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Blog Tour Review - A Power Unbound by Freya Marske

 Blog Tour Review - A Power Unbound by Freya Marske Secrets! Magic! Enemies to. . .something more? Jack Alston, Lord Hawthorn, would love a nice, safe, comfortable life. After the death of his twin sister, he thought he was done with magic for good. But with the threat of a dangerous ritual hanging over every magician in Britain, he’s drawn reluctantly back into that world. Now Jack is living in a bizarre puzzle-box of a magical London townhouse, helping an unlikely group of friends track down the final piece of the Last Contract before their enemies can do the same. And to make matters worse, they need the help of writer and thief Alan Ross. Cagey and argumentative, Alan is only in this for the money. The aristocratic Lord Hawthorn, with all his unearned power, is everything that Alan hates. And unfortunately, Alan happens to be everything that Jack wants in one gorgeous, infuriating package. When a plot to seize unimaginable power comes to a head at Cheetham Hall―Jack’s ancestral fam

Review - Frankenstein - A Retelling by Tanya Landman

Review - Frankenstein - A Retelling by Tanya Landman

A thrilling gothic tale of hubris gone badly wrong.

A young man’s search for the secret of the spark of life leads him to a horrific experiment in which he creates a gigantic creature from dismembered body parts.

Rejected by his creator, the initially gentle creature turns monstrous when his desire to find companionship and love are thwarted.

This is an excellent retelling of Frankenstein, keeping all of the key themes and style of the original intact, but presenting it in a clear, concise and very readable version.

Barrington Stoke are industry experts at creating books to suit reluctant readers and people with reading difficulties. They're also excellent reads for more experienced and capable readers who are looking for something short and straightforward to read. This is the third of their classic retellings I've read, after Pride and Prejudice and Little Women (both retold by Laura Wood) and is also the first one where I'm familiar with the original text. 

It's all in here. Frankenstein's ego and pride, and then his despondency and despair as his creation doesn't match up to his original dreams, worsening as the people he loves are slowly and cruelly taken from him; his creation's journey of self-discovery and learning as he is turned by the world around him into a monster capable of feeling nothing but cruelty and hate. The great tragedy of the novel comes across really clearly here, that the monster is incapable of truly understanding the world he suddenly finds himself in and everyone he meets refuses to accept him as anything other than a monstrous brute to be feared and chased off. 

The pace is fantastic, thrillingly racing the reader along to the frantic conclusion, getting all of the moral and philosophical elements across without dwelling overlong on any of it. I read through the whole thing in about an hour and felt like I'd read Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. It even captures the rather cruel and thoughtless treatment of Elizabeth, the orphan who is presented to a young Victor Frankenstein as "a gift" with the assumption that they'll one day marry, and then cruelly used for unfeeling revenge. 

Mary Shelley is a fascinating author. She's one of the originators of the horror novel genre, wife to a famous poet, daughter of a leading feminist and a leading anarchist thinker, but with a deserved fame that eclipses them all. I think Tanya Landman and Barrington Stoke have done her proud here, and I'm sure this will help a lot of young readers embrace her work.

Oh, and don't forget: Frankenstein is the name of the monster!


Frankenstein - A Retelling by Tanya Landman is published on 5 January 2023 by Barrington Stoke.

I was given a review copy via Netgalley in return for an honest review.


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