Wednesday 25 January 2012

Book Review- This Dark Endeavour by Kenneth Oppel

This Dark Endeavour: The Apprenticeship of Victor FrankensteinTitle: This Dark Endeavour
 Author: Kenneth Oppel
Series:  The Dark Endeavour #1
Published:  23 August 2011 by Simon and Schuster
Length: 304 pages
Warnings: Slight romance, gory/disturbing scene near end 13+
Source: Library
Other info: The sequel, Such Wicked Intent, will be out this August.  Oppel has also written the Silverwing series.
Summary : The purest intentions can stir up the darkest obsessions.
In this prequel to Mary Shelley’s gothic classic, Frankenstein, 16-year-old Victor Frankenstein begins a dark journey that will change his life forever. Victor’s twin, Konrad, has fallen ill, and no doctor is able to cure him. Unwilling give up on his brother, Victor, his beautiful cousin Elizabeth, and best friend Henry begin a treacherous search for the ingredients to create the forbidden Elixir of Life. Impossible odds, dangerous alchemy, and a bitter love triangle threaten their quest at every turn. Victor knows he must not fail. But his success depends on how far he is willing to push the boundaries of nature, science and, love -- and how much he is willing to sacrifice.
Review: Victor Frankenstein's twin brother Konrad has become ill and none of the doctors can think of anything to cure him. But Victor has found a book in the secret library detailing instructions on making the Elixir of Life. He, his cousin Elizabeth and friend Henry all go on a quest to find the ingredients. It's a quest he can't afford to fail, but many things get in his way-impossible tasks, alchemy, and a love triangle involving himself, his cousin, and his brother.
When I saw the summary, I was interested. Young Frankenstein? Heck yes. And a random twin and a love triangle? High hopes.
We start with a lighthearted intro to all the protagonists, which quickly moves on and keeps moving throughout.
The adventure kept me turning the pages wanting to know more at every turn.
I loved the romance in this. We get our fair share of love triangles in young adult literature, but none of them ever come from the boy's perspective. It was interesting seeing something we're used to from a different pov, and the fact the two boys in this look identical, leading to midnight deception, added a bit to the normal love triangle template.
The alchemy in this was thought out with clear rules. Our antagonist Polidori has a lot more to him than we first think, leading to a climactic showdown at the end.
The characters all developed in huge ways, with  Elizabeth coming more into her own and Konrad developing in a big way. Victor himself gains depth and complexity, and I can't decide if he's  a better or worse character by the end of the book.
By the very end, we're left on something in the middle of closure and a cliffhanger; This Dark Endeavour is clearly finished, but we have a clear motive for what will happen later in Victor's life-the part that Mary Shelley wrote about.
Overall:  Strength 4 tea to a prequel/retelling done excellently. I  can't wait to see  what Victor and co do next.


  1. gosh i really want to read this! the sequel is out soon!

  2. Oooo! I like the sound of this, I love the original frankenstein!


Thanks for taking time to read this!
Comments are much loved.
Nina xxx

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger... Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...