Angelika Frankenstein Makes Her Match
This story is a historical gothic romance and Frankenstein fanfiction. It’s quirky, creative, original, bizarre, morbid, and unlike anything I’ve read before.
The story begins in 1812 in a morgue where twenty four year old Angelika Frankenstein and her older brother Victor are choosing body parts to assemble a man and bring him back to life. Angelika is Victor’s assistant. The two get their specimens from the public morgue by buying them from an attendant named Helsaw. Angelika, after looking at many a man, realizes she longs for love and decides to make herself the perfect man with hopes he can be her husband. (You just have to go with it.)
This part of the book, set mostly in the morgue, was a struggle for me to get through. Angelika does indeed find a beautiful dead man and wants to use the whole of him for her man. Victor is trying to do better than his German competitor, Jürgen Schneider, and wants to make his man, as well as Angelika’s, from different body parts from different corpses. They collect body parts from several corpses and return to a laboratory in their barn and prepare the bodies to reanimate them. Angelika sews the parts together, arteries and all, and Victor sets up the bath with special fluids and equipment, waiting for the lightning storm to hit. Victor’s man is hooked up first then lightning crackles, and the man wakes up, scared and in pain. He runs out the door and Victor chases after him. Angelika’s man wakes up, also in pain and with no memory. He is anxious and wants to know what happened and who he is. Angelika names him Will and takes him to her home, Blackthorne Manor.
She and Victor grew up wealthy but lonely orphans there. Their parents died when they were teens and Victor has tried his best to take care of Angelika. Angelika has grown up to be beautiful but odd. She spends much of her time lost in daydreams, dreaming about not being alone. Her loneliness is made more palpable by the fact that her brother isn’t at all lonely. Victor has a fiancé, Lizzie, whom he adores.
Once Will is up and running, Angelika talks to him all the time. She tells him all about her past, how he came to be, and shares her hope that he might become her husband. Will is kind to Angelika but resists her advances, even though he finds her attractive. He wants to find out who he is/was and if he has family. Angelika decides to help him discover his identity. They ask around the area for information regarding any young men that died recently. Their search takes them to the local Military Academy and kind Commander Keatings who becomes smitten with Angelika.
There are many other things going on including a missing servant, disturbances in the village, a jealous pig, Angelika and Victor’s renewed faith, and much more. It was hard for me to keep up with it all. The book is somewhat confusing. At times, it was interesting but it’s just all over the place and thus really hard to follow.
The romance didn’t really work for me either. Will is kind and thoughtful, but he didn’t feel like a romance hero to me. While he has a beautiful face with soft bronze-brown hair, his hands were cold and curling and he is losing feeling in them. This along with him being made from parts from different bodies were ick factors for me.
I also didn’t love Victor. He speaks disrespectfully to Angelika throughout the story. He asks Will if he had bonked her yet and soon after tells him, if he beds her, she’s his. When Commander Keatings asks Victor’s permission to court Angelika, Victor asks him if he is good in bed. All of these lewd comments were said in front of Angelika. Perhaps these comments were meant to be funny but they made me uncomfortable. I miss the humor of Thorne’s other books – I adore The Hating Game.
This isn’t a terrible book. The story is unique and nothing like anything I’ve ever read before. Thorne is good with quirky although it’s vastly overdone here. I’ve enjoyed her other books and this book – flawed but very creative – makes me look forward to seeing what the author does next. Here’s hoping it’s better than this.
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Kayne Spooner is a retired science teacher, dog owner, and proud grandma who lives in beautiful Colorado. While she's an avid reader of all genres, romances have always swept her off her feet. Kayne gravitates toward stories with humor, swoon-worthy love interests, and memorable furry sidekicks, although really, if there's a happy ever after, she's here for it! She loves sharing her passion for books with the romance community and connecting with fellow readers. Follow her at: TikTok @kspoonerfish.