by A. E. Rought
Plot Summary:Imagine a modern spin on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein where a young couple’s undying love and the grief of a father pushed beyond sanity could spell the destruction of them all.
A string of suspicious deaths near a small Michigan town ends with a fall that claims the life of Emma Gentry's boyfriend, Daniel. Emma is broken, a hollow shell mechanically moving through her days. She and Daniel had been made for each other, complete only when they were together. Now she restlessly wanders the town in the late Fall gloom, haunting the cemetery and its white-marbled tombs, feeling Daniel everywhere, his spectre in the moonlight and the fog.
When she encounters newcomer Alex Franks, only son of a renowned widowed surgeon, she's intrigued despite herself. He's an enigma, melting into shadows, preferring to keep to himself. But he is as drawn to her as she is to him. He is strangely... familiar. From the way he knows how to open her locker when it sticks, to the nickname she shared only with Daniel, even his hazel eyes with brown flecks are just like Daniel's.
The closer they become, though, the more something inside her screams there's something very wrong with Alex Franks. And when Emma stumbles across a grotesque and terrifying menagerie of mangled but living animals within the walls of the Franks' estate, creatures she surely knows must have died from their injuries, she knows.
Review:The author did a fantastic job spinning a romantic novel from the original idea of Frankenstein. Emma's grief at the loss of her old boyfriend transforms into an inexplicable connection to the new boy in town, Alex Franks, who is really too perfect for her in every way. Because of Emma's grief, the novel starts and continues with a pervading moody atmosphere that I found really helped accentuate the horror elements in this story.
At first I thought the romance would fall into the insta-love category, but I really loved how the author fleshed out their connection and personalities, though I was curious to know what personality differences there were between Daniel and Alex. Emma's character is 'broken' from the beginning, so I have to attribute that to the fact that she can be a little too dependent on Alex at times. I do like stronger female characters, but I can't say I didn't enjoy when Alex would come swooping in to save Emma. It's so romantic!
There are two main villains in this novel, and they are so intriguing that I really wanted to know more about them - I felt their motivations sometimes were a little murky - but they were not badly written characters at all. There is a nicely escalated sense of danger as Alex and Emma fall in love, and the two people who want to see them apart are forced to intervene. The story overall flows at a good pace, and kept me eagerly turning pages. The suspense comes mostly from needing to know what will happen to the characters, as Alex's secret can be easily deduced from the fact that this is a modern spin on Frankenstein.
review provided by the publisher through Netgalley
This book releases January 8, 2013