Book Review: This Dark Endeavour by Kenneth Oppel

This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein by Kenneth Oppel
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: August 2011
Pages: 304
Source: Library

For: Fun
Series: Yes, Book 1.

Viktor and Konrad are twin brothers who have shared just about everythin in life. But when Konrad becomes ill, Viktor finds that the only place he can turn is to alchemy and a dark secret hidden in his father's house. Will he be able to save Konrad before it is too late, or will he find that he has fallen into something much deeper and darker than he imagined?

Things I Liked:
[I totally wish I'd read this in 2012, so I could pair it with Frankenstein for my Classic Double Challenge.  Alas, I didn't.]  Just the concept of seeing Frankenstein as a teen delights me.  I really enjoyed the interactions of the characters, including a love triangle that didn't suck.  I especially liked seeing Viktor wonder about his motivations and the lengths he'd go to in order to save his brother.  I thought it was a pretty good backstory that fit right in with the classic book.  There was also quite a few exciting adventures and a touch of the Gothic spookiness from the original tale.  A pleasure to read. I liked Elizabeth a lot:
"I just assumed it would be Henry and me climbing the tree."
"Oh."  she nodded humbly.  "Yes.  I suppose that makes the most sense.  I can just wait at the bottom and do needlepoint by the light of the lantern-"
"Elizabeth-," I said, hearing the fire kindling in her voice.
"-or just daydream about the latest Paris fashions." p 105
Things I Didn't Like:
It definitely doesn't have the spark or the depth of ethical issues that Frankenstein does.  I guess that's what happens when you talk about what some crazy guy did before he went really crazy! 

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
A little like Prophecy of the Sisters trilogy by Michelle Zink for the atmosphere and Gothic feel

s-factor: ! 
one or two

mrg-factor: none 
a bit of kissing, though

v-factor: -> 
some rather intense parts, a little fighting

Overall rating: **** 

What do you think of a prequel for a classic book?

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