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Our Hideous Progeny

av C.E. McGill

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1755156,870 (3.98)13
"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 mind 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"--… (mer)
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» Se även 13 omnämnanden

Visar 5 av 5
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. ( )
  Aya666 | 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." ( )
  soup_house | 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.

Recommended. ( )
  vancouverdeb | 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 | Jul 6, 2023 |
C.E. McGill's Our Hideous Progeny is a brilliant, necessary reworking of the Frankenstein trope. In it McGill explores and questions relationships across the gender binary and documents the ways that equivalent actions by men and women can be viewed in completely different (and damning) ways.

The novel's central character, Mary, is an aspiring scientist in the 1850s, a time of scientific breakthroughs, including the beginnings of the science of paleontology. She attends meetings of the Royal Society, but the male members (and only men can be members) treat her as an anomaly, an amusement, and an aggravation. To modify a line from Samuel Johnson, they find her scientific aspirations like a dog's walking on its hind legs: they are surprised to see Mary attempting it at all, and are incapable of seeing that she actually does it quite well.

Mary's husband Henry has been the one exception to this attitude toward Mary and her science. He takes her seriously, and engages with her in extensive discussions and research addressing the scientific questions of their day. But Mary begins to see the fractures within their relationship—particularly his extensive gambling debts, which he has kept hidden from her and which threaten to ruin them both. He assures her she needn't worry; he'll take care of all that. But as their situation grows more dire and as Mary hunts for a way to bring them both scientific recognition and a more reliable income, she finds herself digging through research notes and old family papers.

She knew she had a great-uncle who had been a scientist, went mad, and died in the arctic, but knew little else about him. When she uncovers the notebook kept by that great-uncle, Victor Frankenstein, she proposes to Henry that they build on his work.

Like Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Our Hideous Progeny is much more than an engaging bit of fiction. It probes and challenges the values of Mary's time in a way that makes readers ache for her and consider the limitations of our present world. The novel begins as a bit of a slow burn, but as it progresses it bursts into full flame—and I found myself racing through the final third of the novel, deeply invested in Mary's struggle and the arbitrary obstacles and disrespect that she encounters at every turn.

Readers of science fiction will find this title a "ripping good yarn," but readers looking for something more substantial than entertainment will find in Our Hideous Progeny a wealth of ideas—and it's those readers who will, I think, most appreciate this title.

I received a free electronic review copy of this title from the publisher via Edelweiss; the opinions are my own. ( )
  Sarah-Hope | Apr 27, 2023 |
Visar 5 av 5
Mary longs to make her mark as a scientist, but for a woman in Victorian London it's almost impossible. She shares her passion for palaeontology with her husband, illustrating the papers he writes, but he has an unfortunate knack for alienating others by pointing out where their theories are wrong. When she finds a trove of old family papers detailing her great-uncle Victor Frankenstein's experiments, she has a mad, or possibly genius, idea. If it succeeds, fame and fortune is assured. But if they fail? The debut author's original, feminist variation on Mary Shelley's foundational text makes for a wonderfully rich, emotionally engaging tale with the flavour and appeal of a great 19th-century novel.
tillagd av Cynfelyn | ändraGuardian, Lisa Tuttle (May 12, 2023)
 
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"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 mind 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"--

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