From School Library Journal
YA?Teens should find the story of this romantic rebel who followed her ideals and dreams at an appalling personal cost to be compelling and surprisingly modern in many ways. Shelley might at first seem an odd choice for an entry in a series devoted to "role models for young women today," since Nichols clearly outlines the rumors and scandals that have surrounded the writer and her circle of literary friends. Yet she also shows the core of integrity and the basis of the ideals that underlay Shelley's many dangerous choices, and the strength of character that enabled her to spin literary gold from her life's darker side. Showing the elements of Shelley's life that went into her unforgettable novel, Nichols paints a vivid picture of early 19th-century London and its people, and succeeds in bringing her subject to life. Whether Shelley was (as the title asserts) "the first science fiction writer" is debatable, but there is no question that Frankenstein has become the quintessential morality tale about modern science. Nichols argues convincingly that Shelley was not saying that Frankenstein was wrong to have created his monster, as many now believe; rather, that his error was in not taking responsibility for it. This lesson is particularly timely as young adults enter a minefield of ethical dilemmas in science and technology.?Christine C. Menefee, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
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