Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Book Review: Dr. Frankenstein's Daughters

Author: Suzanne Weyn
Publication Date: January 1, 2013
Publisher: Scholastic

A new generation is creating a monster....

When Doctor Victor Frankenstein died, he left behind a legacy of horror...as well as two unacknowledged, beautiful twin daughters. Now these girls are seventeen, and they've come to Frankenstein's castle to claim it as their inheritance.

Giselle and Ingrid are twins, but they couldn't be more different. Giselle is a glamorous social climber who plans on turning Frankenstein's castle into a center of high society. Ingrid, meanwhile, is quiet and studious, drawn to the mysterious notebooks her father left behind...and the experiments he went mad trying to perfect.

As Giselle prepares for lavish parties and Ingrid finds herself falling for the sullen, wounded naval officer next door, a sinister force begins to take hold in the castle. Nobody's safe as Frankenstein's legacy leads to a twisted, macabre journey of romance and horror.
“How happy I was to see my twin! We embraced, both of us delighted that the long months of separation were over at last. When one is a twin, it is more than merely having a sibling. Other sisters might be affectionate but they can never know the feeling of being one with another human that twins enjoy.” – ARC Copy pg. 19

“‘I’m sure that it’s no matter for concern,’ Uncle Ernest assured us. ‘The man tells me that the people of this island think the castle is a fearful place. At least that’s what I think he said. Though I spent many summers on this island when I was young, I have not been here for some time, and the heavy dialect spoken by the people confuses me. He might have said it was a sinful place. I do not recall the locals having such a fear when I was a boy. Now they seem to think some evil surrounds the castle.’” – ARC Copy pg. 22

“Castle Frankenstein has set my imagination ablaze with ideas of both its past and its future. It is broken-down, disheveled, filled with insects and cobwebs; damp, leaky, drafty – and yet when I imagine how I can convert the rooms to my liking it fills me with excitement. The place is a blank slate, a tabula rasa, on which I can imprint my own vision. As we walked though the high-ceilinged open spaces of the castle, Baron Frankenstein bemoaned the decline of its condition, shaking his head woefully and muttering what a shame it was that the place had been allowed to fall into such disrepair.” – ARC Copy pg. 26

“‘No, that came later. He was acquitted of the crime, Ingrid. Your father was many things, but he was not a murderer. His alibi was that he was here, and people on the island confirmed it. But that was also when people became afraid of this place. Clearly my brother was going mad up here all alone. Who knows what horrific experiments he was undertaking?’” – ARC Copy pg. 47

“Even though I never knew him, I imagine that my father would have been proud of my inquisitiveness, and the lengths to which I’ve gone to investigate further.” – ARC Copy pg. 118
Ever since I was a child I loved the stories of Frankenstein and Dracula. I am not quite sure why, but these two fictional characters were just always works of genius in my mind. Their stories never scared me but rather allowed me to suspend my disbelief. When I came across this new novel by Suzanne Weyn I knew that I immediately had to request a copy for review. This story follows the twin daughters of Victor Frankenstein, the man who created a monster. Giselle and Ingrid do not know much of their father, having never met him, but they begin to learn more than they ever thought they would once news of his death reached them. The twin sisters have inherited Castle Frankenstein and all of its buried and hidden secrets.
This story is told between the shifting view points of Ingrid and Giselle Frankenstein. Ingrid is more down to earth and highly intelligent, just like her father, while Giselle is more glamorous and sees the castle as a project, in which she hopes to renovate and turn into a luxurious palace once again. Ingrid finds a stronger connection to their father, after living inside the castle, and begins to explore all of his journals, experiments, and findings. It was wonderful to read the two different perspectives because each girl was so different. They were honestly night and day. At first I didn’t think I was going to like the alternating chapters because I thought the book would read like a story instead of diary entries, but I was satisfied with the way each girl is represented and being inside each of their minds, not just the narrator’s.
The story didn’t take creepy twists and turns until after the first half. The further that Ingrid dug into her father’s past, the creepier the castle and its inhabitants became. The whole idea of uncovering the secrets of your supposedly mad and yet deceased father was an awesome concept, and I believe that Ingrid was just the right character to unveil it all. You find out more and more about Victor and his experiments as you read deeper into the book, like I said before. The action builds and builds with each chapter. Not to mention that both of the girls have love interests and romance is spread within some chapters throughout. It wasn’t as eerie as I thought that it would be, but when I did get to the eerie parts I could feel chills up my spine. I mean this is Frankenstein, it has to be a little scary!
The romance/love scenes did not take over the intent of the plot and I really appreciated that. I was most intrigued by Ingrid’s love interest and to be honest it took me by surprise. Walter was a war veteran who was confined to a wheelchair because of an extensive disability. Ingrid’s interest in him was apparent and understandable, but I questioned his motives for awhile. When she first met him she was alone and vulnerable and I was literally yelling at her as I read. However, Walter’s story becomes more complicated when he first sees Giselle. I do not want to spoil anything for readers, but I will say that these scenes were some of my favorite ones. It was very unpredictable!
I really enjoyed this book and I found it to be an easy read. I read it in one night and I was very enthralled in Victor Frankenstein’s legacy. Ingrid was obviously my favorite character because Giselle seemed a little daft at times. I am hoping that Suzanne decides to continue with these types of stories and maybe even with Giselle and Ingrid!
***A huge thank you to the publishers at Scholastic for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review***

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