Our hideous progeny A novel

C. E. McGill

Book - 2023

"Mary is the great-niece of Victor Frankenstein. She knows her great uncle disappeared under mysterious circumstances in the Arctic, but she doesn't know why or how... The 1850s are a time of discovery, and London is ablaze with the latest scientific theories and debates, especially when a spectacular new exhibition of dinosaur sculptures opens at the Crystal Palace. Mary is keen to make her name in this world of science alongside her geologist husband, Henry--but despite her sharp min...d and sharper tongue, without wealth and connections their options are limited. When Mary discovers some old family papers that allude to the shocking truth behind her great-uncle's past, she thinks she may have found the key to securing her and Henry's professional and financial future. Their quest takes them to the wilds of Scotland; to Henry's intriguing but reclusive sister, Maisie; and to a deadly chase with a rival who is out to steal their secret"--

Saved in:
4 people waiting
1 being processed

1st Floor New Shelf Show me where

0 / 1 copies available
Location Call Number   Status
1st Floor New Shelf FICTION/McGill, C. E. (NEW SHELF) Due Jun 9, 2023
Queer fiction
Gothic fiction
Historical fiction
New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers [2023]
First U.S. edition
Physical Description
391 pages ; 24 cm
Main Author
C. E. McGill (author)
Review by Booklist Review

Appropriately, this novel inspired by Mary Shelley's Frankenstein begins with an epigraph from Shelley herself: "And now, once again, I bid my hideous progeny go forth and prosper," from which it takes its title. But this is no typical revisiting of Shelley's iconic tale. Born in Scotland, raised in North Carolina (before returning to Scotland in 2020), first-time novelist McGill offers a queer take on the famous creature and its creator. The story begins in 1853 as Mary, the great-niece of Victor Frankenstein, and her recently fired geologist husband, Henry, come up with an outrageous plan while living in London: the couple will make their own monster; not the failed monster that Uncle Victor made, but rather a new creation, a plesiosaur. This is a post-Gothic treat, an enjoyably moody, fog-drenched fictional commemoration of women in science in which family secrets are uncovered, that, in turn, leads to a strange and wild trip across Britain with nods to the Sutherland clan of the Scottish Highlands, Henry's sister, Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, naturalist Richard Owen, philosopher Michael Faraday, and a few other surprises along the way. For fans of queer fiction, imaginative historical fiction, admirers of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (of course!), and readers fascinated by dinosaurs and paleontology.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission. Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Described by debut author McGill as "Frankenstein, but, like, with dinosaurs," this immersive blend of historical and science fiction brims with surprises and dark delights. In Victorian England, protagonist Mary discovers her great-uncle Victor Frankenstein's life story in an old letter case. A scientist herself, she and her husband attempt to replicate and improve upon the first Frankenstein's discoveries. Instead of revivifying a human corpse, however, they decide--in the interest of both safety and science--to reanimate a Plesiosaurus. McGill echoes Mary Shelley's theme of the tension between morality and scientific discovery, which works well alongside a incisive exploration of women's rights within the field of science and in Victorian society more broadly. Fiery Mary proves the perfect person to helm this tale: often full of rage, she begins to recognize her queerness as she becomes increasingly fed up with the limitations of her world. The setting, too, feels wholly authentic, making it easy to get sucked in. Readers will revel in Mary's personal and scientific discoveries and root for her to succeed in an unfair world. (May)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved