C.E. McGill

Författare till Our Hideous Progeny

1 verk 176 medlemmar 5 recensioner

Verk av C.E. McGill

Our Hideous Progeny (2023) 176 exemplar


Allmänna fakta

Scotland, UK
Kort biografi
C.E. McGill was born in Scotland and raised in North Carolina. They are a recent graduate of NC State University. C.E. McGill's short fiction has appeared in Fantasy Magazine and Strange Constellations, and they are a two-time finalist for the Dell Magazines Award for Undergraduate Excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing. They now live back in Scotland.



Thank you, Penguin Random House South Africa, for a proof copy. All opinions are my own.

Trigger warnings: Infant loss(minor), prejudice, and sexism.

Victorian England is my favourite era and will always be my favourite. This novel was true to the era it was written in with a nice gothic undertone.

I was not a fan of Mary Shelly's Frankenstein as it bored me to the bone, yet it is my favourite classic genre: gothic novels. I am still not a fanatic when it comes to science fiction.

I will say this: This will appeal to all Frankenstein fans, and I deem this an excellent sequel to Mary Shelly's Frankenstein.

Mary was your typical - you will not tell me what to do character. She always stood up for her beliefs even if the social circles deemed her as a beastly woman.

Henry. . .was dry. He cared more about his achievements and what the world thinks. He was a coward. He only saw the world black and white.

The side characters were okay.

The plot was slow and could have been shorter by 200 pages.
… (mer)
Aya666 | 4 andra recensioner | May 16, 2024 |
This book is billed as "A gothic adventure story, a classic tale with a feminist twist, a story of ambition and obsession, forbidden love and sabotage..." and that set my expectations. My problems with this book aren't entirely issues with the writing but with how it is described.

First of all, when I think gothic, I think [b:Frankenstein|86153707|Frankenstein (The 1818 Original Classic)|Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1678289679l/86153707._SY75_.jpg|4836639]. Or [b:Dracula|56638232|Dracula|Bram Stoker|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1610405857l/56638232._SY75_.jpg|3165724]. Or in modern terms, I think of [b:Mexican Gothic|59075223|Mexican Gothic|Silvia Moreno-Garcia|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1632600638l/59075223._SY75_.jpg|73647361] or [b:What Moves the Dead|58724626|What Moves the Dead (Sworn Soldier, #1)|T. Kingfisher|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1632936332l/58724626._SY75_.jpg|91735925]. And maybe therein lies my problem: I think gothic horror and, looking back, this doesn't claim to be horror. And it certainly isn't. Our Hideous Progeny is not, as some reviewers claim, a retelling of Mary Shelly's Frankenstein, with gothic horror beats and a gothic horror feel. This is a continuation of that story, picking up years later (and could just as easily been a modern story) and telling it's own story with an entirely different tone. Importantly, if you go into this thinking it's a gothic horror tale, you will be disappointed.

Secondly, billing this as having a "feminist twist" is disingenuous. This isn't as the first line of the blurb states "a classic tale with a feminist twist." This is a story of a righteous feminist anger. Feminism takes the main stage here as Mary (the main character) tells the story from her point of view and we see her internal thoughts. Mary is ambitious. And Mary is angry that as a woman of science she isn't afforded the same luxuries as men of science. The scenes where we see Mary confront these themes are well written and succeeded in evoking anger at her society, her husband and the men who continually stomp on her aspirations or hint at a weaker female constitution.

Lastly, for the blurb at least (and a three-for-one): the "adventure", the "forbidden love" and the sabotage are, respectively, minimal, minimal, and entirely predictable. The first two, especially (adventure and forbidden love) are such superficial details they're hardly worth mentioning.

Beyond the blurb though, this book did have some problems. At the same time, this book felt overfull with storytelling beats and was boring. Until the last few pages (maybe the last 50ish?) nothing really happened...and yet, every few pages throughout the book there's some new wrong being done against Mary, a new source of indignation, whether it's from her husband, her memories, or the Royal [Science] Societies and members therein, and while that's (most likely) an accurate description of how woman were treated in that time and place it didn't make for an interesting story.

C.E. McGill, I think, set out to address prejudices and ambitions, and to a lesser extent, mortality and grief. And they did so. But not in a particularly thought-provoking or entertaining way. Our Hideous Progeny was not "A gothic adventure story..." but "A feminist story of ambition and obsession, mortality and loss, with hints of forbidden love, in a lightly gothic setting."
… (mer)
soup_house | 4 andra recensioner | Apr 9, 2024 |
Mary is a woman in Victorian London, who has a fascination with paleontology and science. She shares this interest with her husband , Henry Sutherland. Both are keen to make a name for themselves in the world of science, as well as reversing their financial situation . Unfortunately, neither one is socially adept, and Henry has a lot gambling debt. As Mary discovers old family papers regarding her great uncle Victor Frankenstein, she and Henry come up with plan to create a creature.

This was an enthralling read for me. I've not yet Frankenstein, but this immersed me into that world. The themes of science and ethics, reproduction, motherhood, mortality, feminism and loss are all present. If I have one criticism , it is that at times the pace of the novel dragged a bit.

… (mer)
vancouverdeb | 4 andra recensioner | Jul 16, 2023 |
I will come back to write a proper review once I have the words; I cannot recommend this book enough- it is best thing I've read this year.
inthenavey | 4 andra recensioner | Jul 6, 2023 |





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