Friday, April 15, 2011
Review - My Frankenstein
In a small village in early 19th Century young Eva is enthralled by the new young baron, Viktor Frankenstein. Viktor promises to transform the traditional little town into a beacon of science and gives the book loving Eva access to his fantastic library. Eva becomes his student and assists him in a secret experiment, though she is kept in the dark about its ultimate aim. Soon after that Viktor introduces Eva to his “cousin” Adam. Adam is horribly disfigured with stitches running across his face. Viktor claims he is mute and simpleminded, but Eva takes pity on him and sets out to teach him to speak.…
What follows is a combination of tragic romance and classic horror as Eva is pulled between Viktor, who grows jealous and takes murderous steps to ensure his secret, and Adam, who possess tremendous strength and rage yet deep inside is innocent and vulnerable.
In his debut fantasy novel, Michael J. Lee retells the classic story by Mary Shelley as a dark romance with steampunk overtones.
Frankenstein was never one of my favorite stories. I liked it and appreciated it. But for me it wasn't on the same level as say Dracula. So I was interested in seeing how this story would come out. I have read similar stories in the past, where an author takes a classic tale and retells it from a different perspective. I have to say in this case I was pleasantly surprised with what I read.
I think most people reading this will know the story of Frankenstein. So going in you already have a passing familiarity with the concept. But Michael really goes further. He is not just retelling the story from Eva's point of view. He has really expanded it and brought it into a more steampunk era of progression as well.
Viktor isn't just a mad scientist. He really is a genius that can still be considered completely crazy. He has a secret ultimate plan that involves more than reanimation.
Eva is a great character. She is smart and strong and really progressive for her time. She sees things in a much wider view and an eye toward the future that most of her fellow townspeople can't envision. Sadly this makes her easier prey for Viktor when he comes to town.
Overall the story is not at all hard to follow. It paces well and does not drag. Its easy to read and is a really good thought out version of the story we all already know.