Hey, guys! I am so excited to discuss This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee. This is a Frankenstein retelling, and I really enjoyed it. I think it was such a well-written and interesting take on the traditional Frankenstein story,, and I just really loved it. If you love spooky reads, you definitely will like this. But let’s go ahead and get into the review!
“In 1818 Geneva, men built with clockwork parts live hidden away from society, cared for only by illegal mechanics called Shadow Boys. Two years ago, Shadow Boy Alasdair Finch’s life shattered to bits.
His brother, Oliver—dead.
His sweetheart, Mary—gone.
His chance to break free of Geneva—lost.
Heart-broken and desperate, Alasdair does the unthinkable: He brings Oliver back from the dead.
But putting back together a broken life is more difficult than mending bones and adding clockwork pieces. Oliver returns more monster than man, and Alasdair’s horror further damages the already troubled relationship.
Then comes the publication of Frankenstein and the city intensifies its search for Shadow Boys, aiming to discover the real-life doctor and his monster. Alasdair finds refuge with his idol, the brilliant Dr. Geisler, who may offer him a way to escape the dangerous present and his guilt-ridden past, but at a horrible price only Oliver can pay…”
This book was absolutely fabulous. I was entranced with this story from the first page, and it was such a good retelling of Frankenstein. Having just finished Frankenstein, the story was very fresh in my mind. I loved trying to figure out what was going to happen when trying to parallel this story with the original work, and it was just a fun time reading this.
I really loved the characters. Oliver was a difficult character, but I still found him appealing. I loved how Mackenzi Lee really gave substance to his character with the plotline of him being resurrected. With the original work of Frankenstein, we just knew him as the monster. He had no name, he had no life prior to his creation, and he was more of a thing than a person. With Lee’s reimagining of the original Frankenstein story, she gave us a person who is definitely more human than monster. Oliver had a life before everything happened. He was a person who was loved and who just enjoyed life. We really build on that over the course of the story and build on the relationships between him and his family and other characters. Oliver is so complex when comparing his life as Alisdair’s creation to who he was before. He is just such an interesting character, and I loved learning more about him.
Alisdair was someone who we had to get to really know over the course of the entire book. We peel back all the layers of who he really is. We piece together the mystery surrounding how his brother really died, and it just made me want to keep reading, to figure it out. And we also need to figure out what went down between him and Mary, how she is connected to everything, and just the complexities of his character coupled with the complexities of who she really is because she put on an act for everyone, as to who she is.
I also really loved Clemence’s character. We got some lesbian rep in this book, and it was really interesting how it was handled in this novel. While it wasn’t a major element to the story, it is addressed, and I loved seeing that. I also just loved how kickass Clemence was. She was never afraid to speak her mind, and I just loved her character so much. She was easily one of my favorite characters.
I also really loved the fantasy and steampunk aspects to this story. While this is not my first steampunk novel that I’ve read, I did really enjoy it! I found it super interesting how Lee managed to weave all these fantasy elements into this retelling of Frankenstein, and it just made the book even better, in my opinion. I also loved how the actual book of Frankenstein was woven into this story. It isn’t just quotes and nuances that are in the story. The actual book plays a major role in the plot of this story, and it was so interesting to read a retelling of Frankenstein with the actual book being in the story, and it just added something extra to the story.
Overall, I really enjoyed the characters, the world, and the writing, and I could not be happier with this retelling. I highly recommend you all check this out, and I am so excited to read more from Mackenzi Lee in the future!
And there you have it! That was my review of This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee. What is your favorite Halloween read? Comment down below! I would love to know. And that is going to be it for this post today. Thank you all so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!