This Dark Endeavour: The Apprenticeship Of Victor Frankenstein Hardcover – Aug 22 2011
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"In this stylish gothic tale, first in a planned series, teenage Victor Frankenstein makes a desperate attempt to create the forbidden alchemical Elixir of Life, in order to save his beloved twin brother, Konrad, from an untimely death. Oppel hews closely to the Frankenstein mythos, and with a delicious mix of science, history, and horror, he peers into the psyche of a young man who is beginning to hunger for greater control over life and death."
- Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) ()
About the Author
KENNETH OPPEL is the Governor General’s Award–winning author of the Airborn series and the Silverwing Saga, which has sold over a million copies worldwide. His most recent novels are Half Brother, winner of both the Canadian Library Association Book of the Year for Children Award and the Young Adult Book Award; This Dark Endeavour, finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award; and Such Wicked Intent, finalist for the CLA Young Adult Book Award. Canada’s nominated author for the 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Award, he lives in Toronto with his wife and three children.
FACEBOOK: KENNETH OPPEL
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most people have heard of Dr. Frankenstein and his monster; if not from Mary Shelley’s book Frankenstein ‘or the Modern Prometheus’, than from one of the many movie adaptations that have been made since the books 1818 release. I was lucky enough to be assigned Frankenstein when I was in University and really enjoyed the book though I really must revisit it since it has been too long and details escape me. When I first heard that Kenneth Oppel was writing a prequel series I knew I had to read it because I love a good origin story. And when is a better time to pick up a gothic thriller than October?
First I want to have a quick chat about the cover. I own the redesigned cover with Victor standing in front of a building which I actually enjoy. I like the choice of font and that the outline of the picture is blurred. The shadowed face looks dark and ominous and everything seems to fits the theme of the book. I also listened to the audiobook; I think the actor did a good job but nothing stood out or wowed me about the performance.
Victor and his identical twin Konrad have always done everything together. With the help of their distant cousin Elizabeth and their friend Henry they put on extravagant plays as well as challenge each other in fencing. They live an easy life in the Chateau Frankenstein nestled in the woods of Geneva. They have had a very loving and liberal upbringing which has shaped their personalities. Konrad is the older twin by only two minutes, but he couldn’t be more different from his twin. He is charming and adored by everyone for his wit and athletic ability.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This Dark Endeavor is a fun, Gothic read, a sort of prequel to Shelley's Frankenstein. This is the story of Victor Frankenstein as a teen and his twin brother, Konrad. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Coreena McBurnie
Reason for Reading: I read all the author's books.
This is Oppel's third series for Young Adults and each one has been so completely different from the other. Read more
I've been hearing for months from everyone who's read this book that it's phenomenal- something unique nad refreshing in the world of YA, for a multitide of different reasons. Read morePublished on Feb. 9 2012 by Brenna