The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein – Kiersten White

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The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: PRH Canada
Published: 2018
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Mystery, Retelling, Historical Fiction, Gothic, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Childhood Friendship


REVIEW:

I am so glad I finally got around to reading this book, after months of deliberation (and a bit of procrastination), because Kiersten White develops her ideas in interesting ways. Granted, this is a retelling, so credit must be given to Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley as well, as the author of the original Frankenstein tale, which White would approve of based on her note at the end. But inspiration aside, this retelling stands out in a pool of other books of its kind. Continue reading

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Review: Dracula by Bram Stoker

17245Dracula by Bram Stoker

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Library
Publication Date: first published 1897
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company
Point of View: 1st Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 16+
Genres &  Themes: Adult, Classics, Vampires, Gothic

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BLURB:

The aristocratic vampire that haunts the Transylvanian countryside has captivated readers’ imaginations since it was first published in 1897. Hindle asserts that Dracula depicts an embattled man’s struggle to recover his “deepest sense of himself as a man”, making it the “ultimate terror myth”. Continue reading

Review: The Year of Shadows by Claire Legrand

The Year of Shadows by Claire Legrand

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
Publication Date: August 27th 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Point of View: 1st Person & Female
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Paranormal, Ghosts, Gothic, Friendship, Mystery, Family, Music

BLURB:

Olivia wants a new life, and it might take ghosts to get it. A heartfelt, gently Gothic novel from Claire Legrand.

Olivia Stellatella is having a rough year.

Her mother’s left; her neglectful father, the maestro of a failing orchestra, has moved her and her grandmother into the city’s dark, broken-down concert hall to save money, and her only friend is Igor, an ornery stray cat.

Just when she thinks life couldn’t get any weirder, she meets four ghosts who haunt the hall. They need Olivia’s help; if the hall is torn down, they’ll be stuck as ghosts forever, never able to move on.

Olivia has to do the impossible for her shadowy new friends: save the concert hall. But helping the dead has powerful consequences for the living; and soon it’s not just the concert hall that needs saving.

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Review: The Rose Master by Valentina Cano

The Rose Master by Valentina Cano

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: NetGalley
Publication Date: June 23rd, 2014
Publisher: REUTS Publications, LLC
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Gothic, Historical Fiction, Magic, Fairy Tales.

BLURB:

The day Anne Tinning turns seventeen, birds fall from the sky. But that’s hardly the most upsetting news. She’s being dismissed from the home she’s served at since she was a child, and shipped off to become the newly hired parlor maid for a place she’s never heard of. And when she sees the run-down, isolated house, she instantly knows why:

There’s something wrong with Rosewood Manor.

Staffed with only three other servants, all gripped by icy silence and inexplicable bruises, and inhabited by a young master who is as cold as the place itself, the house is shrouded in neglect and thick with fear. Her questions are met with hushed whispers, and she soon finds herself alone in the empty halls, left to tidy and clean rooms no one visits.

As the feeling of being watched grows, she begins to realize there is something else in the house with them–some creature that stalks the frozen halls and claws at her door. A creature that seems intent on harming her.

When a fire leaves Anne trapped in the manor with its Master, she finally demands to know why. But as she forces the truth about what haunts the grounds from Lord Grey, she learns secrets she isn’t prepared for. The creature is very real, and she’s the only one who can help him stop it.

Now, Anne must either risk her life for the young man she’s grown to admire, or abandon her post while she still can. Continue reading

Review of The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters

The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: NetGalley
Publication date: October 14th 2014
Publisher: Amulet Books
Genres & Themes: YA, Historical Fiction, Gothic, Romance, Magic, Women’s Rights, Liberty of Expression.

BLURB:

Olivia Mead is a headstrong, independent girl—a suffragist—in an age that prefers its girls to be docile. It’s 1900 in Oregon, and Olivia’s father, concerned that she’s headed for trouble, convinces a stage mesmerist to try to hypnotize the rebellion out of her. But the hypnotist, an intriguing young man named Henri Reverie, gives her a terrible gift instead: she’s able to see people’s true natures, manifesting as visions of darkness and goodness, while also unable to speak her true thoughts out loud. These supernatural challenges only make Olivia more determined to speak her mind, and so she’s drawn into a dangerous relationship with the hypnotist and his mysterious motives, all while secretly fighting for the rights of women. Winters breathes new life into history once again with an atmospheric, vividly real story, including archival photos and art from the period throughout.

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