The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White

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Elizabeth Lavenza hasn’t had a proper meal in weeks. Her thin arms are covered with bruises from her “caregiver,” and she is on the verge of being thrown into the streets . . . until she is brought to the home of Victor Frankenstein, an unsmiling, solitary boy who has everything–except a friend.

Victor is her escape from misery. Elizabeth does everything she can to make herself indispensable–and it works. She is taken in by the Frankenstein family and rewarded with a warm bed, delicious food, and dresses of the finest silk. Soon she and Victor are inseparable.

But her new life comes at a price. As the years pass, Elizabeth’s survival depends on managing Victor’s dangerous temper and entertaining his every whim, no matter how depraved. Behind her blue eyes and sweet smile lies the calculating heart of a girl determined to stay alive no matter the cost . . . as the world she knows is consumed by darkness.

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It’s ridiculous how well this one was well written. It should be a crime – like the many all of these characters commit.

To be honest, I don’t remember too much about the original novel. I remember Victor was the Frankenstein and not the monster and other little random scenes, but like, I didn’t remember Elizabeth was even in the original??? And that she wasn’t his sister??? Idk, I didn’t remember things right, and I think if you just like the general concept of Frankenstein, you’ll do just fine in this novel. Although I do recommend you either read the original or read the Spark Notes about the characters, because you can just admire/bask in the creativity and depth of detail that Kiersten White took to make her book authentic and pay homage to Mary Shelley’s work.

So, shall we go over all the ways that this book totally absolutely floored me?

– The writing. Omg, it was so so so good. Like, it read like Mary Shelley’s original novel. It felt like it has the professional quality of HF that you need, the creep and gore factor, the dark psychological depth to it that needed to get under your skin. It read wonderfully and was so easy to binge. Okay, yes, it got a little slow in parts and I felt the ending was a little too rushed, but otherwise, it was a slow burn that was so atmospheric.

– The characters. Omigosh, they’re all twisted piles of goo, and not many of them are really likeable likeable but they were BRILLIANT. They were twisted and dark and complex and dynamic and just so amazingly deep and WELL defined. Just imagine every synonym of good and that is how White wrote them. Elizabeth was such a fascinating narrator. Her identity, her motivations, her actions – they were all so well thought out and well articulated onto the page. She is definitely a stand out narrator, and possibly one of my favorites of 2018 even though I never really liked liked her. Victor – oh, Victor, I don’t even know how to explainnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn. Justine, Henry, Mary, and more were all so intriguing too. The characters were easily my favorite part.

tiana tag
Tiana thinks everyone just needs some cookies. Lots and lots of pity cookies.

– The plot. The novel starts with Elizabeth and her friend, Justine, going on a mission to find Victor. Elizabeth has become Victor’s friend/love/protector/keeper, and she hasn’t heard from him for many months. She’s desperate to find him, knowing he falls into dark descents and that needs him to secure her place in the Frankenstein household. And it takes off from there and gets twisty and turny and oh so good. It brings the creeps and spooks and perhaps even ties into the original story?

The cons? Um, like none? As I said, I wasn’t really a fan of the ending and how it was done. It wasn’t bad, but it just felt kind of…eh, compared to the rest of the book. And I think that’s what is keeping me from giving it a place on the favorites shelf.

Overall: an absolute must read! It’s creepy, spooky, and so atmospheric. It’s well done in all the ways that are so importance. 5 crowns and a Tiana rating!


What do you think? Are you excited to read this one? Have you read the original Frankenstein? Let’s discuss in the comments below!


15 thoughts on “The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White

  1. Am a bit reader of Frankenstein the funniest thing is I do have a copy of the book on my reader but am hesitant to read cause am planning on buying the hardcover, now I want to read it before buying the hardcover cause your review of the book is so great
    What a dilemma!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been feeling nervous about this one since I love the original so much, but you may have just convinced me to give it a chance!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely review, Mandy!! This one sounds super fun and dark and a little creepy. I’ve never actually read the original Frankenstein, so I will definitely have to SparkNotes it, but I am definitely intrigued by this book!

    Liked by 1 person

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