Author: Kenneth Oppel
Series: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein #2
Published: August 2012 by Random House
Length: 372 pages
Warnings: romantic situations, violence
Other info: Book one in this series is called This Dark Endeavour. Review can be found here. Kenneth has written the Silverwing trilogy, the Airborn series and other things.
Summary : When does obsession become madness? Tragedy has forced sixteen year old Victor Frankenstein to swear off alchemy forever. He burns the Dark Library. He vows he will never dabble in the dark sciences again, just as he vows he will no longer covet Elizabeth, his brother’s betrothed. If only these things were not so tempting. When Victor and Elizabeth discover a portal into the spirit world, they cannot resist. Together with their friend Henry, they venture into a place of infinite possibilities where power and passion reign. But as they search for the knowledge to raise the dead, they unknowingly unlock a darkness from which they may never return.
Review: THIS CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE END OF THIS DARK ENDEAVOUR, HOWEVER THERE SHOULDN’T BE ANY FOR SUCH WICKED INTENT.
Having thoroughly enjoyed Frankenstein and This Dark Endeavour, I knew I’d have to read this at some point. It starts quite quickly, with Victor’s first attempt at conversing and resurrecting the dead happening within the first twentyish pages. A very short time later, Victor is in the Spirit World, conversing with his dead brother. He then makes an even more feverent go at bringing his brother back to life.
Victor’s characterisation is extremely strong. In everything he does, you can see his longing for power, and the way he manipulates things is very clever. Elizabeth is a little bit more boring than she was, because now she’s really quite set on going to a convent to become a nun, but she still has a small touch of rebellion in her. Konrad is once again likable, even though he’s dead. I like Henry best because he’s rational, clever, but still not boring. Victor develops the most, with him gradually acquiring knowledge and building up the want / need to bring back his brother. You can see his ambition growing from the start of This Dark Endeavour, through this, and you can see how it’ll end up in Frankenstein.
The butterflies are a very nice touch. As well as being pretty little things, they have a lot more meaning than you’d first think. Little details like seeing them in the painting are nice additions. As well as that, the Spirit Cards that Kenneth has been putting on facebook are really pretty.
The mystery-kind of...plot line maybe?- concerning the dead housemaid and the big monster in the spirit world was good, but a little simple. Anelise was easy to see through and the big revelation wasn’t a revelation at all for me.
The writing style is consistent to the previous book, with Victor’s lust for power coming through as well as the narration of what was happening. There’s also a bit of archaic language that makes this a bit more believable and interesting.
I really like the subplot with the growing a body for Konrad and that working out how it did. I was wondering though how the thing they found ages ago got through to the spirit world and such. This is probably a result of my bad memory and quick reading, but I’d still like to know.
Like This Dark Endeavour, the last few paragraphs of Such Wicked Intent lead onto Victor’s next obsession. With it being what it is, I wonder if the next in this series (because the ending just screams for a next book) will be the final one before this series is meant to lead into Frankenstein. It’ll be interesting how this is played further down the line.
Overall: Strength 4 tea to a good follow on to a really good prequel.