Dr. Frankenstein’s Daughters by Suzanne Weyn: Review

Format: Hardcover, 250 pages Published: January 1, 2013 by Scholastic Press  ISBN:  0545425336 (ISBN13: 9780545425339) Edition language: English
Format: Hardcover, 250 pages
Published: January 1, 2013 by Scholastic Press
ISBN: 0545425336 (ISBN13: 9780545425339)
Edition language: English

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Synopsis:

A new generation is creating a monster….

Giselle and Ingrid are the twin daughters of Doctor Victor Frankenstein, but they are very different people, and when they inherit his castle in the Orkney Islands, Giselle dreams of holding parties and inviting society — but Ingrid is fascinated by her father’s forbidden experiments.

My Rating: 5/5 stars

Source: Netgalley and Scholastic Press

My Review:

Wow!!  It took about three pages for me to become totally and completely absorbed in Suzanne Weyn’s Dr. Frankenstein’s Daughters.  The book opens in June of 1798 in the pages of Dr. Victor Frankenstein’s personal diary where we discover his fear, guilt, and despair over having created what he calls, the Monster.  In the years since his creation, the Monster has pursued, chased, and hunted his maker in an effort to compel the scientist to create for him, a mate.  In an effort to protect his family, Dr. Frankenstein abandons them and goes on the run right up until the moment he dies leaving everything to his twin daughters.

Giselle and Ingrid are the twin daughters of Dr. Victor Frankenstein; though the girls have one another, they have very few other family members in their life and have become quite accustomed to being rather alone.  The night the twins were born their mother died delivering them and their father, the famed scientist abandoned them in order to preserve their lives and keep their existence hidden from the Monster.  In the years since that fateful night each girl has grown into her own: Giselle is beautiful, cultured, and interested in being a member of high society while Ingrid is the more plain of the two and far more interested in science and research than in her appearance and parties.  Despite their differences the girls are absolutely attached to one another and when they learn they have inherited their ancestral home in the Orkney’s, the distinguished title of baroness and a lot of money they jump at the chance for total freedom and independence.

Instantly the girls fall in love with Castle Frankenstein though for very different reasons.  Giselle sees the grand old castle as a place where she will host lavish parties and become what she desires above all else, a member of elite European society.  While exploring the castle, Ingrid stumbles upon her late father’s diaries and laboratory and becomes obsessed with his research.  Also of note: Ingrid becomes involved with their reclusive and seriously ill neighbor, Walter; Giselle is involved in several dangerous and scary events and; the island they live on, though small is experiencing an unusual number of unsolved and terribly violent crimes.

Nearly the entire novel is told through the girls’ diary entries which allows for a more intimate and personal interpretation of events.  The entries not only reveal the sisters’ thoughts and interpretation of events but also reveal their growth as characters.  Ingrid, in her obsession to help her love, Walter grows intellectually by leaps and bounds while Giselle becomes more aware of her place in the world and asserts her independence.  As events unfold both girls begin to note troubling changes in the other which causes concern on both sides.  The concerns are well-founded (and spoilery!!) and will keep the reader turning page after page after page as quickly as possible.  Every turn of the page brings heightened drama, more concern, greater intrigue, and increasing suspense which all culminates in a perfect storm of crazy and a guest appearance by Mary Shelley J

The Bottom Line: I knew this book was going to be, at least good, when I requested it from Netgalley and was in no way prepared for how very, very good it actually is!  I had absolutely no interest in putting this book down each time I picked it up to read.  I was desperate to know if Ingrid would be able to help Walter, who was next to be found dead, and how successful Giselle’s grand ball would turn out to be.  How everything comes together in the end is as surprising as it is creeptastic.  Dr. Frankenstein’s Daughters is a most intriguing, well written, and satisfying read that I can, without reservation, recommend to all readers, young adult and beyond.

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