Friday, September 18, 2015

This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee - Paul's REVIEW

*I received this book as an eARC from Katherine Tegen Books via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review*

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Title: This Monstrous Thing

Author: Mackenzi Lee
Upcoming Release Date: September 22, 2015

Synopsis: 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…


Review: This book was so much more than I expected! I LOVED it! It was heavier than I thought it would be, in subject matter considering I read this on my kindle. It started as a slow read, but I really got into it. The long chapters made me want to make sure I'd finish the whole chapter in one sitting. Between chapters, the book just kept coming up in my thoughts. This book was a thinker. 

This book presents so many interesting questions of humanity. It definitely is a spiritual sequel to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Speaking of the semi-source material, it is handled in such a unique way. The book and Mary Shelley both come into play within the story in interesting ways. I don't want to spoil too much, but I loved the way this book presented an alternate version of 1818 Geneva. The more you are familiar with both Mary Shelley and her famous book, the more I think you'll enjoy this. Although, I don't think it's necessary. 

There are wonderful steampunk aspects of this book, but it is done in a very realistic way. There aren't outrageous contraptions at every corner of the world, but the science present is more advanced than modern science. The political and social world created by merging this technology with the early 19th century makes for a complicated and interesting world. 

Some of the topics this book addresses include what it means to be human, what defines a monster, the feelings one has for their creator as well as the feelings a creator has for their creation, the many ways literature can be interpreted, responsibilities and attachments as burdens that hold one back and the freedom that may come when they no longer exist, the concept of possession once art has been released into the world, and more! There are a lot of great topics in this book. I almost wish I had read this as part of a book club so I could have had a glass of wine and discussed this book with fellow readers. 

I really enjoyed the clockwork imagery in this novel. The clock tower is very cool. The merging of mechanical and organic also leads to some really great mental images. 

I really, really enjoyed this book. It started out slow, but the meat of the book was substantial. Each chapter was a meal that kept me full until I sat down to read the next one. I give this book a 5/5 and will definitely be looking for more from Mackenzi Lee. You MUST follow her on social media! Her twitter is @themackenzilee. She also has a youtube channel!!!


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