Audiobook Review: The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White
The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White was completely unexpected. I thought I knew was I was reading but wow, this turned into something wholly different. Check out my thoughts below! Many thanks to Delacorte Press and Penguin Random House for the opportunity to listen to the audiobook, which in no way influences my thoughts below.
Also, you have to check out the quiz from Get Underlined that tells you if you are Frankenstein or Frankenstein’s Monster…and I am:
You’re Frankenstein’s Monster! Sensitive and loyal, you possess an admirably forgiving nature. Though you are slow to anger, you have a formidable temper when antagonized.
Sounds about right.
The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankensteinby Kiersten White
Narrator: Katharine McEwan
Published by: Delacorte Press
on September 25, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Retellings, Horror
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.
The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White was absolutely unexpected. I had no idea I was going to love this story as much as I did. I was completely transfixed with the descriptive writing and reading about the mystery of the Frankensteins’. Seriously, there is some dark magic involved because I couldn’t put this book down! In the deepest roots of this book, there is a feminist story about what it takes for a woman to survive in society. What she is willing to do and give up just to have a safe place to live. It is terribly dark and deeply disturbing, but so captivating.
Without spoilers, even though this is a retelling of a classic, there is so much story in these pages. We of course are following Elizabeth while she sets out on her journey to find Victor Frankenstein. Victor has stopped contacting her or his father. Elizabeth is concerned for her place in the Frankenstein household these days since she was brought to the Frankensteins’ as a companion for Victor.
She has spent her entire life sacrificing everything in order to keep Victor out of trouble, to help him learn how to be social, and make him a successful heir to the Frankenstein estate. She would do anything to maintain her status as a part of the Frankenstein household, otherwise she would have nothing. Elizabeth is smart, resourceful, and extremely likable character. You feel for her and what she’s been through. You are definitely routing for her the whole time.
From Elizabeth’s perspective, Victor is a genius, and just misunderstood. As the story unfolds we realize she is an unreliable narrator as she does everything in her power to cover up his madness. What has Victor been up to? Already knowing the course of the story, didn’t take anything away from reading this version. I was riveted.
Once Elizabeth starts to find Victor frightening, you know it’s real bad, and yet nothing is as horrid as being a woman in 18th century. So you know she is doing everything in her power as a lowly woman to hold onto her own life’s worth, until she realizes the moral of this story: what life is worth living, if you can’t save the ones who truly matter.
The audiobook narration was wonderful, I loved the emotions and the feeling the narrator imbued upon this story. I was riveted and hooked from the first chapter, whereas if I was reading the print, I might have found the pacing slower than desirable.
Would you let yourself fall into darkness in order to survive? The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein is so dark, yet delightful and such a wonderful story about what women had to do just to survive.
Christy had the opportunity to listent to Kiersten White speak about The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein on 9/30 at Kepler’s with Stephanie Garber! Here are some images from the event – you got to check out the artwork that was used to create the cover image!
Also Christy is the best because she got my copy signed as well while she was there!