Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"This Dark Endeavor (The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein)" by Kenneth Oppell

"Victor and Konrad are the twin brothers Frankenstein. They are nearly inseparable. Growing up, their lives are filled with imaginary adventures...until the day their adventures turn all too real.
They stumble upon The Dark Library, and secret books of alchemy and ancient remedies are discovered. Father forbids that they ever enter the room again, but this only piques Victor's curiosity more. When Konrad falls gravely ill, Victor is not satisfied with the various doctors his parents have called in to help. He is drawn back to The Dark Library where he uncovers an ancient formula for the Elixir of Life. With their friend Elizabeth, Henry and Victor immediately set out to find assistance from a man who was once known for his alchemical works to help create the formula.
Determination and the unthinkable outcome of losing his brother spur Victor on in the quest for the three ingredients that will save Konrad's life. After scaling the highest trees in the Strumwald, diving into the deepest lake caves, and sacrificing one’s own body part, the three fearless friends risk their lives to save another."-goodreads


Okay, if any of you ever saw my review of "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley, you know that I liked it, but also was maybe a little bit underwhelmed after my expectations from the Hollywood portrayal of the Frankenstein monster (yes I realize this is absolutely *blasphemous*). I'm actually re-reading it right now, and appreciating it a lot more. (Give me a break, it was one of the first Gothic 19th century novels I'd read, and it was a lot to take in!). 


I wasn't at all sure what to expect from this book but I loved it! It was so good. The portrayal of young Victor Frankenstein to show the childhood that isn't talked about in Frankenstein was epic. It showed us some of the events that could've lead to the famous Dr. Frankenstein and his *slightly* twisted ways. From reading Frankenstein, I could totally believe that this is what his adolescence would've been like; the culmination of 'teenage-angst', bitterness, and tragedy to warp his future. Victor's character was well developed and the voice of the novel was great. The tension between Victor and Elizabeth (and the different kind between Victor and Konrad) was remarkable.  It did move a bit slow for me at times but so did "Frankenstein", and many other books that I end up liking. The mystery and misadventures were daring and cool to read of, and it was interesting to draw parallels to what occurs in the original novel in Victor's adult life. Also, one might think that "This Dark Endeavor" would be cliche or cheese-y, another one of those unoriginal 'teenage monster' stories but it was much more.

I also looked up the book because I wanted to know if there would be a sequel, which I would be very interested in if that's possible or maybe it would be too much, but anyway I saw that it's going to be made into a movie which would be amazing because I could totally see this book as a movie-- super creepy. Also, for the bottom line of random notes, look at the cover!! So eerie and dark, absolutely perfect for the book! 
Thank you to Simon&Schuster for giving me the opportunity to review this book. Reader's Note: As usual, this in no way swayed my opinion.

1 comment:

LoriStrongin said...

I have been itching to read this one! I loved Shelley's original tale, and Oppell's take on the monster behind the monster definitely intrigues me!


Smiles!
Lori