Tuesday, January 31, 2012

This Dark Endeavor

This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein
By Kenneth Oppel
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2011./Brilliance Audio, 2011. 298 pgs./8 hours, 7 minutes. Teen fiction

Victor Frankenstein and his twin brother Konrad are as close as brothers can be, although lately a certain young lady has started to come between them. Still, when Konrad falls ill, Victor is determined to do whatever it takes to save him, even if it means invading his castle home's forbidden Dark Library, where he tries to uncover the secrets of alchemy in order to concoct an elixir of life to save his brother.

Oppel does a satisfying job of writing a story that explains why someone who venture into the dark and forbidden world of alchemy and potions. Victor is usually a likable character--and certainly a sympathetic one, as readers will understand his feelings of jealousy and frustration toward his brother--but occasionally, his hot-headed, passionate responses to things make him a little less than gentlemanly. Overall, though, a good choice for fans of historical fiction and adventure, teen guys, and anyone who likes their fiction slightly on the darker side.

4 stars. Clean read for the most part--slight innuendo. (Really slight).

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