Sunday, December 16, 2012

This Dark Endeavour (The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein #1) by Kenneth Oppel reviewed by Jesse Ivanoff

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 to give up on his brother, Victor enlists his beautiful cousin Elizabeth and best friend Henry on 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.

Recommended: Yes, recommended!


  About This Dark Endeavor                                      
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery- $9.28
                                                 Recommended Ages: 15 and Up
                                                            Paperback: 320 pgs.
PublishedOctober 6th 2011 by David Fickling Books (first published August 22nd 2011)

I read This Dark Endeavor with limited knowledge of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. (The type of knowledge you get by reading the Primary School version). This may not have let me pick up on the subtler hints in This Dark Endeavour that lead to Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein; but in no way did that lesson my enjoyment! If anything, it might be best to read This Dark Endeavor before the original Frankenstein – that way the inevitable tragedies that occur in Frankenstein don’t rattle around in your mind whilst reading!

 This Dark Endeavor follows Victor Frankenstein as a young man. (For those of you who don’t know, Victor Frankenstein is the doctor who creates the monster in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein). The story gives a clearer picture of Victor’s character and the motives that lead him as an adult to his obsession with creating life. Characters that appear in Mary Shelley’s novel pop up through the book – as well as some who don’t. Such a character is Victor’s twin brother Konrad. Konrad is a very likable character – as are most of the other characters in the book. They are all realistic characters who you can sympathize with and relate to, except for the person who is actually telling the story – Victor.
  Victor is not a bad character, nor is he unlikable  He just seems to dwell on the worse parts of his character and the good parts seem to be shown via his actions – and even they are sometimes questioned by Victor himself.
  All in all, this was a good book, with action from practically the first page! I’d give it 6 ½ out of 10. 

About the Author
Kenneth Oppel was born in 1967 in Port Alberni, a mill town on Vancouver Island, British Columbia but spent the bulk of my childhood in Victoria, B.C. and on the opposite coast, in Halifax, Nova Scotia...At around twelve he decided he wanted to be a writer (this came after deciding he wanted to be a scientist, and then an architect). He started out writing sci-fi epics (his Star Wars phase) then went on to swords and sorcery tales (his Dungeons and Dragons phase) and then, during the summer holiday when he was fourteen, started on a humorous story about a boy addicted to video games (written, of course, during his video game phase). It turned out to be quite a long story, really a short novel, and rewrote it the next summer. Kenneth had a family friend who knew Roald Dahl - one of his favourite authors - and this friend offered to show Dahl his story. He was paralysed with excitement. He'd never heard back from Roald Dahl directly, but he read his story, and liked it enough to pass it on to his own literary agent. Kenneth later got a letter from them, saying they wanted to take him on, and try to sell his story. And they did.

About the Blogger-Jesse Ivanoff

I live in Australia, I love books - especially paranormal, YA, Urban

fantasy... you get the picture. Love anime and manga, sometimes I try
and draw it. Currently studying Japanese.

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