The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White #bookreview #YA #fantasy #horror #historical #retelling

Title: The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein

Author:  Kiersten White

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Publication Date: September 25, 2018

Page Count: 304

My rating: 3.5 stars

About the book:

The New York Times bestseller! “Exquisitely disturbing,” raves internationally bestselling author Stephanie Garber of this stunning and dark reimagining of Frankenstein.

Elizabeth Lavenza hasn’t had a proper meal in weeks. Her thin arms are covered with bruises from her “caregiver,” and she is on the verge of being thrown into the streets . . . until she is brought to the home of Victor Frankenstein, an unsmiling, solitary boy who has everything–except a friend.

Victor is her escape from misery. Elizabeth does everything she can to make herself indispensable–and it works. She is taken in by the Frankenstein family and rewarded with a warm bed, delicious food, and dresses of the finest silk. Soon she and Victor are inseparable.

But her new life comes at a price. As the years pass, Elizabeth’s survival depends on managing Victor’s dangerous temper and entertaining his every whim, no matter how depraved. Behind her blue eyes and sweet smile lies the calculating heart of a girl determined to stay alive no matter the cost . . . as the world she knows is consumed by darkness.


The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White is a young adult historical and horrific fantasy read that is a retelling of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. This book is told from the point of view of Elizabeth Lavenza who was taken in by the Frankenstein family at a young age and later became Victor’s fiancee.

Being taken in by the Frankenstein family Elizabeth feels that she needs to keep her place in the home and retain Victor’s love no matter what the cost or risk her status and being on the streets. When Victor is away and stops returning her letters Elizabeth follows a dark and dangerous path trying to track him down and bring him home to her.

The story is told by following Elizabeth in her current time but also by flashing back to her childhood to give a background of the characters up to that point. It’s definitely a very slow burning novel that builds a different picture of the original showing the woman behind the man.

There were probably a lot of things within this retelling that someone more familiar with the original would catch but I don’t even want to mention how many years it’s been for me. Despite only vaguely having the original in my mind though I still enjoyed this retelling and seeing things through different eyes. Elizabeth was smart, determined and very manipulative on her own and despite the slowness of the book I was interested in watching her story unfold and in the end I’d rate this at 3.5 stars.

Find this book online: 

Goodreads  /   Amazon

About the author:

KIERSTEN WHITE is the New York Times bestselling author of the And I Darken series, comprised of And I Darken, Now I Rise, and Bright We Burn; the Paranormalcy series; Slayer, and many more novels. She lives with her family near the ocean in San Diego, which, in spite of its perfection, spurs her to dream of faraway places and even further-away times.
@kierstenwhite on Twitter
@authorkierstenwhite on Instagram

6 Comments on “The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White #bookreview #YA #fantasy #horror #historical #retelling

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