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iFrankenstein (eBook) Review

 
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At a Glance...
 

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Author:
 
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Final Score
 
 
 
 
 
3/ 5


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We liked?


Great adaptation of a classic story

Not so much?


Exclusive use of social media makes for tough reading at times


Final Fiendish Findings?

Bottom line: iFrankenstein is not for everyone. The exclusive use of social media as a story teller will mean that many will be turned off from the story by the method. However, for those who can text in their sleep, or anyone who’s willing to push through to the story underneath the words – iFrankenstein is a great tale that is definitely worth reading.

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Posted November 15, 2012 by

 
Full Fiendish Findings...
 
 

U shld totes read this bk. Lolz

If that sentence up there made your brain hurt, then read no further my friend. This book is not for you. iFrankenstein is the story (roughly) of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein told entirely with social media – text messages, emails, browser histories, even a little twitter. While I like the idea of bringing in new concepts to old ideas, I’m afraid it rather completely eliminates a whole section of readers who just simply would not understand it.

There is also the fact that using *only* social media conversations between a set of friends makes it really hard to give any of the background story. And so you jump right into a set of text messages between the three major characters in the book, without having an idea of who they or what they are talking about, other than their names. These guys obviously have a long history together, and they allude to a lot of things that have happened in their recent past – but since they stay true to form of how actual text messages might read between a group of teenagers, I spent the first one third of the book trying to figure out what the heck was going on, who they were, and what they were doing.

While I am not a huge fan of using strictly the social media posts to tell the story – perhaps a combination of that and traditional writing would have been a bit easier to get into – what I am a fan of is the story that shines through, once you actually start to figure out what’s going on. What author Bekka Black has done is taken a very old, classic story and adapted it to today’s world. Teens who are completely lost without the internet and their cell phones will instantly empathize with Victor, Elizabeth, and Henry.

Henry, gifted on the computer and isolated by homeschooling, lost most of his friends when a terrible accident left him a quadriplegic. While he wasn’t able to accompany his two best friends on their trip, he is there with them nonetheless through texts and emails. Elizabeth, a lovely sixteen year old girl who has been through much with her friends, has feelings for one of them but has not been able to broach the subject. Finally we have young Victor – Victor Frankenstein – who is struggling after the death of his mother, resentful of his father’s new relationship, and so consumed with winning a contest (and scholarship) that he will scarcely leave his computer, even to eat.

Victor and Elizabeth have been dragged along on a cruise ship trip with their respective parent. While Elizabeth is determined to make the best of it, Victor is obsessed with building the perfect chatbot. If he can put together a chatbot that will answer questions like a human, he will win the contest and be on his way to changing his life for the better. But, as you may expect with a name like Frankenstein – things take a wrong turn somewhere along the way.

So, I have a hard time with this one. I’m not sure whether it’s because I am an editor (no punctuation hurts me), or just because it’s an unfamiliar way to read a story, but the text speak that the book begins with really made it hard for me to get into the story. On the other hand, the story itself, once you get into it, is a really good one. While fans of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein may find this to be worlds away from the original, the prevailing themes of creating a monster are as familiar now as they were then.

Bottom line:  iFrankenstein is not for everyone. The exclusive use of social media as a story teller will mean that many will be turned off from the story by the method. However, for those who can text in their sleep, or anyone who’s willing to push through to the story underneath the words – iFrankenstein is a great tale that is definitely worth reading.


Amy

 
U.S. Senior Editor & Deputy EIC, @averyzoe on Twitter, mother of 5, gamer, reader, wife to @macanthony, and all-around bad-ass (no, not really)