This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee #BookReview #Playlist #Giveaway

This Monstrous Thing
by Mackenzi Lee
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: September 22nd 2015

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 Monstrous Thing was one of those books that I’m not sure what I was expecting. I have not read the original Frankenstein even though I’ve seen plenty of movies and even old time radio shows of the story. So I have the basic knowledge but wow was this book addictive. It wasn’t necessarily gruesome or even mad but it had that perfect creepy because it’s dark factor. This reminded me of some of my favorite old movies it had such a great feel to it. What a perfect way to reimagine Frankenstein and of course the fact that it’s got that Steampunk spirit. Well that’s always a sell for me.

I loved the way that Victor Frankenstein and his monster are incorporated in a way of both being fact and fiction. We get a little more insight to Mary Shelley herself and she is woven into the fabric perfectly. Who is the real creator of the monster.

This book is so creative and so well written. I was completely engaged from beginning to end. It takes the idea that we are all monsters really and draws on that. Showing how human nature can sometimes not be the most kind thing. This story also tells of brothers and growing up and trying to hold on to something whose time has run out. I almost felt a sort of symbolinence by the broken clock tower and when Alasdair destroys the little clocks. It’s when the clock is about to start ticking again (time start moving again) that stuff really hits the fan.

Definitely not a love story but I liked how there was that underlying romantic element of Alasdair and how he has created something in his mind that’s not reality. He knows it but he doesn’t want to admit it. I like how much he cares and loves his parents and brother.

The book to me was an amazing retelling. Sometimes it’s harder to write a review for something you absolutely love because I’m not always sure how to capture that feeling I’m left with. I would say if you are a Frankenstein fan read it. If you are not a Frankenstein fan necessarily (like me) read it. It’s eerie and dark but also intriguing and engaging.

This playlist was hard! I just really wanted to get the right vibe. 

Mackenzi Lee is reader, writer, bookseller, unapologetic fangirl, fast talker, and perpetually-anxious badass. She holds an MFA from Simmons College in writing for children and young adults, and her short fiction has appeared in Inaccurate Realities, The Friend, and The Newport Review. Her young adult historical fantasy novel, THIS MONSTROUS THING, which won the PEN-New England Susan P. Bloom Children’s Book Discovery Award, as well as an Emerging Artist Grant from the St. Botolph Club Foundation, will be published fall of 2015 by Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins.

She loves Diet Coke, sweater weather, and historical fiction. On a perfect day, she can be found enjoying all three. She currently calls Boston home.