A review by loreofthebooks
The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein, by Kiersten White

3.0

Elizabeth is devoted to Victor, and she can't see his faults. She knows Victor is the key to a great life, but she has to put up with Victor's strangeness. And his insanity. But will the cost be too high for Elizabeth?

I have yet to read anything by White that I hate. And I will admit, this was definitely not my favorite of her books, but I did very much enjoy it. White is a supremely talented writer and plotter. It is quite admirable.

"Selfish in life, selfish in death. That's what you com from."


First off, the concept of taking the original Frankenstein and then putting it from a woman's point of view was great. I've really enjoyed her woman characters. They all seem so powerful in their own ways. It makes reading the books an enjoyment. It was mostly the same for this book as well. I will say Elizabeth was a strong character, but I also didn't feel much love or hope for her. As a character I liked her. I think she is a great character because she is so flawed and damaged. But it makes her plot work very well for her. Justine creates a nice contrast to Elizabeth's character. This is not to say that Elizabeth lacked an arc, she didn't. It just didn't go in the way that I expected it to. I was surprised.

The trap was set. And I was both bait and poison.


There were a few characters in this book, but Elizabeth, Victor, Mary and Justine were the main ones. And more than that it was Elizabeth and her memories that were a big part of the story. I do think this book was mostly character driven, and in that aspect it really worked. Elizabeth drives the plot with her devotion to Victor. An almost blind devotion.

"While I saw the destruction of the tree as nature's beauty, Victor saw power - power to light up the night and banish darkness, power to end a centuries-old life in a single strike-that he cannot control or access." 


I think the characterization of Victor and Elizabeth's relationship was interesting. There were many ups and downs, and in and outs. I could never quite guess what was going to happen next between them. And this was partially part of the plot.

It has been some time since I read Frankenstein, so I know I was head scratching a bit at parts I didn't quite remember. But overall, it didn't detract from the story. As long as you know the plot of the original book you'll be fine.

As I said earlier, White is a really talented writer. She creates a lot of atmosphere in her books and she draws you in. You don't know what is going to happen next or what act the characters are going to do. It was all very eerie. It resembled a bit of the tone of the original novel.

I was overall impressed with this book. But for some reason I can't put my finger on why I didn't love it. I just felt that even personal wise, there weren't a lot of stakes in this book. Something just didn't click. I still enjoyed it, but something felt missing and I cannot explain why.