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September 19, 2015

Steampunk Sundays: This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee

Series: Standalone
Format: eGalley
Release Date: September 22, 2015
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Recommended By: My Guilty Obsession
Genre: Young Adult Steampunk

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.



What if the novel Frankenstein was real? What if Mary Shelley was there to really observe Dr. Frankestein work (AKA Alasdair's mad genius) and have her novel come to life instead of it remaining as a sordid make-believe? And what if The Monster wasn't an amalgam of mangled parts of various corpses but Oliver, Alasdair's brother, who died suddenly, unexpectedly, and was then ressurected to assuage his guilt?

Fascinating concept right? THIS MONSTROUS THING by Mackenzi Lee is a great nod to the gothic genre and a wonderful homage to Mary Shelley's classic tale. MLee preserved the eerieness and moral dilemmas of the original story while at the same time reinventing and making it a brand new tale that's totally hers. 

The steampunk elements were more of an accesory than a main plot driver, a great enhancer to an already fantastic base. I also loved how MLee cleverly wove fact and fiction together in THIS MONSTROUS THING by adding anecdotal scenes referring to the actual Mary Shelley and how she came about her novel, Frankenstein. I was completely absorbed by Alisdair's drive to make things right with Oliver and the latter's constant state of confusion about who he is and what he's supposed to be. But perhaps my favorite part is the Author's Note in the end. See, I'm always fascinated with how these amazing writers come up with their fantastical tales and MLee was generous enough to answer that question for me in the end. It's the perfect cap to the story. 










Talk Supe


34 comments:

  1. Oh I think I really might like this one. Spooky cover too.

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    1. Give it a go, it might give you the taste to read more steampunk

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  2. I'm going to go visit the Frankenstein statue and Mary Shelley's house to take pictures for you, Braine!
    And I really want to read this book :) Great review!

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

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  3. what a fun idea there, I like the topic used, it sounds really fun. I would love to try it as well. SO curious! great review!

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    1. Go for it! It's still in EW. Grab it before it gets archived

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  4. I really do love author notes at the end - they can be quite fascinating! This sounds great though. I'm really glad you liked it - a case of the summary being good translating to the book being good. haha

    -Lauren
    www.letsgetbeyondtolerance.blogspot.com

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    1. Me too! I always read that part, they have cool and interesting stories to share

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  5. I'm so looking forward to this one. Not only is it a retelling of sorts, but It's Frankenstein. God, that is one of my favorite Classics. It runs neck and neck with Dracula and Pride & Prejudice. I need this one now! Great review!

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  6. This sounds goood...I have it on m wishlist, thanks to Ali, but you sealed the deal

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    1. She made me read it too. I thought it was going to be very YA, she assured me it wasn't and that's what did me in.

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  7. Not a new concept, but with a lot of potential. It's on my list too :)

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    1. It's well executed. I hope you enjoy it :)

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  8. I've added so many of your steampunk reads to my TBR, including this one, lol. I'll also let Melissa know about it, because it sounds exactly like her type of read. :D

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    1. Sounds like you need to join the Steampunk weekend movement :)

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  9. I'm so excited (and relieved) that you loved this every bit as much as I did! Yay! It really was a fun take on the old classic.

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  10. Fantastic review, B. As much as I'd like to see all the ways the author owned Frankenstein, the genre, unfortunately is not for me. So glad you loved it, though!

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    1. Thanks for always checking out my Sunday posts. I appreciate the readership, Joy :)

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  11. This concepts fascinates me. I love to hear that the steampunk was not a plot driver. So happy I picked this one up. Now I gotta read it soon.

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  12. I've been hearing good things about this one! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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    1. You should read it, I think you'll like it very much.

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  13. This sounds like a creepy steampunk read! It is a fascinating concept and I can imagine it would lead to some interesting moral decisions. I am not sure if I would enjoy this one, but it sure sounds well written. Great Review!

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    1. Well, if you get a wild hair on your butt, give this a try ;)

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  14. Gorgeous review! I'm so glad I grabbed this one and I;m excited even more after reading your thoughts. I had not picked up on the authors notes addition throughout - very cool! :)

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    1. Don't skip that part, fascinating trivia.

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  15. Ooooh. You are really hitting it out of the park with the last few reviews. This sounds amazing too! :D Thank you!

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  16. This sounds really great, I may have to pick this up for my boyfriend :)

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  17. I loved this review and of course I'm a fan of Frankenstein. 'm embarrassed to admit and must be the only person in the family here who doesn't really understand the Steampunk genre?!(lol) Can you share when you have time? Hugs...Ro

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