The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein
By Kiersten White
Author’s Website: http://kierstenwrites.blogspot.com/
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi
This is the classic Frankenstein, but told from Elizabeth’s point-of-view.
Young Elizabeth Lavenza had a terrible childhood full of beatings and starvation until Victor Frankenstein saved her. Now, he didn’t swoop in and slay her demons as that statement may suggest. However, his social awkwardness and the danger he posed to even his own family created a need for someone that could handle him and calm him down. Victor’s family purchased Elizabeth in hopes she could sooth the beast inside Victor. And, it worked, or at least Elizabeth was able to make it appear that it worked. She inadvertently taught him how to hide his madness behind the façade of a normal boy. And, if he did mess up, she was quick to cover it up because if Victor did horrible things, then it would prove she wasn’t doing her job. And, she feared she’d be cast out of the home if she wasn’t being useful.
Victor formed an unhealthy obsession with Elizabeth from the moment she arrived at only five years old. An obsession that lead Victor to find a way to cheat death because nothing was going to take Elizabeth from him; not even the grim reaper!
His experiments resulted in his creation of an enormous monster. Once Elizabeth discovered Victor’s creation she was at once scared of it, but also determined to protect Victor from it. Upon opening her own eyes to Victor’s true nature she discovers who the real monster is!
I’ll be honest. I have not read the original Frankenstein book yet, but I do intend to since the publisher was so kind to include it with this title! But of course we all know the story! I thought this book sounded like a lot of fun for the Halloween season that was upon us when I received it.
I think it is an interesting take hearing the story from Elizabeth. She was taught from an early age how to prune herself to be what she needed to be to survive. It kept her from knowing how to feel true emotion though. She knew Victor was a way to secure her future, but didn’t think of him or anyone else beyond that. He was a means to an end.
I think the author did a great job of fleshing out the characters. Elizabeth, Victor, and Henry were well defined and interesting.
Of all the characters in this book, I hurt most for poor Henry. He tried to love both Victor and Elizabeth, but paid the biggest price of all.
I did struggle in the early goings of this book though. It had a bunch of flashbacks, which I’m not a fan of, but I do realize if done right they can really cement the backstory for the reader. Unfortunately, the way they were done in this book drove me bonkers! They weren’t even in chronological order which I think would have made it easier to follow. Thankfully as the book moved forward they dwindled off until they quit having them altogether.
This was a decent read, although I had hoped for something a bit more dark, thrilling, and exciting. It was an interesting read nonetheless.