Monday, August 29, 2011
Book Report Monday: This Dark Endeavor
My Review: As the title indicates, this is the story of Victor's initial introduction to alchemy and the magic of science. He does not create the monster in this book, but I can see how he could go down that path. I kind of thought of the book as filling in the blanks of Victor Frankenstein's teen years. Oppel shows the reader what may have led to Victor's obsessive nature and need to prove himself.
Oppel captured me with his prose and his characters who were, in my opinion very real. Young Victor Frankenstein is a flawed hero and I sympathized with him even while abhorring his growing bitterness. Konrad is the lovable and charismatic antithesis to his twin. Elizabeth is transformed from a quiet, angelic figure into a strong, passionate girl who is an equal to the twins intellectually. Henry Clerval is the sensitive artist of the foursome and he rounds out the group nicely.
It is a quick read, as the pacing is steady and makes it hard to put down. The setting is the same as the original story and there were several nods to Mary Shelley's tale. The use of lightning in several well-placed metaphors and even an alchemist who lives on Wollenstonekraft Alley, Wollenstonecraft being Mary Shelley's maiden name. This Dark Endeavor is the first in a series and I am eager to find out what happens next, though I think it is safe to assume that Victor will create a monster at some point.
Recommendation: A must-read for Frankenstein fans. To me the book bridges the space between Middle Grade and Young Adult and it will appeal to boys as well as girls.
Next Week: TBD