An American medical student stumbles upon a dark secret in this twist on Frankenstein’s story.
Against the backdrop of the Boer War, Lizzie, a white girl from New York, moves to England to study at the Ingold Academy of Medicine and Bio-Mechanical Science. Surgeons there are working on a device called a Galvanic Reanimator, with the aim of providing “new and improved” soldiers for Queen Victoria’s war effort. Meanwhile, a young med student named Victor Frankenstein, conscious but unable to move and presumed dead, is being turned into a Bio-Mechanical. He slowly regains the use of his limbs and voice as he figures out what’s happened to him. Lizzie discovers the still-attractive Victor in a lab with other Bio-Mechanicals, including a hunchback named Igor, and befriends him. This is not a parody of Mary Shelley’s classic but a clever new take on its elements in a mystery complete with Victorian writing flourishes and the mild titillation expected from a romance novel. Here the evil scientists are surgeons with an ambitious plot to change the course of politics. There are some holes in the plot, easily glided over by the quick progress of the story and the growing love between Lizzie and Victor.
Fans of Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles will enjoy this. (Science fiction. 13-17)