Vee is on a forced mental health hiatus until 16th June. See you then!

Review of This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel

by - May 20, 2012

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 Konrad's 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.

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This book started out quite weak and didn't really strengthen as the story went on. By page 16 we'd had Victor fall off a balcony and then Harry, Ron and Hermione discovers a secret room a couple of days later. Oh sorry, I meant Victor, Konrad and Elizabeth. My bad. Oh yeah, there's Henry too. I forgot about him. Apparently so did the blurb. There were a couple of inconsistencies between this and the original Frankenstein, which is a bit weird as this is supposed to be a prequel. My knowledge of Frankenstein does come from Wikipedia like but it mentions that Victor's mother dies when Victor is at a 'young age' but she's alive and well in this. I don't think 16 is a young age but I'm guessing the author is saving that for another book... the other is Konrad himself. Victor Frankenstein never had a twin and if you Google 'Victor Frankenstein twin' you only get results talking about this book. It's not really a prequel if the story doesn't match up with the original.

There were better parts of this story. Hang on while I try and remember what the were. I suppose the adventure was pretty interesting despite having a heavy fantasy feel to the whole story when Frankenstein was science fiction in my opinion. Victor himself is an intriguing character and his personality really did make me decide to download Frankenstein. I don't know if it will ever get reviewed but I'm going to have a good go at reading it. Victor had his bad moments though. Quite a lot of them/ He was obsessive, rude, jealous, slightly insane and above all, very, very spoilt. I wanted to slap him sometimes.

The adventure itself comes in the form of the gang trying to find three items which with help make THE PHILOS- ahem. THE ELIXIR OF LIFE,  because Konrad's dying of a weird blood disease and stuff and Victor's all, 'I WILL SAVE HIM!' and secretly he's thinking, 'I WILL STEAL ALL THIS GLORY FOR MYSELF MWAHAHAHAHA'. Basically. 

The reason I did give this 3 whole stars is because I'm still thinking of the book. I have no idea why. It really wasn't that great. And the sequel sounds even worse, they find a magic portal. It's so sci-fi I'm expecting Spock to show up. Not. But I know I will will probably buy this and read it and point out all the things I hate about it but still think about it anyway and buy the third book if there is one. Again, I have no idea why.


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  1. Oh dear! I think I have this one sitting on my review stacks somewhere, I'll save it for when I have nothing better to read. I did very much enjoy Frankenstein though - it's very sad and thoughtful and deliciously melodramatic - so I hope you like that one better! *small purr as invisible kitten lands gently on knee*

  2. Hmm, I didn't really like this one either... There's a sequel?! And they find a magic portal?! Umm, no thanks :S If you do ever read the sequel let me know if it's any better, though I'm not expecting it to be ;P Thanks for the review!

  3. Lol, this really made me laugh. I actually have this one checked out from the library atm. I'm still going to read it, as I've heard lots of good things, but we'll have to compare notes when I'm through. I agree that if something is being written as a prequel to a classic, that story elements should line up. Kind of a shame to hear these didn't.

  4. I haven't heard of this book but it sounds interesting! Maybe I will check it out from the library..especially since you were disappointed with this one. Anyways, great review as always :)


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