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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
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
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!