Sunday, 21 February 2016

Isabella's Reading Corner: This Monstrous Thing

This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee
Published September 22nd 2015 by Katherine Tegen Books

This Monstrous Thing is a debut YA novel by Mackenzi Lee. It is an intriguing retelling of the Frankenstein story, but takes place in an alternate steampunk version of Switzerland in the early 1800s.

The book has a wonderfully mysterious Gothic atmosphere that really appealed to me. Alasdair is a Shadow Boy – he works on clockwork parts that in his world replace the missing limbs of war survivors. After a mysterious accident, he reanimates his brother Oliver and uses clockwork parts to put him back together. There is an intriguing emotional depth between the two brothers, Alasdair and Oliver, that is very believable. I loved the detail of the world and people the author created.

This is an entertaining & exciting retelling of a classic novel that I would recommend to fans of Gothic, historical fiction or fantasy, steampunk and alternate worlds. I am looking forward to reading future books by this author.

From the publisher:
A wildly creative Gothic fantasy retelling of Frankenstein, This Monstrous Thing is a wholly new reimagining of the classic novel by Mary Shelley and is perfect for fans of retellings such as Cinder by Marissa Meyer, fantasy by Libba Bray and Cassandra Clare, and alternative history by Scott Westerfeld.

In an alternative fantasy world where some men are made from clockwork parts and carriages are steam powered, Alasdair Finch, a young mechanic, does the unthinkable after his brother dies: he uses clockwork pieces to bring Oliver back from the dead.

But the resurrection does not go as planned, and Oliver returns more monster than man. Even worse, the novel Frankenstein is published and the townsfolk are determined to find the real-life doctor and his monster. With few places to turn for help, the dangers may ultimately bring the brothers together—or ruin them forever.

You can read my original Isabella's Reading Corner post on This Monstrous Thing here.


  1. This writer sounds very imaginative! The Frankenstein story is full of themes and conflicts that would work well in all sorts of settings.

    1. She really is, Tina. I really enjoyed the way she incorporated so many different elements of the story into the relationships between the two brothers.
      You should definitely read it.