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Reviewed by Michael Gardner for Readers' Favorite
In the best traditions of nineteenth-century Gothic horror, A Time For Us by F. J. J. Delegato picks up a thread from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and spins a new tale related to the original. Unlike the original, this is a much faster-paced book written for a modern audience, with short snappy chapters that focus on the key moments of a story that unfolds over many years, i.e. it’s an ‘all the good bits’ and ‘none of the boring bits’ story. The plot presents us with Dr. Rollar and Dr. Hoyt, who have obtained the journal of Victor Frankenstein. With access to dead bodies from the morgue, they put his research to work and reanimate their own stitched-together corpse.
However, A Time For Us tells a completely different story to Shelly’s Frankenstein. The ‘monster’ learns he is to become a slave in the mines, so he escapes his confines. The story then becomes a monster meets girl, monster meets girl’s parents, monster settles down to have a normal life, and so forth. Naturally, this all goes pear-shaped. While the head-hopping, omniscient narrative makes the plot movements and twists somewhat obvious, the strength of the book is how it blurs our perception of what constitutes a monster. It also makes a strong point about prejudice, how easily we find ourselves having these destructive attitudes, even when a person (reanimated or not) demonstrates they are the opposite of what these attitudes would have us believe. It’s a timely story for these troubled times.