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Title: This Monstrous Thing
Author: Mackenzi Lee
Publication Date: September 22, 2015
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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…
When Alasdair’s brother Oliver dies, he is grief stricken. On a whim and with the help of Mary Goodwin, Alasdair digs up Oliver’s body. Alasdair believes he can bring Oliver back from the dead…and he does. Fast forward years later and Oliver is still alive and in hiding. The only people who know about Oliver is Alasdair and Mary.
There is such a wonderful cast of characters. Alasdair, who is good AND clever, is still haunted by his past mistakes. He is a good person, but puts too much pressure on himself. Oliver, oh sweet Oliver. Yes, he has changed since coming back from the dead, but he is still Oliver. He still wants to care and stand up for those who are persecuted. Clemence was easily my favorite. She is quick and bold, but also has a shy side. I was very happy for her and Alasdair to become friends. Now Mary, Mary is her own awful person. She is basically the entire reason for all the problems that arise. I can’t reveal much without spoilers, but don’t worry. You’ll hate her too.
This is was such an interesting story. The world building was fantastic and oh my, the imagery was brilliant. Anyone else think of the clockwork androids from Doctor Who when the automatons were introduced? This is the first steampunk novel I have read and I look forward to reading many more like this. The writing was beautiful and I will definitely be keeping my eyes open for Mackenzi’s next novel! If you have been thinking about picking this book up, don’t wait a moment longer!
4 out of 5 stars
Meet The Author
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.
James Franco as Oliver Finch
Devon Bostick as Alasdair Finch
Cara Delevingne as Clemence
Amanda Seyfried as Mary Goodwin
Seth Green as Dr. Geisler
“We’re all monsters,” I said. “We’re all careless and cruel in the end.”
I could see him clearly now, even in the dim light – the stitches across his forehead, gears pushing back against his skin, body that didn’t fit right – but more than that, I was seeing him Really seeing him, clearer than I have since the resurrection, and I knew him. It was Oliver, my brother…
I held those words tight for a moment, pressed them deep and hard inside me until they left an imprint there, a brand to carry and run my fingers over when I didn’t believe.
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Win a hardcover copy of This Monstrous Thing, a pair of Frankenstein socks, a copy of Color Your Own Graphic Novel Frankenstein, and This Monstrous Thing postcards, bookmarks, and buttons.