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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.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Debra on 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.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful
By David on 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.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Anonymous User on 01-30-18
Really good story, would definitely recommend. I listen at 2x speed to save time, and the narrator’s voice certainly suits this style.
By TheBoys on 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!