Thursday, March 10, 2016

Teen Frankenstein by Chandler Baker Review

"High school meets classic horror in this groundbreaking new series.

It was a dark and stormy night when Tor Frankenstein accidentally hit someone with her car. And killed him. But all is not lost--Tor, being the scientific genius she is, brings him back to life...

Thus begins a twisty, turn-y take on a familiar tale, set in the town of Hollow Pines, Texas, where high school is truly horrifying."

Though there are concepts taken from the beloved 1810s novel of a similar title, Teen Frankenstein is a whole different monster. It has a different plot, different set of characters, new set of murders/dead bodies, and a much different setting. But the narrator does bring back a dead body to life and chaos ensues. Plus, there's a monster dancing. And I mean, dancing to what should have been the "Monster Mash" song. Unfortunately, not.

Tor is a really intriguing narrator/main character, who is also somewhat disturbing (but no less interesting). Obsessed with resurrection and electricity, she is exactly the kind of Dr. Frankenstein the story needs. She is a fascinating character (and specimen, I admit) to analyze. She quickly gets over the fact that she committed (what appears to be) vehicular manslaughter and immediately begins working on a way to resurrect the boy she killed. She is a great parallel to the original Dr. Frankenstein except for the fact that instead of abandoning her monster, she "raises" it. And by raising, I mean by monitoring, experimenting, etc. with little regards to ethics. 

Speaking of parallels, I have to note that this book is a bit tamer than the original novel. There's less violence, and the female characters are stronger than the females of the older novel. Plots turn to different paths, and Frankenstein (the monster) isn't always the worst monster hiding underneath someone's bed. The parallels are truly interesting to look for, and I advise readers to keep track of them (if they have read the original 1810s novel, of course; readers don't have to read Mary Shelley's novel in order to understand this one). 

The plot sends the cast through a high school. The monster goes to high school, and yes, it gets amusing until a murder and disappearances begins to throw everything into doubt. It's fast-paced and full of science and mystery, and the book keeps going at it until everything (and I mean, everything) is revealed. 

The true villain is perhaps humans. Not the monster who is brought back to life, but humans. Humans who are able to crush another's feelings. Humans who bring destruction to wherever they go. Humans who are selfish... And I can probably ramble on and on, but it's truly an interesting development. 

The ending throws one character into doubt, and I absolutely love it. Unreliableness is practically dessert to me. 

Overall, Teen Frankenstein is a fun and modern twist on Mary Shelley's novel, Frankenstein. With a smart and unreliable narrator and a undead, dead monster, the book is best recommended for those who love the old tale and those looking for science fiction without any romances. 

Rating: Three out of Five

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