"The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein is a powerful read that is a brutal yet elegantly crafted retelling of Frankenstein. It is so much more than just a retelling though. It is a conversation of how we mold ourselves into meticulously imagined portraits of what we should be for someone else. How pleasing another can become an all-consuming darkness that becomes our way of survival. This book pushes you into the darker parts of your mind. It makes you think about how we will turn into something we’d rather not face in the mirror so that someone else will validate us and give meaning to an existence that gives a false promise of fulfillment. Go down the dark roads of this story and let your immaculate white clothing become bloodied and dirt-splattered with the uglier side of humanity. The monsters created by man are by far the most horrifying and greatest to fear. Their sweet smiles keep you from ever seeing their true nature." Constance
Fall 2018 Kids Indie Next List
“Pulling both from the text of Frankenstein and the life of Mary Shelly Kiersten White delivers a splendid imagining of what it might have been like to be a woman in the life of Victor Frankenstein. Elizabeth, a penniless young woman striving to find safety no matter the cost, finds herself tied to the mad young scientist. White's well written exploration of what one would do to be safe in a world where there are few sureties keeps the subtle climbing horror of the original work while exploring the causes and motivations that might go into the creation of a monster.”
— Jessica Cox, Plot Twist Bookstore, Ankeny, IA
"Exquisitely disturbing," raves internationally bestselling author Stephanie Garber of this stunning and dark reimagining of Frankenstein.
Elizabeth Lavenza hasn't had a proper meal in weeks. Her thin arms are covered with bruises from her "caregiver," and she is on the verge of being thrown into the streets . . . until she is brought to the home of Victor Frankenstein, an unsmiling, solitary boy who has everything--except a friend.
Victor is her escape from misery. Elizabeth does everything she can to make herself indispensable--and it works. She is taken in by the Frankenstein family and rewarded with a warm bed, delicious food, and dresses of the finest silk. Soon she and Victor are inseparable.
But her new life comes at a price. As the years pass, Elizabeth's survival depends on managing Victor's dangerous temper and entertaining his every whim, no matter how depraved. Behind her blue eyes and sweet smile lies the calculating heart of a girl determined to stay alive no matter the cost . . . as the world she knows is consumed by darkness.
"Exquisitely disturbing. The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein is a beautiful tapestry of horror, sewn together with threads of madness, obsession, and murder. Kiersten White has written a masterful and monstrous retelling."—STEPHANIE GARBER, #1 New York Times and internationally bestselling author of Caraval and Legendary
"Visceral, sinister, and inescapably compelling, The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein feels at once reverent of its inspiration, and entirely new. White's skill is scalpel-sharp." VICTORIA SCHWAB, #1 New York Times bestselling author of This Savage Song
“Kiersten White has breathed fresh life into a much-loved classic. Even Mary Shelley herself would be riveted by the dark lengths Elizabeth Lavenza would go to in order to survive. A dark and lovely midnight read.—MEGAN SHEPHERD, New York Times bestselling author of The Madman's Daughter trilogy
"In the hands of master storyteller Kiersten White, the bones of a familiar story are reconstructed to form an inventive, grotesque, and completely unexpected reimagining of Frankenstein. Mary Shelley would be proud."—MACKENZI LEE, New York Times bestsellingauthor of The Gentlemen's Guide to Vice and Virtue
About the Author
KIERSTEN WHITE is the New York Times bestselling author of the And I Darken series, comprised of And I Darken,Now I Rise, and Bright We Burn; the Paranormalcy series; Slayer, and many more novels. She lives with her family near the ocean in San Diego, which, in spite of its perfection, spurs her to dream of faraway places and even further-away times.
kierstenwhite.com @kierstenwhite on Twitter @authorkierstenwhite on Instagram
★ "Breathtaking."—PW, starred review
“In this clever retelling of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, White neatly undercuts the original by making Victor’s narrative wildly unreliable . . . this character-driven novel with a healthy amount of gore should appeal to horror fans, too.” —Booklist
“White adds emotional depth to a character who was passive in Shelley’s original. She highlights, with feminist sensitivity, Elizabeth’s total dependence as a woman of her time, playing whatever part is necessary to ensure her future. The novel continues in the gothic tradition of the source material, and the title speaks volumes about the darkness of tone and content. The language is often surprisingly lyrical with the narrative flowing smoothly despite frequent flashbacks. Twists and tweaks, especially toward the end, may take readers of Frankenstein by surprise, but will not spoil either book. Recommended for YA collections traveling on the dark side.”—SLJ
“An all-around win.”—Kirkus
PRAISE FOR THE AND I DARKEN SERIES:
“A dark and twisty fantasy. . . . Think Game of Thrones . . . but with teens.”—Seventeen, on AND I DARKEN
“Sinister, suspenseful, and unapologetically feminist.”—Buzzfeed, on AND I DARKEN
“Will completely spin you into another time and place.”—Bustle, on AND I DARKEN
“Takes no prisoners, offering up brutal, emotional historical fiction.”—NPR.org, on AND I DARKEN
“Gleams with fierce, cunning characters—absolutely riveting.”—#1 New York Times bestselling author Alexandra Bracken, on AND I DARKEN
“As richly complex and glittering as the Ottoman Empire itself.” —Robin LaFevers, on AND I DARKEN
“Kiersten White is a genius.”—Justine Larbalestier, author of MY SISTER ROSA and LIAR, on NOW I RISE
“This complex historical fiction offers a gender-switched take on the story of Vlad the Impaler, and Lada is as cold and bloodthirsty as her real-life male counterpart. . . . Readers will find her and (perhaps even more so) Radu relatable and human, flawed and engaging.” —VOYA, on AND I DARKEN
“Lush and ominous . . . teens will be entranced.”—SLJ, on AND I DARKEN