Saturday, November 10, 2012

Review: This Dark Endeavor

Title:  This Dark Endeavor
Series:  The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein #1
Author:  Kenneth Oppel
Publisher:  Simon & Schuster
Pages:  298
Format:  Hardcover

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 be 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. Elizabeth, Henry, and Victor immediately set out to find assistance in 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.
My Review:  I first picked up this book because my book club at school had it as required reading.  I wasn't very excited about it when I began.  It didn't sound like something I would be very interested in.  I'd never read Frankenstein and I was a bit worried it would affect my reading experience. 

That being said, I fell in love with this book from the very first page. 

I completely fell into this story.  The writing style was amazing.  Despite the different era this story is set in, there was no confusion when reading.  I actually really enjoyed the differences in the way Victor and the rest of the character spoke and the older vocabulary.  It made the story more believable and just allowed me to sink into the story the way I wanted to!

I also really adored the characters.  Victor was so complex and real.  He had my heart from the beginning.  He was such an investigative and curious person.  I enjoyed the way he pushed himself and others.  He was never afraid of the consequences and he did everything wholeheartedly.  Even when he didn't have the best intentions, he always did everything he could the get what he wanted.  I liked the way he didn't try to be good, too.  He was wicked and frankly a little broken.  He was jealous of his brother but loved him dearly.  Everything about him built up into a person who was interesting and totally captured my heart.

The other characters were also complex and fun to read about.  Though I didn't like Konrad nearly as much as Victor, I thought it was interesting comparing them and seeing how they were different.  They both thought the other was so much better.  I loved their interactions and seeing how they were when they were together.  We also had Elizabeth and Henry.  I felt like Henry was nice for a bit of comic relief but he never really contributed to the story until the very end.  Elizabeth, on the other hand, was such an interesting character.  I felt like she was really suppressing who she was.  With Victor, she was so adventurous and wild.  With Konrad she was proper and rather boring.  I'm excited to see how she grows as a character in the next book. 

Along with having really great characters, this book also had an awesome plot.  While it was fairly simple, it kept me engaged and hooked the entire time I was reading.  I liked the adventures they took and how they went about going after what they wanted.  The ending was very . . . surprising.  I'm not sure exactly how I feel about it but the fact that that happened . . . well, I'm anxious to see what Victor does.  I hope it's nothing too horrible.

If you have yet to read this book, I highly recommend you go out and get it.  The premise was great, the plot made my heart race, and the characters captured my heart!  Definitely a book I will be going back to over and over again!

Five Cards



  1. I love this book, too! The second in this series does not disappoint.

    1. Yay! I'm glad to hear that! I'm starting it next week :D

  2. Victor sounds exactly like the character I love to read about :) Real, complex, a bit flawed. Add an awesome plot and I'm sold! And I'm fascinated by the Frankenstein concept, so I can't wait to read this one. Awesome review!



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