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Publisher's Summary

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.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Debra
  • Miami, FL, United States
  • 10-23-11

Chilling and oddly poignant

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.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic prequel and wonderful narration

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!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • David
  • Santa Rosa, CA, United States
  • 12-08-11

Awesome awesome awesome! Oppel's best book yet.

Would you listen to This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein again? Why?

I would listen to this book again because the gradual change of the main characters personality and passion is very well written.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Vanessa
  • Edmonton, AB, Canada
  • 12-05-11

Bring on Frankenstein

A great story of the Frankenstein boys and how they became the men of the future. No surprise...there is a sequel.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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the path to hell is paved in good intentions

Would you listen to This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein again? Why?

This Dark Endeavor captures the bond between siblings with depth and accuracy; between the rivalry, the love, the adventures they embark upon, and the need to just stab your sibling with a foil, kept me listening. Even when the pendulum swings downward in Victor and Konrad's relationship, their loyalty to each other never falters.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Elizabeth is a wonderful balance of femininity and just being one of the boys. She can be wild as any wolf, yet remain a believable character. She has weakness and isn't afraid to show it. But seriously, she fended off a vulture with her teeth. Do not mess with her.

What does Luke Daniels bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

His performance as Victor and Konrad during their arguments is lively and engaging. It is something you'd miss by reading.

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Frankenstein Fan

Any additional comments?

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.

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Exciting!

Would you listen to This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein again? Why?

Parts of the story were really exciting when read by Luke Daniels who was the best narrator of any book I have listened to.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Victor who was in conflict with his thoughts and feelings.

What about Luke Daniels’s performance did you like?

He put in a lot of emotion to telling the story.

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What a find!

I can NOT recommend this book more highly. It is rivetting, I couldn't put the headphones down!

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Creative story with excellent narration.

Where does This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Top ten

What other book might you compare This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein to and why?

A darker more grown up Lemony Snicket

Have you listened to any of Luke Daniels’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Whenever victor goes into the old dark library.

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  • olon
  • Milton, Fl, United States
  • 09-10-12

Pleasantly Surprised

I tried this book out as it was promoted through audible. I think I even got a good deal on it. However, I hadn't expected much from the book. It started a little slow but ended up being a good story all in all.

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  • TheBoys
  • 04-05-14

Great stories for boys

What made the experience of listening to This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein the most enjoyable?

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!

What other book might you compare This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein to, and why?

The Spooks series, by Joseph Delaney! Another series of excellent books!