ARC Review: This Monstrous Thing

12:00 AM Serena 0 Comments

This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee
Expected Publication Date: September 22nd, 2015
Format/Source: eARC, courtesy of Edelweiss and the publisher. Thank you!
Rating: 4/5 stars
Part of a series? Nope. It's a standalone. 
Goodreads / Preorder: Amazon

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 year I challenged myself to read more 2015 releases, debuts in particular because I didn't get around to nearly as many as I wanted to last year. As I was going about looking for debut authors and novels, I found Mackenzi Lee on Twitter, and I just thought she was so cool that I went ahead and requested This Monstrous Thing as soon as I saw it on Edelweiss. Needless to say, I knew very little about it when I started reading (aside from the fact that it's historical fiction), and I was not prepared for the awesome. 

The awesome started with this chilling first line:

"My brother's heart was heavy in my hands."

And then I was hooked. It was slow going at times, but overall, it was really interesting. I loved the steampunk aspect and how Mary Shelley was worked into the plot, which I is something I was not expecting. It really delved into the sciencey part about building the Frankenstein monster in a not intimidating/overly sciencey way, which I loved because it sucks to read a book then get bored by the technicalities. 

But more than anything, I loved how the characters called to me; I could pick out parts of myself in each of them. Oliver and Mary are bookworms, and Mary "took books to bed like lovers". I'm sure we can all relate to that. Alasdair is carrying around this secret, and the guilt and remorse are, at times, eating him alive. Clemence and Oliver are trying to survive in a world that just doesn't get them or accept them for who they are, and my goodness, is that not the most crushing feeling? So even if you're not into sci-fi or historical fiction, that's cool because This Monstrous Thing is not just for those people; it calls to those who have ever felt out of place or unaccepted. And that's really cool. 

If you like sci-fi or action or kissing or monsters or Mary Shelley, check out This Monstrous Thing when it releases. If not, do it anyway because I am almost certain this book has a little something for everyone.