Monday, January 4, 2016

This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzie Lee Book Review

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…

*A special thanks to the publisher for this review copy*

I do not like historical fiction. Okay, I don't hate it but I tend to avoid them. I'm just not a fan of history--as crazy as that may sound. It tends to bore me, this probably explains why I can't get into most classics. But, I'm trying. Anyway, I'm saying that to say despite my usual dislike for historical fiction I quite liked This Monstrous Thing. I haven't read the original Frankenstein so I have nothing to compare it to. But, from what little knowledge I have of the story I liked the steam-punk version. 

It was quirky and worked for the story. The characters were interesting--I was more fond of the female Character Clemence in this one. I tend to stray towards the male characters but I liked her. She was crass, and took no mess and it didn't seem like she was trying to hard. I liked that. The main characters, Oliver and Alasdair (I love that name, btw) they were cool. I don't have any particular feelings for them but I liked them. I liked their brotherhood, and I liked the fact that despite all that happened--their brotherhood remained intact.

For the most part I liked the story. I don't have much to say about it besides that, which is not too helpful but it's all I have really. This is a great read for historical fiction and steam-punk fans. I know the blurb mentions a sweetheart but don't go looking for any romance here because you won't get it. 

You'll get lots of scientific-y, bro-mance, steam-punk-y feels.


  1. I enjoyed this one and rated it 3.5 stars as well. Now, compared to Mary Shelly's Frankenstein, this wasn't all that. But since this story is a sort of what if with Shelly thrown in the mix of the madness, it was cool. I wanted more, but I still liked it. I think that the steampunk aspect worked for this, otherwise the author would have had to take a different route. Great review!

    1. Thanks. It wasn't my favorite but I enjoyed it still!

  2. At least you liked it! ;)

    I did like the steampunk aspect, it was a nice little twist to the story I thought.

  3. I'm glad you liked this one despite not being a historical fiction fan. I enjoyed it a lot. I particularly liked the incorporation of the actual Frankenstein book into the narrative. I agree on the characters though, Clemence was the best and the female characters who were more secondary shined more than the male characters who were the protagonists.
    Cassi @ My Thoughts Literally

    1. Yeah Clemence was the best definitely outshined the guys!

  4. I'm glad you enjoyed it! I've been wanting to read this one. I definitely recommend reading the original Frankenstein book if you're into classics. :)

  5. I actually just got this in the mail right before Christmas, and even though it's not what I typically read, I'm excited.

    I'm glad that it kind of worked for you because, like you, I'm also not a fan of historical fiction. It gives me hope that I'll like it.

    Great review, Jazmen!

  6. I've seen this book around, and I've been debating whether to read it or not. I'm not the biggest fan of historical fiction, but my interest in Frankenstein might make me read it someday. Great review!
    ~Erika @ Books, Stars, and the Pages in Between.

  7. The only historical fiction I can stomach is anything with actual historical significance. Does that make sense?

  8. I like historical fiction actually but have never read steam punk. Maybe I'll try this one? Great review!

  9. I have the exact same thoughts as you! I just recently read this, and although I didn't love it, I didn't hate it either! I liked the characters enough, but it wasn't enough for me to get invested in them, if you know what I mean!

    Awesome review Jazmen!

  10. I love historical fiction and I really have been wanting to read This Monstrous Thing. Though I haven't read Frankenstein, either. It sounds really good and i'm glad you enjoyed it. I'm excited at the prospect of no romance and instead, bromance.
    Great review!
    Olivia @ Fluttering Pages