Hey fellow bookworms,
Today’s post is a book review, I know I haven’t been posting more reviews just because I’ve been on a reading slump as of of lately. But I think I am slightly getting out of it, I’ll be back to my reading groove soon enough.
Title: This Monstrous Thing
Author: Mackenzi Lee
Published: 22 September 2015
Pages: 384 pages
Genres: Science Fiction, Young adult fiction, Literary fiction
This is a retelling of Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley. The setting of the story is primarily in Geneva, where we follow the main character Alasdair, during the 1800’s. This story takes place in time whereby damaged/injured humans are repaired with gears and sporting clockwork, but then these people are not entirely accepted as humans. Alasdair and his family secretly repairs and maintains these clockwork humans and Alasdair is a gifted mechanic.
Alasdair is faced with a situation, whereby he is required to do something out of the ordinary and he turns to a friend named Mary to help him complete the task. Two years later the anonymously written Frankenstein creates a stir, and Alasdair recognizes his own story in the book and is finding it hard to deal with the fact that he’s been betrayed by someone he trusted.
We follow him as he tries to find a better way to deal with this controversy and we get to see how it affects him and his family.
- I’ve never read Frankenstein or its retelling before, so I was a bit hesitant when I started the book; thinking that I might get confused and not enjoy the book as much. But that was no the case at all, that really stood out for me, the fact that you don’t necessarily need to read Frankenstein before getting to this one.
- The world-building in this book is wonderful and detailed in a way that you don’t get lost in the details. I had a vivid imagination of what was going on in the characters because the author gave us enough background. Bit and pieces of the background were revealed to us, which kept the anticipation about the story going.
- I would have loved to read more about the science behind the clockwork, I think that the author could have done better on that part to make this book more interesting.
- The pacing of the book was perfect for me taking into consideration that we needed a lot of information to understand the world and how it worked.
- I loved the characters in this book, they are relatable, they make stupid decisions and are not perfect at all. The supporting characters were amazing and they stood out perfectly in the book. Also, I loved Alasdair’s relationship with his brother it is portrayed perfectly. They are elements of romance in this book, but are not the focal point of the story.
- This book addresses the topic of humanity, whereby two ways (Gods way i.e the bible and science) are woven to come up with this perfect story.
- At the end of this book, we get a section named; the author’s notes, which is basically an explanation of how the story is linked to the original story, which I found was very informative and its rare in such books.
“If you say anything enough, even the truth, it starts to sound like a lie”
“You can’t make people the way you want them to be. Sometimes you just have to love them how they are.”
“We’re all monsters. We’re all careless and cruel in the end.”
“Not all monsters do monstrous things.”
“Perhaps we all said the right things at the wrong time; perhaps we couldn’t help it. Perhaps words became too heavy to haul, and the moment we let them loose was always the wrong one, but they needed to be free.”
This Monstrous Thing is a beautifully written retelling book with a science-fiction, historical-fiction and action packed elements. Please do share your thoughts in the comments section.
Until next time, God bless you.