From School Library Journal
Grade 5 Up–A comic-book version of the classic tale of Dr. Victor Frankenstein's ill-fated quest to create life. Adapting a large and complex work such as Shelley's gothic masterpiece into a graphic novel for young readers is certainly no easy task, and this hit-and-miss rendition is far from successful. A by-product of the editing is the weakening of Victor's relationships, reducing the impact of the murders of Frankenstein's friends and family. Most notably, the adaptation fails to introduce or explain the character of Justine, making her wrongful hanging the first and only time readers meet her. Irving's black-and-white computer-shaded illustrations vary between perfectly moody and downright murky. The level of detail also changes: in one panel, Elizabeth's hair looks like thick squiggles, yet in one of the book's most memorable images, thin strands of hair spill elegantly across a table as the doctor looks on in horror at the monster he has created. An additional purchase.–Douglas P. Davey, Halton Hills Public Libraries, Ontario, Canada
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Gr. 7-10. The unforeseen consequences of pride and progress come clear in this brooding graphic-novel adaptation of Shelley's much read and debated classic, the first in a new curriculum-connected series, Puffin Graphics. Reed concentrates on the emotional anguish of the story, ably capturing the rage, the hurt, and the guilt of both monster and creator. Irving, who has worked for DC and Dark Horse Comics, among others, creates a hazy, suitably murky black-and-white backdrop, never exploiting the violence inherent in the monster's quest for vengeance. At times, however, the facial expressions of his characters seem at odds with the mood; Victor's friend Henry sometimes looks more like a happy idiot than a concerned, steadfast ally. But there are also some stunning sequences, as when Victor, pictured in shadowy candlelight and surrounded by books, researches the secret to life. Back matter about Shelley is sketchy, and Irving's sample storyboards, though interesting, are less so than the cover samples. Those are small concerns, however, given the overall product, which will attract readers both younger and older than the target audience. Final art not seen. Stephanie ZvirinCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved