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Publisher's Summary

Don't miss this monster of a New York Times best-seller, a stunning and dark reimagining of Frankenstein that internationally best-selling author Stephanie Garber raves is "exquisitely disturbing". 

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. 

An NPR best book of the year. A Chicago Public Library best book of the year.

"A masterful and monstrous retelling." (Stephanie Garber, number one New York Times and internationally best-selling author of Caraval and Legendary)

"Inescapably compelling." (Victorial Schwab, number one New York Times best-selling author of This Savage Song)

"An inventive, grotesque, and completely unexpected reimagining of Frankenstein. Mary Shelley would be proud." (Mackenzi Lee, New York Times best-selling author of The Gentlemen's Guide to Vice and Virtue)

©2018 Kiersten White (P)2018 Listening Library

Critic Reviews

“If you read Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and thought the ladies in that were getting a bad deal, then this is the book you've been waiting for.... White is unafraid to dig in the graveyard and piece together a creature of her own design out of old parts, and the resulting tale is dark and chilling.” (NPR)

"This novel indeed descends to “dark and hellish” depths, but captivated readers will avidly plumb them in the company of the complicated and compelling Eliza­beth Frankenstein." (Horn Book)

“In this clever retelling of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, White neatly undercuts the original by making Victor’s narrative wildly unreliable...this character-driven novel with a healthy amount of gore should appeal to horror fans, too.” (Booklist)    

What listeners say about The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein

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  • MK
  • 02-02-19

Engrossing

Fantastic novel. I was captivated from the first chapter. Wonderful narrator and such a great story - especially if you’re a Frankenstein fan but wished for more women.

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I love this book

Holy crap, this was amazing. I caught myself yelling at Elizabeth at certain sections, rooting for her in others. This is wonderful.

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Perfect

the narration is not only flawless,the wa accents are spot on. the writing is sharp, perceptive. startlingly funny at times.

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Too good to stop listening

The evolution of Elizabeth, Viktor, and the concept of being a monster is so well written. I loved this story for how it thinks all the pieces together from beginning to end

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Loved it! Narrator was amazing.

Perfect blend of horror and thriller. I hope there will be more like this, a possible series.

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loved it!

Really enjoyed this. As an English teacher, I thought I knew how it was going to go, but I was wrong. It'll keep you hooked and guessing until the end!

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Different and Lovely

I am a big fan of the Frankenstein novel. I was nervous and excited about this release from Kiersten White retelling the tale from a different perspective. However, from the very start....even the dedication...this book was wonderful. It was beautifully written and narrated.
I loved hearing this tale from Elizabeth's point of view. I loved the small changes and the possible expanded details of the original story.
I would recommend this to all fans of Frankenstein, even if you are only fairly familiar with the original story- this is one not to miss!
Mary Shelley would be proud!

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Gripping

I loved, loved, loved this story. Being a fan of the original Frankenstein I enjoyed the plot twist and perspective of the main character and new characters. Told from Elizabeth Frankenstein’s perspective, Victor Frankenstein’s childhood companion then eventual wife, we get a new perspective of the characters involved. Well written and performed I am recommending it to everyone I know who loves books. Perfect for the Halloween season.

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Slow starting but amazing

It started out really slow in the beginning, I almost stopped listening and exchanged it. I’m so glad I didn’t because honestly I prefer this retelling of Frankenstein than the original. I always liked Frankenstein but it never had much depth to the characters as this one did. I’m very glad I pushed through the beginning, it was worth it!

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I liked this retelling

I really enjoyed this retelling. I liked that it was so similar to the the original Frankenstein and I feel like it really honoured the original story. Such a refreshing take on a superb classic.

1 person found this helpful

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  • S Gonzalez
  • 11-06-18

Solid YA book

I really enjoyed this book. First half was perfectly paced. But the second half was rushed, too rushed.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Razz Berry Muffin
  • 11-17-20

Fantastic! ... but not for tweens🤔

I searched in the audible shop app for ‘books for tweens’ s as I was about to drive for an hour & half with my twin 8 yr olds.

This book came up first. I listed to about 3 or 4 chapters with my kids but they hated it. It was much too slow moving, dark, subtle & complex for them. So we gave up & played music instead.

I was intrigued though, & continued to listen later on my own, becoming more & more engrossed. I loved this book immensely!

Only criticism is why is it listed as a ‘tween’ book?!? It would be ok for teenagers, but possibly too dark even for some of them!

Oh, & there was one plot point which did not make sense but no spoilers!