Weyn, Suzanne. Dr. Frankenstein's Daughters.
1 January 2013, Scholastic
Victor Frankenstein had twin daughters whom he abandoned at their birth to keep them safe from the monster that was stalking him and murdering his closest friends. They were raised by a grandfather in Germany, but when Giselle and Ingrid receive news that their father has left them a legacy, they leave Germany and head off to the Castle Frankenstein on a windswept Orkney isle with their uncle. There, the two determine that they will renovate the castle and stay there. Gisele is the more fashionable of the two and starts the renovations. She has been thwarted in love by Johann, but when he appears and is now interested in her because of her new found title and money, she realizes she no longer loves him. Ingrid is scientifically minded, and curious to read all of her father's notebooks. She has a friend, Anthony, in medical school, and tags along to some of his classes, disguised as a boy, since women could not become doctors in 1815. Even though Anthony cares for her and would be a great match, she is drawn to a reclusive and injured neighbor, Walter Hammersmith. When she finds out that his war wounds have necessitated the amputation of his leg, and that a neurological disease further threatens his well-being, she delves into her father's notebooks and tries to effect a cure. The stalking and murders that plagued their father start to affect their lives as well-- what is the evil that lurks in the Castle Frankenstein, and can the girls stop it before more lives are lost?
Strengths: Wasn't sure about this one, but it was rather intriguing and fun to read. This is a plausible continuation of the Frankenstein story with a lot of the science of the times, and Weyn does a good job tying in lots of information from that era as well as characters tangential to the Frankenstein story. Good creepy cover, too. Students who want to read Shelley's Frankenstein but only get two pages in before giving up will find this a better place to start.
Weaknesses: I had trouble believing that Ingrid would prefer the moody and reclusive Walter over Anthony, but her romance with him was essential to the story.
Hautman, Pete. The Cydonian Pyramid (Klaatu Diskos #2)
14 May 2013, Candlewick.
Well, this is a good title for Charlotte's Library's Time Slip Tuesday. However, it made my brain hurt. I think it was the Amish/Kabbalah connection to quantum information science. What? I read it, but really don't know what happened. Had a little more luck understanding the first book in the series, The Obsidian Blade. I will buy this, since it is a trilogy that will appeal to my hard core science fiction fans, but I just didn't follow it very well. Here's a synopsis from Goodreads:
"More than half a
millennium in the future, in the shadow of the looming Cydonian Pyramid,
a pampered girl named Lah Lia has been raised for one purpose: to be
sacrificed through one of the mysterious diskos that hover over the
pyramid’s top. But just as she is about to be killed, a strange boy
appears from the diskos, providing a cover of chaos that allows her to
escape and launching her on a time-spinning journey in which her fate is
irreversibly linked to his. In this second volume of the Klaatu Diskos
trilogy, Tucker Feye and Lah Lia each hurtle through time, relating
their stories in alternating viewpoints that converge at crucial
moments. Fans of the first adventure will be intrigued by the chance to
see the world through Lah Lia’s eyes — no matter how disturbing the
vision might be."