizabeth’s near constant frustration at being a woman with no agency and having to depend upon others for safety. Even though she is calculating, cold and cunning, Elizabeth manages to invoke our sympathy at times. She has a huge blind spot when it comes to Victor and there is a lesson here about how emotional abuse and gas lighting can cloud your judgement of someone. Both Victor and Elizabeth are depraved in their own way and their love story is one for the horror books.
I wasn't sure what I was going to make of this one, having never read Frankenstein, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it! The characterisation is well done I feel and Elizabeth is never presented as someone dim or unable to fight for herself. In fact, throughout the entire book it shows how she can adapt to her circumstances and become what people need her to be in that moment. She is also very brave and loyal but ultimately is out to save herself. She is never presented as someone who has gone along with things unknowingly, although it's clear she doesn't have a whole picture of events.
It is most definitely dark and disturbing in places, especially as Elizabeth becomes more aware of what Victor is getting up to and what he means to do to her. I'd say it's definitely a chilling read but it never feels gory or over the top spooky. I'm not normally one for historical-based reads but this one was definitely up my alley and one I would recommend! It also makes me want to read Frankenstein so I may have to get around to that sometime.
I LOVED THIS BOOK. I really really really enjoyed this retelling of Frankenstein from the perspective of Elizabeth. It was not a faithful retelling- it changes some pretty fundamental plot points and characterisation (Aka Victor is less the ambitious student whose ambition and pride gets out of hand and more of a Damien (The Omen) character) but it didn’t bother me. If you consider this as a work in its own right then I think it’s a really interesting and engaging novel. It asks really interesting questions about the precarious position of women and about the results of such dependence on a sense of self. What I loved especially was the emphasis the book placed on female relationships. The original story is hardly densely populated with female characters, but in this White portrays female friendship as incredibly important and necessary for personal freedom. The characterisation of Elizabeth is complex and well done, changing as the novel goes on. At first I thought the flashbacks were a little trite but they were okay. Don’t read this if you want a verbatim retelling of Frankenstein. Do read it if you want a story about the dangers women face in a world ruled by powerful and flawed men and the sacrifices that must be made to survive in it.
Starts really well drags in the middle then rushes the end. Good premise but misses the mark in places. Packaged well from this seller and came quickly but the book just wasn't it for me and I love the book its based on.
I think I was about ten when I first read "Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus" by Mary Shelley and I was instantly in love with the story, the fascinating character of Victor Frankenstein and the the writing style. About ten years later I read it again and loved it even more.
When I found out about "The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein" I immediately downloaded it on my Kindle and couldn't put it down.
Kiersten White has a great way of making the story her own and still being respectful to the original. Her writing is simply beautiful and suitable for the era of the story.
What I loved most, however, were the characters. Both Elizabeth and Victor are flawed, especially Victor is truly twisted. Justine, as a counterpart, is an angel and I loved Victor's little brother William. The original character Mary is just awesome. Elizabeth's character development was well done and believable.
The story is dark, compelling and positively creepy. I didn't find the first half boring, as some obviously did, instead I loved the slow-building story in combination with flashbacks about Elizabeth's and Victor's childhood and youth. I've read some claiming that nothing happens in the first half which I absolutely don't understand. Actually, a lot happens and we find out a lot about the characters and their motivation, especially Elizabeth's as the story is told from her point of view. Admittedly there's asee coming. As it's not an exact retelling of the original novel, the twists are surprising even if you've read "Frankenstein".
If you have a severe problem with animal or child abuse, this may not be the book for you. There are only a few pages about these matters but if you are sensitive about this, you might want to consider reading something else. Personally, I didn’t mind (which doesn’t mean I don’t like animals or children!).
However, there was one thing I didn't like so much. It was not too bad, but it wasn't my favourite part. I can't go into it without massive spoilers, so I'll just leave it at that. It doesn't ruin anything but I could have done without and it's the reason I would give the book only 4.5 stars if I could.
Vamos começar com o óbvio: esse é um dos melhores livros que já li. Elizabeth Frankenstein é, de longe, das personagens mais complexas e interessantes que existem. E, me matem, mas gostei muito mais deste livro do que do Prometeu Moderno (ou seja, o Frankenstein original).
Não me leve a mal, é claro que eu sei que o original mudou o mundo da literatura, não quero desmerecer de jeito nenhum e, se a Mary Shelley tivesse escrito este livro naquela época, talvez caísse em esquecimento. Mas eu ainda prefiro ele, por várias razões, mas principalmente porque Kiersten White colocou uma garota adolescente como protagonista no lugar daquele infeliz retardado do Victor.
Meu problema com o Victor do livro original é que ele é um idiota que se faz de desentendido e só reclama da vida sem realmente tomar uma atitude para mudar o que está errado - até ser tarde demais. O Victor deste livro daqui é ótimo, bem mais interessante do que o original, ainda que eu tivesse morrido de raiva dele quase o tempo todo. E foi lindo ver a Justine e a Elizabeth se transformando em pessoas de verdade, quando no original elas são meras sombras no fundo.
Mary Shelley escreveu sobre Victor e a vontade humana de "acabar" com a morte, além do que nós podemos nos tornar ao sermos desprezados pela diferença (tá, foi isso que mais ressonou comigo). Kiersten White completou isso com a trajetória e a mente de uma órfã lutando constantemente pela sua vida e o que sua atitude pode fazer para influenciar alguém tão perturbado quanto o Victor. As obras se completam, mas eu continuo preferindo esta.
Se você ainda não leu Frankenstein, esse livro ainda vai ser incrível. Mas também adorei ver os paralelos, como a autora conseguiu incluir cenas do original e como mostrou mais detalhes da criação do Victor. Lá pelo capítulo vinte e pouco, a autora desvia do enredo original e ousa de um jeito que eu amei tanto, que nem consigo explicar. Talvez ler Frankenstein depois desse acabe sendo uma pequena decepção, mas é clássico, tem que ler também!
Mas leia este livro. Leia este livro assim que você puder, porque ele é excelente, uma verdadeira obra prima! Mary Shelley realmente estaria orgulhosa. E eu também estou!
Having never read the original Frankenstein, I didn't know what to expect going into this retelling. I can see how it may be beneficial to already be familiar with the story, but it definitely didn't detract from my enjoyment. In fact, I adore Kiersten White's interpretation of Victor Frankenstein and his Elizabeth. I also adore that the story is told from Elizabeth's point of view.
I easily connected with the writing, the story and the setting. It took me longer than it should've to read The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein but I think that's because I subconsciously wanted to savour every page. Now that it's over, I'm keen to see how it compares to the original. Luckily, this Kindle edition has the original Frankenstein included in the back!