200 Years of Frankenstein: This Monstrous Thing

Way back on the first of January, 1818, a slim, but riveting novel about a mad scientist and his monstrous creation was released to the public. It was called Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus, and is thought by many to be the first true science fiction novel. By 1823, Mary Wolstencraft Shelley was finally credited as the author, earning her lasting fame and an endless stream of imitators.

Victor Frankenstein and his monster have been adapted into film and television almost as many times as Bram Stoker’s Dracula, iconic cinematic characters that keep Halloween stores stocked and profitable, and Gothic horror fans like me always hunting for more. In honor of Shelley’s contribution to Gothic literature, which turns 200 this year, I decided to look at a remarkable reinvention of the same story: This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee.

Book Cover: This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee

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Staff Recommendation: The Language of Thorns

The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic, an imaginative addition to Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha novels, was originally intended to be a prequel. What it became instead was a collection of fairy tales filtered through the lens of Bardugo’s fictional world, the stories that its children may have been told at bedtime.

Book cover for Leigh Bardugo's "The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic"

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Staff Recommendation: Leia, Princess of Alderaan

I’m back with another Star Wars review! As we seem to be ending every year on a new Star Wars movie–a trend I’m very much in favor of, by the way–we are also getting new accompanying novels to lead up to the latest film. This year’s crop of stories is subtitled “Journey to The Last Jedi,” in anticipation of Episode VIII coming out this December.

The first I read is Claudia Gray’s Leia, Princess of Alderaan. Gray is the same author who wrote Lost Stars, which may be my favorite Star Wars book to date. I’m happy to say she has more than fulfilled the high expectations I have for her work.

Book cover for "Star Wars: Leia, Princess of Alderaan" by Claudia Gray

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20 Years of Harry Potter

Platform nine and three-quarters from Harry Potter

On June 26, 1997, struggling author J.K. Rowling’s first novel Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was finally published by Bloomsbury in the UK after multiple rejections from other companies. It was published the next year in America by Scholastic under the name Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

Today marks 20 years since Harry Potter was officially introduced – 20 years of the scrawny, black-haired, green-eyed, bespectacled boy enchanting readers all over the world.

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