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elvenjaneite

By Singing Light

Pretty much everything here originally appeared at my actual blog: By Singing Light. I particularly focus on upper middle-grade and young adult books. I also enjoy adult genre books, especially speculative fiction.

Currently reading

Landmarks
Robert Macfarlane
The Lost Tools of Learning and the Mind of the Maker
Dorothy L. Sayers
Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens Lost Stars
Claudia Gray, Phil Noto
Cloudwish
Fiona Wood
The Seventh Bride
Kingfisher
Hope in the Dark
Rebecca Solnit
The Watchmaker of Filigree Street
Natasha Pulley
The Secret of a Heart Note
Stacey Covington-Lee
Outrun the Moon
Stacey Lee
Wintersong
S. Jae-Jones

This Monstrous Thing

This Monstrous Thing - Mackenzi Lee

This is also historical fantasy, set in 1818 Geneva. It’s a steampunk alternate history of the writing of Frankenstein. I wondered how well this might work for readers who either haven’t read Frankenstein or who don’t know that Mary Shelley was born Mary Godwin (although it’s eventually spelled out for us). But I liked the way Lee translated the concerns of early 19th century Europe into this society anxious about clockwork men (created in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars), about the rise of technology and the concern with what is natural vs. monstrous. The uprising aspect didn’t work quite as well for me, but I did appreciate that it was an attempt to draw on actual historical events. Alisdair is a mostly sympathetic main character, although I liked him best when he was interacting with Clemence. All in all, this is a pretty solid and interesting look at Frankenstein and some of its concerns.

 

Also, I had a Hamilton moment, because it turns out that Aaron Burr (sir) was close friends with the Godwin-Wollstonecraft household and knew Mary Shelley fairly well when she was young. He even had a portrait of Mary Wollstonecraft copied and sent to his daughter Theodosia! (So now I want that AU fanfic where Theodosia and Philip Hamilton both live and fall in love and hang out with the Shelleys and Lord Byron because tell me THAT wouldn’t have ended in at least one duel and maybe a continental war.)

Source: http://bysinginglight.wordpress.com/2015/11/09/cybils-round-up-carson-and-lee-bonus-hamilton-moment