Such Wicked Intent, The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein #2
Author: Kenneth Oppel
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Synopsis: When does obsession become madness? Tragedy has forced sixteen-year-old Victor Frankenstein to swear off alchemy forever. He burns the Dark Library. He vows he will never dabble in the dark sciences again—just as he vows he will no longer covet Elizabeth, his brother’s betrothed.
If only these things were not so tempting.
When he and Elizabeth discover a portal into the spirit world, they cannot resist. Together with Victor’s twin, Konrad, and their friend Henry, the four venture into a place of infinite possibilities where power and passion reign. But as they search for the knowledge to raise the dead, they unknowingly unlock a darkness from which they may never return
Why did I pick it up?: <3 Frankenstein!
Favorite Line: "And I turned back to the storm and thought: Such astonishing power."
This is the last line of the book and Victor's talking about the lightning struck tree. I was ecstatic to see the connection made to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. It's one of my favorite scenes in one of my favorite books. Reading it a anew gave me goosebumps...because I'm a nerd.
Honorable Mention: "The sun cleared the eastern peaks and light glittered across the surface of Lake Geneva. I began laughing with sheer joy."
I could have written this line, because when I was in Switzerland it happened to me. Though unlike the character of Victor, I was listening to the Smiths at the time.
My Review: Life at Chateau Frankenstein is no longer the epitome of comfort and happiness. Victor's ideal childhood has been disrupted by loss. More loss, obsession and horror are on the horizon and we see in the sequel to This Dark Endeavor how Victor is changing.
Victor Frankenstein is not the classic hero. He can be very unlikable when it comes down to it. Selfishly one track minded, he gets an idea in his head and is unflappable. Yet Oppel manages to show us a young man who is both true to the nature of Mary Shelley's scientist and yet striving to be good. He wants to do the right thing, even though sometimes his reasons may be self serving.
The journeys into the spirit world leave the human visitors changed. Not only that they seem to have less inhibitions while there but that something about their basic, animalistic selves remain with them even after their leave.
After the first book I wasn't sure how Oppel's story would match up with Shelley's. I thought he was taking it into a different direction, but now I suspect the third installment will have even more references and I cannot wait.
Recommendation: Anyone looking for Young Adult that is not romance focused. It will appeal to boys as well as girls.
For Next Week: Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling