Strange Star by Emma Carroll

Strange Star Emma Carroll

Rating: 3 Stars ★★★☆☆

It was Felix’s job to deliver the invitation.


Switzerland, 1816. On a stormy summer night, Lord Byron and his guests are gathered round the fire. Felix, their serving boy, can’t wait to hear their creepy tales. Yet real life is about to take a chilling turn- more chilling than any tale. Frantic pounding at the front door reveals a stranger, a girl covered in the most unusual scars. She claims to be looking for her sister, supposedly snatched from England by a woman called Mary Shelley. Someone else has followed her here too, she says. And the girl is terrified…


Inspired by the story of how Frankenstein came to be, this book imagines an exciting backstory full of mysterious scientists, missing animals and a girl struck by lightning.

Lizzie’s life was pretty normal. She squabbles with her little sister, who loves animals. She spends all her time with her best friend Mercy and she helps her mother around the house.

The only thing that is different that year is the mysterious comet in the sky. It is said that it brings bad luck. Lizzie doesn’t want to believe it, but then she and her mother get struck by lightning. She loses her mom and her sight the same day.

“Appleby? She’s the lightning girl, is she not?” the woman asked.

“She is.”

They were wrong. Peg wasn’t the one hit by lightning; that was me. And mam.

“Then that’s not fortune, you fool!” the woman spat. “That’s a considerable inconvenience. The last thing we want is more attention drawn to her. Or to us.”

And soon she finds herself in the sights of a mysterious scientist conducting strange experiments with lightning.

I enjoyed the story. It was a sweet tale about two sisters and the ruthless ambitions of one woman who will swipe away everyone who stands in her way. I also liked the parallels to Frankenstein. It’s believable that Lizzie’s tale would inspire Shelley’s book.

A screaming wind blew the door inward so hard it slammed against the wall. The candle died. Everything outside was dark and dripping. There was definitely no one there.

Then he looked down.

However, I had hoped for a little bit more. More about Frankenstein and more about Mary Shelley.


A nice little historical mystery.


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