The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White is a retelling of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, written to commemorate the novel’s 200th anniversary. The novel follows Elizabeth Lavenza as she is first introduced to Victor Frankenstein and taken in by his family to manage his temper.
Elizabeth is a crafty protagonist who, over the years under the care of the Frankensteins, is constantly plotting and scheming. Regardless of how messed up Victor’s actions may be, White gives glimpses of moments in Elizabeth’s relationship with him where she entertains him and covers up his actions. Her survival depends on Victor, and her plots are twisted and manipulative to make sure she survives.
Kiersten White’s novel is a solid retelling that incorporates elements from Mary Shelley’s story. Although it is not necessary to read the original novel to enjoy White’s take, The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein is dark and disturbing and perfect for those who enjoy a horror story with a cunning female lead.