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This Monstrous Thing | Mackenzi Lee | Review

This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee. Book lying on white fluffy blanket. Blogger's Bookshelf.

Welcome to This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee

Lee's A Gentlemen's Guide series is so much fun so I was really looking forward to checking out her debut novel (which came out in 2017), This Monstrous Thing.

Here's the description: 

In an alternative fantasy world where some men are made from clockwork parts and carriages are steam-powered, Alasdair Finch, a young mechanic, does the unthinkable after his brother dies: he uses clockwork pieces to bring Oliver back from the dead.

But the resurrection does not go as planned, and Oliver returns more monster than man. Even worse, the novel Frankenstein is published and the townsfolk are determined to find the real-life doctor and his monster. With few places to turn for help, the dangers may ultimately bring the brothers together—or ruin them forever.

Pitched as almost a Frankenstein retelling, I was definitely intrigued. I love me a good retelling of fairy tales and other classics. While I hadn't actually read Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, I know enough of the gist of the story to recognise it all throughout this book.

It's not a plot-for-plot retelling, but rather the origins of the book. In the world where our protagonist Alistair lives, steam-powered clockwork people are common. But never has anyone brought someone back from the dead with clockwork. A book suddenly gets distributed to the people, giving the tale of someone who has brought someone back to the dead (like Frankenstein's monster). It's then Alistair's mission to find out who wrote the book and why it reads just like his life.

This was an okay book. But just 'okay'. I didn't love it like I did Lee's other books, but it was still a good story and a great feat for her debut novel.

It's always really interesting going back to an author's first few books after reading their more recent releases, and realising just how much they've grown and honed their craft. 

If you like retellings, classics, and a steam-punk vibe, then definitely pick up This Monstrous Thing. But if it's not really your jam, I suggest you give this one a miss. It's okay but not life-changing.

Have you read This Monstrous Thing? What did you think? 

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