The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein
By: Kiersten White
Publication Date: September 25, 2018
Bang Bang Review
Our story begins with a despondent Victor already at University leaving a love lorn Elizabeth waiting at the Frankenstein manor. She’s waiting for a letter from Victor after months of silence. She’s waiting for Victor to marry her so she won’t be thrown out of the manor and she reminds us ALL THE TIME. She’s tired of waiting so the story opens with her and the governess, Justine, traveling to find Victor at his school.
The novel is called the Dark Descent of … but she doesn’t descent darkly enough. She’s jealous and paranoid but that’s about it. She’s worried about her future in the manor because she no longer has her purpose of distracting Victor now that he’s in school and that’s understandable. White paints the picture of an Elizabeth who is jealous of the governess and friend Justine because she has a purpose and she’s content but White doesn’t go dark enough. If she was truly descending, she would be a manipulative saboteur but White makes her too altruistic. It is possible to make a sympathetic villain-look at Cersei Lannister from Game of Thrones.
The writing is too one the nose. White makes is PAINFULLY obvious that Elizabeth is too dependent on Victor and will eventually grow to be independent. That’s the normal arc of many characters but White pounds it into to reader’s head that Elizabeth is a weak woman who needs Victor to save her. I eventually became bored with the story and just wanted Elizabeth to get a clue, grow a pair, and be her own woman.
White also doesn’t create a creepy atmosphere. There’s an attempt but I wasn’t transported to the urine smelling mud soaked 18th century German town.
I just wish White had have gone deeper into the mania a person is capable of experiencing. We just get some mild hysteria from a girl we’ve read before.
Bang Bang Rating: