Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein” as Want to Read:
The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  3,894 ratings  ·  1,227 reviews
Elizabeth Lavenza hasn't had a proper meal in weeks. Her thin arms are covered with bruises from her "caregiver," and she is on the verge of being thrown into the streets . . . until she is brought to the home of Victor Frankenstein, an unsmiling, solitary boy who has everything--except a friend.

Victor is her escape from misery. Elizabeth does everything she can to make he
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 25th 2018 by Delacorte Press
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Camille It is definitely more historical then the original but it does have a bit of the original sci-fi aspect. Don't go into it expecting that much sci-fi…moreIt is definitely more historical then the original but it does have a bit of the original sci-fi aspect. Don't go into it expecting that much sci-fi though(less)
Millie Bolton There's somewhat of a love triangle but it's not really the main focus at all

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
Emily May
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sometimes we were strangers even to ourselves.

For the first two thirds, I thought this book was pretty good. Frankenstein is one of my favourite books, and I like it when authors give a voice - and different perspective - to a side character. But it is in the final third when this book goes from pretty good to excellent.

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein is, essentially, a retelling of Frankenstein from the perspective of Elizabeth - an orphan taken in by the Frankenstein family and la
Victoria Schwab
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well that was dark and delicious.
شيماء ✨
you know what’s really fun and in style right now? retellings of old famous tales but focusing the spotlight on the lives of the women in them and carving more spaces for their stories.

I’m so excited to read this book!!
Elise (TheBookishActress)
You are mine, Elizabeth Lavenza, and nothing will take you from me. Not even death.

I do not think I expected one of the best books I read this year to be a retelling of Frankenstein where it’s not just about the nature of monstrousness, but about the power of women working together and escaping an abusive relationship, with intoxicating writing and a morally grey lady as the protagonist. And yet… here we are.

I don’t think you can talk about this book without talking about the characters, be
Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
“Elizabeth,” he said, his tone firm and chiding. He lifted my chin and fixed my eyes with his. “You are mine. You have been since the first day we met. You will be mine forever. My absence should not have caused you to doubt the firmness and steadfastness of my attachment to you. It will never fade.”
This turned out to be a pretty twisted love story.

I read Frankenstein in more details than anyone should ever read a book when I was in 10th grade. I was in Academic Decathlon, and that year, for

ARC provided by Random House in exchange for an honest review.

“Some nights, when even my child’s heart knew that what I had been asked to endure was too much, I would stand on the edge of the lake, lift my face to the stars, and scream. Nothing ever called back. Even among the creeping things of the lake’s night, I was alone. Until Victor.”

Kiersten White wrote this book to honor the fact that 2018 is the 200th anniversary of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley! It has been ten years since I picked
Kayla Dawn
Oct 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: owned-books
I'm so goddamn disappointed.

I really enjoyed the first 150 pages or so (even though most people who disliked this seem to think it was the boring part of the book lol) but it just went downhill after this..

Everything happened so fast and was unnecessarily rushed. Why not write a longer book? It only had around 280 pages anyway.
It read as if White just wanted to finish as quickly as possible.
Because of that the story got more and more unbelievable and felt artificially constructed, forced even
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
I don't know how I feel yet. Going with the middle road for now

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
✨    jamieson   ✨
Oct 24, 2018 marked it as to-read
will THIS be the book that teaches the world frankenstein is the scientist not the monster
Aug 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
"I thought to puncture heaven and instead I discovered hell."

Everything about this book screams READ ME. And yes, it does so in caps lock.

It is so promisingly creepy and twisted, exactly what a perfect book sounds like to me. I am a big fan of Penny Dreadful (it's on Netflix and you need to watch it right now) and this book had some major PD vibes. It started out strong but the thrill of it all lost itself toward the ending. I immediately fell in love with Elizabeth, the main character. She was
Sep 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-reads, e-books
This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription

“For everyone made to feel like a side character in their own story”

🌟 I like the dedication of this book very much as I always think of people as main or secondary characters. I myself am a secondary character!

🌟 Some of you know that I didn’t finish the And I Darken book. But you also know that I believe in second chances. I wanted to give Kiersten her second chance, and while this was not a favorite book, not even c
may ❀
this book was a Ride

so creepy, so entertaining, so messed up. the characters are really deep and flawed and terrifying. and those plot twists, hashtag 👌



my brain: you're already reading a kiersten white book and it's not going so hot so why not pick up ANOTHER ONE OF HER BOOKS 🤪🤪


buddy read with claraaa 💖
Elizabeth was deliciously flawed 😈. loved her character and the growth she experienced.

I loved the message of this book: Be you! Be your gloriously flawed self. Do not try and change who you are for others. And last, but most importantly, create your own future. Do not let others dictate it for you. Ugh, where was this book when I was teenager!

I loved Kierstan's writing! It is always so beautiful! After about page 60 the pacing and the plot really picks up. So don't give up before you get at le
Nadhira Satria
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: most-anticipated
“What’s disappointment?” They asked.
This book apparently.
“Who’s disappointed?” They also asked.
Me, bitch.
Korrina  (OwlCrate)
I finished it! But I can’t really decide how I want to rate it yet. I liked it, but I don’t think I was in the right mood to read it. But the writing was quite good, it was definitely creepy and interesting. And if you like the source material, you’ll probably find a lot to enjoy in this retelling.
Oct 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: october-tbr
I'm super conflicted on this. I loved the characters so much. Elizabeth is one of the best protagonists I have read from. She's my slytherin queen.
But this was so boring. The pacing was all over the place. There were really long stretches where nothing happened and then the action scenes went by so fast. I also fell asleep while reading it at one point which never happens so........
Sep 14, 2018 marked it as to-read
This is intriguing.
Natalie Monroe
“You are mine, Elizabeth Lavenza, and nothing will take you from me. Not even death.”

I have a confession to make. Even though I'm getting an MPhil in Victorian literature, I have never read Frankenstein.

gasps all around

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Get back to your hidey-holes, you ghouls.

I do know that the original Elizabeth Lavenza is a classic "Angel in the House" figure. She's sweet, passive, bland. Some scholars have argued that she smoothly rotates through the three prime female paradigms of the nin
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Whoa!!!! 😲
A fabulously reimagined retelling of the famous novel of Victor Frankenstein and his monster creation. However this story is told from the point-of-view of Elizabeth Victor's adopted sister and eventually his wife.
I don't say this lightly and I mean it when I say this, this may be the perfect book guys! Masterfully written in the perfect language skills that reflect the time era it was written for. Little homages speckled here and there throughout the book as if to give an honorable c
Oct 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, retellings
The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein
by Kiersten White

2.75/5 Stars!

Buddy read with Karima

This was my first experience with Kiersten White’s book, although she has many famous books that I have no intention to read at the moment, for a reason I seemed interested in this one. But why this book has caught my interest was because it is:

1) A retelling of the world’s first sci-fi book that has ever been created; the infamous “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley.
2) It focuses on Elizabeth Lorenzo. A gr
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
“You are mine, Elizabeth Lavenza, and nothing will take you from me. Not even death.”

I really enjoyed this. The character of Elizabeth receives a backbone and an unconventional retelling. Smiles, dimples and sweet curls are the face behind a manipulative mind in more control than others would realize at first, deceived glance. The flashbacks embedded into the story between the present hunt and discovery were especially interesting - I get impatient with this kind of thing usually, but in this c
Merphy Napier
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: four-stars, retelling
Some things I loved:
-These characters were REALLY twisted. I loved how obsessive, and calculating these characters were throughout the novel. Very intriguing and so interesting to see how their minds worked (especially victor)
- The many nods to the original. I loved how much this book looked like the original classic without following it exactly. It was so much fun to make the connections and guess where the story would go based off the original book. There were so many beautiful nods to the or
i would die for elizabeth and mary (view spoiler).



i... have never read frankenstein, but i will read anything kiersten white writes.

// buddy read with a babe
"The border between life and death had fascinated Victor for so long."

How she met him......Elizabeth Lavenza, a little five year old beauty lived a life of fear and brutality before being rescued to serve as playmate and companion to a young, intense and mysterious Victor. Judge and Madame Frankenstein prayed the young girl would tame his dark moods and unpredictable fever dreams....and it worked. As time passed, Elizabeth came to love him and the dark isolated manor....would do almost anything


I think I read the OG of frankenstein last year?? Might've been this year (super awk if it was but then again, I read a TON of books!). Either way, I was geeking out about this book. Ever since I saw this beautiful cover on GR, I desperately wanted it! Then when I walked by it at B&N.. damn, did I want to buy it. I didn't because I have so many other physicals that I need to dive into but I did find the audio on my library's app - so I went with that.


Actual rating: 3.5 stars

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein is quite an unusual book that will haunt your dreams long after you finished it.

I am a goner for dark morally ambiguous stories that make you reconsider things you never questioned before, or in the case of this story - things you thought were quite solid and unchanging. But of course, Kiersten White is a goddess sent on earth to torture us with her talent and she is beyond successful in that department *points at Now I Darken*.

Aug 19, 2018 rated it liked it
I struggled with this book and it legitimately breaks my heart.

I liked Elizabeth. I like how devoted and well meaning she is. Victor was intriguing and somehow I was rooting for both of them. There are a few other characters, but I don’t want to say anything else here.

Plot wise it was slow, but expected. My main complaint is the pages and pages and paaaaaages of description and passive action. There is very little dialogue. The story did pick up towards the end and within the last 70 or so pag
Plot ~ Concept: ★★★★★
~ Execution: ★★★★☆
Pacing: ★★★★☆
Writing style: ★★★★☆
Characters: ★★★★☆
World: ★★★★★
Enjoyment: ★★★★☆

○ This book is dark, twisted and eerie, and the setting is perfect — exactly what you want from a Frankenstein retelling.
○ It also has characters who are royally messed up — also what you want from a Frankenstein retelling.
○ The author successfully made me actually sympathise with Judge Frankenstein at a certain point.
○ There were little plot twists throughou
Sofii♡ (A Book. A Thought.)

This book was so INCREDIBLE, I honestly read a couple of bad reviews about it, so I went into it with low expectations and was a full surprise. I enjoyed it very much from the beginning and I'm happy to have read it on Halloween, since it's the perfect book for it. It was my first book by the author but surely it will not be the last one


4.5/5 Stars

You can find this one and more of my reviews on my blog A Book. A Thought.

In this story we follow Elizabeth Lavenza, she has had a very hard childhoo
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
Kiersten White is the New York Times bestselling author of many books for teens and young readers, including And I Darken, Now I Rise, Bright We Burn, The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein, and Slayer. She lives with her family near the ocean in San Diego, where she perpetually lurks in the shadows. Visit Kiersten online at and follow @KierstenWhite on Twitter.
“I sought to puncture Heaven and instead discovered Hell.” 7 likes
“Not being blameless is not the same as being guilty.” 4 likes
More quotes…