Wednesday, April 10, 2013

This Dark Endeavor

This Dark Endeavor

     This Dark Endeavor is the first book in a series of YA books by Kenneth Oppel that follows sixteen-year-old Victor Frankenstein. Summit Entertainment owns the movie rights to this book, so one day, it may very well be made into a movie. Which it should be because This Dark Endeavor is a phenomenal book, and I can see it translating nicely to the big screen. If you're a fan of YA historical fiction or gothic books, or even Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, do yourself a favor and read this book. Honestly, if I taught high school English literature, this would be on a summer reading list for my students. 

     Victor's twin brother, Konrad, has fallen ill, and doctors are unable to completely heal him. However, Vincent believes that an alchemist's Elixir of Life, that he found in a tome in a hidden library, will do what the doctors are unable to do. So begins the quest (this dark endeavor) to save his brother, as Victor, his best friend Henry, and his (distant) cousin, Elizabeth, set out in attempt to retrieve the three arcane ingredients needed to complete the mixture. The first two are in forewarned, "dark" and dangerous places, and the third one, well, its retrieval will shock you. Along the way, revelations are revealed, as a love triangle slowly emerges between the twin brothers and the beautiful Elizabeth. Dare I say, though, the romance may develop slowly, however, there is never a dull moment in this story, as the plot moves along at a quick pace and with prose and dialogue that flows evenly. And oh...Victor, Victor, Victor. Such a richly-developed, complex character that you can feel his inner turmoil and the wars that he wages within himself, at times; he loves his brother, but he loves Elizabeth, as well; he's jealous and resentful of his perceived perfect brother, but on the same token, is willing to sacrifice so much for him. You begin to see as the storyline progresses how this young Victor will become the older Victor, the one who goes on to create a well-known monster. 

     From the very first few pages, I was hooked and intrigued and I had to find out what Vincent's motivations were. Why he became the mad scientist bent on bringing a lifeless body back to life; bent on bringing life into his own creation. This book and the conflicts that the characters faced stayed with me long after I finished it. This Dark Endeavor is one of the best YA books that I've read this year. 

This Dark Endeavor - 5 out of 5 stars!

This Dark Endeavor playlist -
Falling Slowly by The Frames ("Moods that take me and erase me and I'm painted black. You have suffered enough, and warred with yourself. It's time that you won,"...Those lyrics get me every time, but this time they made me think of Victor and his inner struggles.)
Whatever It Takes by Lighthouse
You and Me by Lighthouse (When he sees Elizabeth with Konrad and he finally realizes that he's in love with her)
Unwell by Matchbox Twenty
Chances by Five by Fighting (Elizabeth is very religious, but Victor is not. There's one line where it says "No act of God can pull me away from you" and it made me think of Victor and how his feelings for Elizabeth transcend his beliefs.)
I'll Be by Edwin McCain ("I'll be your crying shoulder"...enough said.)

Reviewed by Susannah;)


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