This Dark Endeavor

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Victor and Konrad are the twin brothers Frankenstein and inseparable until Konrad falls gravely ill. In the forbidden Dark Library, Victor finds an ancient formula, and seeks an alchemist to recreate the Elixir of Life. With friends Elizabeth and Henry, he scales highest trees in the Strumwald, dives deepest lake caves, and each sacrifices a body part.


My review:


“You see, when medicine works, it is blessed science, and when it fails, it is witchcraft. - Polidori” 
― Kenneth Oppel, This Dark Endeavor

This book I S A V O R E D

Kenneth Oppel has such a way with words that I was drawn in right from the beginning. This is a fictional prequel to Mary Shelley’s gothic classic Frankenstein. And because this book was published a few years ago and reviewed many times, I won’t go into too many details. But here is the description of the book from Amazon, just as a refresher:

"Victor and Konrad are the twin brothers Frankenstein. They are nearly inseparable. Growing up, their lives are filled with imaginary adventures...until the day their adventures turn all too real.
They stumble upon the Dark Library and discover secret books of alchemy and ancient remedies. Father forbids them from ever entering the room again, but when Konrad falls gravely ill, Victor is drawn back to the Dark Library where he uncovers an ancient formula for the Elixir of Life. Victor, along with his beautiful cousin Elizabeth and friend Henry, immediately set out to find a man who was once known for his alchemical works to help them create the formula.
Determined to save Konrad, the three friends scale the highest trees in Strumwald, dive into the deepest lakes, and even make an unthinkable sacrifice in their quest for the elixir’s ingredients. And as if their task was not complicated enough, a new realm of danger—that of illicit love—threatens to end the ordeal in tragedy."

So, the story begins just so very innocently and just so proper. It has this gothic charm and flair to it while the characters are introduced and established. That was just fine for me because all I expected was a little alchemy and mischief. 

Surprisingly the story turned into this adventure filled quest with charlatan doctors, dark cellars, potions, fantastical creatures, danger, love, betrayal and…..(more I cannot give away!) And I just ate it up! There was this “surgery” part that made me cringe to the depths of my tummy and I was not sure if I could read through it. Admittedly, I am not one who enjoys horror! 

I came across this book by accident, and did not think I would enjoy it this much. This YA novel is a page turner and I would hope that it would pique the interest of young readers to try the actual Frankenstein novel. For that I loved it. If it doesn’t, then I don’t know what can. Looking forward to reading book II, SuchWicket Intent.