Victor and Konrad are the twin brothers Frankenstein.
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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. When Konrad falls gravely ill, Victor is not satisfied with the various doctors his parents have called in to help.
With their friend Elizabeth, Henry and Victor immediately set out to find assistance from a man who was once known for his alchemical works to help create the formula.
Why did I read this book: Kenneth Oppel. The evocative title. The cover art. Need I say more? Victor and his identical twin brother, Konrad, have lived a charmed life at Chateau Frankenstein. Doted on by loving parents, treated to a rigorous liberal education, and given the companionship of their adopted distant cousin Elizabeth and neighbor Henry, at fifteen years of age the twins want for nothing. Though both Victor and Konrad are identical in appearance, however, the twins are very different.
And, unlike his twin, Victor burns with an unmatched passion and curiosity that is frightening in its intensity.
When Konrad falls mortally ill due to a strange disease of the blood, Victor watches as doctors try all manners of treatments to no avail. With the help of Elizabeth and Henry to gather the necessary ingredients, and the expertise of fallen alchemist Polidori, Victor takes on the impossible and sets out to create the Elixir of Life.
At what cost does the elixir come, though?
And what urges might this dark endeavor stir in young Victor? You know of Victor Frankenstein and his hubris, of his Monster and the tragedy that follows him. You know of his studies at Ingolstadt, and the fate of his family and future wife.
As Frankenstein is one of my favorite classics, I was both thrilled and a bit frightened to read this prequel though my fears were insignificant, given the trust I have in the talented Mr.
Once again, I find myself lost for words and can only describe my feelings for This Dark Endeavor in the simplest way: I love this book. The fifteen year-old Victor of This Dark Endeavor is passionate to a fault, deeply curious, and insatiably hungry for answers. I love this extra layer of color Mr. Oppel gives young master Frankenstein, rendering Victor a much more complex young man than just an arrogant, intelligent boy that will one day create a monster.
THe other characters are also expertly drawn, with the tension between brothers a palpable thing throughout the book. And while it is undeniable that Victor loves his brother, there are moments in the book where jealousy rears its ugly head, and Victor himself is afraid of his motivations. While the characters are superb, the novel itself is a tantalizing adventure, fraught with danger and cloaked in a lusciously dark, evocative atmosphere. Chateau Frankenstein, an imposing castle enfolded by the Geneva woods, has never felt more real.
This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel: Essay & Project Ideas
There are midnight excursions for rare plants, underground caverns, alchemical brews, dungeons, and secret laboratories. There is so much to This Dark Endeavor , and I loved every second of this novel.
For the fan of Mary Shelley, for the student that might struggle to find a way to connect with the older iteration of Victor Frankenstein, for the bright-eyed reader that wants to try something new, dark and delectable, This Dark Endeavor awaits. One of my top 10 favorite reads of And now we beheld it, curled atop its treasure, its pale fur and scales ablaze with moonlight.
It knew we were there. Doubtless it had smelled us coming, its flared nostrils drinking in our sweat and fear. Its crested head lifted slightly, almost lazily. Coins and jewels clinked and shifted as its body began to uncoil. My sword was in my hand, and my brother was at my side, his own blade flashing. The speed with which the beast struck was incomprehensible.
I tried to throw myself clear, but its muscular neck crashed against my right arm, and I felt the arm break and dangle uselessly at my side. The monster came at me again, jaws agape.
I battered its head, trying to stab its mouth or eyes, but it was as quick as a cobra.
The monster reared back, ready to strike, and then it shrieked in pain, for my brother had severed one of its hind legs. I pushed myself up with my good hand. Before the monster could strike, I hurled myself at it. This time my sword plunged deep into its chest, so deep I could scarcely wrench it out. A ribbon of dark fluid unfurled in the moonlight, and the monster reared to its full height, terrible to behold, and then crumpled. Its head shattered on the ground, and there, among the bloodied fur and cracked crest, was the face of a beautiful girl.
I knelt. And with that, she died, leaving me more shaken than I could describe. I staggered back.
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He stared back in astonishment, this brother of mine who looked so much like me, we might have been the same person. And indeed we were, for we were identical twins.
I lifted my sword, put the tip against his throat, and forced him, step by step, toward the edge of the precipice. I laughed then, at the lie of it. The family birthright is yours.
But I want it, all of it.
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And I shall have it. At that moment the monster stirred, and in alarm I turned—only to see it making its final death contraction. But in that same instant my brother drew his sword. Back and forth across the ledge we fought. We were both strong, with broad shoulders and taut muscles that thrived on exertion. But my brother had always been the better swordsman, and with my broken arm I was even more disadvantaged.
This Dark Endeavor
Even as he stared at me with my own face, and pleaded with me in my own voice, I plunged the sword into his heart and stole his life. You can read a full excerpt online HERE. Even cooler, a director has been assigned to the film and progress is being made. Check out the details:. Deadline told you yesterday about a batch of films based on the Mary Shelley Frankenstein novel. Summit just took a step forward in this contest. Both are repped by CAA.
Thea James is half of the maniacal book review duo behind The Book Smugglers. By day, she does digital operations things over at Penguin Random House. I am so pleased to read this is good. I think this one comes out in October over here, but we picked up some ARC at the Random House event and they made it sound so exciting.
This dark endeavor kenneth oppel pdf viewer
I love the gothic feel for this book. Nothing makes me happier than a tribute to a classic that gets it right.
I might be able to talk my sons into reading this. I was already intrigued by this book, but your review definitely convinced me to bump it up to the top of my to-read list. Vivienne — I truly hope you enjoy it! Kenneth Oppel really nails the atmosphere and characterizations perfectly in this book.
SonomaLass — You can say that again. I think this book would be a great introductory novel to younger readers who might not be so interested in the classics but could be nudged that way…. I hope your son enjoys this one!
I just placed a request for this one at my library. Memory — I still have to finish the third Airborn book! Did I read that right? That is just fantastic. And, I think it would make a great movie. Thank you so so much for the rec!!! I really need to get my hands on it.
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I did Frankenstein via audio a few years back and enjoyed it immensely. Since this one follows that basic outline, I will definitely pick it up. Thanks as always for your fab review. For reals. I am so pleased to find this review!
011 This Dark Endeavor Audiobook Review
I saw this cover not too long ago and it has stuck with me. This is a fun story that follows the life of Victor Frankenstein when he was only in his 16th year.
What type of childhood did this mad genius have?