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 peaks 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 Konrads 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.
©2011 Kenenth Opel (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Oppel, who I knew previously from his delightful Matt Cruse adventure series, takes a decided turn into true darkness with this imaginative and appropriately frightening prequel to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.
Do you have to have read the original to appreciate this book? Not really. Although I think some things may hit a reader a bit more if they know exactly what is to come later in the lives of the characters.
In Oppel's vision of young Viktor Frankenstein, he is a complex boy who feels both great love and great jealousy for his twin brother Konrad. This conflict is a driving force in much of what he does, wanting to be better and better loved. His brother's mysterious illness spurs him to pursue the study of alchemy, in spite of their father's warnings that it will all come to no good.
Of course, the greatest conflict between brothers is their beautiful cousin Elizabeth. As in the Matt Cruse books, the female lead is much more than an object of desire; she joins Viktor in his dangerous quest to gather the ingredients for an elixir that will supposedly save his brother's life.
The last third of the book is particularly frightening, mostly because of how it shows how obsession can drive someone to do the most extreme things in the name of love.
If you like a dark adventure story with memorable characters, then this is just the book for you.
I would listen to this book again because the gradual change of the main characters personality and passion is very well written.
A great story of the Frankenstein boys and how they became the men of the future. No surprise...there is a sequel.
This was an amazing book. I have loved Frankenstein (the original) for many years. So to see a prequel intrigued me. The quotation on the back hooked me..."There is a passion in you that scares me." The writing is amazing and, though I haven't reread Frankenstein in several years, the tone matches really well. Oppel does a wonderful job creating a back story that reveals the drive and obsession that Victor possesses. Apparently, it's being made into a movie. I hope that they do the story justice. The narration was very fitting and matched the mood perfectly. I highly recommend this!
The premiss of the book is a great one. What lead a young Victor Frankenstein to become what he ended up becoming? As a fan of the original Frankenstein, I was excited to find this book on Audible, and on sale to boot. I quickly discovered the reason whycit was only $5. While the narrator does an outstanding job, all he can do is read the words in front of him. It might of been a better story if the narrator had just made it up as he went along.
The whole time I was reading This Dark Endeavor, I was thinking to myself, "Did a high schooler write this?" No offense to those of you that are in high school. In fact, I encourage you to try your hand at writing a young Dr. Frankenstein tale of your own. I tihnk you would be pleased to see that it turns out to be better than this book.
I would cut all of them. It's as if the author never read Frankenstein at all. He seems to have no grasp on who the characters are or how they would act.
Five bucks was way too much.
Ever since my academic years I have had a fascination with Frankenstein. When I found Oppel's accounts of the young Victor, I knew I had to read his novel. I believe Shelley would appreciate this tale that introduces and develops the Frankenstein we meet in her novel.
Parts of the story were really exciting when read by Luke Daniels who was the best narrator of any book I have listened to.
Victor who was in conflict with his thoughts and feelings.
He put in a lot of emotion to telling the story.
from Literary Exploration
Most people know my obsession with Frankenstein so I wanted to give This Dark Endeavour a go; since the author Kenneth Oppel calls this a prequel. Victor’s brother, Konrad, has fallen ill and no doctor has been able to cure him. Victor’s determination to save his brother has turned to alchemy to find the forbidden Elixir of Life and save his twin brother. With the help of his beautiful cousin Elizabeth and best friend Henry, Victor pushes the boundaries of nature and science in a treacherous search for the ingredients to help Konrad.
This is book one in The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein series which I believe is being made into a trilogy. My first thoughts were that a YA novel about Victor Frankenstein was never going to work, but then after a bit of a look at the book I decided to give it a go anyway. I thought maybe if his research of Frankenstein is in-depth enough and he keeps to the dark and gothic elements of the original classic it might work. I really should have stuck to my first thoughts because from the very start I hated this book.
First of all this book follows the same old paranormal young adult formula which means not so much dark and gothic elements but lots and lots to do with a love triangle. I really hate love triangles in books and this novel felt like the entire plot was centred around the love triangle. Sure, they search for the Elixir of Life but there was more to do with Victor’s feelings toward Elizabeth than the actual alchemy.
Personally I wish I never read this book, it really did nothing for the Frankenstein story and love triangles are always annoying. There is a small steampunk element in this book but that felt like the author was jumping on the bandwagon to help market this book to the readers that want Steampunk, Paranormal, Love Triangle filled Young Adult romance. If you want gothic and dark YA like I do, then this book is not for you. But if you like the idea of a romance with paranormal elements in it, then maybe give this book a go.
A darker more grown up Lemony Snicket
Whenever victor goes into the old dark library.
"Great stories for boys"
These stories are very well written and draw you in from the start. This is very important especially when trying to get boys to read!
The Spooks series, by Joseph Delaney! Another series of excellent books!
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