ARC Review | This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee

I received this book for free from The Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

ARC Review | This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi LeeThis Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on September 22nd, 2015
Genres: Historical, Horror, Young Adult
Format: ARC
Source: The Publisher
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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…

My Take:

Classics aren’t really my thing, so while yes, I know the generalized story of Frankenstein (because it’s like I live under a rock) I haven’t actually read the book. Still, when this one landed on my door step, I was excited to read it because the whole idea behind it intrigued me.

And I loved every minute of it.

There many, many aspects of This Monstrous Thing that I loved. I loved the meaning behind the book; and how all the characters try to define what/who is human and what makes us a monster. That, in conjunction with the historical steam punk setting made this such a page turner for me.

The characters were are brilliantly written and while I “liked” more than others, each one plays a large part in the story. I adored Alasdair. He has flaws for sure, and one could argue what he did to Oliver was selfish and in a sense, I agree. His regrets about that night Oliver died – and bringing him back, have plagued him for two years. It’s something that I want to talk about — but there is so much to say. His character was real to me, because he had real regrets and felt so much remorse for what he had done. But he also had those selfish thoughts of just leaving Oliver to his own devices. While yes, this is purely selfish I think it’s a realistic thought many would have. In any case.. I also loved how Mary herself was written into the story, too.

Oliver – while described more monster than man after Alasdair brings him back – really isn’t and this is what sparks the debate on what defines a monster. Oliver felt alone, isolated and looked the part – and that’s primarily Alasdair’s doing, if I were honest.

I loved how we got flashbacks into the past with Alasdair, Oliver and Mary. You get a better look inside their bond, the strains in their bonds and it’s slowly revealed what really happened the night Oliver died. It was brilliant.

I was truly blown away by This Monstrous Thing. An interesting, vivid setting with clockworks, amazingly written characters and thought provoking questions of humanity, even if you haven’t read the original Frankenstein (like me) it’s a MUST read! I highly recommend it!





Tell me your thoughts

  • Have you read This Monstrous Thing? If so, what did you think?
  • If not, does it sound like something you’d enjoy?

7 thoughts on “ARC Review | This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee

  1. Laura Hartley

    Wow high praise!!! I’m so stupid, I actually won this book in a giveaway but didn’t realise it was an ARC.. Will be reading this this weekend after your glowing review! Also Frankenstein is a pretty good book, even if you don’t like traditional ‘classics’! I’d highly recommend it 🙂

    Laura @ What’s Hot?

  2. Red Iza

    I haven’t read Frankenstein either, just saw the movies. I think the idea of a man trying to revive his son is believable and heartbreaking, more than just creating someone “new”. Great review, Tonyalee, I’m adding this to my list ^^

  3. Braine Talk Supe

    Just read your closing coz I’m currently reading this (at 30%) and I am loving it too! I was nervous at first because it was tagged YA, but it doesn’t feel like the usual YA I avoid. Also, I read the author’s note first, I love the story of how she came up with the idea of a steampunk Frankenstein retell.

  4. Danielle

    I always felt sorry for ol’ Frankie and would love to read a retelling! This sounds like it would be really intense and heartbreaking. Defo adding to my (never-ending) list!

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