Review: Dickinstein by Shannon Yarbrough

18693112Title: Dickinstein
Author: Shannon Yarbrough
Publisher: Rocking Horse Publications
Publication Date: October 19, 2013
Format: Paperback, 306 pages
Source: Obtained from Author (all thoughts and opinions are my own)

3.5 hippos (3.5 hippos)

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Science and Religion. Love and Hatred. Life and Death. It’s all the same without poetry.

In the mid 1800s, at the encouragement of a dear friend, Emily Dickinson began writing poetry. Fewer than twelve of her poems were published while she was alive. The hundreds of poems for which Emily is known for and celebrated today were almost lost at the hands of her sister, who was only fulfilling her dying sibling’s wish.

Emily feared death. Throughout life, as she witnessed the numerous deaths of her close friends and loved ones, she became a recluse, locking herself in her room and refusing visitors. Did Emily spend all that time in her room writing poetry? No! She was giving life back to the dead!

Years earlier, after observing a galvanism experiment in biology class, young Emily decides to try building a “Second Life” apparatus that will give life back to small dead creatures she finds in her garden. Terrified that her discovery could be used for more dreadful purposes, she cherishes her success and keeps it a secret. But upon discovering that her dearest friend has passed quite suddenly, Emily’s battle between science and spirituality begins, threatening to change her life forever!

In the spirit of other great mash-ups such as Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Shannon Yarbrough blends the story of Emily Dickinson with the classic Frankenstein creating this chilling tale of Gothic horror: Dickinstein: Emily Dickinson – Mad Scientist!

My Review:
This book was so interesting and different. I was amazed at the detail Shannon out into the creation of Emily’s machine, and what he did with her poems at the beginnings of the chapters. It was interesting to see the twist on Emily’s life. It was also fun to have individuals like Newton thrown in to the mix of the story. It seems that mash-ups of stories are the “in thing” these days and Shannon definitely jumped on that bandwagon.

The entire book flowed nicely. This book wasn’t as dark and creepy as I expected it to be (okay so I was judging from the cover, most of us do!). It wasn’t funny and light either, though. I loved the authors depiction of Emily and how she became so fixated on giving life to small dead creatures. Shannon did a fantastic job painting the picture of the life of Emily and her family, as well as the many adventures that Emily went on in order to complete her experiments. Overall, Shannon Yarbrough did a great job crossing Emily Dickinson and Frankenstein!

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