After the weak middle volume in the trilogy, I wasn’t sure that I’d revisit the final one, but I’m glad I did. This book gets back to what made the first one so interesting: A mix of YA tropes, epistolary creativity, and moral complexity. It was self-indulgent at times, but it earned it by not shying away from the horror of the conflicts its teenage characters were the heroes of.
This is my third time reading this book—I couldn’t resist coming back to it for the “epistolary novel” square of my library’s “Books and Bites Bingo” challenge this year. The print book is amazing, the audiobook manages to adapt a book that shouldn’t be adaptable, and I enjoyed this read as much as the last two. The language and worldbuilding are subtle but effective, it’s morally complex without trying too hard to be, and the characters are a good mix between believable and, well, archetypal characters in a YA novel.
There’s a great John Finnemore sketch that involves a ridiculous number of nested stories, and I’m thinking of it as I approach the end of Frankenstein (a novel in the form of letters sent by a man recounting conversations with Frankenstein, who quotes other letters, etc.).