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This Dark Endeavour: The Apprenticeship Of Victor Frankenstein Hardcover – Aug 22 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Trophy Canada (Aug. 22 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1554683394
  • ISBN-13: 978-1554683390
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14.8 x 2.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #107,306 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steven R. McEvoy HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on Jan. 25 2012
Format: Hardcover
I have been going back through and tracking down all of Oppel's older books and reading them. This is his newest and it blew me away. It had a dark edge I have not seen in Oppel's writing before. The story is amazing and leaves you desperate for more.

Summary: It is the story of the Frankenstein brothers, Victor and Konrad. They are the closest of brothers and as they have grown up in the Frankenstein manor, they have lived a life of privilege and adventures, both real and imaginary. But then as the old saying goes, all good things must come to an end. After they stumble upon a hidden library, a library of the dark arts, their life takes a turn for the worse. Soon Konrad has fallen ill, and Victor, their friend Henry, and Elizabeth, a distant relative who was raised in the Frankenstein household, embark on a dark and dangerous journey to discover the Elixir of Life. As the friends risk life and limb to save Konrad, a dark secret is growing in Victor's heart.

This story is very well written; it is a study into the hearts and minds of a group of people. It looks at not only what they do, but why they do it. It also touches upon how twins have a bond, and as we read, the story and characters become real. There is such craft in the writing of this book you will become lost in the pages and the story will stay with you for a long time after reading it. The book is impossible to put down, and even after you finish it, you find yourself desperate for book two.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pamela Young on Dec 26 2011
Format: Hardcover
I picked up this book originally because I found the concept interesting and was very pleased with it. Not only is the idea of the book fantastic, but the writing as well. The characters were well developed and interesting. The only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 is because I felt the book could have been more descriptive for the time period.
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Format: Hardcover
Kenneth Oppel takes on the daunting task of writing a prequel to Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein with his YA novel This Dark Endeavor. I read Frankenstein several times in University and found it to be much deeper and interesting than the Hollywoodized and Halloween Frankenstein monsters that have become associated with the name. My fascination with the original and the simple key-hole cover brought this book to the top of my TBR pile.

The adventures and experiments of young Victor Frankenstein often straddle the line between science and fantasy, and he wonders whether alchemy is closer to medicine or religion. His curiosity in science and flare for the dramatic make the teen fall easily into the forbidden alchemy. His drive to save his brother and capture Elizabeth’s attention adds realism to the fanciful story.

Victor’s relationship with his twin is very interesting and genuine. He is baffled by how they can be so alike and yet so different. Their rivalries and close bond feel real throughout the entire novel. One of my favourite scenes is when he sees his twin with Elizabeth and he says it’s like looking at himself being with her, only he can’t feel her and he gets confused.

I thought Elizabeth’s sleepwalking scenes were hot. It reminded me of in Red Glove when Lila was in Cassel’s bed and he knew because of the curse he could ask her for anything but he doesn’t because he’d know it wasn’t really her. It made me forget for a minute that Victor and Elizabeth were raised like siblings, something that ruined the romance elements for me but that couldn’t be helped given the context of the story.

I was pretty terrified of the obstacles the characters face on their quest for special ingredients. The only thing that ruined it for me was the Lynx.
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By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on Feb. 22 2014
Format: Hardcover
Victor Frankenstein is one of the most hatable characters in gothic literature, but how did he become that way?

Kenneth Oppel attempts to explore the archetypical mad scientists' teen years in "This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein." It's a colorful, bleakly passionate story full of dark alchemy and seething resentment, written in a style that hearkens back to 19th-century writings. And you're constantly aware that it will get worse.

Victor Frankenstein and his twin brother Konrad are inseparable, along with their beautiful cousin Elizabeth. But one day Konrad becomes horribly ill, and slowly begins to waste away. Desperate to save his brother, Victor takes a forbidden book of alchemy from a hidden library, and sneaks it off to an old alchemist named Polidori, who may be able to help him create the Elixir of Life.

As he and Elizabeth search for ultra-rare ingredients (like coelacanth oil), Victor begins to realize that he's in love with her. But after Konrad makes a miraculous recovery, Victor realizes that Elizabeth loves his brother, not him. As they continue searching for the elixir's ingredients, Victor's love for both of them is slowly twisted with loathing and jealousy. And when Konrad's illness returns, Victor will make a terrible sacrifice... which will not turn out as he expected

To date, "This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein" is the darkest book that Kenneth Oppel has penned. You know exactly how Victor's life will unfold later, and that gives a darker tinge even to the happier scenes -- and as Victor begins setting off on his "dark endeavor," it becomes clear that all his scientific ventures will end in tragedy.

Victor himself is a beautifully nuanced character.
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