Friday, September 18, 2015

Blog Tour + Giveaway: This Monstrous Thing

This Monstrous Thing
by Mackenzi Lee
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: September 22nd 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Horror, Steampunk, Retelling, Historical, Science Fiction, Paranormal, Fantasy
Rate: 4.5/5 stars stars


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…  

This is the first book that both Cassie and I were able to read together since we were both sent copies, so we thought we would collaborate together about our ideas on the review and the dreamcast. The idea of steampunk Frankenstein is something that grabbed both of our attentions immediately and made us both want to put this on our "most anticipated fall list". The majority of the book takes place post publication of Frankenstein, which is published without an author. Living in a world where people with replacement clockwork limbs are already discriminated against, everyone is in an uproar. When Alasdair reads it, he believes Frankenstein might be based off the night he killed his brother and brought him back to life in the clock tower, but just who wrote it?

The characters were well-developed and you could truly feel the grief and guilt Alasdair felt, as well as the anger and frustration Oliver was dealing with throughout the story. Alasdair showed so much naivety regarding who wrote Frankenstein. If you are familiar with Frankenstein, you can probably guess who wrote it so it's not really a spoiler. It seems that Alasdair instinctively knew who wrote the story, but just denied it to everyone and anyone. If he would have just been truthful with himself and other people, it probably would have prevented a whole mess of problems. There were beautiful flashbacks of Oliver and Alasdair that really coincided with how different their relationship was post-reanimation. It would have been nice to get to know Oliver more before the whole ordeal, and we think the flashbacks definitely serve that purpose. While Mary was selfish, manipulative, and unreliable - which was definitely intentional - she added a lot to the story and you can really understand that she is just a deeply disturbed person. Clemence was a brilliant character and she was so easy to love. This definitely is a story that would also be great written in multiple points of view, but you still get to know the characters well from Alasdair's POV. 

We both thought the world building was fantastic with this twist put on the classic story of Frankenstein. The writing in this story was excellent and it was so easy to picture the setting of Geneva and Ingolstadt in the 1800's (clockwork style, of course). There were a few slow moments that made some scenes seem a bit monotonous. However, besides that the story's pacing was great. This is a book you obviously will want on your bookshelf - and not just because the cover is completely gorgeous! Undoubtedly, fans of classic novel retellings will absolutely adore this unique spin on Frankenstein. The ending wraps things up nicely, but still leaves it open enough for readers to imagine what is next for the characters. Basically the book can be summed up with this Robert Downey Jr. gif:

Aaron Johnson as Alasdair Finch 

Max Irons as Oliver Finch

Odeya Rush as Mary Godwin 

Mia Wasikowska as Clemence 

Kenneth McGregor as Dr. Geisler 

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Follow the This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest

Mackenzi Lee holds a BA in history and an MFA from Simmons College in writing for children and young adults. She loves Diet Coke, sweater weather, and Star Wars. On a perfect day, she can be found enjoying all three. She currently lives in Boston, where she works as a bookseller and almost never reanimates corpses. Almost.

Blog Tour Prize Pack (US ONLY):

One winner will receive...

A hardcover copy of THIS MONSTROUS THING 
A pair of Frankenstein socks
A copy of the Color Your Own Graphic Novel Frankenstein
THIS MONSTROUS THING postcards, bookmarks, and buttons


  1. I have this one to review, and I'm loving how great it all sounds. Nice review!

  2. This book looks awesome, and with a dream cast like that I think I HAVE to read it. :)