I read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein a long, long time ago, so my memory of it is rather dim. However, I’ve seen Mel Brook’s Young Frankenstein quite a few times. I’m not entirely unfamiliar with the source material, but it’s mainly through a pop culture lens.
But thankfully, you don’t have to be a Frankenstein scholar to enjoy The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kierstin White. No, you just have to be willing to be intrigued, horrified yet fascinated, spooked and maybe even scared, and to be left emotionally bereft. Because this book is a roller coaster. So much happens! And there are so many feelings along the way!
I really wasn’t expecting the emotional punch this book landed. The narrator is Elizabeth Frankenstein, a morally gray character and a somewhat unreliable point of view. I love a good anti-hero and with Elizabeth, White deftly runs a fine line between a character you love to hate and someone you actively root for. Through Elizabeth, White interrogates what makes a monster monstrous and what makes someone human and fallible. I really loved, loved, loved how White explores the precarious position of women in society during the nineteenth century and how that impacts Elizabeth’s choices.
This isn’t a particularly gory or visceral book, but it is spooky and dreadful. It’s a little slow to start, but once things get going, whoa does the book take off. Some plot twists took my breath away and others I kinda saw coming. And I’m a gullible reader– so if I saw it coming, it must be pretty obvious. Overall, I was enthralled while reading this book, turning the pages late into the night. 4 stars.
Toil and Trouble by Jessica Spotswood Review: undefined
I read some more historicals! I know, you are shocked. I’m shocked. I think it’s the Tessa Dare effect. I was so enamored with the Governess Game, I’ve been chasing that high ever since. I’m not giving up on my beloved contemporaries and motorcycle romances, but a few pretty ladies in gowns and debonair dukes can certainly turn my head for a moment.
Tansy Danforth is beautiful and charming. So beautiful and charming, she wins the hearts and minds of almost every man she meets. Except for the beautiful and charming Ian Eversea, notorious rake and seducer, who can see right through her. But in unmasking Tansy, Ian also sees something of himself, and in confronting her, ends up exposing vulnerabilities that call to his own scars and wounds.
Julie Ann Long is a new to me author but Between the Devil and Ian Eversea was so good, it will definitely not be the last. I loved how Ian and Tansy met their match in each other. Ian is all seductive charm while Tansy is an ultimate ingenue, bubbly and flirtatious. But they both essentially use their impressive beauty and considerable flirting skills to hide their true selves from the world. And watching those walls come down as they get to know each other was so delightful and emotionally satisfying. My only criticism is that Tansy is something of a cipher for most of the first half of the book– I think Long meant her to be, to better reveal her true self through her relationship with Ian, but it makes it hard to sympathize with her in the beginning. 4 stars.
Author: Holly Black
Buy: Amazon US
Definitely a new favourite!! Oh my god this book is a craft of creative and literary genius! I want to crawl inside the author’s mind because only the most beautiful brain could create this deft and whimsical story.
The Darkest Part Of The Forest showcases a take on faeries unlike any other I’ve seen. In a town called Fairfold, the citizens are aware that creatures haunt their forests…but there isn’t much to be done about it. The fae take their children and murder their tourists, and in the woods there is a faerie boy who lies in an eternal sleep within a glass casket. Siblings Hazel and Ben are mortals of Fairfold, dreamers and wanderers who yearn for the adventure of the fae and they end up whisked into this treacherous quest that threatens the lives of everyone they hold dear. In this novel, faeries are illustrated as shockingly beautiful and with many species – but they all have mischief in common. The addictive wonder of the fae is what’s so captivating about this book, and you can see why the characters submit to their allure. The descriptions of characters and settings are lush and visual; I would love a colouring book based on this story!
The characters are just as 3-dimensional as the visuals. Hazel is fascinating in her stubborn and veiled nature, both a contrast and a compliment to Ben’s vulnerability and compassion. Severin, oh my god don’t get me started…another new favourite. There’s something so captivating about the way he talks and acts, and his character arc is stunning!
The relationships in this book are absolutely on point. Both Hazel and Ben have the most raw and real views on love. But what I value most in The Darkest Part Of The Forest is the highlight on sibling relationships. Hazel and Ben have the most complex partnership – their unconditional love, reliance on each other and desire to keep secrets are both poisonous and beautiful. However, the romantic relationships are also stunning! Ben’s final relationship has the most amazing progression and I adored it, and Hazel’s is slow burning and sumptuous.
I’m sorry this review has just been me blabbing about everything I loved in this book and I know it’s a bit repetitive… But I really don’t care. Go and read this book.