In Geneva in the 1800s, the Shadow Boys, illegal mechanics, are the only ones that will care for those with clockwork limbs as they stay hidden from society. Alasdair Finch, a Shadow Boy has lost his brother and his sweetheart Mary and his chance to study under the infamous Dr. Geisler. Guilt ridden and desperate, Alasdair brings Oliver back from the dead but when Frankenstein is anonymously published, the similarities between Alasdair and Oliver are glaringly obvious. It’s publication intensifies the search for the Shadow Boys and the real life Frankenstein and his real life monster.
For some reason I began This Monstrous Thing with some trepidation. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s set in a Victorian steampunk era, which is something I don’t read a lot of, or if it’s because I was in the middle of a massive reading slump and was terrified this was going to be another let down, despite the largely positive reviews I’d seen. Yet I loved it. It was super enjoyable and engaging, and I regret putting off reading it.
I haven’t read Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, and so I think that this book can be enjoyed solely on its own merit and is a fantastic book nonetheless, though fans of Shelley would certainly enjoy this unique retelling.
I absolutely adored the characters, particularly Alasdair and Oliver. Clémence was also a force to be reckoned with. Romance is not really a large aspect of This Monstrous Thing, for which I am glad because Alasdair and his love for his brother was more than enough. So if you want a novel more focused on familial relationships, this is the book for you.
Emotional and captivating; this is a fantastic debut that is not to be missed.